Earlier in the day we reported that many visitors were unable to identify standout work at the Armory, despite the buoyant atmosphere. In this post we identify why: Very few works actually stood out. Looking back at the hundreds of photographs we took during our visit, we have very little to say about the work we saw. Thus, our slideshow provides an overall impression of a relatively bland fair, with few high points or low points along the way.
The crowds were noticeably thinner at this year’s Art Toronto opening according to many attendees, though fair attendance numbers showed an slight increase (2100 last year, and 2200 this year). This perception may have to do with the fair’s downsize; roughly 11 percent (from 128 exhibitors last year to 114 this year, including three non-profit spaces). Last night, a section of the Metrocenter was closed off, and two rows of booths that might normally fill that space were absent.
Last year’s inaugural EXPO Chicago fair was generally characterized as being slow, but ultimately successful. The 2012 Vernissage, with a handful of exceptions, lacked the kind of frantic early purchasing that typically happens at the other big art fairs. By the end of that inaugural fair, there were many galleries happy with the sales that occurred over the course of the weekend and few grumblings from others, some of which had brought huge, expensive secondary market work that went unsold. This year feels markedly different.