HAPPENINGText: Mikey Richardson

The third annual Toronto International Art Fair for modern and contemporary art was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from October 18th to the 21st, featuring over 70 private galleries from around the world. These galleries presented works by over 1000 artists working in many media.

There were galleries from Canada, USA, Austria, England, Argentina, Venezuela, South Africa, Chile, Germany, and Italy. One of the high points of the show was Italian artist Fabrizio Plessi‘s installation “Foresta di Fuocco”, a piece comprised of large tree branches encased in boxes above small video screens showing looping up-close footage of fire. Plessi is a renowned Venice Biennale award-winning sculptor. (See photo with Toronto artist Sandi Gidluck for scale).

Installation “Foresta di Fuocco” by Fabrizio Plessi

It was interesting to see such a broad scope of work at a temporary fair. There were pieces by well-known artists like Picasso and Hockney as well as local emerging artists whose works I recognized from the small galleries scattered around the city.

The fair was set up as sort of a business trade show in that each gallery had a small amount of booth space in which to show their art and talk to visitors. In addition to the main show area, there were speaker’s forums in nearby conference rooms.

Installation “Booth #935 Collage Party” by Paul Butler

An on-site installation piece by artist and curator Paul Butler called “Booth #935 ‘Collage Party'” was quite interesting. Butler put together a small group of artists to work constantly in one of the fair’s booths using a variety of collage materials. All of the works created were offered for sale, with proceeds going to educational programs at Toronto’s The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery. (See photo).

Painting by Joe Fleming

I also quite enjoyed the work of Canadian artist Joe Fleming, presented by Toronto’s Lonsdale Gallery. (See painting detail photographs). His use of large globs of gooey, drippy, juicy paint on plexi glass and plywood surfaces make you almost want to eat them. For more information on Fleming’s work, contact

The Toronto International Art Fair
Date: October 17th – 21st, 2002
Place: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Address: 2488 Haywood Avenue West, Vancouver BC V7V 1Y1
Tel: +1 604 925 0330

Text: Mikey Richardson
Photos: Mikey Richardson

[Help wanted] Inviting volunteer staff / pro bono for contribution and translation. Please e-mail to us.
Liu Bolin