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Brad Tinmouth

Chroma Lives: This is What a Tasteful Condo Showroom Looks Like

by Rea McNamara on June 15, 2016
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The Yorkville neighborhood is to Toronto what the Upper East Side’s Park Avenue is to New York. In a word: bougie. Back in the 1960s, it looked considerably different; as Canada’s equivalent to Greenwich Village, it was known for its waify bohemians, coffee house folk scene and a gallery district anchored by influential commercial gallerists like Walter Moos and Mira Godard. But offices and hotels were eventually built, followed by high-priced condo developments amongst the still remaining Victorian rowhouses now listed for over a million each. Yorkville’s biggest attraction is now it’s “Mink Mile”, a high-end luxury shopping strip that caters to the affluent residents of Rosedale and Forest Hill.

Given all this, perhaps it’s not surprising that at first glance, one could mistake the group exhibition Chroma Lives for an interior design showroom. Located in the presentation center for the Yorkville Plaza condo development on Avenue Road, curators Erin Alexa Freeman and artist Lili Huston-Herterich have filled the space with household items like walnut furniture, succulents planted in unglazed ceramic pots, and clothing hung on a rack. Not much distinguishes this simulacrum of affluence from present-day realities, especially at a time when luxury real estate has been engineered to include art walls and humidity systems to attract art-centric buyers.       

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AC Repair: Toronto’s Littlest White Cube

by Rea McNamara on April 8, 2016
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Add AC Repair & Co. to the long list of galleries now setting shop in Junction Triangle, the city’s newest gallery district. Founded by curators Emma Clough and Jess Carroll, it’s a unique entry in the commercial gallery scene thanks to its small scale and non-traditional walls. It’s literally a 324 square foot garage, with no running water or toilet.

“We were inspired by galleries that were making creative use of unconventional space in cities outside the traditional ‘art capitals’, such as the recently-closed Appendix gallery in Portland, as well as Young World in Detroit,” says Clough and Carroll in an email interview with AFC.

This interest plays into Clough and Carroll’s sales strategy: keeping costs low so they can take a chance on selling work by artists lacking the “kind of commercial legacy that a lot of gallerists are looking for,” says the duo. “Toronto has a lot of great, young artists who find it hard to align themselves with commercial galleries as they find that they’re intimidated or their freedom is restricted. Because AC is such a small, raw space with low overhead, we have the freedom that a larger commercial gallery does not. We want to work with artists who are pushing the envelope.”

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