Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 18, 2014

Vancouver

Douglas Coupland makes sense of it all at the Vancouver Art Gallery. If you’ve ever wanted to spit in Douglas Coupland’s face, your opportunity has finally arrived. Gumhead looms outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. The towering structure is modeled on Coupland’s cranium and art aficionados are invited to stick their gum wherever they please and watch the sculpture grow like a Chia Pet sprouting masticated Bazooka Joe and mangled winterfresh mint. Inside, exhibition is divided into six sections including Secret Handshake, which exists on a frequency audible only to Canadians…Vancouver Courier, June 16, 2014

Art This Week: Enchanted paintings, connected landscapes, a sound art retrospective. Notable exhibitions this week include: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: Lost in the Memory Palace at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Roselina Hung: Of Myth and Men at Initial Gallery, The And of the Land, a group show including Lawren Harris, Alistair Bell, and Jack Shadbolt at the West Vancouver Museum. Vancouver Sun, June 17, 2014

Michael Audain admits he was record-setting buyer of Emily Carr painting The Crazy Stair. Michael Audain has the signature piece for his new art museum in Whistler: the Emily Carr painting The Crazy Stair (The Crooked Staircase). The art collector/philanthropist announced Tuesday that he was the buyer of the painting, which sold for $3,393,000 at a Heffel auction on Nov. 28, 2013, a record for the artist. Vancouver Sun, June 18, 2014

Philanthropist Michael Audain reveals himself as record-setting buyer Michael Audain has become a great collector of the Victoria-born Carr’s work, with more than 20 works in the collection he has amassed with his wife, Yoshiko Karasawa – the most important private collection of Carr’s work in the country. Globe & Mail, June 17, 2014

Movie quotes cover Vancouver art gallery. Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery on Nelson Street at Richards isn’t under construction and hasn’t been the victim of vandals, despite the fact the exterior façade is completely boarded up. The word-covered wood is actually part of an art installment by Mexican artist Stefan Bruggemann, titled “Headlines and Last Lines in the Movies.” 24 Hours, June 16, 2014

South Surrey (White Rock)

Noted Canadian landscape artist Robert Genn passes. The South Surrey painter, known best for his evocations of the West Coast and the Rocky Mountains, passed away on Tuesday morning at the age of 78 at his home overlooking the Serpentine Fen. Peace Arch News, May 29, 2014

Calgary

Arlene Stamp: Reading as Red. Nickle Galleries presented a comprehensive overview of Arlene Stamp’s 30-year practice with an impressive inventory of paintings, drawings and installations. Stamp’s art is a synthesis of her artistic inspirations and mathematical concepts. She obtained her degree in mathematics before earning a second degree in fine arts and the influence of these two disciplines shows in her art. Canadian Art, June 16, 2014

Edmonton

Artist gets community service and must pay restitution for graffiti spree. Tattoo artist, Jamie Robert Law, was convicted of painting illegal graffiti around Edmonton after police investigators seized several pieces of art from a Whyte Avenue gallery. He must pay restitution and perform 240 hours of community service. Edmonton Journal, June 17, 2014

Ottawa

Struggling Art Bank opens first-ever gallery space. Over the past 42 years, the Canada Council Art Bank, the country’s largest trove of contemporary Canadian works, has shown thousands of works on loan without ever having an exhibition space to call its own. That’s changing, as the Art Bank takes control of a 300-square-metre area in the foyer of a 21-storey office tower at 150 Elgin St. in Ottawa. Globe & Mail, June 16, 2014

Your eyes will explode in Canada Council’s new gallery space. Smoke gets in our eyes, and pours out of them, in a giant piece of art beneath the new offices of the Canada Council for the Arts on Elgin Street. It’s a spooky work of video, and it’s adjacent to a new public art gallery. The new gallery is called Âjagemô, an Algonquin word for crossroads that accurately describes the busy space on the ground floor of the new Performance Court building at 150 Elgin. Ottawa Citizen, June 16, 2014

Toronto

Canadian artist infuses florals with emotion. Artist Bobbie Burgers is one of Canada’s most celebrated and popular working artists. Known for her lush, large-scale floral depictions, she’s had sold out shows for over 10 years. Her latest exhibition explores emotion and the fleeting nature of beauty. Vancouver-based Bobbie Burgers is a busy woman: a mother of four, wife to furniture-maker Billy Wishloff, in-demand artist. Digital Journal, June 12, 2014

Come Out: 11 Art Picks for World Pride 2014. World Pride officially begins in Toronto on June 20, but that hasn’t stopped the city’s many visual-arts venues from already opening variously themed shows in tribute. Here, a rundown of existing and upcoming best bets. Canadian Art, June 16, 2014

Elgaic Pantomine: Arnaud Maggs After Nadar. One of the most remarkable codas to a career is great Canadian artist Arnaud Maggs’s After Nadar (2012). I say coda since this was his last work, and one made by the artist knowing that he was about to die: an end-work. After Nadar is remarkable for being so unexpected…and for going against expectation. Canadian Art, June 16, 2014

Derek Sullivan: The Adventure of the Book. In his recent show at Jessica Bradley Gallery—“Four Notable Booksellers”—Derek Sullivan appropriated the display techniques of the Seine bouquinistes (the people who sell second-hand books out of large, green, metal boxes) ( To this he introduced his vision of Modernism: one entrenched in geometric abstraction and formalist design. But above all, it was a show about the lure of adventure that one experiences when poring over used books. Canadian Art, June 16, 2014

Kevin Yates: Doubling Up. The figure of the double features clearly and strikingly in Kevin Yates’s recent exhibition “Usher the Fall of the House.” The title itself is a clear reference to Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, in which doubles play a central role. Canadian Art, June 16, 2014

London

A Rediscovered Curnoe. Sheila Curnoe was having friends over this past fall when she hauled out Three Pieces, the 1965 Greg Curnoe painting that re-emerged into the world at Michael Gibson Gallery in London, Ontario, this winter. For many, the work was an amazing rediscovery. Canadian Art, June 16, 2014

Montreal

RBC Canadian Painting Competition Finalists Announced. The finalists from Western Canada are: Ashleigh Bartlett of Calgary; Ufuk Gueray of Winnipeg, Tiziana La Melia of Vancouver; Laura Piasta of Vancouver; and Robert Taite of Winnipeg. The finalists from Central Canada are: Jennifer Carvalho of Toronto; Wallis Cheung of Toronto; James Gardner of Toronto; Gavin Lynch of Ottawa; and Megan McCabe of Toronto. The finalists from Eastern Canada are: Carly Butler of Halifax; Teto Elsiddique of Halifax; Karine Fréchette of Montreal; Nicolas Lachance of Montreal; Elysanne Tremblay of Montreal. The winner and two honourable mentions will be announced at a gala at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on October 1. Canadian Art, June 14, 2014

Sackville

Mount Allison’s Owens Art Gallery welcomes Oh, Canada. Mount Allison University’s Owens Art Gallery is pleased to welcome Oh, Canada, the landmark exhibition of Canadian art by Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). Sackville Tribune, June 16, 2014

New York

Sharing Cultural Jewels via Instagram. Leveraging his nearly 50,000 followers at @dave.krugman and a deep network of influential photographers using Instagram, Mr. Krugman has become a go-to guy for New York libraries and museums. The New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, among others, have all used Mr. Krugman to find their voices on Instagram and attract a coveted younger demographic. New York Times, June 17, 2014

Will Naked Jeff Koons be the art world’s Grumpy Cat? Sure, there are important regional biennials and quiet retrospectives of under-regarded artists going on all around town, but what currently has the art world all atitter is the sight of Jeff Koons’ bare posterior. It makes for terrific public relations in advance of his upcoming retrospective at the Whitney Museum. Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2014

Miami

Museum Power Squabble Borders on the Surreal. In a somewhat bizarre arrangement, scholars gathered at the Museum of Contemporary Art here this weekend for a symposium led by a man whom city officials view as the museum’s director and who museum officials regard as an impostor. New York Times, June 15, 2014

London, UK

The Art Gallery as Destination. London-based Daniel Katz, 66, one of the world’s most successful dealers in pre-20th century works of art, has moved from his premises in Bond Street to a much bigger five-story town house at 6 Hill Street in Mayfair, which he shares with his son, the 20th-century British art specialist Robin Katz, and the New York antiquities dealer Ariadne Galleries New York Times, June 15, 2014

Hayward Gallery abuzz with sculptures that ‘unpick human condition’. The human condition, as portrayed by the artists in the major new sculpture exhibition opening at the Hayward Gallery, is not entirely encouraging. The Guardian, June 16, 2014

The intelligence of art: Yorkshire surveillance centre put on display. A shimmering image of a Yorkshire landscape, lush green fields spread out under a pinky grey sky, will be installed along the entire 62-metre length of the platform wall at Gloucester Road tube station in London this week. Those with time between their trains may start to wonder about the strange white buildings in the distance and gradually realise that the scene is not the rural idyll it first appears. Titled An English Landscape (American Surveillance Base near Harrogate, Yorkshire), the giant photograph by Trevor Paglen, shows Menwith Hill, an RAF base, which has become a huge monitoring station supplying intelligence to the UK and the US. The Guardian, June 17, 2014

Basel

Meet you in Basel… or will it be Gwangju? Athough it may seem that the entire art world is congregating in Basel this week (to the benefit of its over-subscribed hoteliers), members of the nomadic art tribe are increasingly selective about the events they frequent—even A-list ones. The Art Newspaper, June 18, 2014

International

Zombies on the Walls: Why Does So Much New Abstraction Look the Same? Galleries everywhere are awash in these brand-name reductivist canvases, all more or less handsome, harmless, supposedly metacritical, and just “new” or “dangerous”-looking enough not to violate anyone’s sense of what “new” or “dangerous” really is, all of it impersonal, mimicking a set of preapproved influences. Vulture Magazine, June 2014

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