Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, November 26, 2015


(In)visible: The Spiritual World of Taiwan Through Contemporary Art explores otherworldly complexities. To enter the show of contemporary Taiwanese art at the UBC Museum of Anthropology is to be immersed in the otherworldly. A long passageway, winding from the gallery doors well into the exhibition space, is draped in tall, undulating sheets of delicate white fabric covered in tens of thousands of delicate white cut-paper forms. With their rounded, scalloped, and dangling shapes, they conjure both folk-art tradition and a fairy-tale world of water sprites. Georgia Straight, November 24, 2015

Vancouver approves Aquilini condo project with social housing and work spaces for artists. Vancouver councillor Elizabeth Ball is a true friend of artists, and this was evident at a public hearing about a Mount Pleasant condo development. Ball was speaking Tuesday (November 24) in council in connection with a proposal filed on behalf of Aquilini Development to rezone an entire city block on Main Street between East 2nd and East 3rd avenues. Georgia Straight, November 24, 2015

Pix from the Archive: Pablo Picasso, the dominant artist in the photo archive. “I wanted to see what was in the archive of The Vancouver Sun and The Province when it came to big international artists. I’m not sure why I started with Pablo Picasso but maybe he’s been in the news again. His Les Femmes d’Alger (“Version O”) sold in May for $179.4 million (U.S.) at Christie’s New York.” Art Seen, Vancouver Sun Blog, November 20, 2015

2015 RBC Painting winner to help foster Canadian-Filipino dialogue on art. The winner of the 2015 RBC Canadian Painting Competition says he’ll use the $25,000 prize to help foster dialogue between artists in Canada and his birthplace in the Philippines. Patrick Cruz’s Time allergy was selected as the winner from 15 finalists out of 615 entries.  Art Seen, Vancouver Sun Blog, November 19, 2015

Vulcan, Alberta

Alberta artist Steve Coffey brings his sketches to life on album and canvas with Paint Songs. When musician and artist Steve Coffey travelled to Europe he didn’t have tools to sketch the sites that inspired him, instead he wrote songs that acted as sketches and when he got home he put his sketches into actual musical and physical visual arts form. Calgary Herald, November 25, 2015


Hyang Cho Gets Nothing Much Just Right. In a show at Georgia Scherman Projects, eight works by Hyang Cho amount to “Nothing Much.” It’s an unassuming title for an exhibition held at a commercial gallery, self-effacing and bashfully dismissive of the works’ potential marketability Canadian Art, November 26, 2015

Nirbhaya: Performance Art at Its Most Powerful. I first saw the play Nirbhaya in 2013 during its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. At the time, it was already receiving critical attention as an incredibly urgent play about life as a woman in India. It was difficult and complex viewing—beautiful in its artistic direction and devastating in its content. Now, two years later, Nirbhaya has toured much of the world before arriving in Vancouver and, currently, it’s in Toronto for a 12-day showing presented by the feminist-run Nightwood Theatre at the Harbourfront Centre. Canadian Art, November 26, 2015

Toronto artist gets creative with inspirational intersections. When Raj Gupta learned that Toronto was decommissioning its classic acorn-shaped street signs, the ad agency art director began creating prints that encapsulate the distinct flavours of the city’s intersections. Toronto Star, November 26, 2015


Must-Sees This Week: November 26 to December 2, 2015. There are lots of great art exhibitions open across the country this week. Here are Canadian Art’s recommendations for upcoming shows, and a few reminders about shows that are closing. Canadian Art, November 26, 2015


Detroit Rising: The DIA’s $170 million challenge. One year after the city emerged from bankruptcy, the DIA still finds itself at a crossroads. The pace of change appears to be accelerating. In the last 12 months, the museum hit its $100-million fund-raising goal for the grand bargain, launched new statewide exhibition and education programs, saw director Graham Beal retire after 16 years and welcomed his successor, the charismatic Spanish-born Salvador Salort-Pons, previously a DIA curator. Detroit Free Press, November 24, 2015

Bowling Green

Traditional artist uses typewriter to peck out portraits. : It takes anywhere from a week to a month for Leslie Nichols to hunt and peck out a portrait, working from photographs and a line drawing. This series, called “Textural Portraits,” pays homage to women’s-rights heroines by combining historical text with modern images — in this case text from Alice Paul’s equal-rights amendment of 1923 to create the image of Kaitlin, a student of Leslie’s husband, Michael Nichols, an artist who works at the Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green where they live. Toronto Star, November 26, 2015


Asylum for artefacts: Paris’s plan to protect cultural treasures from terrorists. Jean-Luc Martinez, the president of the Louvre, has drawn up a 50-point plan to protect cultural treasures around the world. He was asked to do so by President François Hollande and one of his key recommendations – that France offer “asylum” for artefacts under threat – is immediately being pushed through as law. France is right to recognise the central place of culture in the struggle against Isis. The Guardian, November 20, 2015


Drawn In Blood: The Syrian Cartoonists Who Live And Die By Their Pens. “It is in many ways the role of a cartoonist to bring emotive weight to events as enormous as the Syrian civil war. They publish their work for a global audience, but many cannot sign their art for safety reasons.” Roads and Kingdoms, November 24, 2015


Singapore opens £250m National Gallery. Singapore has opened its state-of-the-art National Gallery, home to the world’s largest public collection of modern art from South East Asia. The 64,000-sq-m (689,000-sq-ft) attraction has taken a decade to come to fruition and cost about £250m. BBC, November 24, 2015


Beijing shuts down art exhibition on violence against women. Beijing authorities have shut down an art exhibition celebrating attempts to combat violence against women, organisers said on Thursday. The exposition, timed to coincide with the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was to open at Beijing’s Jinge Art Gallery on Wednesday. But when artists arrived hours before its planned opening, they found the doors bolted shut. The Guardian, November 26, 2015


Joanna Spurling, Vancouver Art Gallery Library

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