Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, November 25, 2015


Vancouver Biennale: New West gets the WOW factor. The Vancouver Biennale has WOW-ed New Westminster with a new public artwork. Called WOW Westminster, the dramatic installation was installed Monday. It’s made out of four shipping containers that appear to defy gravity as they balance on end and point up to the sky. They have been assembled in two V’s to form a W. Vancouver Sun, November 23, 2015.

Used shipping containers turned into art in New Westminster. A new permanent public art work both plays with gravity and recalls the history of The Royal City as a transportation hub. The installation is called WOW Westminster by Brazilian artist José Resende. Part of the Vancouver Biennale, it is made out of four shipping containers that appear to defy gravity as they balance on end and point up to the sky. They’re assembled in two V’s to form a W. Art Seen, Vancouver Sun Blog, November 23, 2015


Liz Magor’s Accumulations. There’s a spare elegance to the work of Vancouver artist Liz Magor… For her latest solo exhibition at Susan Hobbs Gallery (running concurrently with a Gershon Iskowitz Prize survey show at the Art Gallery of Ontario), Magor gathers a tight selection of recent works that are as much puzzles as sculptures. Canadian Art, November 24, 2015

Taryn Simon: A Primer. Taryn Simon’s work depends on access. Many of her heavily researched projects would be inconceivable without her ability to work her way into the most private and unexplored spaces—from nuclear-waste storage facilities to the art collection of the CIA. In advance of Simon’s talks in Montreal on December 8, Ottawa on December 9 and Toronto on December 11 for the Canadian Art Encounters: International Artists Series, we’ve gathered together some highlights of her detailed, subversive practice. Canadian Art, November 23, 2015

Art auctions missing marquee piece. It’s auction week in Canada, and it’s absent of any true marquee piece. The highest hoped-for price tag barely crests $1.5 million, for a Lawren Harris painting of a snowy forest. It’s from neither his most celebrated period, which is on very public display at Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum right now, nor does it distinguish itself particularly from the Group of Seven pack he led. Toronto Star, November 23, 2015

How Instagram is helping free this artist. You could call Maria Qamar’s Hatecopy series of artwork a perfect marriage — of the parody comic strip style pioneered by Roy Lichtenstein and the melodramatic world of South Asian soap operas. The Toronto-based pop artist’s work has gained a following across the globe — her Instagram account, where she uploads her artwork, has more than 22,000 fans fond of the inside cultural jokes she posts. Toronto Star, November 23, 2015


The Emperor exposed: Controversial nude Stephen Harper painting resurfaces. Emperor Haute Couture, the official name from the Ontario artist Margaret Sutherland, came into public view in May 2012 as part of a juried art salon at the library in Kingston, Ont. And it soon became one of Canada’s most controversial pieces of art. The painting is up for sale on kijiji. Edmonton Journal, November 23, 2015


Shary Boyle and Shuvinai Ashoona Discuss Their Collaboration. “I first saw Shuvinai Ashoona’s drawings when I went to the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto in 2009 to install my own beside them. Nancy Campbell had curated us together, the first of the series of two-person exhibitions she presented at the JMBG, pairing northern and southern artists… In February 2011 I traveled to Cape Dorset to meet Shuvinai, and spent three weeks drawing alongside the artists at Kinngait Studios… I asked her about her experience collaborating with me, after the opening reception of our co-exhibit, “Universal Cobra” on November 7, 2015.” Canadian Art, November 25, 2015


Beaverbrook Art Gallery granted right to extend on city land. Fredericton council approved a request from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery to allow its underground footing to creep onto city-owned land at its Monday night meeting but it wasn’t without a dissenting voice. CBC News, November 24, 2015

New York

‘Orpheus and Apollo,’ Dismantled, May Be Gone for Years, Some Fear Permanently The fate of Richard Lippold’s immense, gravity-defying metal sculpture at Lincoln Center, removed in 2014 for cleaning and restoration, remains uncertain. Is it possible that one of the largest works of public art in New York — a five-ton, 190-foot-long, 39-foot-high sculpture — could disappear with few people noticing? The New York Times, November 25, 2015.

‘Pop,’ Robert Smithson’s Playful Drawings Inspired by New York Detritus James Cohan’s inaugural show in his new space on the Lower East Side focuses on works on paper and sculpture dating from 1963 to 1965. Though far better known for his Earthworks of the late 1960s and early 70s, like “Spiral Jetty,” Smithson was prolific on paper. The New York Times, November 25, 2015.

Becoming Modern: The Met’s Mission at the Breuer Building It is probably revealing that Sheena Wagstaff, who was brought to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to ramp up its presence in contemporary art, is about to make her debut at the museum’s new Breuer building with an exhibition of an artist who has been dead for more than 20 years. Nasreen Mohamedi is a beloved if little-known modernist who is sometimes called the Indian Agnes Martin, a reference to her penchant for pristine grids. The New York Times, November 25, 2015.

New Complaint Filed Against Nahmads Over Modigliani Portrait The estate of a Paris dealer has sued the Nahmad Gallery in New York once again over a Amedeo Modigliani portrait, alleging that it had been seized by the Nazis and is now owned by the Nahmads. ARTnews, November 25, 2015.


Xavier Cha Wants ‘Actors Able to Express Conflicting Emotions’ for Upcoming MoCA Cleveland Performances—by which Cha meant, as it turned out, that you had to be prepared to scream and make strange noises on a set of bleachers. Now, for a new film and set of performances at MoCA Cleveland, she’s looking for “actors able to express conflicting emotions, with no dialogue.” ARTnews, November 24, 2015.


Vintage Art Jackets With Cult Appeal Earlier this year, an employee of London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) went into the institution’s basement and found quite a treasure: piles of jackets designed by the Pop artist Peter Blake in 1978. The color-blocked jackets, which read “The ICA Likes Art,” had been in storage for almost four decades — but were surprisingly intact…the museum will sell 70 of the original jackets for £70 (roughly $105) — just in time for its 70th anniversary in 2016. The New York Times, November 24, 2015.

United Kingdom

Black British artists to be written into art history Sonia Boyce to create database of works by artists of African and Asian descent held in UK public collections. Over the next three years a team of artists and researchers at the University of the Arts London will trawl museums and galleries across the country hunting for works by artists of African and Asian descent. The Art Newspaper, November 25, 2015.


Rijksmuseum Asks Visitors to Stop Taking Photos and Start Sketching the Art Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is taking the anti-smartphone sentiment one step further. A banner featuring a giant cartoon of a camera with a red X through it hangs on the museum’s façade.The bold graphic is part of the museum’s new #hierteekenen (or “Start Drawing“) campaign, which encourages visitors to slow down and sketch the works they see in the galleries instead of photographing them and moving on to the next thing. Hyperallergic, November 24, 2015.

Warsaw, Poland

Poland’s richest woman plans new contemporary art museum for Warsaw Grazyna Kulczyk has sold her culture centre in Poznan to dedicate herself to the project in the Polish capital. The entrepreneur told the Polish edition of Forbes magazine that her planned Museum of Contemporary Art and Performance will have 6,000 sq. m of exhibition space and will be located near the city’s Copernicus Science Centre on the banks of the Vistula river. She plans to open the museum on 11 November 2018. The Art Newspaper, November 25, 2015.

Saudi Arabia

Art world rallies around artist sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia Art world figures have condemned the decision by a Saudi court to sentence Ashraf Fayadh, a leading Saudi Arabia-based artist and poet, to death for allegedly renouncing Islam. In May last year, Fayadh was sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes. But on 17 November, another judge in the court of Abha in southern Saudi Arabia ruled that Fayadh be executed for apostasy. The Art Newspaper, November 24, 2015.


Joanna Spurling, Vancouver Art Gallery Library

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