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


Robert Smithson’s Vancouver Sojourn: Glue Pour, 1970. When the drum delivered by National Starch and Chemical Company was pried open, its sticky contents were a garish orange—not the expected neutral grey. Buoyed by the convivial mood of his co-conspirators, master of ceremonies Robert Smithson proceeded to lower the barrel into position atop the steeply inclined clay bank near the University of British Columbia campus, a site scouted by Vancouver artist and accomplice Christos Dikeakos. Canadian Art, August 19, 2015

Art this week: Jean Paul Langlois and more. On this week are Jean Paul Langlois: Fake Indians at Make, Nancy Bleck: Children of Tomorrow at Seymour Art Gallery and The Apartment Closing Party. Founded by Lee Plested, The Apartment is closing after eight years. Artists who showed work at The Apartment include Matthew Higgs, John Baldessari, Lawrence Weiner (whose work is pictured), Christos Dikeakos, Steven Shearer, Andrew Dadson, Wayne Ngan and Hans Wendt. Vancouver Sun, August 19, 2015


Visual arts geared to the visually impaired. Wendy Peart is de-emphasizing the “visual” to make visual arts more accessible to unsighted people. “Art is so much more than about what you see,” said Peart, a curator at the Dunlop Art Gallery. Regina Leader-Post, August 17, 2015


Exchange District artist building deemed unsafe to occupy. Dozens of artists with lofts and studios in Winnipeg’s Exchange District have been tossed out on the street because the city says the 107-year-old building they work in is not safe. CTV News, August 18, 2015


Abbas Akhavan: Sobey Finalist Slideshow. One of the standouts of last year’s Biennale de Montréal, Abbas Akhavan’s nomination for the 2015 Sobey Art Award caps a decade of professional work since his graduation from Concordia University with a BFA in 2004 and the University of British Columbia with an MFA in 2006. Born in 1977 in Tehran, Akhavan lives and works in Toronto. Canadian Art, August 17, 2015

Hito Steyerl: A Primer. You might say that Hito Steyerl is something of an art-world enigma. Born in Munich and based in Berlin, where she teaches at the Universität der Künste Berlin (Berlin University of the Arts), Steyerl studied film, first in Japan and then in her native Germany, including a stint working for director Wim Wenders in the late 1980s. In advance of Steyerl’s upcoming lecture on September 8 in Toronto as part of the Canadian Art Foundation’s International Artists Series, we’ve gathered a brief online primer to Steyerl’s multifaceted practice. Canadian Art, August 19, 2015

Luminato Loses Its Artistic Director The announcement is brisk and matter of fact. But to me it brings on a rich array of unmentioned questions about timing, possible consequences and future changes in Luminato’s survival strategy. Toronto Star, August 17, 2015

Now Open: Nuvango. Queen West’s newest gallery is not entirely a gallery. Nuvango, at Queen St. W. and Bathurst St., features a retail operation downstairs, and a traditional gallery on its sunny second floor. Toronto Star, August 18, 2015


Canada Council Art Bank awaits new director. The Art Bank will have to meet various challenges with a new director to replace the retiring 70-year-old Victoria Henry, who leaves Sept. 11 to become chair of the Hnatyshyn Foundation, which provides grants to performing and visual artists. The new Art Bank director could be named as early as this month. That person will not just be in charge of the Art Bank but will also head some other Canada Council programs, including competitions that award prizes to artists in various disciplines. Ottawa Citizen, August 18, 2015


Philippe Pirotte Will Curate the 2016 Biennale de Montreal The Biennale de Montreal announced yesterday that Philippe Pirotte will curate its 2016 edition. Pirotte is currently the director of the Staatliche Hochschule für Künste Städelschule and Portikus, both of which are located in Frankfurt. ARTnews, August 19, 2015


Beaverbrook Art Gallery expansion meeting sees low turnout. Officials at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton say a low turnout Monday night at a public meeting about the proposed expansion is a sign of support for the project. CBC News, August 19, 2015

Los Angeles

Choice Of LACMA Architect Has Critics Wondering About The Place Of Quality Architecture In LA “Many have challenged the logic of a Swiss building in Los Angeles, asking whether his revered precision will translate given the economics of American construction. Others ask whether his monastic aesthetic will make sense in the image-driven landscape of Los Angeles and, more specifically, whether his architectural language of sublime asceticism will respond to the city’s very diverse urban context. Even more inflammatory critics have suggested that he lacks adequate experience in buildings of this scale. In a sense, all of the criticisms can be boiled down to a single accusation: quality architecture does not belong in Los Angeles.” Book Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, August 18, 2015

Palo Alto

Tony Gleaton, 67, Dies, Leaving Legacy in Pictures of Africans in the Americas Mr. Gleaton traveled light, by bus, without assistants, complex equipment or luxury lodgings, to document the lives of black cowboys and create images of the African diaspora in Latin America. New York Times, August 18, 2015

Santa Monica

Santa Monica’s Troubled Arts Center Brings In New Chief To Shake Up Programming The Broad Stage, which has seen a serious decline in box office income and donations over the past three years – even as it prepares to open a third performance space next year – has hired Stanford Live director Wiley Hausam. He says, “My sense is that this is a community willing to take artistic risks and do stuff that’s more interesting.” Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2015


Phoenix Art Museum: New Director, New Direction, Big Staff Turnover In recent months, more than a dozen employees have left the museum, which currently has 58 administrative workers with another 79 in customer-service positions ranging from retail to security guards. Arizona Republic, August 18, 2015

Kansas City

Kansas City Art Institute Receives $25 Million from Anonymous Donor The Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri had received a gift of twenty-five million dollars from a donor who has asked to stay anonymous. Artforum, August 19, 2015


Carnegie Museum Hires Eric Crosby as Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art announced today that it has tapped Eric Crosby, the associate curator of visual arts at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, to be its new Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. ARTnews, August 18, 2015

Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

Destination Art: James Welling and Pennsylvania’s Brandywine River Valley In “Things Beyond Resemblance” at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Penn., Conceptualist photographer James Welling pays homage to a youthful inspiration—the art of realist painter Andrew Wyeth. Art in America, August 18, 2015

New York

The Rubin Museum Is Crowdfunding to Expand Its Shrine Room On September 1, the Rubin Museum in New York will launch a “Find Your Focus” crowdfunding campaign to raise money to relocate and expand its popular Tibetan Shrine Room, the AP reports. ARTnews, August 18, 2015

Warrington, U.K.

New festival to celebrate England’s northern art stars Warrington event will include works inspired by retail giant Ikea. The Art Newspaper, August 18, 2015


Italy’s culture minister looks abroad for overhaul of art galleries and museums. Italy’s culture ministry has appointed 20 new directors to manage some of its top museums, including Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, with a number of foreigners brought in to revamp the way the country’s vast heritage is presented to the public. The Guardian, August 18, 2015

German Art Historian Eike Schmidt Appointed Director of Uffizi Gallery Eike Schmidt, a German art historian currently working at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, has been named director of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. ARTnews, August 18, 2015

St. Petersburg

Russian museums urged to learn ‘self-defence’ after fundamentalist attacks The general director of St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum has warned “our society is sick” and cultural institutions cannot rely on police protection. The Art Newspaper, August 18, 2015


Isil beheads archaeologist in Palmyra Syria’s antiquities ministry condemns killing as “cowardly and criminal act of appalling brutality” The Art Newspaper, August 19, 2015


The Shape of Things To some artists and architects, the Lego brick might just be the perfect object. New York Times, August 18, 2015

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