Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library September 25-28, 2015


Building a mystery: Vancouver Art Gallery to finally reveal its long-delayed new expansion design Days away from the unveiling of grand plans for the place, the sun was beginning to set on a mostly empty parking lot on the eastern edge of downtown. Two guys emerged from a camper van and tried to figure out the parking-ticket dispenser. Commuters hustled diagonally across the lot toward the SkyTrain station. A bunch of Car2Go rentals sat waiting for drivers. Could this be the plot of land that transforms Vancouver? Globe and Mail, September 26, 2016

Oakridge collaborates with National Gallery of Canada to present masterworks When their first choice, the Vancouver Art Gallery, was unavailable, they expanded their horizons. Much to their surprise, the National Gallery of Canada was receptive and interested in working with them as, Potton explained, the National Gallery has a mandate to reach all Canadians and sought to connect with West Coast citizens. Georgia Straight, September 25, 2015

North Vancouver

North Shore art collectors open new gallery A new public art gallery opening Saturday in North Vancouver is dedicated to showing the work of private collectors. It’s called Griffin Art Projects and is an initiative of Brigitte and Henning Freybe, two of Metro Vancouver’s major art collectors. The opening exhibition features work from the couple’s private collection as well as the collection of Kathleen and Laing Brown. Both the Freybes and the Browns live on the North Shore and have been collecting art for more than 40 years. Vancouver Sun, September 25, 2015


Robert Amos: Walkabout on Victoria’s art scene My week began at Winchester Galleries (2260 Oak Bay Ave., 250-595-2777, with a new exhibition of prints by modern masters. Times Colonist, September 27, 2015


Sky art fills downtown skies A medicine wheel, buffalo and other figures filled the nearly cloudless sky above the downtown riverbank area, part of a new program of the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan. The Sky is the Limit show was part of the gallery’s Radical Optimism pre-launch program Star Phoenix, September 28, 2015


Has Toronto’s Nuit Blanche grown too big for its own good? “Are you doing Nuit Blanche?” It’s a question being asked by hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of Canadians right about now. Perhaps nowhere with more, well, urgency and innate wariness that precedes the start of anything significant than in Edmonton and Toronto. Globe and Mail, September 25, 2015

How one young art student is leaving her mark all over Toronto Madison van Rijn is only 25 years old, but she’s already leaving her mark, literally, on businesses in the city’s hip west end.The art student, who’s taking time off her studies at OCADU to work on her craft full-time, has decorated the windows and walls of the eateries, bars and stores in her neighbourhood. Sometimes it’s cursive writing on a window evoking the brand of the place; other times it’s a towering painting covering the exterior wall of a bar. Toronto Star, September 26, 2015


Eric Fischl has an abiding diplomacy with Canada. The famed New York painter met his long-term partner April Gornik while teaching at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in the 1970s, and has shown in and visited the country regularly ever since. Fischl visited Ottawa a few weeks ago to give a talk at the National Gallery of Canada as part of Contemporary Conversations—the NGC series co-presented by the US Embassy Ottawa and the US Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies. Canadian Art, September 28, 2015

War museum scores high, but Ottawa nowhere on TripAdvisor’s 2015 travellers’ lists Travellers who post reviews on TripAdvisor have spoken. And their judgment of Ottawa is decidedly mixed. T0 be sure, there’s good news to be found in the website’s 2015 travellers’ choice awards. The Canadian War Museum is rated as Canada’s third-best museum for the second straight year. More than 95 per cent of the museum’s reviewers rated it excellent or very good. Vancouver is rated the best destination. Fair enough. But it’s hard to believe that Ottawa was ranked lower than Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls and Halifax. Really? Ottawa Citizen, September 24, 2015


After 70 years with a camera in his hands, photographer George Zimbel is still snapping pictures Zimbel’s show at the MMFA includes candid photos of the famous, including Helen Keller and Harry Truman, as well as pungent shots from bars in Europe and burlesque theatres in New Orleans. For his work in Montreal, you have to look at his website, where he has street photos from three decades. Globe and Mail, September 28, 2015

Montreal photographer wins Lange-Taylor prize for documentary photography The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University has awarded the twenty-third Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize to Canadian documentary photographer Michel Huneault for Post Mégantic, his project on a small town in Quebec that was the site of Canada’s deadliest train disaster in 150 years. Huneault, a freelance photographer based in Montreal, has a background in international development and conflict resolution. His graduate research at University of California–Berkeley included an exploration of the role of collective memory in large-scale traumatic recovery. Globe and Mail, September 24, 2015


News in Brief: MAC Hirings, Hnatyshyn Prizes, Federal Campaign Promises This week, staff changes at Montreal‘s MAC were announced, Hnatyshyn Foundation prizes were awarded and platforms for the federal election were released. Canadian Art, September 25, 2015

Los Angeles

Steve Martin adds ‘Curator’ to his wild and crazy résumé Steve Martin looked as if he were playing a fast-paced board game. Standing inside a gallery at the Hammer Museum here with its director and two curators, the tall actor was hunched over a small tabletop model of that very room. Working closely with two seasoned curators, Cynthia Burlingham from the Hammer Museum and Andrew Hunter from the Art Gallery of Ontario, he has organized a tightly focused, masterpiece-driven show, “The Idea of North,” to introduce the 20th-century Canadian painter Lawren Harris (1885-1970) to American museumgoers. It opens on Oct. 11 in Los Angeles before traveling to Boston and Toronto. New York Times, September 25, 2015

L.A.’s Intense Reactions To The New Petersen Automotive Museum “The new design, reported KPF’s website, ‘transforms the Petersen building into one of the most significant and unforgettable structures in Los Angeles.’ They got that right. Anyone who has been by the intersection of Fairfax and Wilshire in recent months will tell you that it’s the sort of thing you just can’t unsee.” Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2015

What’s The Story Behind The Melting Streetlamp In The Lobby Of The New Broad Museum? “Is the Broad’s lobby lamp a nod to LACMA’s sidewalk lamps — and a tribute to Burden, who died of cancer in May at 69?” Los Angeles Times, September 27, 2015

New York

Artists Space Gallery Suspends Shows in Landlord Dispute The nonprofit SoHo gallery Artists Space has suspended its programming because it says the landlord is scheduling construction work that would disrupt its exhibitions. New York Times, September 27, 2015

Francisco Oller Exhibition Explores Impressionism and the Caribbean An exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum surrounds Oller’s pictures with work by both earlier Puerto Rican artists and his famed French contemporaries. New York Times, September 25, 2015

Review: In ‘Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film,’ Artists Edit Reality to Fit an Ideal The exhibition at the Jewish Museum demonstrates how avant-garde art was officially embraced as a natural complement to progressive politics. New York Times, September 24, 2015


Evaluating The Architecture (And Choices) Of Zaha Hadid “Surely, goes the reasonable argument, an architect’s job is to provide a building that works, meets its brief, and is on time and on budget. It’s hard to argue otherwise, except that this reasoning would have strangled at birth many of the world’s greatest and most popular buildings: the Palace of Westminster, St Pancras station, the Sydney Opera House, the Pompidou Centre, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, most of the work of Antoni Gaudi.” The Observer, September 26, 2015

First look at Damien Hirst’s much anticipated Vauxhall gallery space John Hoyland’s bold canvases shine at Newport Street Gallery critics preview, but YBA is a no-show. The Art Newspaper, September 28, 2015

British Museum trustees look to Dresden to find new director German-born Hartwig Fischer’s formal appointment expected by British Prime Minister. The Art Newspaper, September 25, 2015


Banksy’s Dismaland Deconstructs Capitalism, and Rains Profit on a Sleepy Seaside Resort The exhibits assembled by the graffiti artist in Weston-super-Mare, southwest England, riff on anticapitalism and commercialism, and the irony is compounded by the $31 million tourism bonanza they have generated. New York Times, September 25, 2015

The Hague

Escher museum under fire for displaying copies of the artist’s work His work is displayed at museums across the world, including a collection at the National Gallery of Ottawa. But the curator of the M.C. Escher Foundation is calling out another collection of the artist’s works, at the Escher Museum in The Hague, for being full of copies of the originals. CBC, September 25, 2015


Unclear if bones found in Florence church belong to ‘Mona Lisa’ model Scientific testing of bone fragments from a Florence church grave could not determine whether they are from the body of a Renaissance-era woman some believe was the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” researchers said Thursday. Globe and Mail, September 26, 2015


Performance extravaganza 15 Rooms opens in Shanghai Event’s first iteration in Asia includes five Chinese artists but no female nudity. The Art Newspaper, September 28, 2015

Cheryl Siegel


Vancouver Art Gallery 750 Hornby St. Vancouver BC, V6Z 2H7 604-662-4709

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