Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, July 24, 2014


Screen captures from Star Wars inspire Chris Woods’ SANDSTORM. SANDSTORM, Chris Woods’s new series of paintings, is a thematic and stylistic departure from the work that has garnered him attention and acclaim. The Chilliwack-based artist has long been identified with a tightly painted photo-realism that parodies advertising and critiques consumer culture. He frequently quotes from art-historical sources, giving his pop-culture subjects high-culture resonance—and philosophical heft. Georgia Straight, July 22, 2014

Floating sculpture evokes squatters shacks. For something called Deadhead, there’s really nothing remotely morbid about it. In fact, it’s just the opposite: it’s very playful and full of surprises. In art terms, it’s difficult to define. Although the official description calls it a “large-scale sculpture mounted to a barge,” that really doesn’t do it justice. It’s certainly sculptural but it isn’t meant only to be looked at. It’s designed to be explored. Vancouver Sun, July 16, 2014


Artist Paul Butler Steps Down as WAG Curator. Paul Butler, curator of contemporary art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, has decided to step down from his post after 16 months on the job. “I realized that I’m an artist who sometimes curates, and not an institutional curator,” Butler tells Canadian Art. Canadian Art, July 22, 2014


AGO to host Basquiat retrospective. The Art Gallery of Ontario will be the only Canadian museum to host Basquiat, an expansive retrospective of 140 works by the late New York painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, the gallery announced Thursday. Toronto Star, July 24, 2014


Different Heartbeats: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse Room. Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse Room (2006) harmoniously combines an interaction-based art practice with a minimalist sensibility in a rumination on mortality. Recently donated to the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the sprawling installation is currently on view alongside the exhibition “The Grace of a Gesture,” a survey of 50 years of gifts to the museum. Canadian Art, July 23, 2014

Stanford, California

Warhol, Lawrence and Diebenkorn Troves to Cantor Arts Center Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center has received large gifts of works by Richard Diebenkorn, Jacob Lawrence and Andy Warhol. The donation comprises 26 sketchbooks containing approximately 1,300 Diebenkorn drawings, 26 works by Lawrence in various mediums and some 3,600 contact sheets and negatives by Warhol. Art in America, July 24, 2014

Los Angeles

Mike Stilkey’s paintings on salvaged books – in pictures. Since 2006, Los Angeles-based artist Mike Stilkey has been painting dreamlike figures of people and animals on discarded library books. “Most libraries have thousands and thousands of books that they can throw away at any time,” Stilkey said. Books can’t be recycled due to binding glue, so he gives them “a second life”. His book-sculptures, the highest of which is 24ft tall and comprises 3,000 books, have been exhibited around the world. Painting on books adds an extra layer of meaning because of the objects’ history, he says: “I’m putting my story on someone else’s story, and the book itself has a story – where it’s been, who’s read it. It’s basically narrative on narrative” The Guardian, July 20, 2014

New York

AUCTIONS: Spring 2014 market restrained, but buyers step forward for best works. In New York this spring, Sotheby’s presented what was called a “selling exhibition” of Canadian art under its S|2 wing (the Private Sale and Gallery arm of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department) rather than at auction. This highly anticipated sale of prominent abstract art was represented in a beautiful small catalogue, in full colour and with opening notations by Roald Nasgaard, former chief curator of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Featured was art from two Montreal groups, the Automatistes and Les Plasticiens, as well as Painters Eleven from Toronto. Galleries West, July 23, 2014

Art, and Handbags, for the People Jeff Koons and H&M come up with an affordable collaboration. New York Times, July 24, 2014

This Is What Wealthy Looked Like “Rich and Poor,” the 1985 photography book by Jim Goldberg, is being reissued at a time when the subject of income disparity has never been more sensitive. New York Times, July 24, 2014

Photography as a Balm for Mental Illness An online gallery was created to provide a supportive community for photographers affected by mental illness. New York Times, July 24, 2014

On Kawara obituary. The Japanese artist On Kawara, who has died aged 81, would not have wanted an obituary like this. He would have preferred the page to be left blank except for his name and the number of days he had been alive. He was preoccupied with the passing of time, and when asked for his biography for an exhibition catalogue he would respond simply with the number of days elapsed between his date of birth and the date of the exhibition opening. The Guardian, July 24, 2014


North Carolina Museum of Art Receives $1.9 M. Grant The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh received a $1.9 million grant from the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation for art education research yesterday. The money will reportedly go to construction of a “high-tech education center.” ARTnews, July 24, 2014


Lydia Yee Appointed Chief Curator of Whitechapel Gallery Lydia Yee has been appointed chief curator of Whitechapel Gallery. Yee is currently a curator at the Barbican Art Gallery, a role she assumed in 2007. Recent exhibitions at that institution included “Bauhaus: Art as Life,” 2013, “Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark: Pioneers of the Downtown Scene,” 2011, and “Ron Arad: Restless,” 2010. Artforum, July 24, 2014


Northampton awaits Arts Council’s response after controversial sale Meeting to review museum’s status after Egyptian statue ends up in private hands. The Art Newspaper, July 24, 2014


Spain’s Prado Museum Missing 885 Artworks “A spokesperson for the museum downplayed the situation, telling the paper that many works had been lost over the years to fires and even armed conflict, but without proof of destruction or loss the records for these works remain.” Hyperallergic, July 23, 2014

St. Petersburg

Hermitage film chronicles great museum’s turbulent history Director recalls how institution has been shaped by wars, revolution and purges. The Art Newspaper, July 24, 2014


How Popular Culture Of The 1920s Became Obsessed With King Tut “The tomb’s discovery, at the start of the Roaring Twenties, followed the global upheavals of World War One. Mass media was able to bring news of objects being carried out of the tomb to a wider audience, faster than ever before. America, in particular, became obsessed by “King Tut” – as he became known. Even US President Herbert Hoover used the name for his pet dog.” BBC, July 24, 2014

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