Pa­pier fair show­cases af­ford­able art­work

Ad­mis­sion-free ex­hibit is all about ac­ces­si­bil­ity

Montreal Gazette - - Culture - JOHN POHL

It’s the job of a gallery owner to find art that suits a po­ten­tial buyer – even if the search leads to an­other es­tab­lish­ment, says Em­i­lie Grand­mont-bérubé, coowner of Ga­lerie Trois Points.

Next week­end the search will be con­sid­er­ably eas­ier, as Pa­pier 12 gath­ers 38 gal­leries rep­re­sent­ing more than 400 artists into one tem­po­rary struc­ture at Bleury St. and de Maison­neuve Blvd., just off the north­west corner of Place des Fes­ti­vals.

As the name sug­gests, Pa­pier 12 fea­tures works on pa­per – usu­ally the least ex­pen­sive art you can buy. And Pa­pier 12, which has no ad­mis­sion charge, is all about ac­ces­si­bil­ity, added Grand­mont-bérubé, who is also trea­surer of the or­ga­ni­za­tion be­hind the art fair, the Con­tem­po­rary Art Gal­leries As­so­ci­a­tion (AGAC).

It starts Thurs­day with a VIP fundraiser that costs $135 per per­son. The fundraiser is es­pe­cially im­por­tant be­cause Pa­pier 12 didn’t get a grant from the city, as it did last year, to off­set some of the $50,000 it costs to stage the event, said AGAC di­rec­tor Julie Lacroix.

Pa­pier 12 opens to the public Fri­day at noon, with a vernissage start­ing at 6 p.m. The fair con­tin­ues April 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

But be­fore the fair opens on Fri­day, cor­po­rate col­lec­tors will have two hours to them­selves to check out the of­fer­ings.

Loto-québec spent $90,000 last year, Lacroix said, and is ex­pected to be a buyer this year as well.

Hy­dro-québec has promised to spend at least $20,000.

This week, Pa­pier ad­ver­tised on its Face­book page a chance for five mem­bers of the public to shop with the cor­po­rate col­lec­tors on Fri­day morn­ing. Within an hour, Pa­pier had its five neo­phyte col­lec­tors, Lacroix said.

De­vel­op­ing an art mar­ket in Mon­treal is part of the ra­tio­nale for the Pa­pier fairs.

There are round­table dis­cus­sions on col­lect­ing art on Satur­day and Sun­day morn­ings.

One of the top­ics is buy­ing art

“We showed (Jaime An­gelopou­los) last fall and we had tremen­dous suc­cess.”

Parisian Laun­dry’s Dacil Kurzweg

on a limited bud­get. You can pur­chase a good-qual­ity orig­i­nal art­work for $500 or less, Grand­mon­tBérubé said.

AGAC is also in­volved in an ini­tia­tive with the city of Mon­treal’s Ac­cès cul­ture to pro­mote art-col­lect­ing through ex­hi­bi­tions of pri­vate art col­lec­tions at nine Maisons de la cul­ture, city hall, the Arse­nal and the Ver­dun Cul­tural Cen­tre.

De­spite this col­lab­o­ra­tion with city hall, gov­ern­ment sup­port of the arts is seen by some as detri­men­tal to the growth of an art mar­ket in Mon­treal. It cre­ates a per­cep­tion in the public mind that in­di­vid­u­als don’t have to buy art be­cause the gov­ern­ment sup­ports the artists, said Robert Poulin, who will show works from his col­lec­tion at the Mai­son de la cul­ture Marie Uguay, start­ing April 17.

Whether or not it’s rel­e­vant to that ar­gu­ment, Que­bec has nearly twice as many gov­ern­ment-sup­ported artist-run cen­tres as On­tario, home of the coun­try’s strong­est art mar­ket – Toronto.

Six of Toronto’s best pri­vate art gal­leries have booths at Pa­pier 12. There are also two from Ot­tawa and one from Hal­i­fax.

Lacroix hopes to add gal­leries from New York next year, when Pa­pier 13 will have larger quar­ters within the Quartier des spec­ta­cles.

There could be room for 10 ad­di­tional ex­hibitors next year, as well as more space for gal­leries and vis­i­tors, said François Babineau, an as­sis­tant at Ga­lerie Si­mon Blais and mem­ber of the AGAC board. Last year the fair drew 9,000 vis­i­tors and was packed each day, he said.

Ga­lerie Si­mon Blais is one of the par­tic­i­pants con­cur­rently ex­hibit­ing works on pa­per in their gal­leries. Du bon us­age de l’acide opened this week at the gallery, with in­taglio prints (etch­ings) by such artists as Betty Good­win, whose work will also be avail­able at Pa­pier.

Some gal­leries will re­strict their dis­plays at Pa­pier 12 to one or two artists.

Ga­lerie Trois Points will show works by Natalie Reis and Elmyna Bouchard, who uses rub­ber stamps to make prints that re­sem­ble tex­tiles. Parisian Laun­dry will give Jaime An­gelopou­los, a young Toronto artist, a solo show in its booth. “We showed her last fall and we had tremen­dous suc­cess,” said gallery as­sis­tant Dacil Kurzweg. “A cou­ple of cor­po­rate col­lec­tions ac­quired her work, as well as the Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs.”

Each vis­i­tor will be of­fered a free cat­a­logue fea­tur­ing one artist from each gallery. There are guided tours each day, with tours in English given at 3 p.m. on Fri­day, 5 p.m. on April 14 and 3 p.m. on April 15.

Crit­i­cal Mass, a group of four brightly painted wood sculp­tures by Shayne Dark, will grace the out­door en­trance. (Dark will have an ex­hi­bi­tion, Forged Land­scape, at Art Mur, start­ing April 26.) Elise Le­grand and Si­mon DurocherGo­s­selin will per­form a dance with the sculp­tures dur­ing the Thurs­day and Fri­day vernissage­s.

Grand­mont-bérubé said art grows with its owner. “The way you feel about it changes over time and you see things you’ve never seen be­fore, even if you’ve lived with it for 20 years.”

Pa­pier 12 opens Fri­day and con­tin­ues to April 15 at Bleury St. and de Maison­neuve Blvd. Free en­try. Visit pa­pier­mon­


Betty Good­win’s A Burst of Bloody Air. Good­win’s work is show­ing at Ga­lerie Si­mon Blais and will be ex­hib­ited at Pa­pier.


Shayne Dark’s Crit­i­cal Mass, a group of brightly painted wood sculp­tures, will stand at the en­trance of Pa­pier 12.


Elmyna Bouchard’s Con­struc­tion de sol No. 2. Bouchard uses rub­ber stamps to cre­ate a look that re­sem­bles tex­tiles.


Jaime An­gelopou­los’s Fit­ting In. The Toronto artist’s work is in cor­po­rate and Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs col­lec­tions.

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