Ambling Through Art and Design

Courtesy Ingram Gallery

Late summer, when the to-do list of projects that were waiting for free time is crossed off, an ideal way to enrich an idler day is to tour good art galleries. The summer gallery programs are not the high-season deep dives into the work of one or two artists. They are broad selections from the gallery’s stable of artists, pieces chosen for their exemplification of each one’s style or on account of their breezy appeal.

Volpe, Skywriter, Courtesy Ingram Gallery

Ingram’s 24 Hazelton Avenue Gallery is an immersion into the casual atmosphere of summer and into the artistic mood. Shoulders drop back and breathing deepens while wandering through small rooms chock full of canvases hung on the wall and several others stacked beside. Tabletops are crowded with small sculptures and small frames. Paintings along stairway walls, pieces on steps. But for all that ease, the quality of the art is not throw-away. Not at all. Real stop-you-in your-tracks works to contemplate and remember later and go back to negotiate. This is Canadian high art for the home of the sophisticate, because whether tailored or blousy, they know a thing or two about life, and very often about art.

Galerie Le Royer
Ole Aakjaer, Courtesy Galerie Le Royer

Established in Montreal and new to Toronto is Gallerie LeRoyer in Yorkville Lane, the passage across from the Hazelton Hotel entrance. They feature a refreshing collection of works from artists living in places around the world, showing in galleries around the globe. Ole Aakjaer from Denmark was slated to be featured in the Chinese Contemporary Art Museum, Chongqing, China, and that sort of thing. Aakjaer’s large water colour and ink piece, the face of a girl with a monocle and emblems, has an easy-to-live-with uniqueness.

Galerie Le Royer
Courtesy Galerie Le Royer

I stopped into the gallery again today to find many different pieces on display in their frequently changing selection. I can’t forget Haiku, by Coderch & Malavia, the bronze sculpture of a serenely beautiful girl, seated, with a gilded branch balanced effortlessly on the head. The harmonious contemporary interior can acquire the piece that completes a curated room in such a gallery.

Tagliatella Galleries
Photo Courtesy Tagliatella Galleries

Tagliatella Galleries, 99 Yorkville, shows artwork for the collector of the young, hip and highly recognizable. It is easy to find because the huge bright murals that cover the gallery’s exterior walls and surrounding courtyard are painted over by different muralists on a regular basis. Inside, the new front room was given to MissMe, an emerging Montreal painter with shock value. In the original gallery space, you’ll find Warhol, Banksey, Basquiat, Damian Hirst and likewise internationally renowned pop and street artists. Minimal furniture is required with this maximal art.

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Paul Petro Contemporary Art
Jane Buyers, Courtesy Paul Petro Contemporary Art

In the group show, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, at Paul Petro Contemporary Art, 980 Queen West, we find Jane Buyers, R.C.A., whose new drawings are on point. My love of balance, joy in flowers and typical designer penchant for black and white art are all satisfied with these kaleidoscopic images rendered with intricate close focus in graphite on paper. Can they also be placed horizontally, Jane? No one wants to exasperate the artist, but aren’t up, down and sideways the same?

Tagliatella Galleries
Photo Courtesy Tagliatella Galleries

May you be encouraged to coordinate a particularly artful outfit and drift over to the gallery district for a summertime boost to your creative imagination and perhaps a new life for a wall at home.

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