Friday, October 23, 2009

TIAF Plan of Attack Now Up

Further to my post on the Toronto International Art Fair's gallery dropout the other day, my plan of attack for getting the best from the downsized fair just got posted at the National Post's Toronto blog. (It should also run in print tomorrow.) Here's an excerpt of my recommendations:

1. Montreal Madness The fair continues to boast a strong presence from excellent Montreal galleries. Top space Parisian Laundry will feature witty sculptor Valérie Blass and humorous trio BGL, while Pierre-François Ouellette plans to show intelligent work from rising star Adad Hannah and thoughtful photog Isabelle Hayeur. René Blouin, a respected long-time dealer on the Montreal scene, is always worth a peek, and the presence of fair first-timer Galerie Push, which has organized shows by compelling younger artists such as Wil Murray in the past year, gets the curiosity vote.

2. Taking the Long Way Home In an appropriately eccentric turn, Iris Haussler, one of Toronto’s most enigmatic artists, will be debuting new works at the fair via the booth of Vienna, Austria’s Galerie Grita Insam. Haussler, who created an art-installation-cum-clothing-library at Honest Ed’s last winter, and who currently has a mysterious archaeological dig ongoing at the AGO’s Grange, is premiering bronzes by imaginary sculptor Joseph Wagenbach. Confused? Haussler will be on hand to explain at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Monday.

3. Top Talks A series of chats organized by the Power Plant will be a TIAF highlight. Guardian art critic Adrian Searle, one of the world’s best-read cultural journalists, will give a lecture on Sunday at 3 p.m., while Richard Flood, a zeitgeist-setting New York curator, will gab at a forum Saturday at 11 a.m.

If you are going to hear Flood speak, it's worth keeping in mind the critique that Hrag Vartanian recently made of the New Museum's decision to show the collection of one of its board members -- takes the bloom off the rose a bit, but I think it will still very much be worth hearing Flood talk, if only to get a sense of his take on the matter.

Image of a past TIAF from

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