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

Vancouver

Urgent Imagination examines relationship between art and urban development. Mounted on the wooden façade of the [Western] Front is a suite of large text works that ironically reference the feel-good marketing of new condos in this city. Big, bright signs declare “Togetherness”, “Livability”, “Enviable”, and the intentionally ambiguous “SOLD OUT”. Georgia Straight, October 8, 2015

Art this week: Drew Shaffer’s Jiggery Pokery, a Nunuvit show and Jessica Bell’s inflated whimsy. Opening this week are: Angela Grossmann, Drew Shaffer: Jiggery Pokery at Winsor Gallery, Jessica Bell: Should We Stop Here? At Initial Gallery, and Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15 at Museum of Vancouver.Vancouver Sun, October 13, 2015

UBC, VAG propose tall wood towers: a sign of buildings to come? The more prominent—but far least concrete—proposed future Vancouver Art Gallery would be an even taller 220-foot set of interconnected wooden boxes. While architects Herzog and de Meuron did not specify the construction material (which would typically be concrete for a building of this size and scale), lead architect Christine Binswinger said in her design statement that “it would be a powerful statement to construct this large building out of wood,” throwing a nod to the provincial government’s support of tall wood buildings. BC Business, Oct. 2, 2015

Kamloops

City saddened by loss of Jann Bailey. Jann Bailey, a pillar in the arts in Kamloops for more than 25 years, died Friday night in Vancouver. Bailey, executive director of Kamloops Art Gallery, fought an eight-year battle with leukemia. The gallery announced last week that she had taken a leave of absence from her job. Kamloops News, October 10, 2015

Ottawa

Why First Nations visual artist Kent Monkman is ready for the country. Kent Monkman is one of the most admired painters in Canada, a status which the popularity of his works in collections like the National Gallery of Canada attests to. He walks a difficult line — while his paintings, sculptures, and videos tend to deal with the history of colonization in Canada, he balances the tough subject matter with humour, camp, and provocative imagery. Monkman’s alter ego, a glamourous and powerful character named Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, meets the issues in his work with equal parts bemusement and disdain.CBC News, October 14, 2015

Toronto

Janice Kerbel: A Primer. Janice Kerbel is a planner. She dreams up plots—criminal heists, plans for cities, imaginary sporting events—and begins working rigorously, often over the course of years, to make them plausible… Ahead of Kerbel’s talks in Toronto on October 20 and Vancouver on October 22 for the Canadian Art Encounters: International Artists Series, we’ve gathered together some of her most indicative work to unpack her detailed practice. Canadian Art, October 14, 2015

New York

Mao and Other Cultural Inspirations A survey of works by the Chinese artist Zhang Hongtu opens at the Queens Museum. Mr. Zhang’s career of almost half a century, which plays subtly and at times deviously with Chinese traditions and East versus West stereotypes, is the subject of a first-ever American Mr. Zhang’s career of almost half a century, which plays subtly and at times deviously with Chinese traditions and East versus West stereotypes, is the subject of a first-ever American survey at the Queens Museum. New York Times, October 14, 2015.

Memories of Things Unseen When a photograph is the last trace we have of a destroyed work of art, it becomes something more. The Institute for Digital Archaeology, a joint project of Harvard and Oxford Universities, uses sophisticated imaging techniques to aid conservation, epigraphy, archaeology and art history. One of the institute’s current efforts, the Million Image Database Project, involves photographing artifacts that are at risk of being destroyed for military or religious reasons. New York Times, October 14, 2015.

Review: Wolfgang Tillmans, a Photographer Showing His Life as an Open Book “PCR,” Mr. Tillmans’s exhibition at David Zwirner’s gallery in Chelsea, shows him moving toward total transparency in his life and his photography. This show is Mr. Tillmans’s first with Mr. Zwirner’s high-octane multinational gallery, and it brims with ambition. It takes advantage of the gallery’s big side-by-side spaces, without being overbearing, or making us wonder how much it cost. New York Times, October 13, 2015.

Connecticut

“Overwhelmed by Art”: My WSJ Article on Wadsworth Atheneum’s Dazzling Transformation Can the Wadsworth Atheneum regain its former reputation as a midsized museum with outsized importance? Visitors who thronged the Wadsworth Atheneum’s gloriously restored Morgan Great Hall on opening day last month gazed awestruck at its densely packed array of European and American paintings from the 16th to 19th centuries. Culturegrrl, October 13, 2015.

Los Angeles

Turning from comedy to Canadian art, Steve Martin curates show on the works of Lawren Harris. Comedian, actor, writer, musician, and now we can add art curator to that long list of titles placed alongside Steve Martin’s name. Times Colonist, October 13, 2015

London

London Calling: A First Look at Frieze London and Frieze Masters 2015 Every October Frieze London delivers all sorts of extracurricular action around the city—openings, cocktails, dinners, and the like—but this year the scene feels particularly frenetic, with two grand new arrivals on the scene: Gagosian’s third and largest gallery in the capital, in Mayfair, and Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery, which is to showcase his private collection. ARTnews, October 14, 2015.

Germany

Hilla Becher, Influential German Conceptual Photographer, Dies at 81 Hilla Becher, who, with her husband, Bernd, revolutionized the field of photography with their austere images of industrial structures, and who went on to teach important German photographers like Andreas Gursky and Thomas Struth, died on October 10. ARTnews, October 13, 2015.

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