Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, September 20, 2012


Brian Jungen exhibition to be featured by Vancouver Art Gallery at Shanghai Biennale. Several of Brian Jungen’s signature works will be featured next month in the Vancouver Pavilion of the Shanghai Biennale in an exhibition curated by Daina Augaitis, the VAG’s chief curator and associate director. “We are very honoured to be invited to represent Canada as one of the Biennale’s international pavilions,” Vancouver Art Gallery director Kathleen Bartels said in a statement. Vancouver Sun, September 20, 2012

Tobias Wong: A reappraisal of design’s bad boy. “Tobias Wong – visionary, collaborator, anti-consumerist, provocateur, “paraconceptualist“ (as he called himself), prankster – was 35 when he died two years ago. In his short career, the designer/artist created work that poked at North American consumer culture, posed uncomfortable questions about authorship and responded very much to his adopted home of New York City.” Globe & Mail, September 19, 2012

Object(ing): The Art/Design of Tobias Wong praises a true provocateur. “Tobias Wong’s provocative genius plays out in many forms—the big and the tiny, the subtle and the in-your-face.” Georgia Straight, September 20, 2012

Nairy Baghramian’s Class Reunion is full of life. “If you mated an IKEA floor lamp with a biomorphic abstraction by the surrealist Jean Arp, and muddled in a little DNA from a Sol LeWitt sculpture, a plastic-flamingo lawn ornament, and a work of absurdist theatre, you might produce a family of artworks something like Nairy Baghramian’s Class Reunion. You might.” Georgia Straight, September 18, 2012

Crawling the best new indie galleries in Vancouver. “Things can get a bit cluttered when mapping out the smaller independent [art] scene. Annual events like SWARM can help through their plotted-out studio crawls, but it’s hard to fit in every option. Considering how new galleries pop up all the time, here are a few recent favourites.” Georgia Straight, September 20, 2012

Fourth annual Olio Festival brings out the artists. “Mirroring its approach to the music, comedy, and fashion scenes, the fourth annual Olio Festival is offering up a diverse roster of visuals for its art component.” Georgia Straight, September 19, 2012


Rights museum gets on with it. “As CEO of the CMHR, Stuart Murray has had to face tough questions about its missteps. Why, for example, will the museum open more than a year late, and why will it cost $90 million more than budgeted? Why have more than a dozen key museum staff fled the project? Why have the museum’s content plans continued to be the source of such controversy and conflict?” Winnipeg Free Press, September 20, 2012


AGO exhibits Evan Penny’s body of work. “Evan Penny got the sculpture “bug” early – what he calls “the basic impulse” – making things from whatever was at hand even as a child. But the decisive, vocational moment came in September, 1971, when, enrolled as an 18-year-old freshman at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, he signed up for a sculpture course. Globe & Mail, September 20, 2012

The perpetual crisis at Toronto’s Power Plant gallery. “All too often, the excitement and controversy generated at Power Plant has come from the politics of the place – the comings and goings of personnel, the behind-the-scenes manoeuvrings, the struggles over autonomy, authority and artistic vision in an institution with a peculiar organizational structure and a variety of temperaments.” Globe & Mail, September 14, 2012

A graffitist who works on the city’s dime. “On a humid morning this week, the acclaimed British visual artist Mark Titchner was strolling down Queen West toward his new studio at the Art Gallery of Ontario, battling a case of jet lag while taking in the area’s “organic” graffiti mural scene. “There’s actually a lot of stuff up on the walls here,” he observed, “actually more than in London.”” Globe & Mail, September 14, 2012

Hume: New cultural centre breathes life and colour into Regent Park. “Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the brilliant new centre forms part of a larger complex that also includes a condo tower. Under the leadership of Artscape, the centre is a place of many uses as well as colours. The non-profit agency specializes in assembling hybrid spaces dedicated to various creative endeavours and the synergies they produce.” Toronto Star, September 17, 2012


Hamilton Art Crawls hold lessons for Toronto. Because Toronto artists can no longer afford Toronto, they set forth, with all the Toronto lawyers and stockbrokers waving goodbye sadly from the piers. Farewell creative types. Queen West won’t be the same without you. But, fortunately, Toronto artists discovered Hamilton. It’s a wonder they didn’t plant a flag… Where an artist is from isn’t what matters. What should matter a great deal to a city is that for every artist there are hundreds of people who will bring a neighbourhood back to life because they are interested in art. Toronto Star, September 19, 2012

Los Angeles

L.A. Gets A Cross Between Banksy And The Guerrilla Girls “A mystery street artist with a sense of humor has turned parts of downtown L.A. into a guerrilla art installation. Eight neighborhood landmarks or areas have been marked with official-looking city placards that offer what appear to be background information about the location. One, for instance, says that a downtown dumpster was designed by Andy Warhol.” Los Angeles Times, September 19, 2012


Christie’s Expects Basquiat to Set a Record in November “A dramatic, untitled large canvas by Jean-Michel Basquiat from 1981 will be on offer at Christie’s New York at its Nov. 14 postwar and contemporary art evening sale. The auction house is estimating the painting will bring as much as $20 million, and thus might outstrip the current record price of $20.1 million, paid for a Basquiat work in June at Christie’s, London.” Art in America, September 19, 2012


The Louvre’s New Islamic Galleries Bring Riches to Light. The museum’s new galleries for Islamic art, which open to the public on Saturday, are the most radical architectural intervention at the Louvre since I. M. Pei’s glass pyramid. New York Times, September 20, 2012


Dennis Hopper’s lost prints on show in Berlin. “The black-and-white small-format photos in the exhibition, “Dennis Hopper — The Lost Album,” were taken between 1961 and 1967, when Hopper was out of favour in Hollywood and before he directed Easy Rider, which became a huge and unlikely success.” Globe & Mail, September 19, 2012

The End Of Berlin’s Most Famous Artists’ Squat (It Was Time) “[The squatters’] eviction earlier this month marks the end of the 22-year history of Tacheles, a world-famous artists’ center in Berlin’s Mitte district. Tacheles long ago lost its edgy cachet within Berlin’s creative scene. … Should official policy aim at keeping Berlin poor enough to encourage the further influx of sexy hipsters? The majority of Berliners say no.” New York Times, September 19, 2012


Kate Sutton at the 9th Gwangju Biennial “Gwangju is a testament to the power of art to infiltrate and act upon the political imagination. Or, as curator Nancy Adajania put it, ‘What Politics cannot do, Art can.’ ” Artforum, September 19, 2012


“Ask A Curator” Is Live on Twitter: Join the International Conversation! It is just getting underway on these shores, but across the pond, Ask A Curator, today’s Twitter-based conversation with museums around the world, is in full swing. Here’s a clickable list of U.S. museums that will cheerfully entertain your inquiries. The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney are on board, but not the Metropolitan Museum listed. LA MOCA and the J.Paul Getty Museum are; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, not. Some museums, like the Tate appear to be responding in real time, in the true Twitter spirit. Others, like the Getty are planning to “circle back tomorrow” with answers. Culturegrrl, September 19, 2012

Can We Still Be Shocked By Art? How? The Critics Debate “Over the next week, four New York Times critics – Roberta Smith, Ben Brantley, A. O. Scott and Alastair Macaulay – will chat about the role of shock in art: how it works, how it has changed and why it’s still necessary. Jennifer Schuessler moderates.” New York Times, September 19, 2012

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