Art Toronto 2015 posts record attendance

Art Toronto, Canada’s international fair for modern and contemporary art closed on Monday, October 26 with reports of strong gallery sales and a record attendance of over 21,000. The fair featured a refreshing rebrand by Blackwell Studios and a redesigned floorplan by architect James Khamsi of FIRM a.d. that reinvigorated the look and feel of the show and was enthusiastically received by visitors.

“2015 was a year of great change for Art Toronto as we rebranded and redesigned the fair to create a more beautiful and user-friendly environment for our visitors and galleries. We are thrilled with the results and with the positive reviews that we have garnered from our exhibitors, sponsors and the public. Canada has a thriving visual art community and we are honored to play a major role in bringing together people from all reaches of that community to Toronto each October. We are grateful for the ongoing commitment of our exhibitors, museums, collectors, artists and cultural leaders,” says fair director, Susannah Rosenstock.

 The Art Gallery of Ontario purchased five new works by four Canadian artists at the preview: Untitled (Nails), 2015 by Michael Dumontier (MKG127 Gallery, Toronto); BILTS, 1997 and Model City, 2000 by Luis Jacob (Birch Contemporary, Toronto) ; Death of Jumbo, 2006 by Seth (Rennan Isaacs Contemporary Art, Guelph); mass 3 (eeb), 2012 by Jacob Whibley (Narwhal Contemporary, Toronto). The purchases were made possible by funds raised at the Preview, with assistance from the Peggy Lownsbrough Fund, and dedicated funds for Canadian and contemporary art acquisitions.

Canadian and international galleries reported strong sales in modern and contemporary art. Notable sales include Patte de velours by Paul-Émile Borduas for $625,000 from Mayberry Gallery; two major paintings by David Urban from Corkin Gallery sold to important Toronto collections as well as a large work by Peruvian artist Giancarlo Scaglia; Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain from Montreal sold two sculptures by Maskull Laserre and a Vitrine by Mark Clintberg; Nikola Rukaj Gallery reported selling out the entire nine-part Black Dress silkscreen series by Alex Katz; TrépanierBaer Gallery sold several important works by Iain Baxter& including Landscape with Mountain and Sea, 1965 to a major bank collection, and Greg Curnoe’s Doc Morton’s, Front Wheel during the Opening Night Preview to an important private collection. Major institutional sales include two important works by Ken Nicol to the National Gallery of Canada from Toronto’s Olga Korper Gallery and a new work We Run In Packs by DaveandJenn to the Art Gallery of Hamilton from TrépanierBaer Gallery, Calgary.

Eight galleries from Lima, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Berlin, Santiago and Bogotá complemented the project and all of the galleries reported significant sales. Toronto collectors George Hartman and Arlene Goldman purchased Pilares, a 4-piece concrete column installation by artist Ishmael Randall Weeks from Revolver Galería in Lima; Collector and theater producer David Mirvish purchased a drawing by Mauro Piva from Galeria Enrique Guerrero from Mexico City, several drawings by young Argentinian artist Nacha Canvas from Quimera del Arte, Buenos Aires and a ceramic piece by Mexican artist Milena Musquiz who was part of the FOCUS: LATIN AMERICA curated project, courtesy of Travesia Cuatro, Madrid and Guadalajara. The triptych painting Los Arboles by Argentinian painter Max Gómez Canle, courtesy of Ruth Benzacar Galeria de Arte, Buenos Aires, sold to an important Toronto collector; PSM Gallery, Berlin sold works by several of the gallery artists including Eduardo Basualdo and Marila Furman; Gonzalez Y Gonzalez from Lima sold a large drawing by Nicole Franchy to a Toronto collector.

Art Fair 2015