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Toronto Gallery Hop: Auction Action, Tantalizing Talks

Janet Werner Starlet 2009 Courtesy Parisian Laundry

The art event of the season, the Canadian Art Gallery Hop, kicks off this week with a sold-out fundraising gala hosted by acclaimed broadcaster Paula Todd and featuring an auction of top contemporary art.

Highlights of the gala’s live auction, conducted by David Silcox, president of Sotheby’s Canada, are many. Internationally revered Vancouver artist Ian Wallace, who is currently enjoying a major exhibition at the MacKenzie with another soon to open at the Power Plant, is featured with Toronto Crosswalk II, a savvy glimpse of Toronto’s financial district. Montreal painter Janet Werner, lauded for her portrayals of innocence and loss, is represented by Starlet, an evocative canvas of a glamorous, doll-like woman. Sarah Anne Johnson, winner of the prestigious $50,000 Grange Prize in photography, is spotlighted with Fireworks, a unique new piece based on a 12-day expedition to the Arctic Circle.

And that’s not all. Also sure to bring fevered bidding is senior Canadian artist Arnaud Maggs29, Rue des Taillandiers 11e, a classic work from the prize-winning photographer’s series on Parisian hotel signs. Canadian Art’s summer 2010 cover artist, Elizabeth McIntosh, is represented by Untitled (intersecting lines), a characteristically striking abstract canvas. Kim Dorland, whose bold, thickly painted works have gained praise and exhibitions across North America, is presenting New Home #2, a continuation of the practice that’s won him notice in the New York Times, among other iconic publications. Finally, there’s a chance for attendees to get ahead of the curve with a charming untitled work by on-the-rise artist Monique Mouton, who is currently based in Los Angeles.

Once the gala’s auction spoils have been claimed on Thursday, there’s still a feast of food for thought on the roster with the Hop’s expansive Saturday programming—all of which is free to the public. The day begins with an OCADU panel featuring artists Myfanwy MacLeod, Donald Weber and Pierre Dorion, who will discuss art’s new realism with Canadian Art editor Richard Rhodes. The afternoon features free tours and talks through eight Toronto gallery districts—from Yorkville to King West and from the Distillery District to Morrow Avenue. (Artforum contributor Dan Adler’s 1pm talk with artist Barbara Balfour and Art Gallery of Ontario curator Sophie Hackett’s 2:30pm conversation with photographer Scott McFarland are just a couple of the exciting events on the tour schedule.) Finally, all are welcome to wrap up the day by celebrating Canadian Art’s biggest issue ever at a fall magazine launch party at Angell Gallery.

Don’t miss this chance to celebrate the best in Canadian art. From bidding on works by top artists to touring galleries with some of the nation’s best-known critics and curators, there’s something for everyone at the 2010 Toronto Gallery Hop.

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