A trippy 3-D light installation, a 60-second sculpture maker and six other must-see exhibits at Art Toronto
Art Toronto returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for its 19th year, with prestigious galleries from around the world exhibiting alongside solo artists. Here’s a guide to the best bets at the massive art fair:
A conceptual portrait series
1Ottawa-based artist Meryl McMaster uses photography to explore her dual heritage as part Euro-Canadian, part Plains Cree. Influenced by American conceptual portrait artist Cindy Sherman, her work depicts dramatic costumes and colours set in vast Canadian landscapes—a political statement about the impact of colonialism and cultural erasure that continues to this day.
A colourful mix of collages
2Inspired by comics and graphic novels, Toronto-based artist Tessar Lo recycles wood, containers, cardboard, discarded IKEA pieces and shrink wrap to create colourful mixed-media art. Lo is also the creative mind behind the mural on the wall leading to the Underground at the Drake Hotel.
A comic book-inspired sketch series
3In a series of black-and-white comic book–style etchings, Tyler Bright Hilton tells the complicated story of Minmei Madelynne Pryor: an anxious, self-critical fictional character struggling through a relationship with her boyfriend (who happens to be ’80s teen idol River Phoenix). Lo’s work has an unusual list of influences, from anime and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to disgraced photographer Terry Richardson.
A trippy 3-D light installation
4Colourful fluorescents are the focus of German light artist Regine Schumann’s glowing installations. Guided by Goethe’s theory of colours , her work, which uses layers and intersecting shapes, is equal parts scientific and beautiful.
Some Pulitzer Prize-winning photography
5The only Israeli photographer to receive a Pulitzer Prize, Oded Balilty creates jarring images of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that established him as an essential figure in the world of documentary photography. Balilty has held solo shows in three continents, featuring photos from Chernobyl, modern China and the Palestinian uprising.
A 60-second sculpture maker
6While some artists spend months or years on a piece, Toronto-based curator (and Governor General’s Award winner) Micah Lexier creates drawings in just 60 seconds. His current project, A Minute of My Time transforms these doodles into sculpture. The rushed lines, looping and jagged across sprawling canvases, are rendered into stainless steel cut-outs and “reverse stencils” that are spray-painted onto new surfaces.
A jewellery maker turned painter
7B.C.-born Heiltsuk First Nations artist Shawn Hunt spent five years as an apprentice under his father, Bradley Hunt, where he learned the art of wood carving by working on totem poles, masks and sculptures. Now, he’s best known as a jewellery designer, creating immaculate pendants and bracelets embossed with tiny etchings and layered patterns. In recent years, Hunt has shifted his focus towards painting, using his signature fluid lines and layers to create vibrantly coloured works filled with dimension. Both his paintings and sculptures will be on display at Art Toronto.
A Rocky Mountain-themed collection
8Alberta artist Tyler Los-Jones looks to nature as inspiration for everything he does. Using photography and objects from his home in Banff, his work aims to showcase the history of the Rocky Mountains and shed light on the environment. Los-Jones also experiments with collage, distorting landscape photos into abstract shapes.