Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, February 27, 2014


Visual arts critics’ picks: Douglas Coupland and Lawren Harris headline a hot spring. “The coming visual-arts season is, on first look, pretty eclectic, if not downright incoherent. On second consideration, however, it seems to incline toward the landscape subject, old and new. Cultural fusion and ethnic confrontation also come into play. And, love it or hate it, the Vancouver Art Gallery has lined up a stellar array of exhibitions.” Georgia Straight, February 26, 2014

John Koerner (1913 – 2014). [Correction] ​It’s with great sadness that we learned that John Koerner passed away on Sunday, February 23, 2014. He celebrated his 100th birthday last year, and was the oldest still-active member of the Vancouver School of painters, a group that developed modernism in Canadian art. Gordon Smith Gallery (Blog), February 26, 2014

North Vancouver

Stephen Waddell’s Dream Location peers into the curious business of creativity. “When artists act as curators, they usually bring a new set of perceptual tools to the construction of exhibitions. At the same time, they may give us highly personal insights into the curious business of creativity. Such possibilities are niftily realized in Stephen Waddell’s Dream Location, a show of photographic and photo-referenced works on view at Presentation House Gallery.” Georgia Straight, February 26, 2014


CMHR announces themes of 11 galleries. After years of focusing on fundraising and construction, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights has turned its focus to its raison d’être — the content. After consulting with focus groups, the museum has named its 11 galleries and begun their construction. Winnipeg Free Press, February 26, 2014


Sorel Etrog, towering figure in Canadian Modern art, dies at 80. Sorel Etrog, the renowned Toronto-based sculptor whose rough, visceral works put him at the fore of the nascent Modern art movement in Canada, died here Wednesday morning. He was 80 years old. Toronto Star, February 26, 2014

Art Nouveau creations from leading designers included in ROM exhibition. A Tiffany table lamp made in the United States. An oak chair designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh of Scotland. A silver chocolate service created by Denmark’s Georg Jensen. They’re among the highlights of “Around 1914: Design in a New Age,” a year-long exhibition opening March 29 at the Royal Ontario Museum. Winnipeg Free Press, February 26, 2014

Jeff Tutt Trumps Everyday Ethics with Art. “There is an ethics of modern art, although it doesn’t value the same things that we normally do. In ordinary daily life, the most important ethic is probably honesty, without which no business could be done; in art, other things matter, one of them being that an artwork should look simple yet be difficult… Whether an artwork is difficult to make or not is irrelevant—but art must give pleasure, and so it’s better if it doesn’t feel labored, or look like a lot of hard work… The work of Jeff Tutt is a good example. He has an idea and a method, and the work that results is a unified and integral whole in which idea and method can’t be separated out.” Canadian Art, February 26, 2014

Jeff Dupre Wins Goethe Reel Audience Director Award. The Goethe Reel Audience Director Award at Canadian Art’s Reel Artists Film Festival has gone to Jeff Dupre for Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace. This film had its world premiere at RAFF on February 19, 2014. Canadian Art, February 27, 2014


Jennifer Dickson retrospective: Water, water everywhere. “Inside the Bank Street gallery I’m surrounded by images of water as a thing of beauty, as peaceful and welcoming. This is water in a state of grace, captured in the work of Jennifer Dickson. It’s a retrospective of the work that Dickson, a South African, has done since she emigrated to Canada in 1969 to enjoy a successful career. Her watercolour-tinted photographs hang at the National Gallery of Canada, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.” Ottawa Citizen, February 26, 2014


International Festival of Films on Art uses a wide canvas. As always, the 32nd edition of the International Festival of Films on Art will screen flicks about art in the widest sense of the word, with big-screen explorations of the life and work of cartoonists, novelists, filmmakers and, yes, even painters. It includes everything from a film about an opera inspired by the Iraq War to a documentary on the friendship of beat writers Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. Montreal Gazette, February 25, 2015

Santa Monica

Santa Monica Finally Decides to Save Paul Conrad Sculpture The city council voted on Tuesday to use public funds and private donations to repair his 1991 anti-nuclear outdoor sculpture Chain Reaction, which critics had contended was physically unstable and a danger to the public. Los Angeles Times, February 26, 2014

Los Angeles

Searching for the West Coast Weegee Archival police photographs to be shown for the first time at Paris Photo Los Angeles. The Art Newspaper, February 27, 2014


FBI Reopens Investigation Into 1975 Amherst Art Theft “It was just over 39 years ago that the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College experienced what was likely its worst moment: Thieves broke in on a winter night and made off with three centuries-old paintings valued at more than $400,000.” Two of the works were recovered in 1989; authorities now hope to locate the third. Daily Hampshire Gazette, February 22, 2014

New York

Guggenheim Responds: Our Security Guards Make More Than $10/hour “The security officers employed by the Guggenheim, who comprise the majority of our front line security team, are paid competitively with their peers at other museums with comparable operating budgets and substantially more than the $10 quoted. As well, our Guggenheim security officers receive a benefits package that we offer to all our full time employees.” Hyperallergic, February 26, 2014

US Attorney reveals more Abstract Expressionist fakes found in Queens Letter filed with New York court hints at new evidence in the government’s criminal investigation of art fraud case. The Art Newspaper, February 26, 2014

Thinking Through Music: Stan Douglas’s Luanda-Kinshasa. “The titular work in the recent show “Luanda-Kinshasa,” Vancouver-based artist Stan Douglas’s 12th solo exhibition at David Zwirner, was a single-channel film depicting a fictional jazz-funk band in a recording session sometime in the mid 1970s. The setting for the session is the famed Columbia 30th Street studio, known as “The Church,” the site of landmark recordings such as Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, Glenn Gould’s Goldberg Variations, and numerous Miles Davis albums.” Canadian Art, February 27, 2014

Washington, D.C.

Frank Gehry Rebuffs Request To Change Design Of National Mall’s Eisenhower Memorial The project “received yet another setback last week when its architect, Frank Gehry, rebuffed calls from the Commission of Fine Arts to revise his designs.” The Guardian, February 26, 2014

U.S. Congress Considers Bill on Artists’ Resale Royalties “The American Royalties Too Act (ART for short) recommends that artists should receive a flat 5% of the resale price for works sold at auction for more than $5,000.” The Art Newspaper, February 26, 2014


‘This Is Like Finding a Vermeer’: Rare Medieval Korean Paintings Turn Up in Honolulu Museum’s Basement A group of Korean curators was examining uncatalogued works in the vaults of the Honolulu Museum of Art when they identified two ink-on-silk paintings from the late 16th century, an era from which little Korean art survives. The Huffington Post, February 25, 2014


Mayor of London courts Guggenheim Boris Johnson hopes to create a “world-class cultural quarter” on the former Olympic site. The Art Newspaper, February 27, 2014


Jewel heist at Paris’s Drouot auction house In a brazen robbery, auctioneers were attacked with tear gas and a briefcase filled with €300,000 in gems was stolen. The Art Newspaper, February 27, 2014


Dying Art: Greece’s Last Movie Poster Painter “When silent films took off in the 1920s, Hollywood studios employed graphic designers to convey the glamour and excitement of new releases, and handmade billboards came to adorn theaters around the world. The rise of the automobile helped spur a booming industry of painted highway billboards across America, Europe, Africa and in Asia. But in an era of mass-produced printing, the practice has been all but snuffed out.” New York Times, February 27, 2014


More Than 800 Migrant Workers Have Died In Construction Of Qatar’s World Cup Stadia. Architect Zaha Hadid Makes A Statement: “I have nothing to do with the workers,” said Hadid. “I think that’s an issue the government – if there’s a problem – should pick up. Hopefully, these things will be resolved.” The Guardian, February 26, 2014


Gauguin could be cleared of syphilis—by the skin of his teeth DNA tests and mineral analysis performed on human teeth found buried in Tahiti (Something worth smiling about: DNA tests showed a 90%-99% probability that four human teeth found buried in a well belonged to Gauguin) The Art Newspaper, February 27, 2014


Stray cats keep Beijing’s Forbidden City clean Officials at Beijing’s Forbidden City have a policy of keeping about 200 cats at the imperial palace complex to keep rats and vermin away from the cultural relics, it’s been reported. BBC, February 27, 2014

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