PLATFORM is Art Toronto’s original series of lectures and panel discussions from prominent art world figures. Included within PLATFORM are POWER TALKS, a series of lectures organized in partnership with the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.

Find out what's trending and happening in the international scene from artists, writers and curators and immerse yourself in all things art in this comprehensive line up of talks on the PLATFORM stage.

See the 2017 schedule of talks below!

Friday October 27 / 1PM

The Evolution of Painting: How Artists Today are pushing the Medium’s Boundaries

Presenting Sponsor, RBC

Corrie Jackson (Associate Art Curator, RBC)
Beth Stuart (Artist)
Jonathan Shaughnessy (Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Canada)

Nicholas Brown (Manager of Programming, Canadian Art)

This panel explores the shifting role of paint in an artist’s practice. Paint is no longer just applied to canvas; it is molded, stretched, knitted and sculpted to create works that defy traditional notions of what a painting can be. Nicholas Brown, Manager of Programming at Canadian Art, leads a discussion on how this shift not only impact’s an artist’s practice, but also strongly influences the legacy of art in Canada.

Friday October 27 / 2:30PM

Meet the 2017 Sobey Art Award Winner

Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada

2017 Sobey Art Award Winner (to be announced October 25)
Mary Lynk (Journalist and producer, CBC Radio)

The winner of the 2017 Sobey Art Award, Canada’s prestigious contemporary art prize for professional artists 40 and under, will be at Art Toronto’s center-stage with Mary Lynk- award winning journalist and producer for CBC radio’s IDEAS program- to talk about his/her work and career. Initially a nominee among 25 longlisted artists from across Canada, the winner was selected by an international jury from a shortlist of five. In collaboration with the Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto is presenting the work of the five finalists from 24 October to 9 December 2017. Since its inception in 2002, the annual award has had an undeniable impact on the careers of young Canadian artists.

Friday October 27 / 4PM

POWER TALKS: Charles Gaines, Systems, Structures and the Politics of Subjectivity

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

Charles Gaines

In this talk, Charles Gaines will discuss his early work in systems and numerals to his most recent work with language and representation. This will include a discussion of ways the work rethinks notions of subjectivity and how they are manifested in works of art. Additionally, there will be a discussion about the fine difference between chance and arbitrary judgments on the one hand and expressive and intuitional judgments on the other, both sharing the characteristic of being indeterminate, and how works of art can uniquely interrogate this difference.

Friday October 27 / 6PM

Tania Willard: Site/ation

C Magazine

Tania Willard

Using concepts of Indigenous epistemology, land rights and creative acts, curator and artist Tania Willard will discuss her approach to recent curatorial and artist led-projects. Willard will frame Site/ation with BUSH Gallery, a land based conceptual gallery space in the artist’s home territory of Secwepémculecw (BC). Bush Gallery allows dialogue, experimental practice and community engaged work to contribute to an understanding of how gallery systems and art mediums might be transfigured, translated and transformed by indigenous customs, aesthetics, performance and land use systems. Willard will also discuss curatorial projects for LandMarks2017/Repéres2017 in Tuktoyaktuk (NWT), Old Crow (YT) and Thousand Islands National Park (ON). Centering methods of acknowledging territory and developing relationship with site, and contrasting notions of in situ, Site/ation acknowledges the deep artfulness and Indigenous land rights holders of all sites in “Canada.”

Tania Willard, Secwepemc Nation, works within shifting ideas of the contemporary and the traditional as they relate to art and cultural production. Working with bodies of knowledge and skills that intersect between Aboriginal and other cultures, Willard’s art/curatorial/life projects include BUSH gallery, a conceptual space for land based art and action led by Indigenous artists.

Saturday October 28 / 1PM

Perspectives on Collecting: Fine Art and Beyond

Show Sponsor, AXA ART

Kelvin Browne (Executive Director and CEO, Gardiner Museum)
Filiz Çakir Philip (Curator, Aga Khan Museum)
Alexandra Palmer (Senior Curator, Royal Ontario Museum)

Iris Handke (AXA ART)

How can different types of collections inform our view of contemporary art? What common passion drives the collection and interest in objects from decorative arts to fashion or artefacts to religious works? Join AXA ART’s Iris Handke as she interviews all panelists as they investigate their own curatorial eye and if their insights into the artistry of certain objects informs or enhances viewership of traditionally held artistic media.

Saturday October 28 / 2:30PM

FOCUS: Los Angeles: Beyond the Hype

Santi Vernetti (FOCUS: LA Curator)
Luis De Jesus (Gallery Owner, San Diego, Santa Monica, Los Angeles)
Kim Schoen (Artist)

Jori Finkel (West Coast contributor, The New York Times and The Art Newspaper)

There is no doubt that Los Angeles has become an exciting epicenter for artists, art schools, museums and galleries over the last couple decades. But we have also begun to see some backlash to all the growth, whether anti-gallery and anti-development protests in Boyle Heights or concerns about the new breed of mega-collectors like Eli Broad and Maurice Marciano opening their own museums. How big is too big? Can the city sustain all the new galleries and museums in town? And which trendy Los Angeles art neighborhoods do experts say are fading fast, and which ones do insiders predict are here to stay?

Saturday October 28 / 4PM

POWER TALKS: Mari Spirito, Protocinema, In and Around Istanbul

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

Mari Spirito

Mari Spirito is Founding Director of Protocinema, realizing site-aware exhibitions in the world, based in Istanbul and New York since 2011. Spirito is Curator of Conversations for Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach since 2014 and was Curator of Alt Art Space, Istanbul 2015-2017; and Advisor to the 2nd Mardin Biennial, Turkey, 2012. Spirito will discuss the founding and development of Protocinema, present a few of their projects, talk about working with uncertainty, and the new role of non-profits worldwide.

Saturday October 28 / 6PM

PANEL: The Idea of History

Canadian Art

Deanna Bowen (Artist)
Yaniya Lee (Associate Editor, Canadian Art)
Michèle Pearson Clarke (Artist)

Merray Gerges (Assistant Editor, Canadian Art)

What stories are we telling and whose are we leaving out? Inspired by the theme of our Fall issue, "The Idea of History," this discussion explores Black-Canadian histories from the perspective of our panelists' artistic practices.

Sunday October 29 / 1PM

Past Forward: Toronto's Early Contemporary Art Scene

Art Dealers Association of Canada (ADAC)

Gisella Giacalone (Owner/Director, Mira Godard Gallery)
Renann Isaacs (Director, renann isaacs contemporary art)
Michael Snow (Artist)
Paul Wildridge (Director, Roberts Gallery)

Andrew Hunter (Curator, artist and writer)

In light of ADAC's recent 50th anniversary, this conversation-style panel discusses post-war Toronto's contemporary galleries. A time of creativity and innovation, we look at the game-changer dealers and artists and their contribution to art history and the Canadian art scene today.

Sunday October 29 / 2:30PM

Making the Beyond

the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG)

Patrick Cruz
Magalie Guérin
Walter Scott

cheyanne turions

The idea of the west often stands in as a metaphor for the development of a project or concept. Think of the frontier as symbol of colonial expansion or consider the central place that western epistemologies claim for themselves in relation to other ways of knowing. These kinds of claims are given form (and power), in part, through representations in art. But in our contemporary moment, where socio-political power relations are shifting, what might the art practices of today portend for a future otherwise? This panel conversation will consider what artists and their works can make possible in the world beyond representation or expression, as propositions for becoming. How are artistic practices transformed beyond the colonial spectre and beyond the regimes of dispossession that colonization depends upon? How are contemporary practices aggravating the limits of western art historical discourses in framing or contextualizing the range of influences and concerns that artists are working with today? What lays beyond the frontier and how are we moving there?

The conversation will be moderated by cheyanne turions, Director of Education and Public Programs at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and will include perspectives from artists who share concerns for interrupting inherited histories and conjuring the beyond, through content, materials and form. In particular, these artists’ practices differently utilize painting—that paradigmatic art form—as a means of making connection and generating new proposals for what art can show us about how to be in relation.

Patrick Cruz is known for his immersive painting, vibrant colour pallet, assemblage installation style and gestural lines. Influenced by his personal experience of migration to Canada in 2005, Cruz harvests the detritus of capitalist society as an actor and point of reflection on globalization, displacement and migration.

Magalie Guérin is a Montreal-born artist living in Chicago. She immigrated to the US in 2000. Her paintings are built with thick layers of gesso, creating abstract shapes that are then reorganized intuitively using figurative and narrative strategies. The forms are unrecognizable yet feel familiar; Guérin is interested in making visible the history of their construction. She is the author of NOTES ON, a compilation of studio writings published in 2016 by The Green Lantern Press. She is represented by Corbett vs. Dempsey.

Walter Scott’s practice is interdisciplinary and includes writing, video, performance and sculpture. He explores contemporary questions of representation, cultural production, popular culture and narrative construction.

Sunday October 29 / 4PM

POWER TALKS: Courtney Martin, Plant Space, Depth and Distance

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

Courtney J. Martin

Courtney J. Martin (Deputy Director and Chief Curator, the Dia Art Foundation), will use American painter Robert Ryman, active from the late 1950s, to examine the question of painting within the discourse of object-based minimalism. Ryman’s work is often aligned with abstract expressionism due to his use of a predominantly abstract idiom; conceptual art because he departed from traditional materials to make paintings from plastics and metals; and, most frequently, minimalism due to his employment of achromatic or white surfaces. Martin’s lecture will draw on the 2015 – 2016 exhibition of Ryman’s paintings that she curated for the Dia Art Foundation.