100 galleries, a world-class curator, pre-market buying —Toronto takes shape to become the next stop on the global art fair circuit.
By the time Art Toronto comes around in late October, art fair hoppers will have have traveled throughout Europe and will be planning their Miami itineraries. One might ask why a Canadian stop is needed in an already jam-packed art fair schedule?
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For one, Art Toronto is home to over 100 galleries ranging from the best in Canada to some of the hottest names in the international market. Galleries like Patel Brown (Toronto), Cooper Cole (Toronto), Daniel Faria (Toronto), Night Gallery (Los Angeles), Catriona Jeffries (Vancouver), Galerie Hugues Charbonneau (Montreal), Royale Projects (Los Angeles), Fazakas Gallery (Vancouver), Pangée (Montreal), and Galerie Pici (Seoul), along with many others, are participating in Art Toronto this year, and will test collectors’ appetite for up-and-coming talent. During Art Toronto’s 24-year history, collectors have purchased work by Tau Lewis, Sara Cwynar, Manuel Mathieu, Shannon Bool, June Clark, Wanda Koop, Dominique Fung, and many others—all at pre-market prices.
What makes this opportunity to connect with emerging talent unique is the involvement of Art Toronto director Mia Nielsen. In her four short, yet challenging, years overseeing the fair, Nielsen is re-imagining Toronto’s place within the art world and growing her vision of creating the most anticipated fair in North America—big shoes to fill, especially when New York is your neighbor. But watch out! As the popularity of Canadian music, art, and film grows, the creative energy in Canada is thriving and driving international talent to the North. Call it the “Drake-effect,” combined with a low Canadian dollar: Toronto is becoming a cultural destination.
This year, legendary curator Kitty Scott has joined the Art Toronto team and will curate the fair’s 2,000-square-foot “Focus” exhibition, which will present new, ambitious artworks by artists shown at the fair alongside important historical work. Staying true to the art fair model, all works featured in “Focus” will be for sale. Scott’s decades-long career with Canada’s leading art institutions makes her one of the most respected curators in Canada. A champion of Canadian artists, Scott curated the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2017, featuring an installation by Geoffrey Farmer, and co-curated the Liverpool Biennial in 2018.
In keeping with the goal of acting as a springboard for young talent, Art Toronto is launching Discover, a new section dedicated to exhibitions of work by emerging artists. Presented by principal partner RBC, Discover aims to create opportunities for galleries to showcase the dynamic practices of up-and-coming artists and to introduce them to new audiences.
Art Toronto runs October 26–29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre located in the heart of downtown.
Learn more at the arttoronto.ca.