Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, February 19, 2015


The Scout List: Cézanne, It’s a Sheep Show and Kevin Morby. Cézanne and the Modern: Masterpieces of European Art, as well as Clair de Lune: 19th and Early 20th Century French Paintings (designed to complement the Cézanne exhibit), are freshly hanging on the walls of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Also, Main Street’s Hot Art Wet City gallery invites you to the launch of a group art show celebrating the Lunar New Year. Globe & Mail, February 18, 2015

Five Minutes In The Studio With The Artist James K, AKA Fourhundred Ml. “I guess you could call it a ‘rough realism,’” says James K. of his singular painting style. The moniker he’s adopted as an artist, Fourhundred Ml, refers to the aerosol cans that are his primary tool. Although to look at his hyper-detailed photorealistic paintings, you’d never guess he’d used largely spray paint. Scout Magazine, February 17, 2015

Art from the Archive: When Diane Farris Gallery was at the top in Vancouver. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Diane Farris Gallery was arguably the top gallery in Vancouver. The gallery had a stable of young, dynamic artists such as Attila Richard Lukacs, Angela Grossmann, Graham Gillmore and Derek Root . They had shot to prominence as a result of the influential Young Romantics exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1985. Vancouver Sun (Blog), February 18, 2015

Historian seeks lost B.C. landscapes by black painter, who posed as white 3 British Columbia’s first professional artist was a social chameleon who had shed his past in California as a black porter to live briefly in 1880s Victoria as a white painter. Now, more than 130 years after Grafton Tyler Brown set up shop and was feted by locals at his first art exhibition, a University of Victoria historian is asking the public to help find what may be hundreds of lost B.C. landscapes painted by an artist who went through a racial reinvention that helped him practise his craft. Globe and Mail, February 17, 2015


An all-seeing I: A closer look at the AGO’s sombre Lodz Ghetto photo exhibit. Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross, a recently opened show at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto is a sombre, sobering, complicated affair, all grey walls and subdued lighting and, really, how could it be otherwise? Globe & Mail, February 18, 2015

Silke Otto-Knapp Joins Basquiat at AGO Painting Summit. Painting is the draw at the Art Gallery of Ontario for the next few months with the overlap of two remarkable but very different exhibitions. “Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time” is a powerhouse survey of works by the 1980s New York–art star. “Land lies in water” is a quiet assembly of recent paintings by the German-born, LA-based artist Silke Otto-Knapp. Canadian Art, February 19, 2015


Jock MacDonald’s paintings showcase nature’s immensity at Osahwa’s McLaughlin Gallery. James “Jock” MacDonald, of Painters 11 fame and the subject of a career retrospective now showing at the McLaughlin Gallery, retained his Scottish pragmatism even as he attempted to capture the mystic in his art works. Durham Region News, February 19, 2015


Cuba, in paintings, is both warm and charming. In the series of paintings entitled Havana and the Delicious Madness, Ross Rheaume captures the old, communist city’s streets, architecture and anachronistic automobiles, all in a reverential style of painting that itself may seem charmingly old-fashioned in these digitally obsessed times. Ottawa Citizen, February 19, 2015

Jack Bush closing soon at NGC — including his most expensive painting. The widely acclaimed Bush exhibition closes Feb. 22, but until then there are dozens of canvases made by the late, Canadian abstract expressionist to be seen. Ottawa Citizen, February 18, 2015

Women artists inspired by sad tale of Jillian O’Connor. Jillian O’Connor’s story — a young mother diagnosed with terminal cancer while pregnant — is heartbreaking, and it has moved many people in Ottawa and beyond to try to help her family. Now a group of female artists, inspired by Jillian’s plight and courage, is creating a large, maternal work to calm and inspire women who are fighting cancer. The list of 30 participants who will create Mother & Child includes well-known artists in the city, such as Heidi Conrod, Sarah Lake, Katerina Mertikas, Crystal Beshara and more than two dozen others. Ottawa Citizen, February 13, 2015

San Diego

Sledgehammer-Wielding Vandal Destroys Michael Asher Sculpture A sledgehammer-wielding vandal has destroyed a granite sculpture of a drinking fountain created by Conceptual artist Michael Asher—the only permanent outdoor piece of Asher’s that had been on view in the United States. Artforum, February 18, 2015

Los Angeles

Vivian Maier – Secret Photographer, Oscar Contender. She cradles a Rolleicord camera to her breast, her eyes staring into her reflection. Until recently, the woman behind the camera was unknown, living a quiet life as a nanny in Chicago and dying, alone in a nursing home, in 2009 at the age of 83. When Vivian Maier’s cache of 100,000 images were unearthed, her work was compared with the greats of street photography. British Journal of Photography. February 17, 2015

New York

Review: Donatello in a Valedictory Show at the Museum of Biblical Art “Sculpture in the Age of Donatello” features 23 pieces from the Florence Cathedral that illustrate the birth of the Renaissance. New York Times, February 18, 2015

Sotheby’s Spring Sales Will Offer 35 Works to Benefit MOCA Los Angeles News of New York’s big spring contemporary auctions is beginning to trickle out, and it seems Sotheby’s has nabbed a fairly intriguing, if philanthropic, consignment. ARTnews, February 18, 2015

Mario Schifano Luxembourg & Dayan / New York Whether through formal semiotics or a more conceptual approach, Mario Schifano’s artworks tell the story of a particular generation. Flash Art, February 17, 2015

Richard Avedon’s Foundation Wins Lawsuit against Insurance Giant AXA A long-running dispute between AXA Art Insurance and the Richard Avedon Foundation has finally been resolved—in Avedon’s favor. It began in 2011, when Avedon’s photo The Chicago Seven, September 25, 1969 sustained water damage at the Long Island City facility where it was stored, according to Lorena Muñoz-Alonso in Artnet. Artforum, February 19, 2015

United States

US museums capitalise on baby boomers’ desire to write big cheques “Quietly does it” pays off as fundraising is put on a fast track, with Houston’s millionaires in a particularly generous mood. The Smithsonian has quietly raised $1bn over the past four years. The Art Newspaper, February 19, 2015


Mexico’s Modern-Day Diego Riveras “In the 1920s and ’30s, Mexican muralists like Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco painted murals that powerfully illustrated the issues of their day. Today, street artists rule the nation’s walls, addressing its problems with an arsenal of wit and aerosol cans.” Hyperallergic, February 19, 2015


British Library Expanding Its Endangered Archives Online The library has now made available online four million digital images from its collection of rare manuscripts… At a moment when libraries and archives in the Middle East face threats of damage and destruction from war and ideology, the British Library has announced that it has now made four million images from its Endangered Archives program available online. New York Times, February 18, 2015

Tate website reposts landscapes by convicted child abuser Graham Ovenden Images of children still available to view at gallery “by application” The Art Newspaper, February 19, 2015

Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s, V&A, review: ”beautiful and arresting” The first image that greets visitors in this small but powerful exhibition is Armet Francis’s 1964 work, ‘Self-portrait in Mirror’. The young photographer – he was just 19 at the time – stands hunched intently over his camera in a room crowded with the trappings of daily life. The Telegraph, February 19, 2015

Toronto firm transforms Canadian paintings into carpets for London’s Canada House. A piece by B.C. artist Leslie Robert Sam (LessLIE) was transformed into a rug designed by Creative Matters Inc. in Toronto and hand-tufted at Cabernet Carpets in Waterloo. Other artist’s works that were transformed include Brandy Wilson and Will Gill. Toronto Star, February 19, 2015


Inside China – L’intérieur du Géant Palais de Tokyo / Paris A polyphony of sounds, materials and shapes emerge in the various works in the exhibition “Inside China – L’intérieur du Géant” at the Palais de Tokyo. Included are works by five Chinese and three French artists. Flash Art, February 19, 2015


Italian art restorer denies damaging medieval frescoes Newspapers quoted an expert saying he had noticed significant changes to works by Giotto and others in the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi. The Guardian, February 18, 2015


Page-turners The woman who magics vintage books into art Russian artist Ekaterina Panikanova buys old books in bulk, flings open their pages then paints them with old-fashioned surrealist scenes of badgers doing gymnastics, gateaus riding pushbikes – and a springbok jumping over a candlestick. It all looks familiar, and yet, uncanny. The Guardian, February 19, 2015


Yu Honglei Antenna Space / Shanghai Yu Honglei’s “Fat Mouse” looks like a primitive land infected by space-age aesthetics.Three spheres on tripods, each 1.5 meters in diameter (Mud Ball 1, Mud Ball 2, Mud Ball 3, 2014) recall Eero Aarnio’s famous “Ball Chair,” yet possesses the texture of crude pottery. Flash Art, February 18, 2015

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