Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, November 12, 2015


The dazzling The Things in My Head a fit ode to Gathie Falk. If we were to identify a few senior figures in Canadian culture as national treasures, Gathie Falk would be high among them. The Things in My Head, a mini-retrospective at the Equinox Gallery, attests to this Vancouver artist’s enduring accomplishment, energy, and vision. Georgia Straight, November 12, 2015

New public art exhibit to be unveiled at The Wall. The west-facing wall at CBC Vancouver will play host to a new art installation beginning this Thursday (November 12).

Local interdisciplinary artist Faith Moosang has been commissioned to create a new exhibit for The Wall, a public-art project that’s the result of a partnership between the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and CBC Radio-Canada. Georgia Straight, November 10, 2015

TEDxVancouver’s ID: The Exhibition showcases grassroots contemporary art (video). TEDx Vancouver is just around the corner, and as part of the independently organized event, director and curator of TEDx’s Visual Arts crew, Drew Young, has put together an exhibition in support of local artists. Georgia Straight, November 10, 2015

Gallery Surf: Frances Solar, Wade Comer, Alison Keenan, and more art for your weekend. Georgia Straight’s weekly feature showcasing some of Vancouver’s must-see art gallery exhibits. Georgia Straight, November 6, 2015

Dawson City

Calgary Artists Light Up the Northern Night. On the shortest day of the year, the town only gets four hours of sunlight, which barely registers through the hazy horizon due to its low angle. Calgary-based artists Caitlind Brown and Wayne Garrett were well aware of this when they began working in the Yukon as artists-in-residence at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture. Canadian Art, November 12, 2015

Demmit, Alberta

Peter von Tiesenhausen’s Artwork Feeds Itself His work straddles natural materials, optical illusions, functioning boats carved of glacier ice, decades-long endurance pieces, crazy journeys and secret alphabets. If songs haven’t been written about the artist Peter von Tiesenhausen, they’re overdue. Edmonton Journal, November 10, 2015

Toronto, etc.

New leadership for the Royal Ontario Museum and McMichael art gallery. It is a story of found and lost for two major Canadian art institutions. The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, which marked its 100th anniversary last year, is expected to announce shortly that it is hiring a U.S. museum professional as its new director and CEO. Meanwhile, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg near Toronto is searching for a new executive director after its board decided not to renew the contract of Victoria Dickenson, hired in March, 2011. Globe & Mail, November 6, 2015

Toronto artist’s creativity flows through #werkadaynov15. When your hobby is your work, it can be tough to distinguish between the two. Some Toronto artists are “getting their creative juices going on a daily basis” with the help of a hashtag: #werkadaynov15. The challenge is to submit a piece of “werk” a day on Instagram, for the illustrators to satisfy their own creativity aside from their commercial and editorial commissions Toronto Star, November 11, 2015

Thunder Bay

Lora Northway, Thunder Bay artist, named 2015 Emerging Cultural Leader. An artist and youth outreach worker in Thunder Bay, Ont. has won an award from a provincial arts organization. Lora Northway has been named one of this year’s Emerging Cultural Leaders by the Artist-Run Centres & Collectives of Ontario (ARCCO). The first-time award celebrates people who are “exceptional, emerging, creative champions.” CBC Arts, November 12, 2015


Fourteen residents receive the Order of Ottawa. Included in this year’s recipients is Ben Babelowsky, a well-known artist and executive who worked at the Citizen for 30 years Ottawa Citizen, November 11, 2015


Nadia Myre Fuses the Personal and the Political. A scar is a paradox. An index of survival, it also marks the site of an indelible trauma. At once an emblem of violence and healing, fragility and strength, it says a lot while also saying very little. It may even be invisible, ghosting the psyche with its contradictions, at once a bottomless pit of sorrow and a potential wellspring of action. In many ways, the work of Montreal artist Nadia Myre, member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation (Maniwaki), seeks to balance this paradox, to draw out its ambiguities, its valences of failure and resilience, loss and recovery, and distill them into a poetic idiom at once personal and universal. Canadian Art, November 11, 2015

Reno, Nevada

Experts question the authenticity of a group of works by Jackson Pollock Questions have been raised about the authenticity of a group of works attributed to Jackson Pollock, six of which were exhibited at the Art Monaco fair in July by the Nevada-based Classic Fine Art. Around 30 paintings from the group were privately analysed by Art Access & Research, a UK-based company, in 2010. The Art Newspaper, November 9, 2015


How America’s Oldest Art Museum Building Got a High-Tech Makeover. The restoration of the Renwick Gallery in D.C. to its original state has involved some advanced engineering work. CityLab, November 9, 2015


How London Fell Out of Love With the ‘Garden Bridge’ No running, no music, no picnics, no groups of eight or more, no kite flying, no visits after midnight. These might sound like the rules of some benign correctional facility for errant youth. They are, in fact, some of the 30 prohibitions that will govern visitors to London’s planned Garden Bridge. CityLab, November 10, 2015.

Marcus Barnes: ‘Graffiti art can be a positive force. “While the end result – graffiti – can be seen as a pain in the backside for the authorities, arguably a blight on communal areas, the perpetrators, consciously or unconsciously, question long-accepted norms about how our cities and spaces should be used.”The Guardian, November 10, 2015


Ulay v Marina: how art’s power couple went to war. Partners in love and performance art, Ulay and Marina Abramović made passionate, pioneering work together for more than a decade. Now things have turned sour – and he’s taking her to court. The Guardian, November 11, 2015


Geoffrey Farmer Takes Pride of Place at the Louvre. More than a year of construction to make the claustrophobic foyer under I.M. Pei’s Louvre Pyramid more visitor-friendly still leaves everyone looking desperately for the toilets and not the Mona Lisa. The piddly nature of such stark profiteering contrasted with the utopian promises found everywhere in the Louvre galleries is one of the historical contradictions addressed in “A Brief History of the Future,” the feisty, fabulously eclectic contemporary exhibition curated by the Louvre’s Dominique de Font-Réaulx and Jean de Loisy. Their work is based on the similarly titled 2006 book by Jacques Attali…But their narrative begins in the exhibition rotunda with the brash theatricality of Boneyard (2013–15) by Geoffrey Farmer, Vancouver’s scissor king whose recent successes—including a mid-career retrospective at the Vancouver Art Gallery and work at Toronto’s Luminato Festival—suggest a career in warp-drive mode. Canadian Art, November 10, 2015


TL;DR: No One Reads Art Reviews Anymore. We read what we read for a variety of complex, nuanced reasons, arguably now more than ever, for the cognitive economy forces intimacy on its consumers, with social media asking us daily to consider what our preferences are and why… Art magazines have been built on the traditional exhibition review, for which a writer attends a show, describes what she sees, analyzes it and assesses its successes and failures… Now…we can know, with unsettling precision, that such reviews are not being read, at least not much, or right away, by anyone other than those immediately connected to them. And so publishers have stopped publishing them. Canadian Art, November 10, 2015

Are the most expensive paintings ever worth their prices? A definitive ranking. “The reason some paintings are so incredibly expensive is that they ought by rights to be in a museum. As modern art enters its third century (oh yes), most of its great canonical works are in collections like that of New York’s Museum of Modern Art or Guggenheim – so if a work of that calibre comes on the market it is worth, oh, about $274m.” The Guardian, November 11, 2015

Why are art galleries white cubes? The answer involves everything from the rise of ascetic Protestantism, Soviet contrarianism, Zen reflection and the ever-unstoppable power of the dollar. The last one – market forces – goes a long way towards explaining the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ attitude that fuels the white cube’s persistence. Hopes & Fears, November 11, 2015

Joanna Spurling Vancouver Art Gallery Library

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