TYPOLOGY is pleased to participate in the inaugural edition of the Toronto Art Book Fair with a pop-up exhibition in the project space, a vendor table in the third floor hallway, and an artist-led book arts workshop on the front lawn, hosted in partnership with Gallery 44 and generously supported by Japanese Paper Place.
What a great first week with our spring exhibition, The Order of Things | Leif Low-Beer. At the opening, we launched the second in our series of limited edition prints (below), as well as a large-format poster featuring Low-Beer’s sketch for his beautiful wall-based installation at TYPOLOGY (above). Both the print and poster highlight the artist’s interest in combining an astonishing diversity of hand-drawn abstractions into larger compositions that become faces, figures, couples, and crowds.
With so much to do in advance of the project space opening, this year’s visit to the fair was more like a drive-by. However, even the short tour yielded many surprises and much to follow-up on. Featured here are a few favourite booths and interesting artworks from this year’s fair. For artwork information, hover over the image or see credits listed at bottom. For a closer look, click the images to enlarge. For more information on the gallery or artist, links are provided to their respective websites.
This weekend, get thee to Grimbsy for their 34th annual Wayzgoose, a festive fair and celebration of all things book arts-related. While the origin of the word wayzgoose is still up for speculation, there is no doubt that this tradition of annual printers’ parties dates back to at least the late 1600s, when Joseph Moxon, author of Mechanick Exercises (1683-1684), wrote: “It is customary for the Journey-men every year to make new paper windows…because that day they make them the Master Printer gives them a Way-goose, that is, he makes them a good Feast, and not only entertains them at his own house, but besides, gives them Money to spend at the Ale-house or Tavern at Night.” Nice.
We’ve been looking at the work of Naoko Matsubara, an artist whose practice spans three continents and nearly 50 years. Focused on a variety of subjects including trees, landscape, the arctic, Kyoto, and Tibet, much of her work is unified by a highly ordered yet playful simplicity in composition, against which gestural markmaking and brightly saturated planes and patterns of colour push and pull the eye.
John Baldessari, 2623 Third Street, Santa Monica, 2000, suite of four color lithographs with screenprint, overall dimensions 54 x 54 inches, edition of 61, Brooke Alexander Gallery
As the world’s first online only art fair, VIP has experienced major growing pains since it’s launch in 2011, with many collectors frustrated by tech glitches and dealers reporting low traffic and sales as a result. While the site’s capacity and interface issues are well known and improving, the question of whether the term “online art fair” is an oxymoron continues to be raised. To our minds, this is largely a semantic issue; regardless of what one wants to call it, VIP simply represents yet another web-based opportunity for those who have the art to show it to those who don’t (see our previous post on other online art-buying venues such as Paddle8 and Phillips de Pury, linked below), and the success or failure of any online platform will most likely depend on practical concerns such as whether the art is shown to best effect (sharp, high-resolution, colour-correct images, intuitive and glitch-free scalability, easy and consistent bookmarking for collecting, comparing, and return visits), whether the artwork information is complete, correct, and actually informative, and whether dealers are ready and willing to operate in a more transparent, service-oriented manner (responding to inquiries in a timely fashion, making pricing and availability information accessible, and instituting reasonable return policies where possible, since art sometimes has a way of not actually looking like it does onscreen) which is appropriate to dealing with the wider, more diverse audience that an online platform presumably draws. Improvements in any of these areas would be a welcome development.
In recent years there has been an unprecedented rush into online contemporary art sales, a formerly taboo practice among gallerists accustomed to a fair amount of opacity in their dealings. My, how things have changed, with well-known commercial galleries such as David Zwirner and White Cube, not-for-profit spaces including Artists Space and SculptureCenter, and even museums such as the Whitney and the New Museum unashamedly making works available through Artspace and other online venues. Last week, The Armory Show announced an exclusive partnership with Paddle8 to present artworks for collectors to preview, reserve, and purchase in advance of this Thursday’s opening. Following in the footsteps of the online-only VIP Art Fair, The Armory Show is hedging its bets that having an online presence will extend its reach into new markets far beyond the tri-state area.
Over a packed four days in New York doing research for a future show, we managed to briefly stop by the Editions/Artists’ Book Fair taking place in Chelsea this past weekend. Occupying two floors of the former Dia building on West 22nd, the fair was intimate, friendly, and filled with surprises, not least of which were the many strong showings by non-New York exhibitors such as Clay Street Press (Cincinnati), Western Editions (Chicago), and High Point Center for Printmaking (Minneapolis). We’ll profile each of these organizations separately in a series of future posts, as well as New York-based standouts Specific Object and Forth Estate.