Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 10, 2014


Rewilding Vancouver reconsiders the future of wildlife and urbanization. “Most mornings, as the sun comes up, I lie in bed listening to the plaintive cries of gulls and the raucous cawing of crows. Until I visited Rewilding Vancouver, it hadn’t wholly occurred to me that before this city was built, I would have heard another dawn chorus altogether, one that included the keer keer keer of the marbled murrelet, the hollow knocking sounds of the raven, even the whuffing of humpback whales as they surfaced in English Bay… Rewilding Vancouver is guest-curated by J.B. MacKinnon, best known as the coauthor (with Alisa Smith) of The 100-Mile Diet. The show is a spinoff from his most recent book of nonfiction, The Once and Future World, and demonstrates which animals (and plants) once abounded in the Vancouver area, on land and in the sea.” Georgia Straight, April 8, 2014

A Look at Painting as Journey in Vancouver. “Since its debut at El Castillo some 40,000 years ago, painting has remained the medium of choice for most of the world’s artists and, perhaps as a result, is the activity most recognize when conferring the words artistic talent on children. Yet despite its long run and its relative measure, painting has endured its knocks over the years; not only from artists, writers, historians and curators who regularly pronounce it waning, superfluous, irrelevant or dead, but especially from those who work within its constraints, who continue to shift its ballast from one end of the hold to the other. It is a serious journey, painting, no less serious in Vancouver than in other cities large enough to float art schools, commercial galleries and collecting institutions, where paintings are acquired to keep those that came before them on course.” Canadian Art, April 9, 2014


Contemporary art and the Komagata Maru (with photos). One hundred years ago, the Komagata Maru arrived in Burrard Inlet with 376 would-be immigrants from the Punjab in India. It was not welcomed by many white Vancouverites. A century later, the Komagata Maru episode remains one of the most infamous examples of racism in Canadian history. The Surrey Art Gallery is commemorating the 100th anniversary with a new exhibition… Ten artists from Canada, the U.S. and India contributed works, including Roy Arden, Avantika Bawa, Ali Kazami, Evan Lee, Ken Lum, Mass Arrival, Raghavendra Rao, Haris Sheikh, Jarnail Singh, and Paul Wong. Ken Lum’s contribution is maquette (model) sculptures and drawings for his Four Boats Stranded piece, where models of historically important ships like the Komagata Maru and Capt. George Vancouver’s HMS Discovery were placed on top of the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2001. Vancouver Sun, April 9, 2014


Sculptor explores legacy of Singularity’s various forms. Artist Kika Thorne is still learning new things about her sculptural installation Singularity. Having watched Singularity change with each new space it fills, Thorne has begun exploring the historicity of the work. When installed at the LAB Gallery, it will be accompanied by documentation of past installations, including a video of the piece in the empty field of the G8 protest zone in 2010. Each iteration builds upon the last — thus, the “Multiplicity of the Singularity.” Times Colonist, April 10, 2014

Current Fellows – John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Victoria artist, Mowry Baden has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2014. In its ninetieth annual competition for the United States and Canada, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded 177 Fellowships (including one joint Fellowship) to a diverse group of 178 scholars, artists, and scientists. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants. Guggenheim website, April 10, 2014


The modern man. Sensing the Future, which opened at Plug In ICA early last month, examines the remarkable prescience and enduring impact of early modernist polymath Lászlò Moholy-Nagy, a pivotal figure in 20th-century art. A pioneer in media that weren’t even named until years after his death in 1946, Moholy-Nagy was among the first artists to apprehend, respond to and ultimately embrace the sensory onslaught that would come to characterize life in the age of mass media and high-speed communications. Winnipeg Free Press, April 10, 2014


Canadian Museums Association Excellence in Research Award The Vancouver Art Gallery received the excellence in research award for Charles Edenshaw at the 2014 Canadian Museums Association (CMA) National Conference in Toronto, Ontario. This year, a total of 15 awards were presented and two emerging museum professionals were introduced during a special ceremony held at the Royal Ontario Museum. CMA website, April 9, 2014

Images Festival gets up close and personal this year. The public pulse is measured every way: from political polling to pondering why dance videos go viral. But at the avant-garde video extravaganza, Images Festival, it’s possible to reflect on how inward looking we’ve become by having us listen to a long-gone love affair revisited via long-lost tapes or watching a smuggled-in Chinese worker’s quiet private battle to keep his dignity. Jane Gillooly, Scott Stark, Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price and Althea Thauberger among artists taking part. Toronto Star, April 9, 2014

6 Lessons from Net-Art Talent Jennifer Chan. In the past few years, the Toronto- and Chicago-based Jennifer Chan has become one of the most noted artists of the post-Internet generation. In video, GIF and installation works, Chan melds early web kitsch (think Comic Sans, dance music remixes and swirly animation effects) with pointed critiques of gender, sex and corporate culture. This month, she is featured in a Canadian Spotlight screening at the Images Festival, which runs April 10 to 19 in Toronto. While Chan’s maximalist approaches are—like the Internet itself—challenging to summarize, here are six key points gleaned from her recent phone and email conversations with Canadian Art. Canadian Art, April 10, 2014


The Big Beat: Delayed in translation. Three key works that were already hung as part of Transformations, a new exhibition of war art by A.Y. Jackson and Otto Dix at the Canadian War Museum, have been temporarily removed due to a bureaucratic SNAFU. The exhibition is a key part of the museum’s plans to mark the centennial of the First World War. It includes many works by Dix, the great German artist, but three had to be removed from the show on Tuesday when War Museum staff realized that the loan agreement with the source museum, the Museum Gunzenhauser in Chemnitz, Germany, was incomplete. Ottawa Citizen, April 10, 2014

Austin, Texas

Cat Art vs. Dog Art: A Showdown at the Blanton Museum An upcoming exhibition celebrates our four-legged friends with works by Dieter Roth, Louise Bourgeois, William Wegman, Edward Hopper, Pablo Picasso and more. ARTnews, April 10, 2014


The Milwaukee Art Museum has unveiled designs for its new 17,000-square-foot, two-story building, reports Mary Louise Schumacher of the |Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel|. Milwaukee architect Jim Shields’ plans will create a new lakefront entrance, as well as more exhibition space for the museum’s collection and a dramatic sculpture gallery that will be visible to passers-by. The museum has raised about $13 million of the $15 million it needs for the renovation. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 7, 2014


Detroit Creditors Solicit Billion-Dollar Bids For DIA’s Art Collection “A group of major Detroit creditors said four investors have made tentative billion-dollar bids for the Detroit Institute of Arts – or key portions of its collection – in a move aimed at undercutting the city’s competing proposal to give the museum to a nonprofit in exchange for $816 million in outside funding that would help reduce pension cuts.” Detroit Free Press, April 8, 2014

New York

US welcomes rising stars of the museum world Directors from Asia, South America and Eastern Europe take part in global leaders’ summit at the Met but this year Russian colleagues miss out. The Art Newspaper, April 10, 2014


Nobel Foundation Announces Architect And Plans To Build A Home “The building, to be known as the Nobelhuset, will be sited on Stockholm’s Blasieholmen, next to the Swedish National Museum, in the centre of the city. The design is a spare, glass block, its façades defined by slender brass mullions that give it a glistening, golden sheen intended to look particularly striking in the northern light.” Financial Times, April 10, 2014


Award-winning photographer captured war in her subjects’ eyes. Anja Niedringhaus faced down some of the world’s greatest dangers; she photographed dying and death, and embraced humanity and life. She gave herself to the subjects of her lens, and gave her talents to the world, with images of wars’ unwitting victims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and beyond. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, as well as other venues. Globe & Mail, April 6, 2014


Gay art show to go on in Senegal Organisers resist pressure to cancel exhibition in country where homosexuality is illegal. The Art Newspaper, April 10, 2014


Egypt’s Serious Art Looting Problem For decades, archaeologist Monica Hanna says, average Egyptians “believed the heritage belonged to the state, to tourists, not to the people.” As a result, she said, youth are easily persuaded by their elders to help plunder cemeteries and religious sites in a fashion that recalls the thievery in Dickens’ “Oliver Twist. New York Times, April 10, 2014


Richard Serra’s In A Desert (And Doing His Best Work Ever, He Says) “This is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done,” says Richard Serra, talking about his latest work. “It’s a piece that I’d really like to be seen, and I don’t know if it will.” The Independent, April 9, 2014

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, Painting Just Sold For $3.7M May Have Been Thrown In Trash “Cleaners at the city’s Grand Hyatt hotel are suspected to have dumped a painting that had just sold for more than HK$28 million with rubbish that was then taken to a landfill.” South China Morning Post, April 9, 2014

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