Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, November 14, 2013


Vancouver Art Gallery’s Charles Edenshaw exhibition offers a lot of beauty. “Although it wasn’t a glittering silver bracelet or a glossy black argillite sculpture, one object in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s estimable Charles Edenshaw exhibition struck me dumb with wonder: a relatively simple bentwood bowl, shaped with such precision that it held me, entranced, in front of its vitrine for a full 10 minutes and then drew me back again to gawk some more.” Georgia Straight, November 13, 2013

Muntadas: Entre Between. Muntadas, the pioneering conceptual artist who left Spain for New York in the 1970s, receives a career-spanning exhibition that ranges from his early site-specific “actions,” to recent works that use mass media content for art purposes. Vancouver Sun, November 14, 2013

Your guide to the 2013 Eastside Culture Crawl. In our guide to the Eastside Culture Crawl, we look at the resurgence of painters, cool jewellery finds from first-timers, and the fantastically popular festival’s growth. Georgia Straight, November 13, 2013

Getting back to the brushes at the Eastside Culture Crawl. One thousand Parker Street is the largest of the many spaces featured in this year’s 17th annual Eastside Culture Crawl, the giant local visual-arts, design, and crafts studio tour that takes over much of the neighbourhood. And although it showcases a kaleidoscopic range of media, from the digital to the sculptural, the festival is seeing a resurgence of painting in this new cultural era. Georgia Straight, November 13, 2013

Eastside Culture Crawl offers rare glimpse into sculptor’s work. The route to David Robinson’s studio is a spiral through industrial hallways covered in posters for exhibits. The grind of machinery from the cabinetmakers below reverberates through every corner, blocked out only by massive doors. Vancouver Sun, November 14, 2013

Robert Davidson’s Creative Spirit. On a brisk July morning, hundreds of miles from his art studio near Vancouver, Robert Davidson hikes toward the ruins of a village on Haida Gwaii, a remote rainforest archipelago off the coast of British Columbia. Mother Jones, November 13, 2013

Margaret Dragu. The inimitable Margaret Dragu, who lived for more than two decades in a tiny Finn Slough cabin before moving to East Vancouver earlier this year, and who won the 2012 Governor General’s arts award, presents her first gallery-based solo exhibition. Vancouver Sun, November 14, 2013


Architects rally to save former CBE headquarters. The former downtown headquarters of the Calgary Board of Education is a poster child for brutalist architecture, whose popularity peaked in the 1960s and early 70s, but long since fallen out of favour with the general public.The five-storey building was sold in 2012 for $36.5 million to a B.C. pension fund and likely slated to be demolished and redeveloped. But a group of Calgary-based architects believe the grey, unassuming building is misunderstood and worth salvaging. Calgary Herald, November 11, 2013


Desirable ‘degenerates’. A billion-dollar trove of art that was secretly hidden away in Munich for over 70 years has shaken the art world, and the reverberations are being felt here in Winnipeg. Storm and Spirit: The Eckhardt-Gramatté Collection of German Expressionist Art, is a display of 88 German Expressionist paintings, etchings, woodcuts and lithographs, most of which date back to the First World War and the years just following. The WAG exhibition also has many pieces that were classified by the Nazis as “degenerate art,” including works by Otto Dix, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Oskar Kokoschka, whose pieces were also discovered in the Munich art hoard. Winnipeg Free Press, November 13, 2013


10 Lessons on Building Healthy Art Ecologies. The Ecology of an Art Scene—the Canadian Art Foundation’s two-part symposium bringing together art experts from Paris and Toronto—kicked off last Friday evening at Harbourfront Centre. The sheer number of participants (the event included 21 speakers, plus moderators and audience members) and intersecting practices made for a revealing dialogue. Canadian Art, November 14, 2013

Statue at centre of lawsuit, possibly by Rodin, crumbles in Toronto warehouse. “Walking Man” is either a valuable original from the famed French sculptor or a worthless fake. Either way, the damaged plaster figure sparked a long legal battle that ended this week. Toronto Star, November 13, 2013

The birth of Canadian culture, now in a dauntingly huge show at National Gallery. The new exhibition at the National Gallery is almost overwhelming in its scope. It’ll be a challenge for the average viewer to grasp the myriad interconnections between more than 300 artifacts that make up the show, titled Artists, Architects & Artisans: Canadian Art 1890-1918. Ottawa Citizen, November 8, 2013

Austin, Texas

Ruscha’s Archives Go to the Ransom Center in Texas The Harry Ransom Center, a museum and research library at the University of Texas, Austin, has acquired the archives of Ed Ruscha, the prolific Pop Art master who is best known for his quirky thematic photography books. Jennifer M. Tisdale, a spokeswoman for the center, said that the archives cost $2 million, and that 80 percent of the cost was covered by donors, among them Michael and Jeanne Klein; the Marlene Nathan Meyerson Foundation; and Mark Wawro and Melanie Gray. New York Times, November 14, 2013

New York

Now Hear This: Sound Art Has Arrived This fall, for the first time in its history, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is presenting a work of contemporary art at the Cloisters. Located in the serene Fuentidueña Chapel, the artwork, on exhibit through December 8, is not a sculpture or a painting, but a sound installation, The Forty Part Motet (2001), by Janet Cardiff. The 14-minute work plays continuously a composition by 16th-century Tudor composer Thomas Tallis with individual voices coming from each of 40 loudspeakers. Visitors are encouraged to walk among them and hear the solo performances or step back and listen to the total choral effect. ARTnews, November 14, 2013

Grisly Warhol Painting Fetches $104.5 Million, Auction High for Artist One of Andy Warhol’s more powerful and provocative images — a lifeless body amid the gruesome wreckage of a car crash — sold for $104.5 million at Sotheby’s contemporary art auction on Wednesday night, making it the highest price ever paid at auction for the Pop artist. New York Times, November 14, 2013

Art Is Hard to See Through the Clutter of Dollar Signs As buyers pay more and more for art, the relationship between the work and the money it draws raises questions. New York Times, November 14, 2013

Global art market sizzles with $142 million Bacon sale. The record breaking $142.4 million sale of Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” shows confidence in the art market and that the very wealthy see it as a safe haven for their money, experts said on Wednesday. Bacon’s 1969 three-panel painting, the most valuable ever sold at auction, was one of 10 world record prices set at Christie’s Tuesday evening sale of post-war and contemporary art. Reuters, November 13, 2013

As Art Gets Auctioned We’re All The Poorer “The way that auction houses now operate, the only winners are often one of the four megadealers or a handful of other high-rollers and blue-chip dealers who buy the work and resell it for more.” New York Magazine, November 12, 2013

Excuse Me While I Eat the Sky: Magritte for Dinner at MoMA A taste-by-taste recap of a five-course meal based on paintings in the Surrealist’s current show. ARTnews, November 6, 2013


A year of exchange between UK and Russia in 2014 Cultural programme to include a survey of Kazimir Malevich at London’s Tate Modern and YBAs at Moscow’s Ekaterina Foundation. The Art Newspaper, November 14, 2013


FIAC Raises Art-Fair Standards—avec CanCon—in Paris. “The Foire internationale d’art contemporain (FIAC) celebrated its 40th anniversary this year in typically grand Parisian style, with an international list of 184 galleries from 25 countries, including newcomers from Canada, Ireland and the Czech Republic. On the heels of Frieze London and concurrent with Art Toronto, France’s foremost contemporary art fair has been revitalized over the last decade under the direction of Jennifer Flay, with a steadily growing profile following the recession of the early 1990s.” – Kathleen Ritter. Canadian Art, November 13, 2013


German government bows to pressure, creates task force to investigate Munich art cache Officials publish 25 works with questionable provenance from Gurlitt collection online. The Art Newspaper, November 13, 2013


End of the dark age is in sight The National Museum in Baghdad could reopen next year and a new Basra Museum may be unveiled in 2015. The Art Newspaper, November 14, 2013

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