Art Torontorings in its 13th year with a showcase more than 100 galleries strong. Running October 26 to 29, the fair is focusing on Asian art while maintaining a certain cunning provincialism with its slate of Toronto-based exhibitors and artist projects. As contemporary Inuit art dealer Pat Feheley puts it, “You have to wonder why you continue to show in your own city. But it always brings returns.”
First staged in Vancouver by founding director Linel Rebenchuk, the fair has grown each year since its relocation in 2000 and is unique in that it partners with local institutions to produce artist projects. “From the very beginning we took our social responsibility seriously,” explains Rebenchuk. Accordingly, the Art Gallery of Ontario will feature two of Toronto’s brightest young artists, Geoffrey Pugen and Tibi Tibi Neuspiel (the duo behind Tie Break, 2010, a reenactment of the historic 1980 Björn Borg/John McEnroe Wimbledon tennis final), in a preview-night performance piece that marries athleticism and champagne.
The city’s galleries, too, are making a play for visibility. Jessica Bradley Art + Projects is showing work by Shary Boyle, who will represent Canada at next year’s Venice Biennale, while Diaz Contemporary and Corkin Gallery should satiate seekers of contemporary abstractions and blue-chip photography, respectively. For the Focus Asia section, Rebenchuk invited 15 galleries, including Taipei’s Galleria H, Toyko’s MA2, and Seoul’s Wellside, to anchor a section that “will provide some insight” into the region, he says, with lectures, tours, and a special exhibition curated by Katherine Don and Zheng Shengtian.
This article appears in the October 2012 issue of Art+Auction.