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Special Edition: Art Toronto
by ArtSlant Team


by David Yu

If ever asked to conjure up a list of international art fairs I would bet Art Toronto is pretty low on that list (that’s even if the fair makes it on the list at all). With such heavy hitting art fairs like Frieze, Hong Kong International Art Fair, The Armory Show, Art Basel and Art Basel Miami, it’s obvious why Art Toronto could be overlooked on an international art market platform. However, Art Toronto does fill a necessary hole for Canadian collectors. One could literally walk around this fair and get a good understanding of present day trends and what collectors within a Canadian market are currently interested in. The fair exhibitors' programming gives a good cross section of contemporary Canadian galleries with a sprinkling of international flavour. The fair also showcases a good mix of galleries that represent emerging art practices to mid-career and professional artists, e.g., Douglas Copland, Jeff Wall – giving a full buffet for visitors and collectors to gorge on. This year’s theme is Focus Asia, introducing a small section focused on contemporary Asian art curated by Zheng Shengtian (editor of Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art) and Katherine Don.

Why Toronto though? Avoiding the Toronto-versus-Vancouver pseudo competition that people from either city get trapped in from time to time, Toronto is considered the hub of contemporary Canadian art and culture with large institutions such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), The Toronto International Film Festival, and The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, serving up exciting contemporary programming that is recognized on a national and international level. Also, Toronto now has their very own ArtSlant page to help celebrate, report, and to keep a finger on the cultural pulse in this city...

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by Kate Addleman

Even if you don’t go to the swanky preview party at the Art Gallery of Ontario, even if you don’t make it down to Metro Convention Centre at all, you will feel Art Toronto in the city this weekend. The biggest art fair in the country, it will accommodate some 100 galleries and 20,000 attendees (watch them stream in over land, air, and water!) and prove, as always, a crucial moment in the yearly calendar of artists, their handlers, and the patrons who feed, clothe, and make stars of both. Knowing the city will be crawling with art enthusiasts before, during, and after the main event, galleries typically trot out their best in the days and weeks around it. It’s a good time to be in Toronto.

Being a resident of this city and therefore obsessed with diversity, I will dedicate this Art Toronto article to three very different — and very worldly — shows. First, representing Canada: Katie Pretti, “Swoon,” at Neubacher Shor Contemporary. I was first introduced to Pretti’s work about three years ago when a local Bonham’s auctioneer described it to me as a “sound investment.” Based in Toronto, where she completed her art school studies in 2004, Pretti is an abstract artist in the most explosive, exuberant sense...

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Long acclaimed in Canada as the country’s first conceptual artist & the founder of the “Vancouver School” of photoconceptualism, IAIN BAXTER& has only recently come to prominence in the United States with a retrospective jointly organized & exhibited by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago & the Art Gallery of Ontario, IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958-2011. ArtSlant's Alicia Chester met up with BAXTER& to discuss his new exhibition – IAIN BAXTER&: Information/Location, North Vancouver ­– as well as his roots in that city, his electronic catalogue raisonnE, & the ampersand:

IB&: ...everything is interconnected: information & ecology & art & culture & life & eating & food. It can all be encompassed in my five favorite words: information, love, wonder, play, &... &.

AC: You just added a few “&”s to our count, I think...

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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 10/29/12

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