Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, February 7, 2013



Monte Clark Closes Toronto Gallery & Moves Vancouver Location. Vancouver-based dealer Monte Clark has announced he will close his gallery’s Toronto location at the end of this month after 11 years in business. Its last day will be February 28, with its current group exhibition running until February 25 or 26. Changes are also afoot for Clark’s gallery in Vancouver, with a big move to a larger space due to open February 21. Canadian Art, February 5, 2013

Vincent Van Gogh Book Wins $40,000 BC Prize. “A book about Vincent van Gogh, his posthumous success, and its cultural implications has won the $40,000 British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. Solar Dance: Genius, Forgery and the Crisis of Truth in the Modern Age, authored by University of Toronto history professor Modris Eksteins, looks at the roots of the modern era via an account of the life and work of Vincent van Gogh.” Canadian Art, February 6, 2013

Surrey, B.C.

Ceramics meet high tech at the Surrey Art Gallery. “Kudos to the Surrey Art Gallery for its serious take on both new media and old materials. In its compelling exhibition, Brendan Tang’s ceramic and mixed-media sculptures bounce images and ideas off Alex McLeod’s digitally composed chromogenic prints and videos.” Georgia Straight, February 6, 2013


Banff Centre partners artists with big thinkers. “The Banff Centre has always hosted big thinkers, but the ideas it develops just took a quantum leap forward. That was the news Wednesday when the Banff Centre announced a collaboration with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), a virtual think-tank that includes some of the finest scientific minds around the world. The two institutions are teaming up to create a physical home for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, with the hope being that their big brains will cross-pollinate with some of 4,000 artists.” Calgary Herald, February 7, 2013


Public art enriching the lives of Calgarians. “The City of Calgary is committed to supporting public art that enriches the lives of citizens and visitors, creates a sense of place and contributes to the visual character and texture of our communities. Public art in Calgary provides an opportunity for us to reflect a diversity of perspectives, and inspires an open exchange of ideas and opinions.” Calgary Herald, February 7, 2013


Visual arts preview: Edmonton artist uses sound to draw with sand. “You really can’t photograph sound. But seeking a path to fusing sound and visual, Edmonton artist Gary James Joynes encountered the work of Hans Jenny, a Swiss scientist who coined the term cymatics — the study of wave formula.” Edmonton Journal, February 6, 2013

Grande Prairie, Alberta

Peter von Tiesenhausen’s Green Actions Challenge Oil Country. “As Peter von Tiesenhausen tours me through “Elevations,” his solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, it is difficult to gauge whether he is more invested in the work on view here or in the new Demmitt Community Centre, an hour’s drive away. The internationally acclaimed environmental artist and activist talks about each—the art that symbolizes a spiritual journey, and the community centre that he has been instrumental in creating—with equal pride, passion, humour and angst.” Canadian Art, February 6, 2013


A sneak peek as the church of Patti Smith lands at the AGO. “Camera Solo is nothing if not an exhibition of sensibility – is so profoundly religious that the viewer is transfigured into a sort of supplicant, the AGO into a sepulcher and the memorabilia and photos – spectral black-and-white silver gelatin prints, 8.5 cm by 10.8, that Patti Smith first shot as Polaroids- into relics imbued with the legendary poet/musician’s own veneration.” Globe & Mail, February 6, 2013

Patti Smith, Camera Solo: AGO photo exhibit brings life from the dead. “Anyone looking for that single thread connecting aspects of Patti Smith’s sprawling, improvisatory life and career as rocker, poet, artist, playwright, author and punk icon needs to visit Patti Smith: Camera Solo, beginning Feb. 9 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. With some 75 works, a number of its 70 photographs from local collectors, the exhibition is alive with the artist’s lifelong “strong relationship with the dead…”” Toronto Star, February 7, 2013

A Nerd’s World reclaims beguiling visions of our lives from old cameras. “Grainy, yet magical, many of the unearthed snapshots of people and times past have become fixtures on the walls of A Nerd’s World, the downtown Toronto “creative space.” That’s where Chris Hughes and wife Grace, run not just a graphic design and photography business, but also a gallery of “found” photos and vintage cameras that they hope will, in a digital age, help breathe new life into the dying art of film photography.” Toronto Star, February 6, 2013

Khaled Hourani on Picasso in Palestine’s Canadian Debut. “How do you bring a masterpiece into a war zone? As Khaled Hourani has learned, the answer is very carefully, and very slowly. In 2011, Hourani, arts director of the International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah, managed to exhibit Picasso’s Buste de Femme (1943) from the Netherlands’ Van Abbemuseum on site at the institution. The story of how that exhibition came to be is chronicled in the documentary Picasso in Palestine, which showed at Documenta 13 last year and is having its North American premiere February 21 at the Reel Artists Film Festival in Toronto.” Canadian Art, February 6, 2013


The needle, the damage, undone. “The phrase “Live Through This” sounds like a dare, with an implied but real chance that you will not live through whatever “this” is. At one point during Tony Fouhse’s two-year project, the odds were 1 in 2 that Stephanie MacDonald, the subject of his photographs, would die. Fouhse’s User was a project of moral ambiguities. He took portraits of drug addicts on the street, and paid them $5 to pose.” Ottawa Citizen, February 6, 2013


Art exhibition showcases work of local skateboarders. “The Board Meeting, an art exhibit showcasing the artistic work of more than a dozen local skateboarders, is a lot of things. First and foremost, it’s a traditional art show, with a variety of original pieces on display (and for sale). But it’s also, in its own way, a kind of cultural crossroads, and an opportunity to learn more about the depth and talent of Montreal’s skateboarding scene.” Montreal Gazette, February 5, 2013

“I Have a Dream” sparks the imagination of artists at MLK50. “Approaching its 50th anniversary, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech has long cemented its position among the most famous speeches of the 20th century and remains an iconic moment of the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Among those re-evaluating the speech are six black artists, four Canadian and two American, whose works based on it will be displayed at L’Espace Culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme in Place des Arts until Feb. 18 as part of Montreal’s Black History Month events.” Montreal Gazette, February 5, 2013

Novato, California

Silver Becomes Her, in a Show’s Portraits “Graying women, their hair cropped or cascading past their shoulders, are the subjects of portraits in an exhibition by Vicki Topaz, a San Francisco photographer.” New York Times, February 7, 201


Menil’s major car wash “Museum discovers bright colours and bumper stickers while conserving Chamberlain’s car-metal sculptures.” The Art Newspaper, February 7, 2013

New York

The Other Modernism: Rediscovering Iran’s Avant-Garde. “Overshadowed by revolution, sanctions, and outdated notions of the Modern, Iran’s vibrant postwar art scene is coming into focus at the Asia Society.” ARTnews, February 7, 2013

Washington, D.C.

Nam June Paik: Preserving the Human Televisions “Standing behind the 1986 video sculpture Family of Robot: Hi-Tech Baby, Associate curator Michael Mansfield turns it on from his smartphone. It’s one of the robots in the exhibition “Nam June Paik: Global Visionary,” open through Aug. 11 at Washington’s Smithsonian American Art Museum.” Art in America, February 6, 2013


Haunted by War, Syrian Artists Put Raw Emotions on View “A Middle East-based gallery provides the region’s artists aid and a venue for expression.” New York Times, February 7, 2013

At Sotheby’s Sale, Estimates Prove to Be Just Wild Guesses “The auction of Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist art was hit and miss Tuesday in London, with bidders fighting furiously over some works, but leaving others unloved.” New York Times, February 7, 2013


Museums in Flux “Funding apart, aspects of Glasgow’s museum policy are questionable. In 2006, the Kelvingrove Museum relaunched after a multimillion-dollar refurbishment. The makeover was trumpeted as a triumph of democratized culture, but to some it looked like dumbing down. Intrusive and gimmicky audio-visuals flickered and chattered away. (Crude pedagogic diagrams were projected directly onto a Botticelli.) Trade- fair-style graphics and partitions swamped the works. Flip- chart labels presented often lame informational tidbits about exhibits. Kids’ activity stations cluttered the painting galleries.” Art in America, February 5, 2013


Are Those Pictures Really Mozart? “A new exhibition of Mozart portraits in Austria aims to focus attention on what he really looked like.” New York Times, February 7, 2013

Hong Kong

Architect Bing Thom explores the world of Chinese opera for new project. “Bing Thom may be a renowned architect, but at the moment he says he is deep into researching the traditional art of Chinese opera. The new focus is due to the fact he’s been selected to design the massive new Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong with fellow architect Ronald Lu.” Georgia Straight, February 6, 2013


Less is more: the rise of the very limited edition The days when Modernists saw design for mass production as the height of achievement are gone. The Art Newspaper, February 7, 2013


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