Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, May 29, 2014


Vancouver Art Gallery puts Douglas Coupland’s collecting mania on display. “In a major retrospective at the VAG, objects from Lego to alphabet blocks to old Penguin paperbacks fuel whole roomfuls of art… In some ways, Douglas Coupland observes, his entire retrospective exhibition represents his brain. “It seems strange to walk through it all. It does feel like I’m walking through my own head.” Then he adds a remark about the art he’s made so far that reveals the anxious human being and the compulsive collector behind the Renaissance-man career. “It’s just relentless pathology that keeps on happening over and over and over again,” he says.” Georgia Straight, May 28, 2014

Top ten best events in Vancouver this week, May 29 to June 5. As part of his first ever solo museum show, Douglas Coupland wants you to plaster his face with gum. Vancouver Sun, May 28, 2014

The Scout List: Art talks, FUEL for your brain, salt walks, and a fair. Among other events: New York-based artist Marie Lorenz is the artist-in-residence at the Contemporary Art Gallery’s Field House Studio. Along with Vancouver artists Rebecca Bayer and Josh Hite, she’ll be giving a talk about her artwork on Thursday and invites you to join her for a beach combing expedition on Sunday. Globe & Mail, May 28, 2014

Paintings draw big bucks at Heffel auction in Vancouver (with video). “The Heffel art auction got off to a rousing start early Wednesday afternoon at the Vancouver Convention Centre when the event’s first and only million-dollar sale came only minutes into the bidding. The $1.1-million sale of Pleine Saison by Jean Paul Riopelle, a large mosaic-like canvas that he painted in 1954, brought the auction’s first round of applause after a prolonged bidding war between at least four serious buyers.” Vancouver Sun, May 28, 2014

Gu Xiong: A Journey Exposed connects the local to the global. “When you enter the gallery and walk into Gu Xiong’s exhibition, A Journey Exposed, you see a pale pink “river”, winding away from you across the floor. A closer view reveals that this river is composed of thousands of miniature ceramic pigs, lying on their sides.” Georgia Straight, May 28, 2014

West Vancouver offers $1 for Binning House. “The District of West Vancouver has made a formal offer to purchase the historic B.C. Binning House from the near-bankrupt The Land Conservancy of B.C — for $1. However, the “one” in the district’s offer is going to need a few zeros after it in order to get the blessing of the non-profit’s creditors who are still owed millions, according to John Shields, TLC manger.” North Shore News, May 28, 2014


Dignity and defiance. Two Winnipeg shows by First Nations artists uncover the past and imagine the future of aboriginal identity. Sonny Assu, whose current exhibition, There Is Hope, If We Rise, showcases digital prints that blend contemporary graphic design and traditional West Coast First Nations motifs. Like Assu, Winnipeg artist KC Adams also borrows from mass media to push back against pressures to assimilate and disappear, while also tackling damaging stereotypes. Winnipeg Free Press, May 29, 2014


Eva Kotátková: When School Breaks. “With a minimalist approach and restrained palette, Czech artist Eva Kotátková’s solo exhibition at Scrap Metal, her first in Canada and presented by Art en Valise, incorporates collage, sculpture, installation, works on paper and performance to produce a cautionary look at the body and the institutional structures that govern it—namely, schools, libraries and clinics.” Canadian Art, May 29, 2014

Revised Mirvish-Gehry design saves Princess of Wales Theatre: Hume. “Frank Gehry wants to know: What does it mean to be Canadian? The world-renowned architect was born in Toronto in 1929 but left as a teenager when his family moved to California. Now, aged 84 and still a citizen, he’s back to design a mixed-use complex on King Street West for impresario David Mirvish. When Gehry’s first proposal was released last year, city officials reacted with fear and loathing. This time he’s back with a plan that even a Toronto planner could love. The towers are taller — 92 and 82 storeys — but there are only two of them, not three.” Toronto Star, May 28, 2014


It’s the National Gallery and New Brunswick thing, again. The public spat this week between the National Gallery of Canada and the Beaverbrook Gallery is both strange and rare. What can the Fredericton, N.B.-based Beaverbrook gain by antagonizing the National Gallery, all while dragging the Art Gallery of Ontario into the fray? Beaverbrook director Terry Graff complained, in two stories by Paul Gessell in the Citizen this week, that the National Gallery was “withdrawing” from a tour of an exhibition titled Masterworks of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. The exhibition, to be held in the summer of 2015, had been “cancelled.” Sources at the National Gallery say the show was never “cancelled,” because it had never been confirmed. Ottawa Citizen, May 29, 2014


Miami’s Museum Of Contemporary Art Rejects Director Candidate Because Of… His Social Security Number?“Despite multiple notifications, Mr. M’Bow did not comply with the background check and is therefore no longer under consideration for the position. The board is disappointed that Mr. M’Bow chose not to take part in the evaluation process.” Miami Herald, May 29, 2014

New York

Students, Professors, Alumni Sue Cooper Union For “Mismanagement” The lawsuit charges that trustees “undermined the financial health” of the school when they “built an extravagant new academic building that the school could not afford.” In addition, it alleges that “the Trustees compounded the impact of this mistake by squandering the endowment through investments in risky hedge funds.” The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2014

More Than A Memorial: The Problem At Ground Zero Michael Kimmelman: “The site of the Sept. 11 memorial is not singularly devoted to those who died. It also serves as the forecourt for an office development and as public space for Lower Manhattan. The neighborhood was a casualty, too, along with the rest of New York. In the tortuous planning process, victims’ families and real estate interests needed to be reconciled with the interests of everyone else in the city, including those who live and work downtown. So far, I’m not sure it’s working.” New York Times, May 29, 2014

At the 9/11 Memorial’s Gift Shop, People Explain What They’re Buying, And Why “‘Outrage over gift shop’ ran the headline on NBC News, while NPR opted for ‘Gift shop makes some cringe’, and Gizmodo went for the more familiar ‘kitsch’ as well as ‘tasteless crap’. The store’s commemorative cheese plates and earrings were widely derided, but is this media criticism fair? The Guardian asked visitors to the gift shop what mementos they bought, and what the items meant to them.” The Guardian (UK) May 28, 2014


How To Restore A Rothko Without Ruining it “It was preservation, essentially, by way of optical illusion.” The Atlantic, May 28, 2014

Arts Council England Spends £14 Million Bailing Out 55 Arts Groups To receive financial intervention, the criteria say venues will be “assessed as high risk” and “at immediate and serious financial risk”. The Arts Council steps in where it believes an organisation is “irreplaceable”, where other forms of support have failed and where it is confident the cash injection will turn the situation around. BBC, May 29, 2014


Belgian pavilion at Venice Biennale in limbo Vincent Meessen’s nomination to represent the country has been suspended over a lack of transparency. The Art Newspaper, May 29, 2014


Management crisis at France’s national art school Students and professors protest the director’s “absurd and counter-productive” demand that senior staff step down. The Art Newspaper, May 29, 2014

Rodez, France

François Hollande to inaugurate Musée Soulages Veteran French artist Pierre Soulages has donated works to institution in his hometown. The Art Newspaper, May 29, 2014


Nazi-era auction catalogues published online Adolf Weinmüller’s annotated books, including the names of consigners and buyers, are made available to provenance researchers. The Art Newspaper, May 29, 2014


Italy’s Economic Design in Times of Crisis Two exhibitions in Milan explore design’s role in providing practical solutions during times of austerity in Italy. International New York Times, May 29, 2014


Video fair coming to Istanbul Turkish edition could be a forerunner to other locations for Moving Image. The Art Newspaper, May 29, 2014


Taiwan Art Bank sends work by emerging artists on diplomatic missions The governmental organisation plans to lend works to foreign embassies. The Art Newspaper, May 29, 2014


The Fascinating Unknown Photographs of Berenice Abbott New volumes reveal a sweep of images discovered in a desk drawer in the photographer’s attic storeroom. ARTnews, May 29, 2014

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