Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 9, 2015


Art from the Archive: Brutopia takes over the Vancouver Art Gallery. “In 1973, the spirit of innovation was thriving at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The image above shows Dr. Brute – aka Eric Metcalfe – and helpers painting leopard spots on the outside of the gallery at night.” Art Seen (Kevin Griffin), Vancouver Sun Blog, April 8, 2015

Colin Smith and Christos Dikeakos put new twists on landscape photography. “You might wonder what Christos Dikeakos’s documentary-style photographs of orchards in the Okanagan Valley have in common with Colin Smith’s camera obscura images of the interior of a camping trailer in southern Alberta. In many ways, however, the similarities are striking.” Georgia Straight, April 8, 2015

A Risky Jump: video of artist falling finds space and time in time. A Risky Jump at Wil Aballe Art Projects is more than a video showing the artist Scott Billings falling in ultra slow motion and coming safely to rest on a crash pad. Art Seen (Kevin Griffin), Vancouver Sun Blog, April 8, 2015

Kwakwaka’wakw potlatch masks: Art made to be destroyed. Art made to be destroyed sounds like an avant-garde art project. But among the Kwakwaka’wakw, it’s far from being new. They’ve been doing it for a long time. The works with temporary lives are masks. They all illustrate stories owned – in an indigenous version of intellectual property rights – by the family of artist and chief Beau Dick. Art Seen (Kevin Griffin), Vancouver Sun Blog, April 6, 2015

Emily Carr University unveils design for Great Northern Way campus. After “hundreds and hundreds” of hours of meetings to seek input, Emily Carr University of Art + Design is unveiling a design for its new Great Northern Way campus. Mr. Schmitt of Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects met with The Globe and Mail and Emily Carr University president Ron Burnett before a presentation of the design late Wednesday at City Hall. Globe & Mail, April 8, 2015


Hot Ticket: Surrey Art Gallery. With just a few hundred fluent speakers remaining, Gitxsanimaax – like thousands of native tongues around the globe – is a language at risk of extinction. And what we stand to lose is the focus of Anspayaxw, a powerful installation by renowned London-based Canadian sound artist John Wynne. Globe & Mail, April 8, 2015


Calgary Biennial Takes Conservatism to Task. Optimism, or at least a yearning for something better, is at the core of this collection of 15 diverse contemporary-art projects by artists who use guerrilla tactics to, in Steven Cottingham’s words, “appropriate commercial vernaculars of the urban landscape in order to challenge conservative status quos.” Canadian Art, April 6, 2015


City puts out call for record $1M public art installation. Look out, arena art — Edmonton’s biggest-ever single public art commission will soon sit within sight of the monumental Canada Packers smokestack on Fort Road. Edmonton Journal, April 8, 2015


New Emily Carr exhibit at AGO to give audiences look into artist’s life. A new exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario attempts to reintroduce Carr to Toronto audiences. Featuring some of her most outstanding artifacts and paintings, the show explores her fascination with the Canadian West Coast. From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia opens Saturday and runs through early July. Metro News, April 9, 2015

7 Projects We Want to See at the Images Festival. The 28th edition of Toronto’s Images Festival begins this week with experimental film, video and moving-image work opening across the city. With projects by more than 130 artists and collectives at almost 25 venues, the Images Festival offers a wealth of material, but can be a little overwhelming to navigate. Here, we select seven projects we recommend attending. Canadian Art, April 7, 2015

Luminato adds a pair of mini festivals to its slate. Luminato is such a sprawling, wide-ranging event that it often feels like a festival of festivals – but, for the 2015 edition, that’s exactly what the Toronto multi-arts festival intends to be. Globe & Mail, April 8, 2015

Luminato thinks big and family-friendly in 2015. The ten-day Toronto festival includes big events like Apocalypsis, big venues like the Hearn Generation Station, family fare like a TSO concert with pets and a focus on artists of the Americas. Toronto Star, April 8, 2015


Big statements and tiny provocations, in Governor General’s Awards for visual arts at National Gallery. Another year, another set of winners of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, and in the annual exhibition that sense of time passing is eloquently marked by a brown paper bag. Ottawa Citizen, April 9, 2015

New stamps celebrate Canadian photographers. This year’s set includes photographs by Nina Raginsky, Sam Tata, Geoffrey James, Larry Towell, Geneviève Cadieux, Conrad Poirier and Harold Mortimer-Lamb. Ottawa Citizen, April 8, 2015


Problem Child: The Provocations of Jonathan Hobin. “I usually avoid commenting on the work of Ottawa-based artist Jonathan Hobin… Hobin’s most recent body of work, however, finally delivers some content worthy of comment.” Canadian Art, April 9, 2015

Burlington, ON

New Burlington art gallery president. Robert Steven has been appointed the new president and CEO of the Art Gallery of Burlington. Currently, Steven is the manager of the Culture and Heritage Department in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Inside Halton, April 8, 2015


Local artist Philip Robbins showcasing art of a face. Phil Robbins, an artist from Corner Brook, who now lives in Montreal, has been photographing portraits for years, compiling an extensive exhibit he calls Faces. The Western Star, April 9, 2015


Wright stuff in the Arizona desert (sorry ‘bout the snakes). Alien, yes, but this is merely the Sonoran Desert behind Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, an architecture school that has perched on the McDowell Mountain foothills above Scottsdale, Ariz., since the 1930s. Globe & Mail, April 1, 2015

United States

Museums Begin Returning Artifacts to India in Response to Investigation. Several American museums have begun returning possibly stolen artifacts to India in response to a major federal investigation into the activities of Subhash Kapoor, a dealer identified by authorities as having once run the largest antiquities smuggling operation on American soil. New York Times, April 7, 2015


An artist has made 650 mud figures by the Thames to highlight social injustice. A woman has been sitting on the shore of the Thames sculpting small figurines out of mud.

Her name is Liz Crow, and she’s an artist and activist with disabilities. She’s been crafting 650 of the tiny people at low tide for the last ten days, building a small mud army that forms the central part of an art project entitled Figures. Mashable, April 8, 2015

Elgin Marbles: UK declines mediation over Parthenon sculptures. The British Museum and UK government have turned down an offer of mediation from the UN’s cultural organisation in the Elgin Marbles dispute with Greece. BBC, April 8, 2015


Much Unfinished Business. “Citing the statute of limitations to hold on to a painting that was forcibly taken by the Nazis is not just wrong—it is immoral. There should be no statute of limitations in the case of Nazi-looted art, just as there is no statute of limitations for genocide, because for almost every stolen painting, a felony murder was committed and a family was destroyed.” Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2015

Joanna Spurling | Library | Vancouver Art Gallery |

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