Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, November 5, 2015


Lee Bul searches for utopia. “Adapted from an internationally touring retrospective, Lee Bul’s solo show at the Vancouver Art Gallery pulls together diverse aspects of her acclaimed career. It touches on a number of the Korean artist’s interests and expressions over the past 15 years, from early drawings of costumes for street performances to interactive, architectonic sculptures. The last gallery in the exhibition is installed as if it were the artist’s studio, filled with two- and three-dimensional studies for recent installation and sculpture projects.” Georgia Straight, November 4, 2015

FUSE: TRANSFORM at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Putting FUSE: TRANSFORM together is grunt gallery trickster Glenn Alteen, who’s enlisted coffee buddy Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun to do live drawing (shot from above and broadcast on a big screen); Yukon storytellers Sharon Shorty and Ivan Coyote; and videographer Krista Lomax, who’ll explore the cultural treasures of Al Neil and Carole Itter’s squatter’s cabin on the shores of Burrard Inlet. Georgia Straight, November 4, 2015

Binning House sold, to be restored. A couple of weeks ago, Jesse Saniuk had no idea who B.C. Binning was. Now he owns his old house — a designated National Historic Site.  Saniuk purchased the West Vancouver home last week for $2.015 million. His purchase ends several years of legal wrangling over the house, which is considered a pioneering example of west coast modern architecture. Vancouver Sun, November 4, 2015

Brief Jubilation: An Artist Reflects on the 2015 Turkish Elections. Vancouver artist Erdem Taşdelen travelled to Toronto twice this year to cast his vote in the Turkish elections. Here, in an urgent essay, he explains why. Canadian Art, November 4, 2015


Jeff Wall Pulls Show from Audain Art Museum Opening. Vancouver artist Jeff Wall has cancelled his exhibition at the Audain Art Museum. Earlier this spring, the gallery announced that Wall’s show was slated to open along with the museum in late 2015. The gallery is now scheduled to open in January 2016. Speaking with Canadian Art, gallery director Suzanne Greening confirmed that the show would no longer be moving forward. “We were told that many of the works were not going to be available.” Canadian Art, November 5, 2014


Famed Canadian artist Robert Bateman recalls a life dedicated to art, environment. Robert Bateman’s new memoir Life Sketches charts his career from a budding artist who loved nothing more than being outdoors, to an internationally-known force and champion of the environment. CBC Arts, November 4, 2015


J.M.W. Turner: From an old dog, new painting tricks. Joseph Mallord William Turner is the epitome of how great second acts can come late in life, and the ideal antidote to the cult of youth our everything-millennial culture seems to value. He had his great epiphanies well into his 60s and had he not, well, painting as we know it may never have happened. Toronto Star, November 4, 2015

Architecture’s modest master Alvaro Siza shares wisdom at Toronto lecture. Is Alvaro Siza one of the world’s great architects? If you ask him, he will tell you no. On the day of a recent lecture in Toronto, the 82-year-old was jet-lagged and soft of voice, a bit stooped in a baggy brown suit. Speaking softly in his rumbling basso, he dismissed with a wave the idea that his 50 years of work, including the high honour of the Pritzker Prize, adds up to any grand contribution. Globe & Mail, November 4, 2015


ArtPrize Dallas Is a Big Thing That Won’t Happen Here Next Year. “This was to be the first franchise of an event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and its failure to make it here is a reminder that the art patrons in Dallas will show up dressed to the nines for galas like TWOxTWO last week, raising millions of dollars for the Dallas Museum of Art and amfAR, but aren’t interested in seeing an event like ArtPrize come to life, which allows artists of any caliber to participate.” Dallas Observer, October 30, 2015

Los Angeles

How do you tell the difference between philanthropy and a tax write-off? Many art-world insiders who flew to Los Angeles for the opening of billionaire Eli Broad’s self-named museum had positive things to say about it. The collection, if familiar, has its strengths. The building, if imperfect, has its moments. And almost everyone seemed to agree that having another museum downtown, one that’s free to the public at that, only benefits the city’s cultural ecosystem. The Art Newspaper, November 4, 2015

New York

Museum of Natural History Reveals Design for Expansion. In designing its $325 million addition on Columbus Avenue, the American Museum of Natural History has opted for an architectural concept that is both cautious and audacious, according to plans approved by its board on Wednesday. New York Times, November 5, 2015

Modigliani painting doubles estimate to fetch $42.8M at Sotheby’s auction. A canvas by Frank Stella set a record for his paintings, and works by Picasso and Willem de Kooning fetched tens of millions of dollars, in an art market fueled by low interest paid on more traditional investments. Toronto Star, November 5, 2015

United States

Leave Starchitects Alone. Last week, National Review issued its latest broadside against contemporary architecture. This is a recurring feature for the publication, one that pops up every few weeks under a different alarmist headline, with words like “awful,” “woeful,” “melee,” and “monstrosity.” The theme is reliably the same: Architectural elites are bad for America.CityLab, November 3, 2015


Charles Avery, artist: ‘I was kicked out of Central St Martins because I wanted to draw and draw’ Since 2003 Avery has been focusing on The Islanders, his long-term project devoted to an imaginary world that “represents the world of all ideas”. The Independent, November 4, 2015


European artists free to paint the town red (and yellow and orange). The EU considered” – and has now rejected – “a restriction on cadmium [paints] following pressure from Sweden, which argued that artists pollute the food chain when they rinse their brushes in the sink. Cadmium ends up in sewage sludge and is then spread on agricultural land … Cadmium in its pure form is highly toxic, but the cadmium compounds used by artists are not classified as hazardous.” The Art Newspaper, November 4, 2015


Gaudi’s Basilica: Almost Finished After 132 Years. 132 years after construction began in 1883, the magnificent Sagrada Família has reached its final stage of construction. According to the current chief architect, Jordi Fauli, six more towers will be added to the basilica by 2026, bringing the grand total to 18. The Atlantic, November 2015


Arch Studio add foldaway walls to Beijing Art Gallery. Arch Studio was asked to update the Rongbaozhai Western Art Gallery in city’s Liulichang district. The area is one of Beijing’s oldest quarters, and features a series of traditional two-storey stone dwellings that sell various craft pieces, artworks and antiques. Dezeen, November 5, 2015


Joanna Spurling, Vancouver Art Gallery Library

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