The 19th edition of Art Toronto includes 102 exhibitors from seven countries, and it kicks off tonight at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Canadian Art will have a presence at the fair, which runs October 26 to 29, with an artist project by Patrick Cruz in our booth, as well as daily fair tours at 2 p.m., a panel on Saturday at 6 p.m. and a special subscription offer—be sure to drop by.
Here, members of our editorial team offer their best bets on what to see at Canada’s largest contemporary and modern art fair.
Jim Adams at the Luis de Jesus | Booth C5
For years, the Surrey Art Gallery has been highlighting important artists overlooked by other Canadian art institutions. Among these talents is the 75-year-old Surrey local Jim Adams, whose retrospective “The Irretrievable Moment” they presented by the Surrey Art Gallery (as well as the Reach in nearby Abbotsford) in 2017. Now, Los Angeles gallery Luis de Jesus brings a variety of Jim Adams canvases to Toronto audiences, in particular highlighting some of the artist’s images of flight. It’s Adams’ first art fair presentation, and I’m looking forward in particular to Centurion Self Portrait (1984), which pictures a sunglassed man at the wheel of a small red plane. Just getting a chance to see a selection of Adams’s paintings in person, from the last four decades, is bound to be a real treat—both for the social critique and for the parallel, if precarious, promise of an occasionally escapist takeoff. —Leah Sandals, News and Special Sections Editor
Tyler Los-Jones at Jarvis Hall Gallery | Booth S6
Jarvis Hall Gallery presents new work by Tyler Los-Jones with a solo booth that includes objects, sculptures and images recalling the geologic history of the Rocky Mountains. Titled of the sun, it makes visible forms of life that, now fossilized within limestone formations, were once compressed upon the ocean floor. Los-Jones’s work explores the limits of photographic practices and asks us to think about how the material histories—the matter—of the natural world are entangled with the ways we represent it. He’ll be speaking about this ongoing project as part of Canadian Art’s panel, “Climates,” Saturday at 6 p.m. —Jayne Wilkinson, Managing Editor
Nadia Myre at Art Mür | Booth C6
When Nadia Myre was walking by the Thames a couple of years ago, she picked up the bead-like fragments that now compose pieces in her series Code Switching, at first thinking they were bones. They turned out to be fragments of clay tobacco pipes used by sailors and tradesmen involved in 19th-century colonial activity; in their reincarnation as beads in her meticulous tableaux, they become what she describes as “transcultural objects.” When Myre beads these pieces of archaeological and colonial refuse today she transforms and redefines their significance within Indigenous and non-Indigenous contexts, ultimately gesturing toward decolonizing the history of these tobacco pipes. Don’t miss your chance to examine this new series of prints—which premiered last year in her retrospective exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts—up close at the Art Mür booth. —Merray Gerges, Assistant Editor
Cindy Phenix at Hugues Charbonneau | Booth C17
One of the fastest rising young stars on the Montreal art scene is painter Cindy Phenix. Her recent debut solo exhibition at Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, “Ces femmes tiennent une fleur à la main,” gathered a suite of new works that simultaneously acknowledge and disrupt the formal traditions of drawing and painting, setting off an elegant yet explosive reversal of power structures and perspectives on her canvases. Act fast: that show sold out before it opened.—Bryne McLaughlin, Senior Editor
Joyce Wieland at Paul Petro | Booth C2
At Paul Petro’s booth, don’t miss an important collage work from the 1980s by the late Joyce Wieland—one instrumental to last year’s “Passion Over Reason: Tom Thomson and Joyce Wieland” exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Wieland may have had an erotic fixation with the idea of Thomson, but that materializes here subversively, with shreds of pink femme-flesh floating above a canoe, in a post–de Kooning dissection of the art-historical, white-female nude. On seeing this work, made of glitter, staples, cardboard, wire and metal push pins, one imagines Thomson’s mysterious death as Ulysses-like, at the mercy of some mythical goddess.—David Balzer, Editor-in-Chief
Kandis Williams in “INDOOR/OUTDOOR” FOCUS Exhibition
In the video Aristaeus Eurydice Hecate (2018), elegant brown hands gently crush and caress flowers overtop moving images of the recent wildfires that devastated Northern California. When the artist Kandis Williams found herself back in America after over a decade away, she saw an overabundance of images of Black death and mourning being reproduced and circulated across all types of media, and decided to take a break from making work that represented the bodies of Black people. Instead, she began orchestrating choreographies that staged “a space of intentional interactions with the body.” This video, one of many that emerged from this shift in her practice, heralds the voice of an important new artist.—Yaniya Lee, Associate Editor