Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library July 25-28, 2014


Canada’s Past, Seen Through Its Paintings Painting may serve as an expression of national, as well as personal, sentiment. One historical survey demonstrates again how intimately painting is related to a nation’s history, landscape, and people. Fine Art Connoisseur, July 24, 2014

Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything anything is everything is patently not digitally native, which makes sense, as neither is Coupland, but his work here seems to be more specifically addressing the psychological experience of those whose adult brains span the transition from 20th to 21st century, a fact which complicates the ubiquity suggested by the exhibition’s title and claims of universal social conditions. Whitehot Magazine, July 2014

Generation X Author Douglas Coupland Sees The Future, And He’s Showing It In A Museum Perhaps Coupland the futurist can also stand as an icon of the future: If the future can live without time, and a whole generation can shrug off a generational identity, then why shouldn’t we be able to move beyond artistic pigeonholing? Forbes, July 25, 2014

Book review: When boho was boffoVancouver Sun Harry Webb (1927-1995), a native Torontonian and one-time merchant seaman, was a painter and printmaker who later became a prominent landscape architect. His wife and partner-in-art Jessie Hetherington Webb (1930-2011), who someone described as having a face like one of the Modigliani’s models, was not a woman who let her individuality get subsumed into their highly productive collaborative life together. Vancouver Sun, July 26, 2014

At 93, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander is still one of Canada’s most beloved landscape architects her own unique way, Hahn Oberlander exemplifies the truth about many women’s lives – that the combination of work and family simply gives a different arc to the trajectory of success. When Hahn Oberlander was asked in the early eighties to work with architect Moshe Safdie on the gardens of the National Gallery, one of her daughters told her, “Mummy, you have really crawled out from under,” meaning her husband, she tells me with a giggle. Globe and Mail, July 25, 2014

Exploring the idea of being gay “It’s a tiny space,” Wil Aballe says shortly after I enter his studio apartment/art gallery in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. He’s not kidding. By the time you step through the narrow entrance hallway, squeezing past his bicycle and bookshelves stuffed with novels, travel guides, and art books meant for coffee tables, you’re looking at about 350 square feet of kitchen/living room/gallery space. Globe and Mail, July 24, 2014


Pioneering Victoria artist Pat Martin Bates overlooked at home An art historian hopes her new book about Pat Martin Bates helps boost the Victoria artist to the prominence she deserves. Patricia Bovey is the author of Pat Martin Bates: Balancing on a Thread (Frontenac House). She says Bates — who has had considerable recognition outside of Canada — is somewhat overlooked in this country. Times Colonist, July 24, 2014

Robert Amos: Saltspring sleuth celebrates unsung artists with series of books It’s the old catch-22. You can’t publish a book about an artist nobody’s heard of. How can you hear about an artist if no one has published the book? Mother Tongue’s books are carefully researched and edited, and well-illustrated. They have been nominated for the B.C. Book Awards and the Victoria Book Prize. Where has the funding come from? Aside from small grants for individual projects, she says, “it’s personal — we put our money in. I haven’t really made anything, it has been really very difficult.” Times Colonist, July 25, 2014


Why staring at art is the best therapy of all: Mallick Alain de Botton explains art’s true purpose at the AGO and Rijksmuseum: Think of it as therapy. His notes posted at the exhibition reveal what sickness or problem the artwork can solve. Toronto Star, July 25, 2014

Meet VSVSVS, another group of seven – Canadian Art All seven artists work day jobs, most to pay off student loans, and are in no hurry to rack up more debt by re-entering academe. The do-it-yourself mode fits in with the zeitgeist. Want to be part of the art scene in Toronto? Rent space together; work on collaborative projects as well as solo investigations; embed a formal gallery space; create a residency program; invite artists to exhibit. Make sure the openings are fun events. Canadian Art, July 25, 2014

Better with Age: Returning to Photography’s Objecthood … Thinking of Corkin’s 35th anniversary—Jane Corkin was the director and founder of the photography department at David Mirvish Gallery before opening her own photo-centred gallery in 1979—immediately brings to mind the seismic shifts in the relationship between photography and art that were occurring in Toronto (and around the world) during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Canadian Art, July 24, 2014

Art Gallery of Ontario: Before and After the Horizon An exhibition of aboriginal art and artifacts from around the Great Lakes region looks to change the conversation on how such shows are made. Toronto Star, July 25, 2014

Sneak peek: Basquiat retrospective coming to AGO next year 1 The AGO announced Thursday morning it would host the touring exhibition for just over three months, starting Feb. 7, 2015. More than 140 colourful large-scale paintings and drawings, culled from public and private collections in Europe and North America, are to be presented. It’s an impressive showcase, albeit a relatively modest number given that Brooklyn-born Basquiat, sometimes called “the first African-American art superstar,” had reportedly completed more than 3,000 works by the time he died. Globe and Mail, July 25, 2014

London, Ontario

Walter Redinger’s fifty-year career as a sculptor drew people’s attention Much of artist’s later work was influenced by nature and his thoughts on the cosmos and the larger meaning of existence. Globe and Mail, July 24, 2014


Video: Talking robot to hitchhike from Halifax to Victoria A talking robot dubbed Hitchbot is setting off from Halifax on a hitchhiking adventure to Victoria. Globe and Mail. July 28, 2014


Russell painting symbolizing railroad’s effect on American Indians draws $1.9M at auction A total of 30 Charles M. Russell works fetched millions of dollars at auction in Reno, with one painting symbolizing the railroad’s effect on American Indians drawing $1.9 million and another depicting a Native American chief selling for $1.1 million. Vancouver Sun, July 28, 2014


Hey Chicago Art Institute, Time To Consider Going Free? Around the country, a flurry of high quality art museums have made the switch and reaped financial rewards, but “it is hard to imagine a major museum here going free, especially when the trend in Chicago has been to raise prices and to start charging admission.” Chicago Tribune, July 25, 2014

New York

Operatic Heart of a Chaotic Career The late German gadfly Christoph Schlingensief is the subject of a large and aptly chaotic exhibition at MoMA PS1. New York Times, July 25, 2014

Sketching When the Pencil Requires Ignition “Lee Bontecou: Drawn Worlds” focuses on the unconventional sketches made from the 1950s on by an artist known for her formidable sculptures. New York Times, July 24, 2014

India House Artwork Inspires a New Book The artwork shown at India House, a private club in Lower Manhattan, will be examined in a forthcoming book that also looks at two founders. New York Times, July 24, 2014

Finally, Starchitect Norman Foster Gets His N.Y. Moment These four buildings “come after a few notable setbacks for Mr. Foster, including the New York Public Library’s recent decision to rethink its planned conversion of part of its research flagship into a circulating library using a Foster design.” New York Times, July 24, 2014

Polly Apfelbaum: ‘A Handweaver’s Pattern Book’ In her latest show, Polly Apfelbaum’s lush, multicolored fabric installations delve into the history of handmade textiles, taking inspiration from a 1950s pattern book. New York Times, July 24, 2014


Italy’s Minister For Culture Pledges ‘Revolutionary’ Autonomy For Italian Museums “If the proposals go ahead – there is a chance that they will be watered down — 20 museums and archaeological sites deemed of ‘major national interest’ will become self-governing institutions, no longer run by civil servants in the culture ministry.” The Art Newspaper, July 25, 2014

South Korea

US and South Korea join forces to protect cultural heritage Governments sign first memorandum of understanding concerning recovery and restitution of stolen property. July 25, 2014


The Top 10 Artists Lost To The World Because Of World War I “The first world war occured at one of the most creative moments in the history of art.” The Guardian, July 24, 2014


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