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Canadian Art

Andrew James Paterson on Publishing Decades of Wisdom and Criticism Today

by RM Vaughan on July 26, 2017
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Every city should have an Andrew James Paterson. Pity we cannot clone him.

Since the late 70s, Toronto-based Paterson has produced a mountain’s worth of material in a mountain range long list of disciplines: from seminal New Wave music to Super 8 films, neo-noir novels to ground-breaking critical texts blending art writing and fiction (aka ficto-criticism), diaristic video pieces and digitally sourced art to performed lectures to concrete poems to performance poetry to theatre works. And that’s the short list.

He is arguably one of the most influential figures in Canadian art alive today, and I do not make such statements readily nor lightly. A Toronto without him is unimaginable.

And now, there is even more proof. Collection/Correction, an anthology of Paterson’s critical writings, concrete poems, and film scripts provides a kind of Paterson 101 to new readers and confirms what the rest of us already know – Paterson is an agile and beautifully free thinker, and has always been way ahead of his time. What the hell took this book so long to arrive?

I reached Paterson by email and asked him to “have fun with my questions”. You get what you ask for.

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Inaugural Toronto Art Book Fair Pages City’s Independent Print Culture

by Rea McNamara on June 16, 2016
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The rise of art fairs has not been all that bad. Yes, we’re stuck with the same galleries showing the same work, but we’ve also seen a rise in alternative venues, the most common being art book fairs. Whether it’s LA or New York, the fairs often have a frenetic energy, particularly the sections dedicated to artist-made zines, which in addition to artist books, often include performances, the sale of related ephemera (think buttons and stickers) and zealous trading. Fair sections divide exhibitors by rare book dealers, distributors and artists. Even the poorest of us can afford something at the fair, which means every visitor can leave with a sense of being able to directly support the livelihood of artists.

Here in Toronto, the arrival of the new Toronto Art Book Fair (TOABF) — which opens today in a historic schoolhouse in the West End, and runs to the end of this weekend — has been enthusiastically received by the local arts community. In fact, much of my Instagram has been filled for the past week with artists like Micah Lexier and Lido Pimienta proudly snapping the wares they’ll be selling. With a tightly-curated 75 vendors participating, it appears the free public event has been far more successful than either Art Toronto or the recently-ended Feature in attracting the involvement of international vendors. Art Toronto mostly attracts galleries outside Canada under its FOCUS curated section (for the 2016 edition in October, it’ll be Latin America) and because Feature was organized by Montreal’s Association des galeries d’art contemporain, it was criticized by local gallerists for its Quebec-heavy regionalism. Further, since Toronto isn’t a “traditional art capital”, those fairs have been challenged in representing a discerning edit of the local commercial gallery scene.

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