Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, August 7, 2014

Our next Arts News will be out on August 13, 2014, while we take a short break for staff holidays.



Vancouver Biennale aims to rewrite contemporary Brazilian culture. “Open Borders/Crossroads Vancouver, the theme of the 2014 Vancouver Biennale, invites any number of trite interpretations. Happily, lively ideas about the nature of place, along with a strong feeling for materials, reveal themselves through the mixed-media installations and large-scale sculptures on view in the biennale’s International Pavilion.” Georgia Straight, August 5, 2014

Fred Herzog photo on new stamp revives fond memories. “Robert Lawson picked up the July 16 Vancouver Sun and found he was on a new stamp. The Powell River resident was one of a quartet of kids photographed by Fred Herzog in his colourful 1960s shot Bogner’s Grocery, which is part of a new Canada Post series on Canadian photography.” Vancouver Sun, August 7, 2014


Amy Fung Appointed Artistic Director of Images Fest. Amy Fung—a writer, curator, facilitator, and researcher currently based in Vancouver—has been announced as the new artistic director of Toronto’s Images Festival. Canadian Art, August 5, 2014


9 Thoughts on Running a Gallery—Without a Gallery Space. “How do you run a gallery… without a gallery space? Given the rising rents in cities across Canada, this is a question a number of organizations have been grappling with—including Halifax’s Eyelevel Gallery, one of Canada’s oldest artist-run centres.” Canadian Art, August 6, 2014

New York

Art All Over. Peter Schjeldahl: “At what point does a widely shared yen for aesthetic engagement alter the character of that engagement? We’ve reached that point on many days at the Museum of Modern Art, where the crowds experience mainly crowdedness, and the Picassos and Pollocks take on the glazed miens of traumatized warriors.” New Yorker, August 7, 2014

Invitation to a Dialogue: Less Ego in Architects. “Several high-profile architects in the media recently perpetuate an image of architects as ethically insensitive, competitively destructive and socially tone-deaf… Having watched ourselves increasingly backed into the corner of aesthetic elitism, we are now more interested in models of practice that do away with the egos and the glamorous buildings they are associated with.” New York Times, August 2, 2014

Life of Wonderment. Caledonia Curry (aka Swoon) started her career as a street artist, but leapfrogged to museums and galleries. Now she has expanded her work to include installation and performance art, often with an activist bent. New York Times, August 6, 2014

Clock Curator Keeps Museum’s Collection on Time. For 40 years, Clare Vincent, a 78-year-old associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has been winding the institution’s European clocks. Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2014

Tower of Mushrooms, a modern eco-friendly work of art. A new art installation at MoMa PS1, an extension of New York’s famous Museum of Modern Art, is the largest structure to ever be made out of mushroom-based bricks. Toronto Star, August 7, 2014

Hudson, NY

Marina Abramovic Institute responds to critics of unpaid positions. Art blogger Jillian Steinhauer of Hyperallergic wrote about an intriguing series of job postings Thursday on the website for the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). The not-for-profit Marina Abramovic Institute foundation (MAI), established by Serbian-born performance artist Marina Abramovic, was seeking unpaid “volunteers” for a series of part-time positions. The story touches on a very big nerve about inequity in the art world, where a small group of well-to-do artists frequently benefits from the unpaid or underpaid labor of others. Los Angeles Times, August 1, 2014


MFA expands loans of well-known works. The practice has seen such MFA masterpieces as Monet’s ‘Grainstack,’ Van Gogh’s ‘Postman Joseph Roulin,’ and Degas’s ‘Edmondo and Therese Morbilli’ sent to fee-paying museums in Japan, to the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas, and to shows in northern Italy organized by Linea d’Ombra, a profit-making company that organizes blockbuster exhibitions.” The Boston Globe, August 3, 2014


John Myatt: The artist and convicted forger on life and art in and out of prison. “A lot of people were interested in my work after I got out The arresting officer commissioned me to paint his family portrait, and the barristers who ran the case against me wanted me to paint for them, too, as a memento of the case. Now I find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that, were it not for having been part of this crime, I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today.” The Independent, August 3, 2014


Edinburgh art festival 2014 review – a vintage year. A golden year, a vintage crop: that is the main news from Edinburgh as the art festival gets under way. The 11th edition is so vast – well over 100 artists – it seems to fill every last cranny. The city’s galleries are glutted. The Guardian, August 3, 2014

Dakar, Senegal

The Controversial Senegalese Monument Built by North Korean Propaganda Artists. It’s not just that an enormous piece (half again the size of the Statue of Liberty) of Socialist Realism (in 2010? Really?) made in Pyongyang got plopped down in Dakar. Look at the money involved (and not involved) and things get really bizarre.Slate, August 4, 2014


For ages, artists have been drawn to rape of Lucretia (Crimes of Passion). Philip Kennicott: “One [hand] resolutely grasps the dagger, the other is held open, in a pose of futile resistance. And they are very sturdy hands for a woman with a face as young as the Lucretia in this image. Rembrandt’s Lucretia kills herself with the hands of a man. Which makes visual the ugly truth of the story: Her suicide is a final act of male violence.” Washington Post, August 1, 2014

The top 10 suns in art. From Monet’s mellow yellows to Olafur Eliasson’s giant cosmic installation in the Tate’s Turbine Hall, here are the best examples of solar flair by art’s sun-worshippers. The Guardian, August 7, 2014

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