Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 27, 2013

Vancouver

Scott Massey’s Let’s Reach c Together explores science, astronomy, and photography. Let’s start with a confession and a possible disclaimer. The ideas behind Scott Massey’s new exhibition at the Charles H. Scott Gallery seem intimidating—even before you see the work. The show’s paradoxically cozy subtitle, Let’s Reach c Together—“c” denoting the speed of light—and the accompanying media release, which is also the curatorial essay, promised an exploration of concepts far beyond our ken. Among the inspirations for Massey’s sculpture, photographs, and videos are quantum theory, “Planck’s constant”, and the science and history of both astronomy and photography. Eek. When you actually walk through the show, however, it becomes clear that you needn’t have scored an A in high-school physics to access what you see. Georgia Straight, June 26, 2013

Tim Gardner’s photo-realist scenes query conventions. There’s nothing immediately intimidating about Tim Gardner’s watercolours and pastels—except perhaps their technique. Gardner renders his photo-realist scenes of friends, family, and “the great outdoors” with astonishing technical facility. His accomplishment is especially impressive when he is working in watercolour, which is difficult to control and almost impossible to erase or to gracefully overpaint. Georgia Straight, June 26, 2013

Trying to tag Mohinder. Property crime is no laughing matter unless Mohinder spray-paints a building, and then it’s kind of hilarious. I first saw this oddly endearing tag—his name crudely drawn in all caps—pop up back in April. Since then, it’s been impossible not to notice these audaciously placed chicken scratches on overpasses, awnings, walls, and the odd cube van. Georgia Straight, June 26, 2013

North Vancouver

Weegee: Or How I Shot Dr. Strangelove. A couple of years ago, University of BC art professor/writer/ curator John O’Brian was in New York doing research for an exhibition on the “fatal intersection of photography and nuclear fission.” He entered “nuclear” in the database at the International Center of Photography in the Museum of Modern Art, and the first thing that came up was “Weegee.” Vancouver Sun, June 27, 2013

Calgary

Artists help artists deal with flooding. Preparing to survey the flood damage at Avalanche! Institute of Contemporary Art on Sunday, Cassandra Paul wasn’t sure what she would find. The administrative director knew her facility at 1235 Macleod Trail had been hard hit by water, but wasn’t prepared for the scope of the damage. Calgary Arts Development will co-ordinate information on how the floods have affected Calgary artists and arts organizations like Avalanche! and connect those who want to help with those who need it. It will also serve to funnel information out to those affected as the details come in. Calgary Herald, June 26, 2013

Los Angeles

Frank Gehry Talks About His Work “There is no Robert Moses anymore. Michael Bloomberg wants to be one. In fact, he promised he would build 10 more of my buildings in New York, but, you know, he hasn’t yet. Architecture’s difficult.” Foreign Policy , June 13, 2013

Pittsburgh

Recalcitrant Insurance Company Settles Warhol Foundation’s Lawsuit “The Andy Warhol Foundation has reached a settlement with the Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, ending a case that lasted more than two years. The company agreed to pay the ‘lion’s share’ of the foundation’s legal fees stemming from two lawsuits brought by the collectors Joe Simon and Susan Shaer in 2007.” The Art Newspaper, June 26, 2013

New York

Sarah Charlesworth, Incisive Conceptual Photographer, Dies at 66 Artist Sarah Charlesworth, whose trenchant work investigated pop culture by borrowing from and tweaking its imagery, died of a cerebral hemorrhage yesterday, according to her New York gallery, Susan Inglett. She was 66. Gallerist, June 26, 2013

Rodney Graham Reflected Anew in NYC. More than most artists of his age and stature, Rodney Graham has largely avoided branding himself and settling into a repetitive groove of diminishing returns. His prolific, eclectic practice has included painting, sculpture, performance, installation, public art, film, video and photography. However, one area he has returned to frequently in recent years is a kind of ironic self-portrait/self-performance that makes explicit the elements of self-negation, self-concealment and self-invention embedded in any performance or portrait. Canadian Art, June 26, 2013

The Photographer Is Related to All of These Strangers. When most artists decide to do portraits of their family, they ask their parents or siblings to pose for them. Laurel Nakadate, however, took a DNA test and began corresponding with strangers on websites who shared her DNA. The DNA from her maternal side unlocked the complex backgrounds shared by many Americans. Nakadate descends from Mayflower passengers, African slaves, indentured servants, and prominent figures in American history such as Anne Hutchinson, the Quaker martyr, Mary Dyer, and the McCoys of the famous feud. Because she shares DNA with each person in the “Relations” photographs, these portraits are also modern-day self-portraits. Slate, June 25, 2013

How Hurricane Sandy Transformed The New Whitney Museum “When Adam D. Weinberg was planning a new home in the West Village for the Whitney Museum of American Art, he did not expect to have to worry about waterproofing walls or finding a hydro-engineering firm that makes watertight hatches for the United States Navy.” New York Times, June 27, 2013

Meet the Bruces: High Quality Comes to Brooklyn Museum Democratic and even bohemian in their practice, the five anonymous members of the Brooklyn-based artist collective Bruce High Quality Foundation insist that they make “art by committee,” free of any internal hierarchy. ARTnews, June 27, 2013

Bringing Art and Change to Bronx In the latest of a series, the artist Thomas Hirschhorn is constructing a monument to the Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci on the grounds of a South Bronx housing project. New York Times, June 27, 2013

Washington

‘In The Tower: Kerry James Marshall,’ National Gallery Of Art exhibit, explores African-American history through the work of Kerry James Marshall. His work goes on display Friday at the National Gallery of Art’s Tower Gallery in Marshall’s first solo exhibition in Washington, D.C. Vancouverites might recall that the Vancouver Art Gallery presented an exhibition of work by Kerry James Marshall in 2011. Huffington Post, June 26, 2013

United States

US Senate Expected To Pass Visa Reform That Will Help Admit Foreign Artists “Foreign artists seeking US visas stand to benefit from an amendement included in the immigration bill expected to pass the Senate on Thursday.” Hyperallergic, June 26, 2013

London

Francis Bacon’s Works Steal the Sale at Sotheby’s in London Two paintings by Francis Bacon were the stars of Sotheby’s sale of contemporary art in London on Wednesday night, when 68 works, including ones by David Hockney, Damien Hirst, Lucio Fontana, Andreas Gursky and John Currin, were also for sale. New York Times, June 27, 2013

Britain’s Latest Round Of Arts Funding Cuts Less Awful Than Feared Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne “on Wednesday unveiled a 7 per cent cut to the media, culture and sport department budget but capped the reductions to museums and arts bodies at 5 per cent.” Financial Times, June 26, 2013

Berlin

In Berlin, Walls on the Wall A German photographer who documents the barriers dividing lands — and people — around the world is preparing to show his work on what’s left of the Berlin Wall. New York Times, June 27, 2013

Vienna

‘Museum Hours’ Tours Through Art and Human Ties Jem Cohen’s film “Museum Hours,” about a tourist and a gallery guard in Vienna, addresses the bond and solace found through art and communion. New York Times, June 27, 2013

International

Seven Great Summer Art Reads. Whether at the beach or in the backyard, summer is a super time for reading. Here are a few suggestions from the editors at Canadian Art to bring along. Canadian Art, June 27, 2013

Internet retail giant to launch virtual art gallery Amazon is targeting smaller dealers with a plan to offer over 1,000 objects online—and it will take a commission (The retail giant’s new art site would resemble Amazon Wine, which launched last fall ) The Art Newspaper, June 27, 2013

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