Art Toronto: Canada's international contemporary art fair October 23 to 26, 2015 in Toronto

With material from a release:

Art Toronto
Canada's international fair for contemporary art
October 23 to 26, 2015 - opening reception October 22
Metro Convention Centre - Toronto

Works from the Nikola Rukaj Gallery (Toronto) incl artist William Perehudoff
Art Toronto is back downtown, representing over 70 galleries at what has become one of the most important access points to the Canadian art market. Founded in 2000, the fair is now in its 16th year. Art Toronto presents important artwork from leading Canadian and international galleries combined with PLATFORM, an engaging series of lectures and panel discussions from prominent art world figures, curated projects, an extensive VIP Program, and top-tier cultural offerings throughout the city.

What I love about it is that it gives you a kind of snapshot of contemporary art and art practices, with a great representation of Canadian galleries from coast to coast along with a sprinkling of galleries from Europe, New York City, L.A., Tel Aviv and Tokyo.

Works from Zemack Contemporary Art (Tel Aviv)
The best news is for collectors, who can sample from a truly dizzying range of contemporary art and artists. This is a unique time in art history when 'contemporary art', even as a term applied only to painting and sculpture, can mean just about anything - representational art using traditional techniques - and, as I'm happy to note as a still now and then fine art model, plenty of figurative work too - abstracts, conceptual pieces, installations and more.
Mark Lang 'Transmission' - Galerie Bellefeuille (Mtl)
Pierre-Francois Ouellette art contemporain
Works from the Loch Gallery (Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg)
One of the special features of this year's show is FOCUS: LATIN AMERICA, including a curatorial project put together by Mexico City and Berlin-based independent curator Abaseh Mirvali and featuring works by Eduardo Basualdo (ARG), Matías Duville (ARG), Max Gómez Canle (ARG), Catalina León (ARG), Mateo López (COL) and Milena Muzquiz (MX).

I had the chance to speak to Abaseh for a few minutes about the work of Eduardo Basualdo, an artist she is very excited about. The piece pictured below is on loan from a Canadian collector and ties in with his frequent theme of examining mental spaces and emphasizing the viewer's experience of the art work, meant to gently question your relationship to your surroundings. Eduardo has several shows in Europe at the moment, including a piece at the Venice Bienniale.

FOCUS: LATIN AMERICA also includes booths featuring eight additional galleries based in Latin America and/or showcasing the work of Latin American artists.

Eduardo Basualdo
Other features this year:
• As always, the RBC Painting Competition finalists and their work;
• Another returning feature is the MoCCA Benefit, which sees a prominent Canadian artist donate their work in support of MoCCA. This year it's Douglas Coupland's archival inkjet print ($2,500 each).
• Naturally, tours, talks and other educational features;
• A wine bar;

SOLO - 12 booths that each focus on the work of a single artist;

Artist Jim Holyoak at Galerie Donald Browne (Mtl)
VERGE & VERGE VIDEO - featuring the work of emerging artists.

In an interactive feature, artist Ricardo Mazal's 'Bhutan Abstractions' invites visitors to write your thoughts or prayers on his iPad - as you write, your words will instantly merge with his video of a traditional Bhutanese prayer flag.

Slate Fine Art (Calgary)
I also highly recommend the VIP experience where you'll sit in a chic lounge and where RBC has sponsored a display focusing on the work of Canadian women artists.

Here's a peek at how last year's extravaganza was put together: