Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, January 28, 2016


Dana Claxton disrupts with images of resilience and reclamation.  Beauty and drama are two of the tools Dana Claxton uses to challenge social assumptions and demolish cultural stereotypes. In her Audain Gallery exhibition, Made to Be Ready, she asks us to reconsider the ways in which indigenous women are represented in museums and galleries.  Georgia Straight, January 27, 2016

Documentary on Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli being screened at Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver.  I’ll hazard a guess that the name Parviz Tanavoli isn’t one most Vancouverites are familiar with. Artists in general have a challenging time getting noticed here on the West Coast and if they’re from a completely different culture and historical tradition, it’s even more difficult.  Art Seen, Vancouver Sun Blog, January 27, 2016

Reg Davidson works add to YVR art collection of more than 200 pieces.  YVR has added three more major Northwest Coast art works to its already impressive collection.  Earlier today, Vancouver International Airport unveiled Raven Stealing the Beaver Lake, The Blind Halibut Fisherman and Raven with a Broken Beak. They’re all by Reg Davidson and recount Haida myths where Raven is portrayed as both a “beneficent cultural hero and a prank-playing Trickster,” according to a news release from YVR.  Art Seen, Vancouver Sun Blog, January 26, 2016


New art gallery exhibit blurs the lines between art and design.  The Art Gallery of Alberta’s first exhibition of the year, The Blur in Between, opened last Saturday, with a panel discussion on Sunday featuring a few of the featured artists. The exhibition, curated by Kristy Trinier, is intended to question the distinctions between art and design, featuring a variety of artists and designers with mediums ranging from videos of wood burning, typography, photo prints and a piece made primarily with glass bottles. The Gateway, January 27, 2016


AGO Looks to the US for New Director Pick.  This afternoon, Stephan Jost was named director of the Art Gallery of Ontario, one of the largest art museums in North America. Currently director of the Honolulu Museum of Art, Jost plans to join the AGO this spring, pending governmental approval of authorization to work in Canada.  Canadian Art, January 27, 2016  See also Art Gallery of Ontario names Stephan Jost as new director.   Globe & Mail, January 27, 2016

Female artists get a league of their own.  Erica Beyea, who runs Girls Art League, created the program for girls aged 10-18. Toronto’s Girls Art League teaches young artists the skills and confidence to conquer the art world.  Toronto Star, January 27, 2016


War museum donations under fire.  The Canadian War Museum is being criticized for accepting funding from one of the world’s largest arms manufacturers for a speakers’ series as well as for a new exhibit devoted to recent conflicts such as Afghanistan and the Balkans.  Ottawa Sun, January 27, 2016


How university museums bridge the gap between art and science.   When the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive reopens on 31 January in a new $112m building, visitors will see intricate drawings of radiolaria by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel and sketches of the human brain’s branching neural networks by the Spanish-born Santiago Ramón y Cajal, known as the father of neuroscience.   The Art Newspaper, January 25, 2016

New York

MoMA Trims Back Some Features of Its Planned Renovation.  The Museum of Modern Art has eliminated several polarizing elements of its sweeping redesign, museum officials said on Tuesday in disclosing new details about the project. New York Times, January 26, 2016  See also Museum of Modern Art Unveils Revised Expansion Plans. Wall Street Journal, January 27, 2016

Second B.C. artist being shown at Outsider Art Fair in New York  I realized my ideas around outsider art aren’t as clear as I thought they were. Most recently, they’ve being challenged by Lee Plested, an independent curator and writer based in Vancouver. At the Outsider Art Fair in New York, he’s showing the work of a B.C.-based artist I wouldn’t normally have described as an outsider. Plested is showing 10 works by Gordon Payne. About 25 years ago, Payne moved from Vancouver to Hornby Island off of the eastern side of Vancouver Island.   Art Seen, Vancouver Sun Blog, January 21, 2017

The Most Colorful Artist In New York? Dia:Chelsea Exhibits Robert Ryman’s Luscious White Paintings.  Working as a guard at the Museum of Modern Art in the 1950s, Robert Ryman passed his time studying the paintings of colorists such as Henri Matisse. Their work inspired him to become an artist himself. Ever since, nearly every painting he’s exhibited has been solid white.  Forbes, January 28, 2016

Knoedler fakes trial could be a game-changer for the art market. What are the implications of the unfolding scandal for other galleries and collectors? We may get some answers in the first trial arising from the case, which is scheduled to begin in New York on 25 January. The Art Newspaper, January 25, 2016


“Champagne Life” Fizzles at Saatchi Gallery.  “Champagne Life” is the first all-female exhibition ever held at London’s Saatchi Gallery, and is staged to celebrate its 30th birthday. The exhibition showcases 14 “emerging” artists, aged 25 to 59, from across the world: they have little in common besides their gender, and that they work mainly in painting or sculpture.  Canadian Art, January 27, 2016


Ai Weiwei pulls art from Danish museums over ‘insulting’ immigration law  Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is withdrawing his works from two museums in Denmark to protest a new law that allows Danish authorities to seize valuables from migrants.  Toronto Star, January 27, 2016

Jakarta, Indonesia

Indonesia’s First International Modern Art Museum to Open in 2017.  The first museum in Indonesia dedicated to international modern and contemporary art is scheduled to open in early 2017 in the capital, Jakarta.  New York Times, January 26, 2016



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