Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, July 3, 2013


Data Visualization, Inspired by … Jack Kerouac. Jer Thorp is a data visualization artist who thinks about — and purposely blurs — the lines between information and beauty. He wrestles with a problem that is cutting-edge and extremely old at the same time: how to make information not just revealing, but also alluring. Thorp thinks about converting information into art. The result was a piece in Grand Hotel, an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery that explores the evolution of the hotel from a utilitarian structure to a culture institution. The Atlantic, July 1, 2013


Q&A: Tania Willard on Life Beyond Beat Nation. During its recent run at the Power Plant in Toronto, the exhibition “Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture” won national and international coverage. But that large exhibition came from humble beginnings—namely, an online-only project co-curated by Tania Willard as part of a Canada Council Aboriginal Curator residency at Vancouver artist-run centre Grunt Gallery in 2009. Now, Willard has taken on a new CCAC residency at the Kamloops Art Gallery, which opens “Beat Nation” on June 29. In this interview, Willard talks about the origins of that unexpected blockbuster, the possible one she’s working on next, and the need to expand art thinking beyond the white cube. Canadian Art, June 28, 2013


Calgary artist Paul Van Ginkel opens gallery in Inglewood. For the past seven years, artist Paul Van Ginkel has operated his gallery out of his elegantly rustic Springbank home. But recently he decided to move his pieces of work out of his home into a retail space. Calgary Herald, July 1, 2013


Stockpile Sinks Claws into Art & Commerce. This past month in Toronto, a massive cage piled with hundreds of pre-loved objects stood in the middle of Brookfield Place’s Santiago Calatrava–designed atrium. It was part of an interactive performance installation called Stockpile, an oversized version of the claw-machine games sometimes found in video arcades, movie theatres or shopping malls. Canadian Art, July 1, 2013

Toronto’s only graffiti store is for art not vandalism. Talk about a super niche industry: graffiti artist Skam runs Homebase, the city’s only full service graffiti merchandise store. “It’s mainly people interested in graffiti art, but we also supply to the city for some of the city murals, professional muralists, art students, and people in (the) movie industry for back sets.” Toronto Star, July 2, 2013

Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay’s Definitely Superior Wins $50,000 Premier’s Award. Thunder Bay artist-run centre Definitely Superior Art Gallery won a $50,000 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts last night. Incorporated in 1988, the gallery is distinguished partly by its youth art collective program, Die Active. Canadian Art, June 28, 2013


‘Lost Ottawa’ Facebook page a labour of love for archivist. An Ottawa archivist with a penchant for everything history has started a Facebook page to fill a gap in displaying Ottawa’s photographic past. Lost Ottawa presents historic photographs of Canada’s capital with short captions that provide interesting tidbits into the facts behind the images. David McGee, who works with the Canadian Science and Technology Museum, created the page in February with the help of his wife, Anne-Marie Battis. Ottawa Citizen, July 2, 2013

Los Angeles

Miranda July’s latest project turns surveillance on its head. When it comes to online privacy – and one day there will be no offline – we are, as artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg says in this week’s New Yorker, “the last generation that will realize what we’re losing.” This is the heavy framework in which Miranda July’s new, e-mail-based project, We Think Alone, pretty unwittingly finds itself. Globe & Mail, July 2, 2013


Detroit Institute Of Art – Trapped In Politics With Many Bad Options “Will the DIA survive the city’s financial crisis, or will collateral damage from the march toward bankruptcy leave the museum mortally wounded?” Detroit Free Press, June 30, 2013

New York

Fulford: Eric Fischl is the Bad Boy of art. Among painters the word “fashion” implies both a promise and a threat. Eric Fischl, a 65-year-old New York painter, can tell us about fashion. In the early 1980s his pictures sold for around $1,000. Within a few years they were routinely bringing $350,000. “It felt unreal,” he remembers. “I was sure it couldn’t last. And then I was shocked and unprepared when it didn’t.” National Post, July 2, 2013

Niceville, Florida

Dust To Dust: Watching Tibetan Monks Make Sand Mandalas Lee Lawrence walks readers through the elaborate, painstaking, profound, and ultimately futile (because the work is swept away in the end) process of producing intricate religious imagery from tiny grains of colored marble. The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2013


British art’s bad girl grows up Tracey Emin, once an ‘enfant terrible’ of British art, turns 50 on 3 July. Take a look at her interviews with the BBC over the years. BBC, July 2, 2013


A Chinese Biennale? Based solely on numbers, this year’s Venice Biennale could be regarded—with only slight exaggeration—as a giant survey of contemporary Chinese art with some Western work mixed in for balance. Art in America, July 3, 2013


Pushkin Museum director steps aside after 52 years at the helm Irina Antonova, who joined the Moscow museum in 1945, becomes museum president; Ukraine-born curator is surprise choice to lead the historic institution. The Art Newspaper, July 2, 2013

A Very Public Feud Between Russia’s Top Museums “Can you imagine the directors of the National Gallery and the British Museum having a public spat over who should own what? At that level, however violent the emotions or bitter the resentment, arguments are settled in private. Not so in Russia.” The Art Newspaper , July 1, 2013

Hong Kong

Herzog & de Meuron Chosen To Design Major New Hong Kong Museum “M+ is scheduled to be completed in 2017 and will be a key part of the city’s new cultural district, a waterfront development that will serve as home to visual and performing arts organizations. Planners hope the $642-million museum will become one of the world’s top modern and contemporary art destinations.”Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2013


The New Generation Of Curators Transforming The Art World “Today’s curators are the art world’s equivalent of film directors; they even look like directors. What’s more, many of them are inspired by cinema to create a sort of scenario for their projects.” The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2013

Are Museums Having An Identity Crisis? “If someone asked you what could help strengthen communities and contribute to a fair and just society, would you say “museums” ? Probably not. It’s not that they don’t have a social impact, but this is not their primary role, nor is it the best approach for addressing inequality, poverty and lack of aspiration.” The Scotsman, July 2, 2013

What Makes A Work Of Art Seem Dated? “Why do some things seamlessly slip from their temporal context? When does something cross from historically appropriate to ‘dated’? And is there a time window for datedness, a kind of reverse statute of limitations, beyond which things are doomed by their historical patina?” The New Yorker, July 1, 2013

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