Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, February 26, 2014

Vancouver

How comedian Steve Martin became a champion for Lawren Harris. After decades of curatorial silence on the painter, Harris will become the focus of three separate shows over the next three years, starting next week with the opening of the Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition Lawren Harris: Canadian Visionary. The exhibits, including one that will be curated by the American comedian and author Steve Martin, will put Harris in the international spotlight and offer fresh takes on his art, bringing new audiences to the national legend, in both the U.S. and Canada. Maclean’s, March 3, 2014 Issue

Internationally renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky donates 34 works to the Vancouver Art Gallery’s permanent collection. Through the tremendous generosity of Burtynsky who personally donated the 34 works, the Gallery now houses 44 photographs by the artist, all of which will be featured in the upcoming exhibition A Terrible Beauty: Edward Burtynsky at the Vancouver Art Gallery from March 1 to May 26, 2014. Canadian Architect, February 22, 2014

John Koerner (1913 – 2014). ​It’s with great sadness that we learned that John Koerner passed away on Monday, February 24, 2014. He celebrated his 100th birthday last year, and was the oldest still-active member of the Vancouver School of painters, a group that developed modernism in Canadian art. Gordon Smith Gallery (Blog), February 26, 2014

Rewilding Vancouver, a whale of a time and much more. Many eye-opening points in our region’s natural history come together in the new Museum of Vancouver (MOV) exhibit Rewilding Vancouver. The show, which opens Thursday, sets out to explore our relationship with nature explained through historical ecology. The Province, February 26, 2014

Oak Bay

Oak Bay gallery’s art aims to make you feel. Oak Bay has no industry. It’s not the seat of government, military or the university. But it does have a keen cultural community. Studio tours, Bowker Creek Brush-Up, archives, heritage homes, an arts laureate, a movie set — and six art shops on Oak Bay Avenue. You can see why Mayor Nils Jensen is redefining his jurisdiction. This is no longer “a little bit of Olde England,” but is now home to the largest concentration of galleries on Vancouver Island. Times Colonist, February 23, 2014

Calgary

Calgary moms honoured at human rights museum. When Calgary’s Emily Follensbee and Christine Meikle found out their sons had Down syndrome back in the 1950s, they went against conventional wisdom of the time and refused to have them institutionalized. Instead, they taught the boys at home and together became pioneers in the rights of the mentally and physically disabled. The women’s story will be among those told at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, which recently announced Sept. 20, 2014, as its grand opening date. Calgary Herald, February 24, 2014

From Calgary to Caen: A DIY Artist Residency. In June 2009, six Calgary creators travelled to the Château Mathieu, an 18th-century building nestled between the city of Caen and the coast of Normandy, for a curious kind of DIY residency. Now, the results—including documentation of the artists’ interventions at the château, and later pieces inspired by it—are on view at the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries. Among the artworks are tree roots wrapped in rich period brocades and humorous, spy-style portraits. Here, writer and curator Diana Sherlock tells Alison Cooley about the project’s origins, its on-site interventions, and some unexpected Canadian connections to commune visited. Canadian Art, February 26, 2014

Saskatoon

You’ve never seen sock monkeys like Trace Nelson’s. Nelson, an artist who teaches at Victoria’s Vancouver Island School of Art, is a former punk rocker with experience in costume design. She works with found materials and a DIY, pop-cultural aesthetic. Her sock monkeys evolved into what she calls “a personal bestiary.” They’re often bizarre, sometimes tinged with fears , but still plausibly cuddly. Globe & Mail, February 25, 2014

Kleinburg

McMichael gallery acquires Lawren Harris artifacts. A paintbox, two palettes, a wood panel for sketching, a canvas stretcher, several knives and brushes, and a small wooden box containing drawing tools all belonged to Lawren Harris, the Brantford-born painter credited by the gallery with being most responsible for forming the Group of Seven. Toronto Star, February 26, 2014

Toronto

Sneak peek at ROM’s Forbidden City exhibit. The wooden crates — some 60 odd in number — lie strewn across the polished concrete floor in a dim and cordoned-off corner of the ROM’s Galen Weston exhibition hall. Over the next three weeks, the bolted boxes will disgorge treasures — artifacts that will open a dazzling window into one of history’s most secretive and opulent sanctums. Toronto Star, February 26, 2014

Slideshow: Allen Ginsberg Photos Find a Home in Canada. The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto holds any number of treasures, and now there are several more: the world’s largest collection of photographic prints by Allen Ginsberg. Canadian Art, February 25, 2014

Ottawa

Art Battle in Ottawa. Local artists participated in a live competitive painting event, Art Battle, at the Arts Court on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. The audience voted on the top painter/art work across three rounds, with one participant named the winner at the end of the night. Ottawa Citizen, February 23, 2014

Indianapolis

Indianapolis Museum of Art Hires Tricia Y. Paik as Curator of Contemporary Art The Indianapolis Museum of Art has hired Tricia Y. Paik as its new curator of contemporary art. Since 2009, Paik has been the associate curator of modern and contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Art in America, February 24, 2014

New York

Liu Wei: China’s Trickster Mixer-Upper Using flea-market finds, industrial materials, mixed media, and a hefty dose of irony, Liu Wei comments on China’s memory, growth—and amnesia. ARTnews, February 26, 2014

Italian Futurism Survey Opens at the Guggenheim The first comprehensive survey of Italian Futurism mounted outside of Italy opens tomorrow at the Guggenheim in New York. Art in America, February 20, 2014

Knights in Shining Opera, at the Met Gotham Chamber Opera’s performances in galleries at the Metropolitan Museum shed new light on the surrounding art. New York Times, February 26, 2014

Barcelona

How Artists Across the Globe Are Saying ‘Yes’ to Picasso A provocative exhibition at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona shows the ways that Banksy, Basquiat, Vik Muniz, Chéri Samba, and others have embraced the legacy of the modernist master. ARTnews, February 26, 2014

Turkey

Turkey Proposes Reconstructing Madrasa Next to Hagia Sophia “The Turkish government plans to reconstruct a demolished madrasa (religious school) next to Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1985. But the local branch of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos) strongly protests these plans, calling the proposed construction a ‘new fake historic monument’ that would undermine the area’s significance.” The Art Newspaper, February 25, 2014

Sydney

Sydney Biennale crisis continues Five artists issue statement of withdrawal Australia’s ABC News reported that a preview event for the biennale was cancelled over fears of protests about the sponsors of the upcoming 19th Biennale of Sydney, Transfield Holdings – a stakeholder in Transfield Services, being awarded the contract to run Australia’s offshore immigration centre on Manus Island. The centre is part of Australia’s controversial mandatory detention policy for asylum seekers, and has been criticised for its harsh conditions. Flash Art, February 25, 2014

International

When Is an Artwork Finished? For some artists, a work is done when it leaves the studio. Others keep tinkering in the galleries. One waits for the piece to “cry uncle” ARTnews, February 24, 2014

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