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Art Toronto: Playing the Art Game

Canada’s leading contemporary- and modern-art fair, Art Toronto, returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this week with 25 new galleries, a weekend-long collage party and the premiere of The Art Game, a special project by Kent Monkman that skewers the role of art fairs and museums.

“The museum collection is the ultimate destination for the works of an important artist,” Monkman states in the fall issue of Canadian Art. “As a marketplace, the art fair has an important and strategic role in a contemporary artist’s career arc. Navigating the path to the museum, with its pitfalls and career gains—this can all be described as ‘the art game.’”

Monkman promises that his installation will put Art Toronto visitors on circus-like display—but there will be plenty else for fair-goers to take in as well. New works by contemporary Canadian talents like Janet Werner and Luanne Martineau will be available at the booths of Parisian Laundry and Trépanier Baer, respectively. Classic pieces by 20th-century icons will also be on offer; watch for Robert Motherwells at Miriam Shiell Gallery’s booth and Paterson Ewens at Mayberry Fine Art’s.

New galleries this year range across Canada, the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Israel and Scotland. “I know a couple of New York dealers who spoke very highly of the fair, who said that they had been very successful in Toronto,” explains Charlie James, director of an eponymous Los Angeles gallery. James will be joined at the fair by Chicago’s Catherine Edelman Gallery, London’s Cube Gallery and 22 other new outlets.

But the fair’s not just for looking and buying. There will also be opportunities for visitors to create their own artworks through Paul Butler’s collage party. Every day of Art Toronto, Butler will invite professional artists to pick up some scissors and join the fun as well.

Art lovers are also invited to meet Canadian Art editor Richard Rhodes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm when he leads a talk on “Storylines,” his daily Art Toronto exhibition featuring the latest developments in our national art scene. This year, the exhibition features Sarah Anne Johnson, Adad Hannah, Patrick Howlett, David Armstrong Six and Christian Eckart.

For more information about the fair, including its series of Power Plant–presented lectures and a new Pecha Kucha session, visit

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