Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, September 25, 2014


Three films at VIFF that offer lessons for a reimagined Vancouver blueprint. “This is a crucial moment in the long campaign for a new Vancouver Art Gallery: After years of debate, the city is finally months away from seeing conceptual plans; the lead architect happens to be coming to town during the festival to hold a public forum. So when a film offers a thoughtful meditation on how a work of architecture can affect not only its inhabitants but also the place in which it resides (Cathedrals of Culture); or allows us to be observers in the galleries and behind the scenes at one of the great art museums in the world (National Gallery); or takes us through the massive renovation at another iconic European museum (The Great Museum), Vancouver should be paying attention.” Globe & Mail, September 24, 2014

Cathedrals of Culture: the documentary that tries – and fails – to find the souls of buildings. “Wim Wenders and a team of directors attempt to show ‘the soul of buildings’, from the Pompidou Centre to the most humane prison in the world, in 3D. But their sickly-sweet results feel more like a series of vapid promo videos.” The Guardian, September 25, 2014

Culture Days 2014 offer downtown art tours. “Sometimes the best surprises are hidden in plain sight, as media artist Emilie Crewe discovered while planning the two free public-art-themed walking tours she’ll host this weekend, as part of Culture Days 2014.” Georgia Straight, September 24, 2014

Port Alberni

B.C. First Nations group condemns aboriginal watchman for opening burial boxes. “The actions of an aboriginal tourism operator in British Columbia who gave some travellers access to ancient burial boxes, including revealing the skeletal remains inside, have been condemned by his fellow First Nations.” Globe & Mail, September 24, 2014


From the ground up. Three exhibitions by nationally recognized Winnipeg painters (Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline, and RBC finalists, Ufuk Guera, Robert Taite) showcase a full range of innovative strategies. Winnipeg Free Press, September 24, 2014


Art Bank, NAC and others open doors for Culture Days. “Culture Days, the national festival of open houses in museums and other institutions, return September 26 to 28, giving the public an opportunity to go behind the scenes — and all of it with free admission. One federal cultural institution will be going all-local. The Canada Council Art Bank, at 921 St. Laurent Boulevard, will display more than 100 works by artists from the Ottawa-area, all collected since the Art Bank was founded 42 years ago.” Ottawa Citizen, September 24, 2014

New York

Shadows Return to Ellis Island. The French artist JR, brings Ellis Island’s abandoned hospital to life. New York Times, September 24, 2014

Photography Center Leaving Midtown for the Bowery. The International Center of Photography, which is trying to redefine itself in an image-saturated digital era and attract a new generation of benefactors, has decided to buy a building on the Bowery near the New Museum and relocate there next year, after its longtime lease in Midtown ends. New York Times, September 24, 2014

One Photographer’s Beautiful and Devastating Response to Climate Change. Almost a decade ago, David Benjamin Sherry began taking trips through the American West. Although he grew up around the Catskill Mountains, once he began photographing the terrain on the other side of the country, he knew he was on to something. Hi work, part of an ongoing series of monocolor landscape images shot with a large format camera at f/64 are currently on view at Danziger Gallery and Salon 94, both in New York City. Slate, September 23, 2014


Painter & Award Founder Joseph Plaskett Dies at 96. Canadian painter Joseph Plaskett died in his sleep on September 21 in England at the age of 96. Born in New Westminster, BC, on July 12, 1918, Plaskett became known for painting intimate, everyday scenes such as interiors, still lifes, and portraits of friends and models. Though Plaskett’s painting style was far from revolutionary, it was well respected, with his works being collected by public art galleries across the country, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Canadian Art, September 24, 2014

European Union

Artists see red over cadmium ban. “ The EU is weighing a restriction on the chemical following pressure from Sweden, which argues that artists pollute the food chain when they rinse their brushes in the sink. Cadmium ends up in sewage sludge and is then spread on agricultural land.” Responds one pigment maker, “Artists are not rotters; they are not tipping this stuff down the drain. The Art Newspaper, September 25, 2014


Leonardo restoration sheds light on genius as a young man. Leonardo began work on The Adoration of the Magi in 1481 and abandoned it a year later. “The current restoration project, which began three years ago, has removed much of the dull, oxidized varnish as well as traces of past restoration attempts, revealing many previously hidden details, facial expressions and subtleties of light and shadow.” Reuters, September 24, 2014

Hailstorm does €1.5m worth of damage to Florence’s museums. Freak weather events caused around €1.5m worth of damage to Florence’s institutions last week, including the Uffizi Galleries, which were evacuated and closed for the day. The Art Newspaper, September 24, 2014

Northern Spain

Altamira caves to remain open until next year. Visitors will continue to be able to visit the Paleolithic art at Altamira Caves in Northern Spain until February 2015, officials announced last week. The caves, closed to the public since 2002, were experimentally opened earlier this year. The Art Newspaper, September 24, 2014

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