Art Toronto International Art Fair - October 25 to 28 2013

With material from a media release:

Art Toronto International Art Fair
Friday October 25th to Monday October 28th, 2013
Friday & Saturday - Noon to 8pm
Sunday & Monday - Noon to 6pm

Loch Gallery - Record Sales at Opening Night of Art Toronto
Gallery sells more than $3-million during first night of the annual art fair

TORONTO - Art Toronto got off to a strong start Thursday evening as Loch Gallery sold more than $3 million in paintings.

A rare masterpiece by Edwin Holgate executed in 1939 was one of the first paintings to sell shortly after the doors opened to the public.  Great Bug Pond, Cache River, a 26" x 30"oil on canvas, is a magnificent landscape painted at the peak of the artist's career.

The auction record for a Holgate was set five years ago when Near Amiens sold at Heffel for $575,000. Loch Gallery can confirm the sale of Great Bug Pond, Cache River surpassed the 2008 record.

Additional sale highlights included Winter Sunset, Algonquin Park by Tom Thomson, Northern Sketch XXVII by Lawren Harris and The Young Botanist by Paul Peel. (pictured below)

I had an opportunity to check out the show myself during a preview and it's become an annual ritual for me that I look forward to each October with lots to discover.

Thom Sokoloski's work will greet you as you mount the escalator. His installation (completed with the help of immigrant kids from at risk neighbourhoods) features portraits of all the artists presented (nearly 1,000).

The 15 short list winners of the RBC painting competition are displayed in the VIP lounge, with the three finalists out front. This year's winner, Colleen Heslin, has produced a piece that incorporates textile arts, photographic references and a fusion of past and present in terms of theme and style.

Colleen will be attending the fair and it's a real endorsement to the quality of the emerging artists who apply for the award (600+ this year) that many former entrants and finalists are represented among the exhibiting artists year after year; (you'l find those works labeled as such if you're interested). Colleen's gotten some buzz from several dealers already.

The red exhibitor signs indicate an "emerging gallery" and it's another sign of a developing art world that many galleries have transitioned over the years from the emerging to the mainstream gallery category, like galerie antoine ertaskran, who opened only 18 months ago but who's come to be a force in the Montreal art world.

That's what's cool about the Toronto International Art Fair - it gives you a great snapshot view of the contemporary art world across the globe.

Some notables:

The Corkin Gallery (Toronto) is featuring a new David Urban painting along with other striking work like Cuban artist Ramón Serrano's haunting paintings and Barbara Astman's often amusing photographic studies of our media obsession.

Zemack Contemporary Art (Tel Aviv, Israel) features some very nifty scuoptures by Eran Shakine and other very contemporary pieces. (pictured)

UCCA (Beijing, China) - I love the hip, entertaining sensibility of this gallery and apparently they love the art collectors of Toronto enough to make this return visit. (pictured below right)

The Toronto Life Instant Coffee space for relaxation looks fab. C Magazine will be holding some conversations and other events there.

Stephen Bulger Gallery (Toronto) is featuring some interesting work by Allison Rossiter. She's collected some old, unopened film that she develops to work with the found results. Sometimes there's the ghost of an image and sometimes it's just the patina of the paper. The pieces are stark and quite dramatic.

Being a fine art model myself, I appreciated the wonderful figurative pieces of Alison Lambert at the Jill George Gallery (London, UK). They represent a really nice combination of technical skill and expressiveness.

Atena Estudio (Mexico City, Mexico) is showing some very cool pieces including a dazzling series of ornamental skulls by various artists.

Miriam Shiell Fine Art (Toronto) is featuring a nice collection of Modernist pieces by the likes of Jack Bush, Sam Francis (pictured below left)) and Paterson Ewen.

Christopher Cutts Gallery (Toronto) is showing some large paintings by Xiao Guo Hui. His work blends obvious influences of the Italian Renaissance masters, mixed with Chinese influences and done in egg tempera.

Messem's Fine Art (London, UK) is featuring the "discovered" works of Michael Forster, a Canadian who retired to Cornwall to paint and is virtually unknown in this country.  Messem's, which is handling his estate, aims to change all that.

AXA is an art insurer and their interesting exhibit this year features a series of prints of artist Ai Weiwei (cleverly, just in time for the end of his show at the AGO) which were damaged by Hurricane Sandy last year. An AXA rep mentioned their payout was over $40 million, most of it to households in Chelsea, as these were - the prints rolled up in a flooded basement.

The MOCCA fundraiser this year is a work by Sarah Anne Johnson, a print in the Gold Box series that features hand applied gold leaf (they run for $2,200).

There's lots more of course and the show continues to Monday.

• Thanks to Art Sy, you can also explore the show online at

More pics:


From last year's show: