Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library February 14-17, 2014



The Spaces Between: Contemporary Art From Havana explores a longing for change The Spaces Between: Contemporary Art From Havana is a wonderfully evocative title for an exhibition. It suggests the eloquence of the unspoken, the poignancy of the unmarked, and the potential of the unclaimed. Curated by Cuban artist and critic Tonel (Antonio Eligio) and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery’s Keith Wallace, the show surveys contemporary art from Havana and is intended to convey aspects of that city’s social, political, historical, cultural, and economic complexities—no small task. Georgia Straight, February 13, 2014

A Course on Pictures Within Pictures, in Vancouver

For more than 30 years, Presentation House Gallery has offered lessons on photo-based practices. Now, Michael Turner writes, artist Stephen Waddell has curated a cogent exhibition that turns those lessons into a course. Included is Gerhard Richter’s Toronto 1988, among other works. Canadian Art, February 14, 2014

The Marvellous Real Brings Mexico North

In a strong Vancouver exhibition, viewers encounter a Mexico largely unimagined by north-of-the-49th sun-seekers. In it, everyday housewares get covered in speckled paint, tractor tires are engraved with mythic symbols, and Beuys catalogues turn into sculptures. Canadian Art, February 14, 2014


Calgary artist Brian Versteeg behind Mars One images  Bryan Versteeg hasn’t stopped drawing ever since he got his first crayons and left marks all over the walls as a child — all the while dreaming of someday living in space. CBC, February 17, 2014


Buying art for your home is all about making a connection Despite being a remarkably easy place to collect art, Edmonton is not known as a city of art collectors. Edmonton Journal, February 15, 2014


Placemaker: Remembering Jeannie Thib – Canadian Art There is no coming to terms with death. Death is monstrous, and no philosopher has ever been of the slightest help in softening its blow or cradling that blow in a usable or nurturing context. When death comes to someone like Jeannie Thib—an artist blossoming into full intellectual and aesthetic maturity when she succumbed, at age 58, to breast cancer—a certain ruin opens like a rent in the universe, an uncauterizable wound. Canadian Art, February 14, 2014

Sandra Meigs: The Basement Panoramas What emerged from this tragedy is perhaps the most potent work of Meigs’ career. On view until March 1, The Basement Panoramas, four expansive, enveloping paintings from 7-1/2 to almost 14 metres long, sprawl over two galleries on Tecumseth St. Given their size, Meigs’ long-time dealer Susan Hobbs couldn’t accommodate more than two; so next-door neighbour Georgia Scherman stepped into the breech, lending her wall space to allow The Basement Panoramas the necessary room to breathe. Toronto Star, February 16, 2014


Adrian Paci is a witness to disruption The Albanian artist is inspired by the moments between upheavals. A 3-year-old girl’s recounting of a fairy tale that included gunshots and “international forces” was a pivotal moment for the Albanian-born artist whose work is on display at the Musée d’art contemporain. “It was then that I switched from being an artist who invents forms and shapes to being an artist who … becomes a witness,” Adrian Paci told co-curator Marie Fraser in an interview published in the exhibition catalogue. Montreal Gazette, February 14, 2014


What Artists & Arts Orgs Need to Know about the 2014 Budget

The federal budget plan, released on Tuesday, sets the tone for the government’s relationship with the arts scene in the coming year—and it determines, in part, how much money goes to the Canada Council and other organizations. Here are some of the key points from the budget. Canadian Art, February 14, 2014

New York

Stan Douglas: ‘Luanda-Kinshasa’ An installation view of Stan Douglas’s jazz-jam film “Luanda-Kinshasa,” which runs more than six hours, at David Zwirner. New York Times, February 14, 2014

Connecting, Close to Home and Way Beyond “Pawel Althamer: The Neighbors” is a stirring career survey of this Polish artist’s work at the New Museum, and is very much about both community and impermanence. New York Times, February 14, 2014

Sotheby’s Upper East Side pop-up aims to shake the world of Canadian art The plan – or perhaps more accurately, the hope – is not just to have a successful sale but to establish a beachhead for the creation of a longer-range market for Canadian art, to set new price benchmarks for post-Second World War pieces, and to position Canada’s best-known abstractionists in dialogue with such acclaimed international abstractionists as Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler, Zao Wou-ki and Morris Louis. Globe and Mail, February 14, 2014

Choose the Artists, Ignore the Critics Anthony Elms, one of three curators for this year’s Whitney Biennial, prepares his artists for the show. New York Times, February 14, 2014

A Loan Extends Museums’ Global Reach The Frick Collection is lending significant artworks to the Mauritshuis, a museum of similar spirit in The Hague. New York Times, February 14, 2014

Hudson, Gallerist and Nurturer of Artists, Dies at 63 Hudson was an art dealer and mentor who ignored trends and kept an mysterious air. New York Times, February 17, 2014

Phoenixes Rise in China and Float in New York After a long journey, two huge phoenixes by the Chinese artist Xu Bing have risen above the nave of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. New York Times, February 15, 2014

This Is How We’re Eating Our Creative Youths (It’s Not Pretty) “As their ranks have swelled, interns are beginning to see themselves as part of a special class, albeit one with few privileges and perks. They share their own brand of gallows humor, their own pride of purpose and their own battle-hardened worldview tinged with a risk-taker’s optimism.” New York Times, February 14, 2014


An Eye for Flesh and Fashion The photographer David Bailey’s five-decade career is the subject of an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. New York Times, February 14, 2014

When Public Art Discussions Go Way Off The Rails “The decision to abandon the £100,000 Hastings project, which was to have been a gift from local philanthropist David Kowitz, flies in the face of the current faith in using cultural investment to boost the image and economic prospects of areas in decline.” The Guardian, February 15, 2014

The British roots of the Monuments Men While George Clooney’s film offers a Hollywood view of the true story to save Europe’s art treasure, few know about the very British brand of hero who helped pave the way for the Allied armies’ art detectives, The Art Newspaper, February 15, 2014


Kevin Walker, cultural strategist, releases 2014 trends Culture Lab’s Kevin Walker has released his highly anticipated top 10 trends for 2014. So if you are a marijuana smoking, Instagramming, tablet toting, civil rights seeking and elite techy, then that makes you an uber trend setter, according to Walker’s trends to watch. Rolling Out, February, 2014

For the Love of Art, and Money With record prices at auctions, new breeds of collectors are emerging. New York Times, February 17, 2014

Why Are “Artist Statements” So Awful? The ubiquitous request “Please include an artist statement …” inspires cringes and groans among artists. An artist friend of mine called artist statements “the dentistry of the art world.” N + 1, February, 2014


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