Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 8, 2015

Vancouver

On seeing the Cézannes at the Vancouver Art Gallery. All these years, I have walked by Cézanne’s paintings without really seeing a thing. Something shifted for me, and it had to do with another show at the VAG: Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art, in particular the work of Qiu Shihua. Vancouver Observer (Blog), April 6, 2015

Art this week: works by Evann Siebens, Stephen Foster and Karin Bubaš. Exhibitions opening this week include: Evann Siebens at Burrard Arts Foundation Studio, Stephen Foster at Surrey Art Gallery and Karin Bubaš at Monte Clark Gallery Vancouver Sun, April 7, 2015

Vancouver artist on a magic carpet ride. Vancouver artist Zoe Pawlak is best-known for her paintings and drawings, such as her white on white series that has proved popular at The Cross Décor & Design and can be found hanging in studios like Peter Wilds Design in Gastown. Vancouver Sun, April 2, 2015

Victoria

On the Street: Art gallery appoints new curator. The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has appointed Haema Sivanesan as curator, June 1. Sivanesan brings more than 20 years of experience from various positions in public galleries and artist-run centres in Canada and Australia, and has significant experience in Asian art. Times Colonist, April 8, 2015

Our Culture: Bringing history Out of the Mist. Out of the Mist Gallery reminds me of one of those museums, the kind called “the nation’s attic.” Pressing the door buzzer to be let in, I found owner Tom Stark sitting there behind a desk heaped with … with what? Books and birch bark, argillite and ivory. Times Colonist, April 5, 2015

Penticton

Woman sets Penticton artist block in motion. An empty retail space in Penticton’s downtown will soon serve as a launch pad for emerging artists. After taking part in the success of a similar project out of Perth, Australia, Vaelie Walkden-Brown is preparing to set the 557 Artist Block in motion. Penticton Western News, April 7, 2015

Saskatoon

The final exhibits at Saskatoon’s Mendel Art Gallery. The Mendel Art Gallery has served the community for over 50 years. Now, final exhibitions are on display leading up to the gallery’s closure. Global News, April 6, 2015

Toronto

Mind the art: Stuart Reid aims to redefine commuting with his large-scale art installation at Union Station. With “Zones of Immersion,” artist Stuart Reid’s new installation at Toronto’s Union Station, the artist hopes to change commuters by asking them to look up and consider their surroundings, if only until the train pulls out of the station. National Post, April 8, 2015

Drawing the line on cultural development in Toronto. As city bends rules to accommodate growth, arts groups have been able to benefit. Toronto Star, April 5, 2015

Ottawa

The “selfie” reimagined by 3 female photographers. Self-portraits have been around almost as long as our selves, but they get a bad rap in the camera-phone age. Three young, female photographers reconsider the digital phenomenon in their exhibition Selfie, at Karsh-Masson Gallery in Ottawa city hall to April 19. Olivia Johnston, Magida El-Kassis and Jennifer Stewart — all graduates of SPAO, the photography school in Ottawa — use “experimental self-portraits” to “grapple with our bodily manifestations. Ottawa Citizen, April 7, 2015

Father-daughter art shows make for a great outing. Dale Dunning has the exhibition Personae, at the Espace Pierre Debain in Aylmer, while Annie Dunning, his daughter, has Sapsucker Sounds at Gallery 101 in Ottawa. On the surface the shows are very different, but a closer look reveals how both artists have turned ordinary objects into artworks that are anything but ordinary. Ottawa Citizen, April 3, 2015

Montreal

MAW Collective Forget the Punchline. In their recent show at CK2, the Montreal-based MAW Collective chose to forego the punchline entirely, with sculptures that feel like a long, convoluted, build up that meanders around until viewers get lost, or simply forget what they’ve already been given… The MAW Collective’s strategy is to make good art out of bad comedy. Canadian Art, April 8, 2015

Halifax

‘Something to experience:’ Caution tape, sculpture used to challenge art gallery visitors in Halifax. Starting Saturday and running until Sept.13, John Greer’s retroActive brings the reknown sculptor’s work from the late 1960s to today into the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to challenge how we traditionally experience and think about art. Metro News, April 6, 2015

Canada

Solid payoff from arts funding. Investing in arts and culture is good for business. Results in a national report by Business for the Arts show more than half of Canadians favour businesses that invest in arts and culture. Winnipeg Free Press, April 8, 2015

Pasadena

California court says Cranach suit can go ahead. The California Supreme Court “chastened the museum in its ruling, stating ‘that there is nothing unfair about affording plaintiff an opportunity to pursue the merits of her claims against Norton Simon… Museums are sophisticated entities that are well-equipped to trace the provenance of the fine art that they purchase.’” The Art Newspaper, April 3, 2015

New York

Two Beds And The Burdens Of Feminist Art. Rebecca Mead considers Tracey Emin’s famous installation My Bed and the mattress that Columbia undergrad Emma Sulkowicz has been carrying with her on campus, an art project (which she is submitting as a thesis) inspired by a rape she alleges happened in her dorm room. The New Yorker, April 6, 2015

How Diller and von Furstenberg Got Their Island in Hudson River Park. “The $113 million for Pier 55, for which Hudson River Park still has only an oral pledge from Mr. Diller, has put the spotlight on the park’s longstanding financial problems, embodied by the deterioration of Pier 40, at the foot of Houston Street.” New York Times, April 3, 2015

Cambridge, MA

Watching Them Turn Off the Rothkos. Five digital projectors have been programmed to light the canvases so that the original colors reappear. At four o’clock every day, the projectors are turned off one by one, and the colors revert to (mostly) muddy blacks and grays. … As one observer put it, when the lights go off, comedy turns into tragedy.” The New Yorker, April 1, 2016

London

Figures don’t lie: Inside a Canadian collector’s wooden mannequin exhibition. On my kitchen table stands a 30-centimetre wooden articulated artist’s model, which acts more as a mood board than an aid for drawing. It’s the tiny mass-produced descendant of the handmade artists’ mannequins from several centuries that Ydessa Hendeles has been quietly collecting for the past two decades. Globe & Mail, April 6, 2015

As its director quits, Tate Britain must find the fun factor – or shut its doors. “Penelope Curtis had become the focus of interest at Tate Britain in a way that wasn’t healthy for her or the museum. Her record was actually mixed: she improved the main collection displays, putting more of the Tate’s collection on view. That was good.”The Guardian, April 1, 2015

British Museum director Neil MacGregor stepping down. British Museum director Neil MacGregor, who led the London institution as it became the country’s top tourist draw, is stepping down. Yahoo News, April 8, 2015

National Theatre makeover: big round of applause for Haworth Tompkins. There is a view of architecture, not much heard now, that it is like symphonic music, a sculpture, or a poem. It is a hard-won composition of parts and whole, with harmonies, contrasts and resolutions. It is ideally taut and considered, such that every detail contributes, and nothing can be added or taken away without changing the totality. The Guardian April 6, 2015

Canberra

Skinny-dipping in the void: the day I toured James Turrell’s art show naked. The dignified halls of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra are an unconventional space to wear your birthday suit. But here we are, on Wednesday evening, 50 art lovers disrobing with quiet, private trepidation. The Guardian, April 2, 2015

International

Seeing a Cash Cow in Museums’ Precious Art. “Some French lawmakers, for example, are raising the prospect of selling some of the 500,000 objects in storage at the Louvre, using an American model that would limit museums to shedding duplicate works that are not part of a core collection and using the proceeds to pay for future acquisitions. The New York Times, April 4, 2015

A Multimillion-Dollar Markup on a Modigliani. “It’s a $60 billion market where you can’t find out real prices, real ownership or the actual buyers and sellers. But as values have gone up, we have more lawsuits, and collectors are finding out what really goes on behind the scenes.” New York Times, April 4, 2015

12 Must-Read Tips for a Successful Career in the Art World. Life as an aspiring artist is an endless sea of precarious arrangements, commercial demands, and cutthroat competitiveness. How to cope? Phaidon has come to the rescue with Akademie X: Lessons in Art + Life, a fantastic compilation of advice for struggling creative types from artists. Artnews, April 6, 2015

How to Navigate the Art World. It’s easy to mock the contemporary art world, but do so at your peril: You’ll miss some truly good stuff. A new book, The Contemporaries: Travels in the 21st Century Art World, shows how to be discerning without being dismissive. The Daily Beast, April 5, 2015

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