Tuesday, November 06, 2007

October runaround / the International Art Fair

Paper, string, nails, crocheted acrylic yarn in muted not garish colours, chicken wire and aluminium screening and glass beads. It is about line. The fibre work to be seen at the International Art Fair is by the nature of the beast limited. This is a collection of commercial galleries and art dealers from around the world and is well worth the visit in terms of getting a reasonable view of what the market place is accommodating at this point in time. Textile and fibre work is not a major component of that market place as of yet as it is only recently moving to the fore in the fine crafts galleries and holding its own with glass and ceramics. The 2D and 3D textile works that slide in as mixed media and sculpture into the fine art world which is what the IAF is about.

For the second year in a row Sandra Anisley Gallery featured the work of Kim Kamens. This gallery has been in the for front of presenting / represent the top Glass artist in the world and it is quite surprising and delightful to see this reclaimed retro craft basically known as “string art” in amongst the Glass. This work is more then your basic yard sale find of a ship rendered in nails and string overtop of burlap stretched over a board. These finely rendered line drawings of thread strung and wrapped tensely around nails take the “art form” to a level of achievement. The Jeffery Boone Gallery from Vancouver was crawling with Dale Roberts creatures, oddly if whimsically placed it was like an invasion of insects, these crocheted/ knitted beaded sculpture pieces were on the side of the wall framing on the top edge of it on the floor and blow the more traditional wall work (paintings). You can read more about this body of work in Yvonne Owens “Neptune’s Children” article in “Looking West” issue of fibreQUARTERLY.

Dale Roberts "Neptune Children" represented by Jeffery Boon Gallery in Vancouver

Dale Roberts sculpture were the only true textile pieces in the show, the where other textile inspired works such as the “dress” sculpture of Sophie De Francesca. Represented by the Engine Gallery (with two galleries located in Toronto’s “Distillery District and Queen Street west) De Francesca working with such in elegant materials as chicken wire, and alumni screening with the addition of beading, is able to produce replicas of gowns and party dresses from a different era. Engine Gallery is presenting a solo exhibition of her latest work this coming December. To see some of her work check out her page on Susana Dewitt’s Gallery site


Another quite remarkable artist whose work on paper is always interesting is Ed Pien two galleries where showing his ink on cut Shoji. The Birch Libralato Gallery at 129 Tecumseth Street in Toronto and Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain in Montreal reminiscent of Victorian Silhouettes these pieces are extraordinary in there details.

Invincible - Before Day Break, 2007. ink on cut shoji,
151.5 x 97.5 cm (unframed)

The official word on the event goes as follows”.. over 20 million dollars of artwork sold with a final piece selling for half a million dollars just seconds before the close of the fair. Even the AGO got caught up in the excitement and purchased 3 pieces at the Fair (the first time they have done this!). By the close of the Toronto ’s 8th annual four day International Art Fair, over 18,000 visitors had viewed the outstanding collection of art works presented by 100 participating international galleries.”

Links to galleries in this post

Toronto International Art Fair


Sandra Ainsley

Jeffery Boon Gallery

Engine Gallery

Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain

The Birch Libralato Gallery


images used with permission and provided by the gallery

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