Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, January 30, 2013


A breathtaking dive into the dark “Just when you think you’ve seen it all comes an illuminating exercise in the dark. A performance that takes you to a completely new place, through all the old and familiar ones. Last Friday, I toured the streets of Vancouver blindfolded, guided by a woman I’d never met before – and had never seen.” Globe & Mail, January 29, 2013


Gallery: Exposure sheds light on eclectic art of photography. “While the official tagline of this years sprawling festival is “Borderlines: The Intersection of Culture and Creativity”, the topics explored at the photography festival this year are as varied as the artists that cover them.” Calgary Herald, January 29, 2013


Bill Viola on Going Into Tristan und Isolde’s Deeps. “Over the past 40 years, American artist Bill Viola has brought video art from the margins into the mainstream. And he’s still pushing the form into new realms: Tonight, the Canadian Opera Company opens a production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde for which Viola has created a massive video component… This Toronto interview with Bill Viola and Kira Perov—his wife and studio director—touches on kindergarten art class, Nine Inch Nails concerts, and Wagner’s interest in Buddhism, among other topics.” Canadian Art, January 29, 2013


Don McCullin: A photographer goes back to the war zone at age 77. “One of the world’s great war photographers, Britain’s Don McCullin announced in 2003 that he was putting that world behind him and would now devote what today he calls “the last piece” of his life’s work to “showing the more beautiful side of my capabilities.” Flash forward to just before this past Christmas, though, and you would have found the 77-year-old Mr. McCullin in the war-ravaged city of Aleppo in northwestern Syria.” Globe & Mail, January 29, 2013

Growing pains at inaugural Nature Nocturne. “Organizers planned for hundreds but early estimates suggest up to 2,000 attended, the museum’s director of communications said Saturday. Despite hiccups, mostly positive reviews rolled in on Twitter under the hashtag naturenocture.” Ottawa Citizen, January 27, 2013

Los Angeles

Whistler’s Mother Gets a Makeover. “Aline Smithson loves garage sales. When a single weekend of scavenging yielded a print of the famous 19th-century painting by James McNeill Whistler’s “Arrangement in Grey and Black Portrait of the Artist’s Mother,” a leopard coat and hat, a 1950s cat painting, and a chair just like the one in Whistler’s painting, something clicked. Her years of art education, fashion editing, and honing her darkroom skills, plus her sense of nostalgia, love of family, and wacky sense of humor all came together to produce what Smithson calls “the series that put me on the map.” Slate, January 29, 2013


The Twisted Tale Of The Art Guys Marry A Plant “Like many marriages, this peculiar union between two men and the (presumably) polyamorous plant wasn’t meant to be. .,. After scathing reviews, acts of vandalism, angry art patrons, and counter-protest art performances (not to mention an art critic who returned to prostitution after the ordeal), the Menil Collection – the Houston museum that had acquired the tree sculpture in 2011 – decided they had had enough.” Salon, January 25, 2013

Kansas City

AAMD Strengthens Antiquities-Collecting Guidelines AAMD’s members voted today to approve revisions to strengthen and clarify its guidelines for collecting archaeological material & ancient art. Full details will be publicly released upon the conclusion of AAMD’s meeting later this week. CultureGrrl, January 29, 2013

New York

Norman Foster’s Public Library Will Need Structural Magic “The New York Public Library will have to work structural magic to build Norman Foster’s branch library beneath the reading room on 42nd Street.” New York Times, January 30, 2013

Washington, D.C.

An Artifact Of Aleppo’s Happier Days “At The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., there is moving evidence of an earlier, more peaceful time in that now-beleaguered Syrian hub: photographs of 19th century women in gold-trimmed velvet jackets, flowing pants and, on their heads, finely woven skull caps. One such small and brimless cap, made in 1800, is on display at the museum.” NPR, January 29, 2013 (includes audio)

United States

Is This Where The Arts Are Most “Vibrant” In America? “ArtPlace has released a report on the ‘top 12 ArtPlaces’ in the country – the neighborhoods or clusters that scored highest on a subset of the funder’s much-discussed vibrancy indicators:” Createquity, January 28, 2013


Britain Plans To Put All Its Oil Paintings – All Of Them – Online “The project, a collaboration that began in 2003 between the Public Catalogue Foundation and the BBC, aims to record all oil paintings owned by the nation ‘irrespective of perceived quality and condition.’ That means everything from recognized masters in famous London galleries to the work of a councilman in a town in Somerset who painted his colleagues.” New York Times, January 23, 2013


Not All Of Timbuktu’s Ancient Manuscripts Were Burned, It Seems. Researcher Jean-Michel Dijan: “The great majority of the manuscripts, about fifty thousand, are actually housed in the thirty-two family libraries of the ‘City of 333 Saints.’ Those are to this day protected.” Many other documents (though not all) may have been hidden by the families who originally possessed them before the rebels arrived. New York Times, January 29, 2013

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