Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, August 6, 2014


Queering the International speaks to love, hate around the world. “As you walk through Queering the International, the visual-arts component of this year’s Queer Arts Festival, you encounter a kind of improvised soundscape. It’s as if the audio elements of the diverse video works, playing on monitors throughout the Roundhouse’s exhibition hall, were having a complexly interwoven conversation with each other.” Georgia Straight, July 30, 2014

Art this week: New West Cultural Crawl, Lincoln Clarkes photos and an exhibition of Chinese-Canadian artists. Noteworthy art events include: Lincoln Clarkes: Giving Notice at Initial Gallery, the New West Cultural Crawl and the Greater Vancouver Chinese-Canadian Invitational Exhibition at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum. Vancouver Sun, August 5, 2014

Futuristic foliage: architect Matthew Soules melds the natural and modernist for Harmony Arts Festival installation. A quite-literally-cool art installation at the Harmony Arts Festival let visitors catch some shade as they entered the West Vancouver site. Georgia Straight, July 31, 2014

Portrait of an Artist: Justine Andrew. Through Justine Andrew’s attraction to clean lines and dynamic architecture emerges a unique style that’s constantly evolving, and always eye-pleasing. Recently, 29-year-old took some time out from her work a new series inspired by her travels to answer our questions about her art and the woman behind it. Georgia Straight, July 31, 2014


Robert Amos: Digging up an artist’s unique treasures. Artist David Toresdahl has been gone for 10 years now. His widow, Louise Bohun, and gallery owner Martin Batchelor thought it was time to give his powerful sculptural ceramics and mysterious drawings the attention they deserve. His rugged work gets better with age. Times Colonist, Aug. 3, 2014

Marilyn Monroe mural in downtown Victoria goes a-wall. Marilyn Monroe has stolen many hearts over the years, but last Friday someone stole Marilyn, or at least a mural of the sultry actress, from the outside wall of a downtown restaurant. Local artist Paul Archer painted the mural on plywood for $3,200. It was mounted on two-by-four frames, which were left behind.Times Colonist, August 5, 2014


Art and Commerce Find Harmony at the Esker Foundation. Calgary continues to be a boom town, with one of the highest rates of economic growth in the country, more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in Canada and unmatched opportunities for wildlife viewing. But, says Jim Hill, the 63-year-old president and founder of the Esker Foundation, “There was a desperate need for more quality visual-arts space here.” Canadian Art, August 4, 2014


Cool Gardens return in time for hot spell. Seven contemporary garden and art installations, all designed with the sense of cooling during the summer, make up the Cool Gardens 2014 exhibition. The project features stops from the Via Station on Main Street through The Forks to Provencher Boulevard. Winnipeg Free Press, August 6, 2014


Newman’s revenge: The value of Voice of Fire is scorching hot. It’s been just under a quarter-century since the National Gallery of Canada dove head first and ankle deep into the well of American abstract expressionism, with then-unprecedented purchases that thrilled some viewers and left others scratching their heads and asking – and here I helpfully translate into the acronym-crazy internet lingo of today – WTF?Ottawa Citizen, July 31, 2014


Luminato gets room to breathe with $2.5 million annual grant. The province of Ontario is backing Luminato again, promising the well-connected Toronto arts festival an annual grant for the next three years – albeit at a new, reduced level. Festival chief executive officer Janice Price informed the board this week that the province will be providing $2.5-million annually from 2015 to 2017. Globe & Mail, August 1, 2014

When Abstraction Gets Real: Nicole Ondre & Neil Campbell. The odour wafting through Diaz Contemporary is that of art. Or a certain kind of art, at least: the kind of abstract floor and wall pieces that artist Nicole Ondre creates out of materials like linseed oil, asphalt, and still-oozing oil paint…These aspects of Ondre’s work come across even more strongly when presented in counterpoint with the creations of fellow artist Neil Campbell. Canadian Art, August 1, 2014

Video Report: Fan the Flames at the AGO. In this video report, Canadian Art associate editor David Balzer visits “Fan the Flames: Queer Positions in Photography” at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Assembled by associate curator of photography Sophie Hackett as part of the AGO’s World Pride 2014 programming, the exhibition runs to September 7. . – Canadian Art, August 5, 2014


Graffiti isn’t always an eyesore. Point-St-Charles mural kept clean by teens from local YMCA, but tagging remains an issue for many in Montreal. Montreal Gazette, August 4, 2014


One tree, 40 different fruits. That’s artist Sam Van Aken’s vision. Sam Van Aken creates living work by grafting 40 plants onto one tree. His works in progress are already a hit with chipmunks, squirrels, deer and at least one particularly enthusiastic groundhog. Toronto Star, August 6, 2014

Racine, WI

Under the Lily Pads. “It’s risky to call any office building a masterwork. Even the most insightful architecture can prove too inflexible in the face of changing business models, advancing technologies and the volatile fate of companies themselves. Yet Wright’s design for H.F. Johnson Jr., the third-generation leader of what was then called S.C. Johnson & Son, endures both because of the innate intelligence of its design and the pride the family-owned company takes in it.” Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2014

New York

A Lifetime of Looking, Magically Recovered. The New York Times‘ chief art critic imagines an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, buildings, books, and other objects that “have altered the atmosphere [and] changed how I see.” New York Times, August 5, 2014

50 Shades of Blue, Green, Everything. Art and adversity are old friends. When Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler, currently the subject of a poignant exhibition at Galerie Perrotin on Madison Avenue, were starting out as artists, straitened circumstances meant they had to take house-painting jobs to pay the rent. They found themselves fascinated by houses, colors, even the names of colors: subjects that became the focus of a joint career that continued until Ms. Ericson’s death from brain cancer in 1995 at the age of 39. New York Times, July 31, 2014

‘The Intuitionists’ and ‘Small’. In 1977 the Drawing Center began a program in which aspiring artists could submit works to be seen by the center’s curators. Supplicants might be included in the center’s artist registry, and the luckiest would be featured in Selections, an often interesting series of new-talent shows. Now, with “The Intuitionists,” the viewing program is coming to an end. New York Times, July 31, 2014


Isn’t There a Better Way? Suggesting that the Corcoran should now entertain the same suitors it previously had reason to reject is probably a nonstarter. Instead of negotiating from weakness, the Corcoran should first focus on how to build on its strengths. Bolstering the board with munificent members is crucial. Notwithstanding his power play, [Wayne] Reynolds is to be thanked for identifying hot prospects.” Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2014

University of Maryland adds own plan to proposals for rescue of Corcoran Gallery. A third proposal to “save” the Corcoran Gallery of Art emerged in D.C. Superior Court on Thursday when Wallace D. Loh, president of the University of Maryland, testified that within six weeks he could deliver a proposal to balance the budget and keep the institution independent and in Washington, albeit in partnership with the flagship campus in College Park. Washington Post, July 31, 2014


A gallery visit? Leave the children at home, says top artist. Jake Chapman claims parents are ‘arrogant’ for thinking children can understand complex artwork. The Independent, August 3, 2014

Abu Dhabi

Slaves of Happiness Island. The most simplistic accusation against Abu Dhabi is that by building branches of the Louvre or Guggenheim, the city is buying culture. This logic pretends that Cleopatra’s Needle ended up in Paris through the goodness of Egyptian hearts, or that Lord Elgin didn’t just pillage the marbles that bear his name. Those accusations also perpetuate another myth: The UAE has no culture of its own.” Vice, August 4, 2014

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