Art Toronto 2012
It had been quite a few years since I last had the opportunity to hang out with my friend Meghan Hildebrand. Unfortunately living on opposite coasts of a very large country prevents the casual drop-in. Meghan was in town from Powell River BC for Art Toronto, Toronto’s International Art Fair. Meghan’s artwork is an exercise in endless innovation and improvisation. Her command of colour, mark making and line create visual ebbs and flows that imbues her work with a sense of visual play and fun. The images she creates allude to a much larger narrative that we only get glimpses of. I find that Meghan’s new paintings make me think of Cy Twombly embracing the landscape. Two of her paintings were part of the booth display for Mayberry Fine Art, so we made arrangements to catch up and wander the aisles together.
People have radically opposing views of Art Fairs. They are engineered for consumerism and label art as a commodity. The buying and selling of art is the 2nd biggest unregulated market in the world. Prices are what the market can bear. The biggest story of the past decade for the art world has shifted from the object to the price tag. While the rest of the world suffered at the hands of a global financial crisis, not the art world- prices kept going up. Art Fairs have become the shopping malls for the well to do. Toronto is pretty low key on the global stage compared to places like Basel, New York and Miami but it still has something to offer people who know what to look for or know someone to tell them what to look for.
Many of the usual suspects were present: Warhol, Hirst, Murakami, as well as great examples of Canadian art’s elder statesmen including David Milne, Harold Town, The Group of Seven and what seemed like an endless supply of Riopelles. Also, prints and drawings by the titans of modern art could definitely be acquired for the right price. Meghan and I window shopped with glee. We looked at what we wanted but didn’t feel compelled to see the whole thing (it is very easy to suffer from art fatigue at these events). We talked art, old times and laughed.