Visual Arts News from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, December 9, 2015


Video: Rodney Graham in His Studio. In this studio visit, filmed for Tate Modern in London, artist Rodney Graham reflects on his performative artwork in which he plays the “actor-producer.” He discusses the characters he has taken on, and his most recent work Artists in Artist’s Bar, which he expects to be the last time he will work with photography. Tate holds 15 of Graham’s artworks in their permanent collection, including Fishing on a Jetty (2000) and How I Became a Ramblin’ Man (1999). Canadian Art, December 8, 2015

Art This Week: Nicolas Sassoon and Rick Silva, Kito Tosetti, and VAG YAs’ party. Nicolas Sassoon and Rick Silva: Signals at Wil Abbale Art Projects, Kito Tosetti: Elements at Floating Gallery (Granville Island) and Vancouver Art Gallery Young Associates Canadiana Holiday Party is on tonight at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Vancouver Sun, December 8, 2015

Kimoto Gallery’s Group Art Exhibition ‘Winter Wonderwalls’ Set To Launch Dec. 12th. Kimoto Gallery is pleased to present “Winter Wonderwalls” opening in Vancouver on Saturday, December 12th from 2 – 4 pm during the South Granville Galleries’ “Deck the Walls” Art Walk. The exhibition features a number of local artists including Jason Dussault, David Wilson, Michael Soltis, Kevin Boyle, and many more artists who will be previewing work from series to come in the new year. Scout Magazine, December 7, 2015


Free ‘bee seeds’ being given away at Richmond Art Gallery. Art and the environment are being combined Thursday at the Richmond Art Gallery. It’s called a bee seed giveaway. Up to 5,000 bees made out of paper mixed with wildflower seeds will be given away on a first come, first-served basis. The bees are part of an art installation at the gallery designed to draw attention to declining bee populations in B.C., said Cameron Cartiere, one of the artist’s involved in the giveaway. Art Seen, Vancouver Sun Blog, December 8, 2015


There’s more to Whistler than just skiing and snowboarding. This summer, Sue Adams entered the Audain Art Museum for the first time and had a moment. The place, she thought, was spectacular – even sans art and under construction (as it still is). But it was something more that prompted her tears: It was a concrete (or at least steel and wood) manifestation of a vision for Whistler she has had for some time. Globe & Mail, December 4, 2015


Robert Amos: Artist leaving a remarkable legacy. Jim Gordaneer came to the coast from Ontario in 1976 when he was a teacher at the Northwest Coast Institute for the Arts, then located next to Open Space at 508 Fort St. That stellar group included Gordaneer, Jack Wise, Bill Porteous and Flemming Jorgensen. I followed those talented teachers when they moved to the Bank Street School the next year and became the Victoria College of Art, which continues there today. Times Colonist, December 5, 2015


Art Gallery of Alberta considers bold step to boost dwindling attendance. When the new AGA was first conceived, it was to be the final step on a road to financial sustainability, a means of attracting visitors to Edmonton’s art district, and “an architecturally significant home for visual culture.” So far, it has fallen short of that vision. But it’s about to undergo a renaissance that could take it the rest of the way. Part of that plan? Make the gallery free for everyone. CBC News, December 7, 2015 . see also Art Gallery of Alberta looks to improve access and diversity of audience. CBC News, December 9, 2015

#YegCanvas initiative turns Edmonton into urban art gallery. A public art initiative called #YEGCANVAS will showcase art across Edmonton for the next six months. Fifteen LRT station posters and 10 billboards around the city will feature the artwork of 32 local emerging, multicultural and indigenous artists. Global News, December 8, 2015


Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre receives $1M gift from BMO. The Winnipeg Art Gallery has received $1 million from the Bank of Montreal, the largest private donation to date for the gallery’s Inuit Art Centre. The donation from BMO will help build the centre, which will showcase Inuit art, culture and history. CBC News, December 8, 2015


Peggy Guggenheim: An Ordinary Film for an Extraordinary Woman. The new documentary, Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict—currently playing at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto—features an array of sharp one-liners. The film’s director, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, has found tapes of conversations between Guggenheim and her last biographer, Jacqueline B. Weld, which were lost for many years. It’s hard to imagine the film without them. Canadian Art, December 9, 2015

Affordable housing for artists aims to keep them in Toronto. “Providing affordable housing keeps artists from having to flee cities in search of lower rents. We know that artists are also fundamental instigators of place, of quality of life, of conversations around acceptance and well-being, and bring much more than just a pretty painting on the wall,” says Liz Kohn, a spokesperson from Artscape. Ward 30 Councillor Paula Fletcher believes there should be more affordable housing options for artists in the city, especially in the east end. Fletcher believes artist housing is a vital part of supporting the city’s thriving creative sector. Toronto Star, December 8, 2015

David Balzer Wins International Award for Art Criticism. Canadian Art’s deputy editor David Balzer has taken first place this year at the International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC) for his review “Douglas Coupland Doesn’t Care About You,” published on Canadian Art’s website in March. Canadian Art, December 7, 2015


50 J.W. Morrice Works Donated to National Gallery of Canada. The A.K. Prakash Foundation, founded by Canadian art patron and scholar Ash K. Prakash, has donated 50 paintings by Canadian artist James Wilson Morrice to the National Gallery of Canada. Canadian Art, December 8, 2015. See also Ash Prakash donates $20M Morrice collection to National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Citizen, December 9, 2015

Museum of history’s Confederation exhibit missing our indigenous roots. What is accurate about the absence of indigenous people from this show [at the Canadian Museum of History] is that it perfectly mirrors the imagined reality of those who wrote our first constitution. “The Indians” didn’t figure in their nation-building exercise. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 had included a large section on the rights of indigenous people over their lands. A century later, the Constitution Act dealt with the issue in just seven words, asserting government power over “Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians.” Globe & Mail, December 7, 2015

More major donations to National Gallery of Canada. The National Gallery has been given five paintings by some of Canada’s best known artists, and says that another 50 works are coming next week. The five paintings announced as a donation on Thursday include works by Lawren Harris, Paul Peel, A.J. Casson, Prudence Heward and Kathleen Morris, and were donated to the gallery by Imperial, the Canadian energy company. Ottawa Citizen, December 3, 2015

Los Angeles

Why Oscar Castillo’s photos of Chicano life and protest are essential for understanding L.A. Much of how the public has come to remember that time period has been through [Oscar] Castillo’s camera. ‘I had a personal need to do it,’ Castillo says. ‘I never thought I was going to be well known for this. I never really thought I would be creating a legacy.’” Los Angeles Times, December 5, 2015

New York

To the Man Suing the Met for “Aesthetic Whitewashing,” Here Are Some of the Museum’s Non-Aryan Jesuses Justin Renel Joseph, 33, filed a complaint with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on November 30, in which he describes seeing “anti-Semitic, racist, and offensive aesthetic whitewashing” of Jesus during a trip to the museum on November 26. The complaint is also directed at the City of New York for using public funds to finance the cultural institution. As Met spokesperson Elyse Topalian told the New York Post ,“When they were painted, it was typical for artists to depict subjects with the same identity as the local audience. This phenomenon occurs in many other cultures, as well.” Hyperallergic, December 7, 2015

The Real Value of the ISIS Antiquities Trade. At the Met, many were puzzled when Andrew Keller, a soft-spoken senior official at the State Department, unveiled newly declassified documents proving that ISIS maintains a marginally profitable “antiquities division.” ISIS manages oil and antiquities under the same bureaucratic umbrella, the ‘Diwan al-Rikaz,’ an archaic phrase that literally translates to ‘Department of Precious Things That Come Out of the Ground.’” The New Yorker, December 4, 2015


The vanishing Philadelphia art gallery. “Galleries are closing left and right across the country,” he said. “Something’s been afoot for a year, a year and a half. It feels like the ’90s, when everything died. There was nothing after the ’80s boom. The question is: Is it cyclical or is it a paradigm shift?” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 6, 2015


Assemble design collective wins Britain’s Turner art prize. The Assemble architectural and design collective that helped renovate a rundown area of Liverpool to try to stem the tide of gentrification won Britain’s Turner Prize for contemporary art on Monday. Globe & Mail, December 7, 2015 see also Power to the people! Assemble win the Turner prize by ignoring the art market. The Guardian, December 7, 2015


Stonehenge may have been first erected in Wales, evidence suggests. Evidence of quarrying for Stonehenge’s bluestones is among the dramatic discoveries leading archaeologists to theorise that England’s greatest prehistoric monument may have first been erected in Wales. The Guardian, December 7, 2015


Canadian Artists Confront Climate Change at Paris Summit. As world leaders met last week at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference to negotiate a universal agreement on climate change (largely considered an essential step in substantive environmental change), artists took the chance to weigh in. The resultant projects ranged from the bombastic—Olafur Eliasson brought icebergs into the streets of Paris—to the devastatingly understated, as in the collective Avaaz’s gesture of setting up 20,000 pairs of empty shoes in the Place de la République as a “silent march.” Sean Martindale and J.P. King, Pascal Paquette and Aaron Li-Hill contributed poster works, as did Vancouver-based magazine Adbusters. Canadian Art, December 7, 2015


Ernst Fuchs, artist – obituary. Ernst Fuchs, who has died aged 85, was an Austrian artist who co-founded the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism in the 1940s. The Telegraph, December 7, 2015


Stolen Dutch paintings offered for sale by Ukrainian militia. Stolen Dutch golden age paintings are being offered for sale by an ultra-nationalist militia in Ukraine, according to the museum from which the works vanished a decade ago. The Guardian, December 7, 2015

Sao Paulo

The 32nd Bienal de SaÞo Paulo Announces Preliminary Artist List. Titled “Incerteza viva” (Live Uncertainty), the biennial is curated by Jochen Volz, Gabi Ngcobo, Juìlia Rebouças, Lars Bang Larsen, and Sofiìa Olascoaga, and, according to its press release, “sets out to trace cosmological thinking, ambient, and collective intelligence, and systemic and natural ecologies.” Artnet News, December 8, 2015

Tianjin, China

A Chinese Folk Artist’s Descendants Are Split by the Government’s Use of Their Family Legacy. Behind this slick campaign is one family’s tale of persecution, division and conflicting views on government control of art. The story offers a darker counterpoint to the party’s upbeat message, underscoring longstanding efforts to control art and bend it to political aims.” New York Times, December 5, 2015


Joanna Spurling, Vancouver Art Gallery Library

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