Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 23, 2014


Book an enticing look at a local artist. Throughout his long life, Fenwick Lansdowne worked on Victoria Avenue in Oak Bay. He rose to fame as a teenage prodigy and subsequently he has been widely published as the supreme illustrator of bird life.Books based on his paintings have properly focused on the birds. Now, with the arrival of J. Fenwick Lansdowne just released by Pomegranate Editions, we can begin to take the measure of the man. Times Colonist, April 20, 2014

Scene and Heard: New sonic sculpture by Death Pool. Dixie’s Death Pool head honcho Lee Hutzulak has been creating his own niche as an artist for the better part of 25 years, a streak that shows no signs of slowing down. Hutzulak, a cog in Victoria’s outsider art scene during the 1990s, is back with a new Dixie’s Death Pool release, Twin Galaxies, the latest sound sculpture from an artist whose calling card in unpredictability. Times Colonist, April 20, 2014


Autistic Calgary artist breaks into elite New York gallery scene. Visual artist Shawn Belanger’s intricate ink drawings, with their explosions of vibrant colour, have been exhibited as far as China and featured in several coffee table books. In June, when the 28-year-old’s work is exhibited at a prestigious New York gallery, he will get a viewing in the esteemed U.S. art world while shattering myths about autism at the same time. Calgary Herald, April 22, 2014


Lees: Haida pole due to roll into city for The Works fest. Haida Gwaii carver Ben Davidson and helper TJ Young works on a totem pole that Nick Lees and friends will escort to Edmonton during a 1,760 kilometre bike ride. It’s due to arrive in time for The Works art festival on July 1. Edmonton Journal, April 20, 2014

Art project celebrates Canada’s fallen Afghan war vets (with photos and video). Since April 17, 2002, 158 soldiers have died in the war in Afghanistan, the most Canadians killed in action since the Korean War. In their name, an extraordinary tribute conceived and executed by three Edmonton painters is underway. For six years, Susan Abma, Cindy Revell and Shairl Honey have been painting in oil the faces of slain soldiers none of them ever met. The artists were not affiliated with the military in any way. Edmonton Journal, April 21, 2014


Kent Monkman Receives Indspire Award. Kent Monkman—the contemporary artist of Cree ancestry whose paintings, installations and films often reframe historical depictions of First Nations people in witty, risqué and unexpected ways—has received an Indspire Award. Canadian Art, April 22, 2014


Big Beat: A gift of art to last. Gerald Trottier, who travelled the world but called Calumet Island in the Outaouais home for the final few decades of his life, made thousands of works of art, including mosaics, sculptures, drawings and paintings. Just over 100 of those drawings and paintings have now been donated to the Ottawa Art Gallery by his family, and the greatest glory among the works – arguably the peak of his career – are his “Easter Paintings.” Ottawa Citizen, April 21, 2014

Big Beat: Victoria Henry takes city’s top visual arts prize. Victoria Henry, the director of the Canada Council Art Bank and long-time figure on the Ottawa art scene, has won the city’s most prestigious award for visual arts. Henry was named Tuesday night as winner of the $5,000 Victor Tolgesy Award, given annually by the Council of the Arts in Ottawa to a resident who has “contributed substantially to enriching cultural life in the city.” Ottawa Citizen, April 22, 2014


Rembrandt School Gift Puts Kingston on Global Art Map. What was Rembrandt like off the canvas? Who were his competitors and friends? And while he’s known as a master now, what was his influence in his lifetime? These kinds of questions—so often the purview of maverick museums outside of Canada—can now also be researched at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston. On April 21, the art centre received a gift of 68 paintings that it says cements it as a world leader for understanding and enjoying the Rembrandt School—the group of artists who studied with, followed and befriended the Dutch master painter over his career. Canadian Art, April 23, 2014


Colleen Heslin in Montreal: Can Painting Be Reinvented? “Ballads from the North Sea”—Colleen Heslin’s first solo exhibition since winning the 2013 RBC Canadian Painting Competition—packs a punch. The most compelling aspect of the paintings on view—in particular, four untitled monochromes of purple, pink, grey and blue that occupy one half of the gallery—are the slight imperfections or alterations in their surfaces. Canadian Art, April 22, 2014

New York

Can the Relics of the 1964 World’s Fair Be Saved? Should They Be? “You can see them from at least three highways in Queens, rising up like futuristic beacons: a giant metal circle on top of 16 concrete pillars and three towers stretching skyward, topped by flying saucer roofs. They look like heralds of a new space age. But they were built for the 1964 World’s Fair, as part of the New York State Pavilion.” WNYC, April 22, 2014

Folk art museum to open space in Queens Planned annexe in Long Island City will be in the same neighbourhood as MoMA QNS (Together again? The American Folk Art Museum and MoMA could soon be neighbours once more) The Art Newspaper, April 23, 2014


The Damien Hirst Forgery Trial: A Juror Speaks “[Such trials] are fairly banal legal processes, cases settled by a jury of peers that considers the facts and comes to a conclusion. But these human beings also become, for a period of a few hours, days, or weeks, endowed with a unique power and perspective: critics with the force of law.” Hyperallergic offers a Q&A with a member of the panel that convicted a Florida pastor of selling fake Hirsts. Hyperallergic, April 18, 2014


Scotland’s Massive New Public Art Project. It’s Bad “Scotland has unveiled the latest misbegotten “masterpiece” of public art. It is big. It is bold. And it is rotten.” The Guardian, April 22, 2014


Paris museum holds on to stolen statues Musée Guimet negotiating with the Nepalese government over two stelae that have been off display for more than a decade. The Art Newspaper, April 21, 2014


Artist Accuses Turkish Government of Deliberately Dumbing Down Populace Ali Kazma: “Statistically, educated Turks do not vote for AKP … It seems like the interest of AKP lies in mobilizing the regressive parts of the society financially upwards while maintaining their low education levels, gender inequality and intellectual curiosity. Hyperallergic, April 21, 2014


Why Performance Art Is Stupid “Performance art is a joke. Taken terribly seriously by the art world, it is a litmus test of pretension and intellectual dishonesty. If you are wowed by it, you are either susceptible to pseudo-intellectual guff, or lying.” The Guardian, April 22, 2014

How to Forge a Masterpiece (It’s in the Court Documents) “The indictment reads in places like a forger’s manual, laying out the materials needed to forge masterpieces and how to create a fraudulent history of a painting’s creation, ownership, custody and location, known as its provenance.” New York Times, April 22, 2014

What Happens To Art When It’s Repatriated “While much attention has focused on the act of repatriation, The New York Times looked at what happened to several objects after they went back. Some works, returned with great fanfare, have taken on greater meaning back on view in the countries or cultures that produced them. Other times, after the triumphalism fades, they fall off the radar. New York Times, April 21, 2014

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