Visual Arts News from Vancouver Art Gallery Library May 3, 2012


Answers blowing in A Gust of Wind. “I don’t think human beings can really explain this idea of time – of emptiness. It’s very hard. But we can experience it.” That ineffable experience is part of what Zheng is trying to get at in A Gust of Wind, his monumental five-channel installation now at the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery at the University of B.C. A Gust of Wind is part of an exhibition called Yellow Signal: New Media in China taking place at multiple venues around Metro Vancouver. Vancouver Sun, May 3, 2012

Jen Aitken’s Components speaks to the contemporary human condition. Jen Aitken, who graduated from Vancouver’s Emily Carr University in 2010 and is now based in Toronto, creates funny, provocative, three-dimensional work that grows out of the garden of biomorphic abstraction. Georgia Straight, May 1, 2012

99 diverse documentaries take viewers on strange-but-true trips. “Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous artist, but lately he’s also become China’s most prominent dissident. American director Alison Klayman was there to film the transformation. Her film, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, is one of the highlights of this year’s DOXA documentary film festival, which opens Fri-day and runs to May 13 at several down-town venues.” Vancouver Sun, May 3, 2012


Witness at Reach Bearing Witness in the Great Hall at The Reach Gallery and Museum tells stories through socially engaged images and works of art that offer a powerful means of communicating that human experience. The exhibition is drawn entirely from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s permanent collection… Abbotsford Times, May 3, 2012


China’s silken touch on display. Intricately embroidered silk robes and handcrafted wall hangings may be beautiful to look at, but each piece in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s latest exhibit also tells a story about history and culture. Times Colonist, May 3, 2012


Art that’s not necessarily for the faint of heart. “Being adventurous — whether testing your palate with unusual foods or listening to new genres of music — can open the door to unexpected pleasures and rewards. The same holds true for art. Interacting with different styles of expression can raise questions, spark dialogue and even shift thinking. Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture exhibitions offer the viewer freedom to explore, interpret and reflect.” Edmonton Journal, May 3, 2012


Foundation aims to keep young artists in city. A newly founded non-profit group wants to help make Saskatoon a destination for young and emerging artists. The Emerging Artists Foundation was started by 22-year-old Chris Stoicheff and 23-year-old Chris Barclay to help young artists stay and succeed in Saskatoon by providing grants and eventually organizing mentorship opportunities. Star Phoenix, May 3, 2012


Zhang Huan’s soaring profile: Chinese art in full flight. There’s still a crane on top of the new Living Shangri-La building in downtown Toronto, but at street level a flock of birds is ready to take flight across the façade. The birds are part of a 22-tonne, multimillion-dollar stainless-steel sculpture by the Chinese art star Zhang Huan that will be unveiled Saturday. Globe & Mail, May 2, 2012

Contact Photography: Rafman. Jon Rafman saw possibility in Google Street View’s studiously ambivalent gaze. The result, a show of his work at Angell Gallery, opens Thursday as a featured exhibition in this year’s Contact Photography Festival. Toronto Star, May 3, 2012

Picasso’s dark muse Dora Maar: Elegant but just slightly dangerous. Picasso’s mistress for 10 years, Dora Maar was the fourth of the six women who crucially influenced his work. She appears in scores of major paintings, most memorably as “the weeping woman,” the inspiration for a tragic face in Guernica, the mural depicting the bombing in 1937 of a Basque town by German bombers during the Spanish Civil war. National Post, May 1, 2012

Why I don’t like Picasso. “I don’t like Pablo Picasso much. His work, not the guy – I don’t care if he was a nice guy or a mean guy. I’m still going to go – enthusiastically – to see the comprehensive Picasso show at the Art Gallery of Ontario…” Globe & Mail, May 2, 2012


Love them or hate them, new Glebe sculptures finally arrive on Bank Street. “More than just perches for the Glebe’s avian community, the public art installations by 25 artists are part of a Bank Street rehabilitation project that started back in 2007.” Ottawa Citizen, May 3, 2012


Cranach Adam And Eve Case Goes To US Court Of Appeals “A long-running lawsuit to force the Norton Simon Museum to surrender one of its prized artworks, 480-year-old paired paintings of Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder that were looted during the Holocaust, has reached what could be its last legal round: plaintiff Marei Von Saher’s recent appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.” Los Angeles Times, May 2, 2012

New York

The Frieze Art Fair Brings Its Art and Entertainment to New York The London-based Frieze Art Fair brings its distinctive brand of arts entertainment to New York. New York Times, May 3, 2012

New York’s billion-dollar art week Some buy for investment, some buy for love, so markets vary (Barbara Kruger, “Too Big to Fail”, 2012, $200,000—a critique of the banking world or aspects of the art world? On show with Sprüth Magers (B37) at Frieze New York . The Art Newspaper, May 3, 2012

‘The Scream’ Is Auctioned for a Record $119.9 Million The work, a pastel on board, is one of four versions created by Edvard Munch; the other three are in museums in Norway. The buyer bid over the telephone. A version of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” one of the most recognizable images in art history, sold at Sotheby’s for the most ever paid for artwork at auction. New York Times, May 3, 2012

Who Bought “The Scream”? Could It Be an American Museum? Maybe it’s just a combination of wishful thinking and circumstantial evidence, but I’m guessing that Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” was bought by a museum—maybe an American museum, maybe even the Museum of Modern Art. CultureGurrl, May 3, 2012


Leonardo – Great Artist Or Great Scientist? “Leonardo was a scientist and an artist at the same time, in a way totally unimaginable today. CP Snow’s famous image of the ‘two cultures’ of art and science, a great divide in the modern mind, did not apply in the 15th and early 16th centuries when Leonardo lived.” The Guardian (UK) May 2, 2012


Helsinki Rejects Plan For Guggenheim “The Helsinki city board, a vetting committee of 15 municipal politicians selected to consider proposals for the Helsinki city council, voted eight to seven against putting the Guggenheim project forward for the council’s consideration.” The Guardian (UK) May 2, 2012


Why Is So Much Of The Art Coming Out Of China So Bad? “At the same time it’s hard not to be disheartened that so much art coming out of China falls short of what it might be. A colonized land and an oppressed people suddenly becoming a world power could not offer richer opportunities for photographers able to capture the ordinary, slow changes as well as the enormous ones.” The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2012

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