This was my first visit to this fair now in it’s second year. It is a much smaller event taking place on 2 floors of The Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre. The work here did fall more into the less traditional realm, and you will find work from galleries representing younger artists I found it to be a rather mixed bag and for people seeking out the familiar this may not be the venue for you, that is not to say that it was not a worthwhile venture. If I were to have to choose 1 fair this weekend it would be Art Toronto for it’s sheer scope, but if you are apt the get over saturated easily this would be just the right size show to take in. Physically the layout is more broken up into different rooms and floors with one room dedicated to a single installation it had a fair mix of painting, photography and sculpture and was representative of what is happening in the Canadian art scene
Friday has traditionally been my favourite day to visit this show. If you arrive after 2pm the school groups are departing and the place empties out allowing you unfettered access to engage in the art. I began by attending a panel discussion by 5 female arts professions on the state of women in the arts today, their challenges and successes and although the talk was interesting I do not believe I heard anything new, however it was reassuring to see women at the top of their fields. Now it was time for me to revisit the work and I was overwhelmingly impressied by the sheer mastery of the skill employed in much of the work. From hyperrealistic painting on a miniature scale, micro mosaic collaged paper figures and some of the finest sublime resin castings from Japan to obsessively beautiful Mulberry paper assembled reliefs, one can only marvel at the commitment these artist have for their craft. The work was more accessible and less experimental but that is not to say that there was no innovation present. My initial impressions of the new layout of the show were confirmed in that it was a much more comfortable show to see and navigate. I have to say it was a welcome improvement. I was also impressed by the sales, I don’t know if our recent election put people in a more positive mood but it was certainly apparent that sales were on the upswing by all the red dots and the people exiting with their preciously wrapped packages under arm. I can definitely recommend that you make the effort to visit Art Toronto before it closes
The opening last evening of Art Toronto was a well attended, social and stimulating event. The show has a new feel about it with wider aisles, more areas for sitting and feature artists booth from exhibiting galleries. The show has a wide range from the tried and true to the bold and unusual. I was pleased to see the work of Sorel Etrog featured in a few booth so although he may be gone he is far from forgotten. I hope to share some of my picks from yesterday. Your patience is appreciated as I am experiencing some difficulty posting images.