Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, May 14, 2015


The new Vancouver Art Gallery: a place for everyone to meet. When the new design for the Vancouver Art Gallery is unveiled next month, it won’t be a storage box of art for the elite, according to Jacques Herzog, one of the leading architects in the world. Expect that the new VAG will be have public space open and accessible to all Vancouverites. Art Seen, Vancouver Sun Blog, May 13, 2015

The art of getting caught touching the art by a museum guard. How to Visit an Art Museum by John Idema has a chapter on guards and their importance in the museum experience. “The irony of the museum guard is that he is the most visible and yet the most overlooked staff member of the museum,” Idema writes. This post about guards was prompted by the photo [taken in 1985 of one of guards at the Vancouver Art Gallery holding a painting for one of the Women’s Auxilliary Picture Loan Exhibitions]. When I found it in the archive of The Vancouver Sun and The Province, it made me think of the role guards play in the contemporary art gallery experience. Art Seen, Vancouver Sun Blog, May 13, 2015

Heaven, Hell and Somewhere in Between: Portuguese Popular Art challenges folk stereotypes. Enter Heaven, Hell and Somewhere in Between and surround yourself with saints and devils and roosters and mermaids… Just opened at the Museum of Anthropology, this survey of Portuguese popular art is visually engaging and culturally enriching. Georgia Straight, May 13, 2015

New award created for B.C. arts and social-service organizations. A new award for arts and social-service organizations is being launched as the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation marks its 60th year. Georgia Straight, May 11, 2015

Yulanda Faris: Vancouver arts patron’s commitment went beyond cheques. Yulanda Faris supported the arts with dedication and vigour – a public face of philanthropy even if the giving was sometimes private – leaving an astonishing legacy in Vancouver and beyond. Ms. Faris’s commitment to the arts transcended her chequebook; she got involved, and her passion was infectious. Globe & Mail, May 13, 2015

Art this week: Multicultural Calligraphy Exhibit, Robert Davidson and Andy Dixon. On this week are: Multicultural Calligraphy Exhibit at Chinese Cultural Centre, Robert Davidson: Online Fundraiser at Gordon Smith Gallery, and Andy Dixon: Canadiana at Initial Gallery. Vancouver Sun, May 12, 2015


Artist explores air for residency. Edmonton artist Maria Whiteman is breathing in some Fresh! AiR as the first artist in residence to take part in this year’s collaborative program between the Caetani Cultural Centre and the Allan Brooks Nature Centre. Vernon Morning Star, May 13, 2015


At the McMichael Gallery, the other Group of Seven. A remarkable new show celebrates seven First Nations artists who banded together in the 1970s to demand respect from the contemporary art world. Toronto Star, May 13, 2015


Montreal’s Royal Academy honours artist Alexandra McCurdy. Halifax ceramic artist Alexandra McCurdy is being inducted into the Royal Academy of the Arts on Saturday in Montreal as part of the academy’s annual general meeting. Chronicle Herald, May 13, 2015

Los Angeles

Rachel Rosenthal, experimental performance artist, dies at 88. Rachel Rosenthal, the performance and theatre artist who embraced environmentalism during a half-century career devoted to the avant-garde, has died in Southern California. She was 88. CTV News, May 13, 2015

Can the Guggenheim Charm Finland? “In the art and design world, the fate of the prospective museum has become a matter of global import: with everyone from the Louvre to the Hermitage looking to set up outposts abroad, Helsinki has become the latest battleground in an ongoing conflict over how – and whether – small cities and emerging countries should accommodate expansionist mega-museums.” The New Yorker, May 12, 2015

New York

Christie’s Has Art World’s First $1 Billion Week. It was a week the art world had never seen before. For the first time, an auction house sold more than $1 billion of art — over three days at that — a vast outpouring of money that amazed even the wealthy and the celebrities who flocked to the auction floor. New York Times, May 13, 2015

The $179 Million Picasso That Explains Global Inequality. The astronomical rise in prices for the most-sought-after works of art over the last generation is in large part the story of rising global inequality. At its core, this is the simplest of economic math. The supply of Picasso paintings or Giacometti sculptures (one of which sold for $141 million in the same auction this week) is fixed. But the number of people with the will and the resources to buy top-end art is rising, thanks to the distribution of extreme wealth.” New York Times, May 13, 2015


Meet the Iconic Japanese-American Artist Whose Work Hasn’t Been Exhibited in Decades. The retrospective “The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., is the artist’s first comprehensive exhibit in the United States in more than 65 years. The exhibition is also available online. The Smithsonian, May 14, 2015


Paint the town green: the hidden history of Irish art. The first major show of Irish art in London for over 30 years – taken from a collection assembled by a bank then made available to the nation after the financial crisis – reveals a century’s worth of poetry and protest on canvas The Guardian, May 13, 2015

Midcentury masterstroke: the man who gave the world affordable art – in pictures. By the 1940s, Fernand Mourlot’s print shop in Paris was the place for artists to get exhibition posters made – and they became artworks of their own (with less staggering price tags). Matisse, Miró and Manet were regulars, and Picasso loved it so much he set up shop there in 1945, making more than 400 lithographs in-house over 20 years. Here are the most exquisite posters from the Atelier Mourlot. Mourlot’s Masters is at King & McGaw’s pop-up gallery in London, from 14 May to 26 May. The Guardian, May 13, 2015

William Delafield Cook: Artist hailed as one of Australia’s finest whose monumental canvases depicted the rugged landscape of his native land. William Delafield Cook, the quiet hero of Australian art, was one of those rare artists whose works, due to his considerable following, have gone straight into public and private collections as soon as the last brush stroke was dry. He died in London on March 29, 2015. The Independent, May 13, 2015


Venice Pavilions Take a Lighter Tack. This year’s Venice Biennale has been widely reported on as challenging and unrepentantly serious in its commitment to the political dimensions of culture. Many of the pavilion exhibitions, however, took lighter, even humorous, approaches to this theme. Associate editor David Balzer reports on three such exhibitions—Sarah Lucas (Great Britain), Hito Steyerl (Germany) and Simon Denny (New Zealand).Canadian Art, May 13, 2015


Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay Spins a Yarn. I would not swear to the following assertion in court, but I believe Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay’s new audio guide for POLIN is the first museum audio guide that begins by asking the listener, very politely, to put on their hat and gloves and leave the museum. Go outside, walk around, get out.Canadian Art, May 11, 2015


Greece won’t sue Britain to get back Parthenon Marbles. Advocacy groups seeking to get the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens have expressed disappointment after Greece’s culture minister said he would not launch a court challenge for the famous collection.Yahoo News, May 13, 2015


Tour a Digital Art Gallery Curated by an Avatar. You don’t walk into Panther Modern so much as click into it. Panther is a gallery, filled with gallery-like stuff: artwork, windows, benches and “no touching” signs. Not that the signs are needed. This world, in all its dimensionality, lives solely on the internet as a digital exhibition space. Wired Magazine, May 13, 2015

A Different Way To Think About Museum Deaccessioning. “As old fashioned as it sounds, and with as many mistakes as have already been made over the past half century or so, it may well be that art museum collections should only be assigned dollar values for insurance purposes and with the understanding that the loss of the collection is the loss of the museum’s reason for existence.” Ethos Review, May 14, 2015

The Machine Vision Algorithm Beating Art Historians at Their Own Game. Classifying a painting by artist and style is tricky for humans; spotting the links between different artists and styles is harder still. So it should be impossible for machines, right? MIT Technology Review, May 13, 2015

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