The Toronto Art Book Fair is a free public event taking place at Artscape Youngplace featuring curated exhibitions, 75 Canadian and international vendors, and programming that includes a speaker series, readings, talks, and workshops. In its inaugural year TOABF will highlight over 150 national and international artists, publishers, designers, curators, bookmakers, writers, and performers.
At first glance, it can be difficult to try and pin down when the paintings of Megan Ellen MacDonald may have been created-with their intensely rich colour palettes, smoky landscapes, fantastic elements, and a delicate painterly touch- these paintings feel like they belong to the era of Caspar David Friedrich and the romantic painters of the 1800’s. But that initial impression is countered by the subject which belies the contemporary sensibility of the artist: cats, unicorns and Victorian porcelain tchotchkes dominate the focus. The blending of historical and modern in the paintings of Megan Ellen MacDonald creates an ambiguous world where fantasy and realism intersect.
When reading the tag next to an artwork at a gallery, the traditional mediums are typically listed: oils, watercolours, acrylic, pencil, and the catch all, “mixed media”. “Tape”, is not something you would expect to see. In Emanuel Pavao’s urban landscape art, tape is exactly what these realist artworks are composed of. Frustrated with traditional materials, Emanuel started to use this utilitarian household material, with its surprising array of colours and textures, to create realistic portrayals of the urban fabric.
Vicki Smith is an artist whose large scale oil on canvas paintings depict female swimmers floating in water, from above and below the surface. Her paintings are a fascinating intersection of figurative, landscape, and abstraction as the figures absorb themselves in pools of reflections and distortions of the watery landscape.
Hans Poppe is a Tanzanian born, Toronto, Canada based artist and graphic designer. His recent body of work “Fabric of Tanzania” uses the colourful patterned kitenge (East African fabric), stretched over wood panel as the foundation for his oil paintings exploring African identity.