By close of Art Toronto, 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. But visitors did more than just look at the fair. Total sales at Art Toronto 2007 were estimated at over 20 million dollars with a final piece selling for half a million dollars just seconds before the close of the fair. Even the Art Gallery of Ontario got in on the buying and announced the purchase of three major works for their growing contemporary collection. Works purchased by the AGO included Annie Pootoogook’s Composition from Feheley Fine Arts, Greg Girard’s House on Zixia lu at Monte Clark Gallery and Metropolis from Olga Korper artist Denyse Thomasos.
In its short 8 year history, the Toronto International Art Fair (TIAF) has established itself as the most important and anticipated contemporary art fair in Canada. This year’s fair showcased 100 fine art galleries representing 10 countries all underlined with an exceptional roster of intriguing and relevant cultural programming. The Fair’s growing importance was highlighted by increased participation of 27 new galleries.
New galleries participating in the younger Fresh Avant Garde section of the fair raved about the quality of visitors TIAF draws and the incredible exposure their galleries received by participating. “This fair has done more for the reputation of my artists than anything I could have ever done,” said first time TIAF exhibitor Jeffrey Boone of Jeffrey Boone Gallery in Vancouver. “The crowds have been completely affirming, I hit almost half my sales goals just on the opening in night and they just kept growing and growing.”
Long time loyal attendees like Gallerie de Bellefeuille from Montreal concurred. "This was our eighth year at the fair and as usual it was hugely successful for us. We were thrilled to see more American collectors this year and believe this is due to the quality of the work at the show and the outstanding organization of every detail of the fair itself.”
This positive note was set right from the start with the sold out Opening Night Benefit Gala for the AGO which brought together over 2,000 art enthusiasts to support the visual arts in Canada.
In addition to active buying and selling of contemporary art, the Fair’s cultural programs were abuzz with projects like Open Spaces where the innovative installation works of nine young artists offered an interactive art experiences challenging the boundaries of conventional art.
“TIAF is a crucial part of the Canadian art world, offering audiences an opportunity to engage with art from across Canada and around the world,” says David Moos, the AGO’s curator of Contemporary Art. “As culture becomes ever more globalized, events like this art fair provide an opportunity for audiences to see how robust Canadian art has become. TIAF has become a cross roads where collectors, galleries, artists, curators, galleries and a passionate public converge to engage with contemporary art.”
The action was not exclusive to the gallery floor. The well attended Power Talks, sponsored by the Power Plant gallery were a huge draw and greatly contributed to the Fair’s substantial ongoing dialogue on contemporary art and its escalating profile and role in society.
Art Toronto 2007 was an enormous success on every level, and the organizers extend their thanks for the continued and remarkable support and interest expressed by participants, attendees and exhibitors.
The 9th annual Toronto International Art Fair – Art Toronto 2008 will take place from October 2nd – October 6th 2008. For more information, visit www.tiafair.com
or email email@example.com.