From the Globe and Mail
Friday, Nov. 18, 2011
Ask Samara Walbohm how she’s feeling today and she’ll probably say what she said earlier this week: “Excited. Nervous. Scared.” In fact, she’s probably been feeling that way since May when she and her husband, Joe Shlesinger, signed a five-year lease on an L-shaped, 500-square-metre space down an alley near the eternally funky intersection of Bloor West and Lansdowne.
Positioned unprepossessingly between an auto-body shop and a marble-fixtures retailer, the former warehouse/wine-fermentation outlet with the “very Chelsea-20-years-ago kind of feel” is in the final, hectic throes of a white-walled conversion into Scrap Metal – the name Ms. Walbohm and Mr. Shlesinger are giving to what they hope – heck, believe – will become one of Toronto’s most important venues for visual arts and ancillary activities. Maybe even for Canada. It’s a non-commercial gallery scheduled to open to the public Dec. 9.
Ms. Walbohm, 40, and Mr. Shlesinger, 50, like art. Love it, in fact, to the point of obsessive compulsiveness, spending the last 13 or 14 years attending auctions and art fairs, touring galleries, befriending artists and dealers, avidly acquiring en route an impressive potpourri of artifacts, contemporary and otherwise, Canadian and international. They have paintings by Jack Bush, Marc-Aurèle Fortin and Jean-Paul Riopelle, videos by Mark Lewis, Ragnar Kjartansson and Bill Viola, photographs from Jeff Wall and Scott McFarland, installations by General Idea, Douglas Coupland and Micah Lexier, among many others.
Read the full article at theglobeandmail.com