Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, May 1, 2014


Q and A: Artist Gu Xiong’s work born of cultural reinvention. Originally from Chongqing province in China, Gu Xiong moved to Canada in 1989, first as an artist-in-residence in Banff and then to Vancouver in 1990. His new exhibit, Gu Xiong: a journey exposed, is a career-spanning show that visits themes of globalization, worldwide food production and environmental damage. Vancouver Sun, May 1, 2014

Art this week: Rove, Michael Bjornson and more. A look at a few of the most influential events in Vancouver galleries this week. Vancouver Sun, May 1, 2014

Top 10 best events of the week, May 1 to May 8. A bestseller in Japan, his 2009 book RED: A Haida Manga is now being released in paperback, the launch of which coincides with the opening of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’ solo art show. The exhibition includes his new metal series, Under the Hood, which features his distinctive Haida manga style fabricated on automobile hoods, as well as new works on paper. Vancouver Sun, May 1, 2014

Emily Carr University receives its largest ever sponsorship. In a world where funds are dwindling for the arts, there is still hope to be found. Emily Carr University has received its largest sponsorship ever, a $100,000 sponsorship from RBC Wealth Management. Georgia Straight, April 29, 2014

Deadline extended for City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards. The City of Vancouver has extended its nomination deadline for the Mayor’s Arts Awards until May 16. These awards are given to established and emerging artists that work in all fields of arts, from visual art to culinary art, dance to theatre, and everything in between. Last year’s lifetime achievement award went to landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, who has collaborated on a number of Vancouver projects over the last 60 years. Georgia Straight, April 29, 2014


Ruptures in Arrival marks the 100th anniversary of Komagata Maru incident. “Most immigrants to Canada have brought with them tales of distant lands and cultural traditions, of fraught departures, difficult journeys, and complicated arrivals. Many of their narratives are hung with pain and suffering, with poverty, hardship, and injustice. What most forcefully distinguishes my ancestors from those whose stories are told in Ruptures in Arrival, however, is that my kin were never refused entry to this country because of their ethnicity, their religious beliefs, or the colour of their skin. They never encountered systemic racism, societal hostility, and legislation designed to keep them out. Subtitled Art in the Wake of the Komagata Maru, Ruptures in Arrival marks the 100th anniversary of that steamship incident and the fate of its passengers.” Georgia Straight, April 30, 2014


Mark Ruwedel wins 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award Mark Ruwedel, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1954, moved to Montreal in 1980 to pursue studies in photography at Concordia University. Since graduating in 1983, he has been producing work as well as teaching, both at Concordia and California State University in Long Beach, where he is on faculty. He maintains a residence in British Columbia as well. Toronto Star, April 29 , 2014

Mark Ruwedel wins $50000 Scotiabank Photography Award Former Montrealer Mark Ruwedel, best known for his black-and-white images of rugged North American landscapes, is the winner of the 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award, at $50,000 one of Canada’s largest art prizes. Mr. Ruwedel, 59, received the honour Tuesday evening at a gala at Toronto’s Ryerson Image Centre, chosen by a jury over two other finalists, Vancouver’s Rodney Graham, 65, and Toronto’s Donald Weber, 40. Globe and Mail, April 29, 2014

Otto Rogers and a Life in Art. Until a solo exhibition was held in June 2013 at Mira Godard Gallery in Toronto—his first in that city in 10 years—distinguished Saskatchewan painter Otto Rogers had been out of the limelight for too long. For the past 15 years, he has been living with his wife, Barbara, in Prince Edward County, Ontario, in a family compound and rural retreat with a rambling, waterfront bungalow; a spacious studio building designed by his son-in-law, the architect Siamak Hariri; and a serene and elegant library above the two-car garage. The quality of recent exhibitions is a reminder that Rogers is a distinctive and important artist. Canadian Art, April 28, 2014

For Stan Douglas, still photos run deep. Over the past couple of decades, Stan Douglas developed the enviable problem of being a little too successful for his own liking. One of the torch bearers of the “Vancouver School,” a small, seminal group of artists on the West Coast that developed into Canada’s most identifiable international art-world brand, Douglas separated himself from the photographic work of Jeff Wall or the gleeful polymath oeuvre of Rodney Graham by building a career of dense, complex, absorbing video works. “I’ve done photography for 20 years,” Douglas told a small audience this week at the Ryerson Image Centre, where an exhibition of his photo works opens Thursday as part of the Scotiabank Photography Award, which he won last year. Toronto Star, May 1, 2014


Daniela Nardi and the Group of Seven. Concerts at art galleries are a tradition as old as hanging paintings on walls. But the McMichael Concert Series is drawing on multiple traditions, starting with Daniela Nardi’s concert on Thursday. The McMichael has itself been searching for a way to connect with a more immediate potential audience and not only depend on gallery-goers driving up from Toronto. Toronto Star, May 1, 2014


Historic Drag. Museums are places where stories get told about the past, usually from the perspective of the winners. Settled in the upper reaches of Montreal’s McCord Museum—a place rich in Canadian art and artifacts, including the illustrious William Notman archive of photography—an exhibition by contemporary Cree–Irish Canadian artist Kent Monkman is subverting this tendency, handing back the microphone to voices that colonialism once drowned out. The Walrus, May 2014

New York

Architectural Underpinnings of Cinderella The glamorous dresses of Charles James, recreated with an eye to their architecture for a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York Times, May 1, 2014

The Key to Understanding John Cage’s Silent Piece at MoMA A starkly empty drawing is the centerpiece of a Museum of Modern Art exhibition that explores John Cage’s world-altering role in the creation and development of postmodernism. ARTnews, April 30, 2014

Scion of Art Family Gets a Year in Prison Hillel Nahmad, who is known as Helly, pleaded guilty in November to a charge of operating a gambling business. New York Times, May 1, 2014


London’s National Portrait Gallery secures Van Dyck’s self-portrait Gallery is able to buy painting for £10m through lottery fund grant and private donors. The Art Newspaper, May 1, 2013


A new jewel for Spain’s royal crown The Palacio Real in Madrid appoints a director and plans a museum, making the Royal Collection more accessible to visitors. The Art Newspaper, May 1, 2013


On View | A Sneak Peek at a New Exhibition Co-Curated by Pharrell The multi-hyphenated man of the moment has co-curated the inaugural show at Emmanuel Perrotin’s new art space in Paris. New York Times, May 1, 2014


Art Matters | A Decommissioned Catholic Church in Berlin is Reborn as a Hub of Creativity A video documents the transformation of the decommissioned St. Agnes church into a nexus of contemporary art and culture. New York Times, May 1, 2014

St. Petersburg

Manifesta curator defends biennial at the heart of the Warsaw Pact Art vital as other bridges between Russia and the West are “being burned”, says director of the Hermitage. The Art Newspaper, May 1, 2013


Is Art’s Primary Purpose To Be Therapeutic? Jian Ghomeshi hosts a Q Debate over philosopher Alain de Botton’s “controversial contention that the goal of art should be self-improvement.” Holding up the opposing side is Canadian artist and writer R.M. Vaughan. (audio) CBC, April 30, 2014

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