Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 19, 2013


Welcome to Grand Hotel. Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life, the new Vancouver Art Gallery exhibit, offers what a good hotel should – opportunities to relax, travel, dream and depart refreshed. Cloverdale Reporter, June 18, 2013

Planetariums: a new kind of star power for the arts. In Vancouver, a new site-specific work by the Electric Company Theatre (Tear the Curtain!) has just premiered at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. In Calgary, meanwhile, there’s a proposal to turn the now-closed Centennial Planetarium into a contemporary art museum. When you’ve got a space like that at a time when arts venues are in short supply, why not make the stars align with some inter-disciplinary activity? Globe & Mail, June 19, 2013


A broken promise? On Monday night, the arts council’s Irene McCutcheon, director, and Brian Daniel, vice-president, told city council that a new art gallery would be an economic generator if placed in a better location. As a cultural beacon for the community, [a new Burnaby] art gallery needs to be highly visible, (and an) architecturally distinguished building – well designed, staffed by experienced professionals – with high-level collections, exhibitions and educational programs.” Burnaby Now, June 19, 2013

North Vancouver

Camera Atomica: Rare set of Weegee photographs on view at Presentation House The unlikely collaborative relationship between tabloid photographer Weegee and film director Stanley Kubrick is explored as part of a new exhibit of photographs at Presentation House Gallery. Curated by John O’Brian, a UBC professor specializing in modernist art history, the show is built around a series of rarely seen photographs Weegee took on set at Shepperton Studios in London, England during the production of Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove in the spring of 1963. North Shore News, June 14, 2013


A stitch in time Vancouver artist Natalie Purschwitz will open her exhibit on Saturday at Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre that looks at trends, collecting, textiles and the imbedded history in objects. Tri City News, June 17, 2013


Through the lens of childhood. An image of half of a “best friends” necklace set, the heart pendant broken down the middle. A close-up shot of a beloved stuffed penguin, all big black nose and well-worn fur. And hundreds of portraits so candid and honest that they could only have been captured by children. The question was “How do I see the world?” and the answers came through the camera lenses of 547 elementary schoolchildren in Calgary’s northwest, the culmination of a year-long art project. Calgary Herald, June 18, 2013


Saskatoon could lose Joni Mitchell artifacts Saskatoon must do more to celebrate Joni Mitchell’s legendary career or her hometown will lose her important artifacts, a close family friend says. Ron Lamb told CBC News that the famous folk singer is frustrated with the city’s lack of recognition of her and feels snubbed, so much so she might find another home for the artifacts that he has in his possession. CBC, June 17, 2013


Ai Weiwei’s zodiac sculpture being unveiled in Toronto A monumental sculpture series by Chinese activist-artist Ai Weiwei is being officially unveiled Tuesday outside of Toronto’s City Hall. Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads will be displayed in the reflecting pool at Nathan Phillips Square in advance of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s upcoming exhibit Ai Weiwei: According to What? with Audio (CBC Metro Morning) CBC, June 17, 2013

Ai Weiwei: the artist is not present. Among Canadians, China’s Ai Weiwei is likely better known for his dissidence than his art. This country has had little opportunity to see firsthand much of the vast and varied output he’s produced in the last 25 years, and every opportunity to hear of his many travails at the hands of China’s Communist government, including an 81-day incarceration in 2011 for alleged “economic crimes” and the subsequent confiscation of his passport. Globe & Mail, June 18, 2013

Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads unveiled in Toronto. The celebrated Chinese artist-dissident, whose passport was confiscated by Chinese authorities in 2011 when he was imprisoned on trumped-up charges of tax evasion en route from Beijing International Airport to an exhibition in Hong Kong, was once again conspicuously missing Tuesday, when his monumental bronze public sculpture Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads was unveiled in the reflecting pool of Nathan Phillips Square, in front of Toronto City Hall. Toronto Star, June 18, 2013

Janieta Eyre Splits with Difference in The Mute Book. One of the central assumptions in Western culture is the concept of identity and individualism. We have built legal edifices to individual human rights, entrenching the idea of the self. The Mute Book, Janieta Eyre’s photographic series recently exhibited at Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, questions these suppositions in a uniquely poetic way. Canadian Art, June 18, 2013

Slideshow: RBC Canadian Painting Competition Finalists. Paintings by the 15 finalists will be on exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada from October 1 to 13, and at Art Toronto from October 24 to 28. The winning paintings for 2013 will also become part of RBC’s Canadian art collection comprised of more than 4,000 historical and contemporary works. Canadian Art, June 17, 2013

Bernie Taupin: ‘I would say that songwriting is my hobby’. For 40 years, Taupin has been the words behind Elton John, the guy who you are actually quoting when you tell that tiny dancer to hold you closer. Taupin is not just a man of lyrical talents; lately, he has also turned his eye towards the canvas, displaying his abstract expressionist works in galleries across North America, most recently at Toronto’s Liss Gallery. National Post, June 18, 2013

Architect Tony Coombes helped reshape Toronto’s core. The seeds of Toronto’s renaissance were sown by a team of young planners in the early 1970s, chief among them Tony Coombes, an Australian-born architect whose fingerprints are all over the strategy that transformed Toronto’s stagnating core into one of North America’s most successful examples of mixed-use urbanism. Globe & Mail, June 19, 2013

Los Angeles

“Artists are seen as one step above criminals” Paul McCarthy on his B-movie early ambitions, art schools, the pressure to move to New York and why he’ll never leave LA. The Art Newspaper, June 18, 2013

Flint, Michigan

Can Experimental Art Rescue Flint, Michigan? “As cities go, hollowed-out Flint might have the worst reputation in America. But the Flint Public Art Project wants to change that.” The Atlantic, June 18, 2013

New York

No Retroactive Pritzker For Denise Scott Brown Wrote the jury chairman, “A later jury cannot re-open, or second guess the work of an earlier jury, and none has ever done so … Let us assure you, however, that Ms. Scott Brown remains eligible for the Pritzker Award [in future].” Architectural Record, June 14, 2013


Orlan Sues Lady Gaga for $31.7 Million According to Rebecca Melnyk in the National Post, French artist Orlan has filed a $31.7 million lawsuit against Lady Gaga which claims that the entertainer stole her aesthetic. Artforum, June 19, 2013


They’d Watch Paint Dry: Norwegians Just Love Their Incredibly Boring Television “Norway’s love affair with slow-moving shows dates back at least to 2009, when an NRK employee suggested putting a camera on top of a train as it made the seven-hour trip from the capital Oslo to the west coast town of Bergen. It was an immediate success.” The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2013


The Art Of Dismantling Skyscrapers “Here in Tokyo, a cheek-by-jowl city with many outdated high-rises and tough recycling and environmental restrictions, Japanese companies are perfecting what might be called stealth demolition. Some tall buildings are dismantled from the top down, the work hidden by a moving scaffold, others from the bottom up, the entire structure being slowly jacked down.” New York Times, June 18, 2013


The architecture of art Why the “white cube” formula has become universal for branded galleries. The Art Newspaper, June 19, 2013

From Showroom to Studio: Artists Repurpose IKEA Products Furniture becomes sculpture and bags become dresses as artists use IKEA items as raw material. ARTnews, June 19, 2013

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