To my loyal readers and subscribers

When I first started this blog in April 2009 I called it Cubism – Thoughts on Art and Life from my Cube Continue reading

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@TheArmoryShow opens today! Can’t wait to see fellow Canadians Corkin Gallery, Clark & Faria and ADAC.

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Hello, 2011!

If you’re anything like me you were likely equally astounded and amazed by the events that defined 2010. We watched Vancouver host the Olympics, and not without some controversy; we saw Toronto host the G20 summit, and controversy? Understatement; we met the vuvuzuela with mixed results; we watched the explosion at Deepwater Horizon and the BP underwater webcam feed with disgusted rapture; natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions were a regular headline; we celebrated the Chilean miners who survived nearly 10 weeks underground; we mourned the passing of JD Salinger, Alexander McQueen, Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper, and more. All told it was a year of 365 days, and a million and a half memories.

At the fair, we had a banner year! A record number of visitors came through the turnstiles at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to celebrate eleven years of the Toronto International Art Fair. We were joined by a roster of sponsors, as well as exhibiting galleries and featured artists that set the year apart as one of the Fair’s best!

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2010, we salute you!

But 2010 is last year’s news – 2011 is what’s all the rage! If you’ve been entertaining ideas about see Art Toronto up close and personal, this is the year to do it. We’re going to have more of everything you want — more programming, more artists, more galleries, more collectors!

Art Toronto is currently accepting applications — why not click here and take a read through what some of our past participants have said about the fair? Convinced? Click here to download our application package.

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Carolyn Stockbridge: The humble rock star [interview]

by Zoe Pawlak

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Carolyn Stockbridge last year for her two person show at The Elliott Louis Gallery and meeting her in person. Her wise sensibility, humble rock star approach and honest commitment to her work all contribute to a place she has rightly arrived at through the study and making of good paintings.

Originally from the UK, Carolyn Stockbridge is a contemporary abstract painter living in Vancouver. She emigrated to Canada in 1979. Carolyn is particularly interested in 1950’s Abstract Expressionism. While her paintings can be seen as large explorations of colour, surface, space and composition, she incorporates concerns of daily living as well as the balance between nature and the urban centre that often result in bold and sensitive works.

The following is an interview with Carolyn as she gears up for her first Vancouver solo show, Grounds For Interpretation, opening at The Elliott Louis Gallery on January 13th, 2011.

Zoe Pawlak: You have been in Vancouver for quite a while now. What does it mean to have your first solo show in a city you have come to call home?
Carolyn Stockbridge: Firstly, thank you for this opportunity to discuss my work with you again Zoe, it’s always a pleasure. Showing work in my home town means a great deal to me and does have a certain feeling of ‘arriving’.  It feels very good to celebrate with friends as well the community that have supported me through the years. I’m appreciative of all opportunities to show and discuss my work, group and solo, it’s always rewarding. The time feels right and here we are!

ZP: Last time we talked about the influence of 1950’s Abstract Expressionism in your work. This is a less familiar visual language to Canadians than say landscape painting. Does Vancouver’s lesser familiarity with the history of Abstract Expressionism change the way your show is seen here, rather than if you were to show the work in say, LA or NYC?

CS: Well, I think Vancouver has quite a sophisticated viewer, as well, a history deeply steeped in painting of all styles including abstraction. I can’t say how the paintings will be seen as every viewer brings their own experience to what they are looking at and we all see through our own filters but I do believe abstraction is celebrated here just as NY or LA or Europe. The good thing about painting is that it allows for an immediate read and response and can be as simple as ‘I like it- I don’t like it’ even if its not entirely understood and I love that honesty.  I can only hope that the show is well received and enjoyed by those who want to take a look!

ZP: You recently spent time in NY.  What have you brought into the work from that trip?

CS: Time in NY and Woodstock was really about research and shifting mental gears. It pushed and pulled me out of my comfort zone which is exactly what I wanted and needed. Conversations with my mentor Henrietta Mantooth offered a deep stirring of creative juices and the work I saw in the city was paramount to taking the blinders off. So all in all, a very good ‘freeing up’ occurred and I returned to Vancouver fully charged with my brain and heart activated and vision on. I hope this is infused in my recent paintings.

ZP: You have mentioned influences of women like Shelley Muzylowski and Danielle Hogan whose sculptural works and paintings have informed your paintings. You also had the great pleasure of studying with one of Canada’s senior painters, Landon Mackenzie, at Emily Carr. Whose paintings are you looking at these days?

CS: Many actually, painters, sculptors, photographers. I am constantly searching for a sense of freedom in the work I look at and hope that I don’t ever stop looking. But most recently; the late Louise Bourgeois has captured my attention as so much of her work was created with an unapologetic irreverence. I’m taking in Cecily Brown, Joan Snyder and W. De Kooning side by side and of course Gorky and Diebenkorn are always a favourite. Yesterday I discovered books on Alice Neel and Howard Hodgkin buried under some stuff in the studio and there is the freedom of mark making I always want to invite into my work.

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Grats! You won tickets to Toronto Art Saves!

Congratulations to Vincent Ko and Cam Mackay — you’ve both been randomly selected and won a pair of tickets to Toronto Art Saves!

To pick up your tickets go to John Labatt Headquarters at 207 Queen’s Quay West, Suite 299 tonight at 8:00pm to pick up your tickets from will-call!

Have a great evening and thanks for your support of the Children’s Aid Society of Ontario!

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Win tickets to Toronto Art Saves

It’s been a slow crawl back out into daylight for the impression/expression blog in post-Art Toronto times. If you were able to come to the show you’ll know it was a raging success with some of the most beautiful and provocative art that has visited Toronto in the 11 years of the fair.

But Toronto’s wicked art season isn’t over yet! The brains behind Dapper and Debonair, a fresh clothing line for men based out of Toronto, are hosting their first annual art event — Toronto Art Saves.

Toronto Art Saves is a charity art show in partnership with the Ontario Association of Childrens Aid Society in Toronto with special support from Labatt and Red Bull.

The show will feature a salon of work from up-and-coming artists. “We like to push authenticity most,” explains co-founder Graham Bell, which is why they are marketing their event to the same customers they market their clothing to.

Toronto Art Saves
Friday November 19th
John Labatt Headquarters
207 Queen’s Quay West, Suite 299
8:00pm until 11:00pm

Proceeds from your ticket purchase will go to the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies. Each ticket also includes 4 drinks, snacks and a gift bag.

Tickets are still available for purchase at $35 a pop, but you can also get them here! The gents at Dapper and Debonair have given me TWO pairs of tickets for readers of impression/expression!

To win all you have to do is leave a comment on this post before Thursday November 18 at 8pmEST/5pmPST and I’ll randomly select two winners.

Toronto Art Saves is a great opportunity to get to know up and coming Toronto-based artists and network with local entrepreneurs. Don’t miss it!

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Fever-pitch at Art Toronto

Here we are, day three of four of Art Toronto 2010 and it’s safe to say that the fair is running like a well-oiled machine. Everywhere you look, people are enjoying themselves, talking about art and even bringing it home with them.

There is a lot to see and do at the fair. And trust me, I’ve worn a path up and down every aisle on the showfloor — IT IS BIG. If you want to avoid the rush, come around 1 or 2 o’clock today, just remember that the show is only open until 6pm tonight and tomorrow and you’ll need about three hours to get a good sense of the show.

Some highlights you won’t want to miss:

Everything Must Go. Designer Jeremy Laing has done a tremendous job merging the art and fashion worlds, creating a boutique style space to showcase art that daringly walks the line between fashion and art. Jeremy has also been spending quite a bit of time at the booth, so if you luck out you might just get to meet the man himself!

MOCCA print + Alex’s 5 poster giveaway. Our much-touted benefit print for the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art has been selling like hot-cakes. They are absolutely beautiful prints that you’ll be glad to take home with you. As well, our illustrious artist is res, the one and only Alex McLeod has a special giveaway for readers of his new blog. Everyday he’ll be giving away 5 posters — you can actually walk away from Art Toronto with a piece of art in your hot little hands that won’t cost you a dime!

The BMW art car. There is something really captivating about the clean, simple traditional lines of the very recognizable vehicle. Ever a symbol of status and taste, this particular car (one of a collection of art cars that have never been raced or even road-driven) has been transformed into an homage to artist Esther Mahlangu’s Ndebele tribal art. Ms Mahlangu is BMW’s first female art car artist and the Ndebele pattern is an art done exclusively by women, making this car a very special piece indeed.

French Canada, stand up! Feel like going to Montreal this weekend? You can, and it’ll only cost you the price of admission to the fair. Art Toronto is pleased to present a wide-ranging selection of Quebecois contemporary art galleries, many of them members of the Association des galeries d’art contemporain (AGAC).

International galleries abound as well at Art Toronto — take a trip around the world without need of your passport. Visit London, Dublin, Barcelona, Madrid, Belgium, Dusseldorf, Bucharest, Tokyo and more! The only thing you can’t do is send your friends a postcard (though for the price of a ticket, maybe you should just bring them with you instead!)

New York galleries. A great representation of one of the hottest art-towns in North America (aside from Toronto and Montreal, of course). Many of them have brought their key artists with them.Which leads me to my next highlight…

ARTISTS!!! Who better to talk about the works on the walls than the artists themselves? I’ve seen a few timid visitors shy away from approaching the artists, but I promise they don’t bite! These artists are more than happy to spend time with visitors interested in learning more about the pieces and the process.

Installations. Sometimes it’s not just art hung on the walls, but the walls themselves! There are a few different galleries who have taken this bold approach and done full installations — check out Lyons Wier Gallery, ftc. Berlin and AGYU for fabulous installations.

In addition to 108 exhibitors and nearly a dozen different publications, Art Toronto is offering some great talks and tours that are included with your admission price. Today we have T at Three, lively conversations with artists, critics and gallerists at 3pm; Power Talks are dynamic sessions — today’s features Thomas Crow discussing “Warhol in the Advertising World”; the Art Dealers Association of Canada is sponsoring a series of tours called “Trust the Experts”, today’s is led by author Iris Nowell, who will also be selling and signing copies of her most recent book Painters Eleven.

And last, but certainly not least: The Catalogue. Feeling overwhelmed by the vast selection of art but still want to bring a piece of Art Toronto home with you? Pick up a catalogue! For only $25 you can have a momento of your time at Art Toronto, and a way to remember all 108 of the galleries who showed at the fair.

Hope you make it down here! Tickets are still available online and at the door, don’t miss out!

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