Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, February 21, 2013


A look at Art Spiegelman’s life and work. “In an interview with The Current, Art Spiegelman told guest host Rick MacInnes-Rae that comics are more than just a medium to deliver a joke or a narrative; he sees the genre as “a circuit diagram” for how one experiences the world. For Spiegelman, there’s something special about blending words and pictures and juxtaposing them.” CBC The Current, February 15, 2013 (Posted Feb. 20, 2013, 23:59 min.).

Art Spiegelman as Modern Master in Vancouver. “Like the teenager, the comic book’s ascendance into the halls of North American popular culture is a post-WWII phenomenon. Although derided by witch-hunting US senators in the 1950s as a contributor to juvenile delinquency, the comic book is now seen as a legitimate literary genre and is supported by the Canada Council’s writing and publishing program, under the gentrified category of “graphic novel.” How this legitimation came to pass could be told through the life and work of one of the genre’s most prominent practitioners: Art Spiegelman.” Canadian Art, February 20, 2013

Tulips are a charged metaphor in Antonia Hirsch’s Light Tender. “Last week, as mobs of people surged in and out of florist shops, it was possible to contemplate a nifty coincidence of art and popular culture. In Antonia Hirsch’s mixed-media exhibition, Light Tender, flowers are a significant metaphor—as they are in the emotional and economic exchanges that occur every Valentine’s Day. Still, where lovers often give each other imported roses, with all their invisible baggage of unfair trade and environmental disregard, Hirsch’s symbolic flowers are tulips. And tulips trail their own charged history behind them.” Georgia Straight, February 19, 2013

Vancouver gallery creates “Collective” for contemporary photographers. “Peppa Martin is optimistic a new business plan she has developed will help contemporary Vancouver photographers tap in to a growing market for their work. The owner of Truth and Beauty Gallery has invited more than 30 established photographers, mostly from Vancouver, to join what she calls the Collective.” Georgia Straight, February 18, 2013

Longtime Granville gallery owner makes a move east. “Longtime art gallery owner Monte Clark is like a bird shifting flight while spreading his wings these days. While acquiring a new international flair, he is moving from a small storefront space on South Granville to an old tractor factory in East Vancouver, joining four other galleries there in a new cultural enclave.” Vancouver Sun, February 21, 2013


Museum hopes summer exhibit is just the ticket to weather cuts in provincial funding. “The Royal B.C. Museum hopes a blockbuster summer exhibit helps it weather a $300,000 reduction in provincial funding. The museum’s provincial grant will be reduced to $11.86 million in 2013-14 from $12.16 million in 2012-13, according to budget figures released this week.” Times Colonist, February 20, 2013


Artist in residence enjoys Banff room with a view. “Linda Wilder was selected at the Banff Springs Hotel’s first artist in residence, a position she officially took up Sunday. She’s booked in a suite for a week. She has carte blanche to set down her easel where ever she feels like throughout the hotel, in order to answer when the muse calls.” Calgary Herald, February 20, 2013


Mickalene Thomas & Mario Garcia Torres Speak Out at RAFF. “Leading artists, directors and producers will appear live for conversation over the next four days at the Reel Artists Film Festival in Toronto. Here are the events not to be missed: New York’s Mickalene Thomas—recently featured at the Brooklyn Museum and in W Magazine—chats with Deirdre Logue, director/curator of Toronto’s Feminist Art Gallery, on Sunday at 3 p.m. The talk accompanies a screening of a film Thomas recently made about her greatest muse—her mother. Mexico’s Mario Garcia Torres talks about his film Tea, commissioned by and shown at Documenta 13, with Toronto artist Luis Jacob on Saturday at 7 p.m.” Canadian Art, February 20, 2013


Walters Museum Gets A New Director Julia Marciari-Alexander is replacing Gary Vikan, who is stepping down after more than 27 years at the Walters, 18 of them as its director. New York Times, February 21, 2013


Missing Banksy Mural Turns Up For Sale In Miami “North Londoners are furious over a missing Banksy mural that was torn off a building in the Wood Green neighborhood of the city and has since resurfaced online at Fine Art Auctions Miami.” Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2013


Tracey Emin Becomes A Romantic “The creator, in her youth, of such notorious installations as My Bed and Everyone I Ever Slept With 1963-1995 is now creating neon works with titles like I Promise To Love You and You Touch My Soul. Emin “affectionately recalled an e-mail that her studio had received from newlyweds who had bought a digital neon work, priced at eighty dollars, and had projected it at their wedding.”” New Yorker, February 20, 2013


What Became Of This Billion-Dollar Art Collection? “A Greek heiress is fighting a legal battle in Switzerland to find out what has become of a collection of Picasso, Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Cezanne and Degas art that she says should be part of her inheritance.” Bloomberg, February 20, 2013


Ukrainian collector pledges to give away half his fortune Victor Pinchuk has joined the ranks of 12 international billionaires who promise to donate their money to philanthropic causes. The Art Newspaper, February 21, 2013


Russia Refuses To Return Hasidic Archive To US, But May House It In Moscow Jewish Museum “A disputed collection of Jewish writings will remain in Russia because returning it to a New York-based group would set a precedent paving the way for more such claims dating back to Soviet times … A Washington judge in January ordered Russia to pay $50,000 a day in fines for failure to adhere to a 2010 ruling to return the collection, triggering angry reaction from Moscow.” Reuters, February 19, 2013


UN Starts Rescue Fund For Timbuktu Treasured Damaged By Rebels “Mali’s minister of culture, Bruno Maïga, said in an interview with The Art Newspaper that 2,000-3,000 manuscripts had been destroyed by rebels at the state-supported Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research in Timbuktu.” The Art Newspaper, February 20, 2013


Australia’s Gold Coast Makes Play For Culture “Guggenheim Gangnam style” is the way Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate describes the long-mooted cultural precinct he wants to build on the coast. The Australian, February 21, 2013


Art made from a toy: call it a twist on cubism. “Josh Chalom beat his own Rubik’s cube record in December – it was a feat much bigger and more complex than twisting the six-sided figure so all its colours match. The mosaic of the Macau skyline he and his team of 20 artists created from 85,794 Rubik’s cubes, which is four metres high and 60 metres wide, earned the record for the “Largest Rubik’s Cube Mosaic Ever Created.” Globe & Mail, February 20, 2013

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