There was quite a good vibe at the art fair in Toronto this weekend. While Toronto’s fair pales in comparison to those in Miami or London or New York, it’s less useful to compare them, and better to focus on the fantastic young Canadian talent to be found.
The fair was divided into new, young contemporary (to the west side) and more established (and less cutting-edge contemporary, it seemed, to the east.) Among a lot of average work, there were some really good pieces on view, some of which I’ve featured here.
The dealers whom I spoke with sounded positive, particularly those in the less expensive Next section (for younger galleries). There were plenty of red dots, indicating sold works.
The fair was featured as a news item on CBC radio, which reported that the Art Gallery of Ontario had chosen a few pieces for its permanent collection – always a good thing for an artist’s career. They bought a number of miniature, highly detailed paintings by the young painter Mike Bayne, which are the exact size of a snapshot photo.
Mike Bayne shows with Toronto’s Katherine Mulherin. He’s about to become pretty hot, I’d say, especially since Mulherin has gone into partnership with another dealer to open a space in Manhattan, where she has already shown – to an interested public – Bayne’s work. I’ve had my eye on his work for a few years now, and was at one point seriously considering buying one, but now I’ve decided it’s not right for me. Besides, I have too much free wall space to focus on such tiny pieces.
Another discovery I made – and still on the theme of miniature artworks, a trend I discussed back in 2008 (HERE) – was some small bronzes, from an edition of 6 by Quebec artist Ulysee Comtois, at Montreal’s LaRoche/Joncas gallery.
Also in bronze, there was a lovely sculpture of snowballs – Arsenal: 70 Snowballs – by the senior artist Gathie Falk at Vancouver’s Equinox Gallery, which is a maquette for a much larger work. It was in an edition of 7, most of which were sold (at $40,000).
There was a stunning, enormous painting by Landon Mackenzie, Night Sky and Blue Moon at Montreal’s Art45, and some lovely Jessica Stockholder collages at new Toronto gallery Barbara Edwards Contemporary.
I thought one of the strongest things at the fair, mostly for its confident curating, was fashion designer Jeremy Laing’s art installation. But that’s another blog post…