Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, February 4, 2016


First Saturday Open Studios offers monthly glimpse into local ateliers.  Before the Eastside Culture Crawl became a four-day, multi-block-spanning arts and culture extravaganza, it was a much more intimate—though no less inspiring—affair, with only 45 artists showcasing works across three ateliers. Local maker Valerie Artzen’s First Saturday Open Studios seems reminiscent of those days, offering the public a monthly glimpse into the workspaces of almost 50 artists in Vancouver, North Vancouver, and New Westminster.  Georgia Straight, February 2, 2016


8 Reasons the Camera Obscura is Still Worth Celebrating.  Canadian artist Donald Lawrence heads an international, SSHRC-funded research project that organized a Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Festival in Dawson City, Yukon, this summer, and curator Charo Neville organized a related exhibition now on at the Kamloops Art Gallery. Here, Lawrence and Neville tell us why this “obscure” device remains outstanding.  Canadian Art, February 3, 2016

British Columbia

More people volunteer for the arts in B.C. than elsewhere in Canada, report finds.  A new report from Hill Strategies Research shows that five percent of British Columbians (about 186,000 of us) contribute time to the cause, versus the national average of three percent.  Georgia Straight, February 3, 2016


Cheap Date: Have your baby and your intellect, too, at Esker’s Bring the Baby Art Tours. Starting this month, the non-commercial gallery on the top floor of the Esker building in Inglewood is hosting Bring The Baby Art Tours, a relaxed social gathering for the stroller set to engage in a guided viewing of the current exhibition, followed by a discussion in the lantern, the sunny nook in the gallery’s northwest corner. The tours happen on the first Friday of each month, from noon to 12:30 p.m. Registration is recommended, though walk-ins won’t be denied.   Calgary Herald, February 3, 2016


Sean Caulfield brings The Flood to Art Gallery of Alberta.  In its simplest terms, think of printmaking as negative and positive — a stamp and a print or a negative and a photo. Generally, the artwork is the end product. But on a monumental scale, that relationship is being reconsidered in Sean Caulfield’s latest work at the Art Gallery of Alberta — a memorial-sized woodblock carving called The Flood.  Edmonton Journal, February 4, 2016

Prince Albert

Indigenous artist uses birch bark biting to heal after residential school, cancer. June McCallum-Gareau says when she sits down to make traditional art it’s therapeutic. The residential school survivor and cancer survivor is showcasing her first exhibit of birch bark biting and caribou tufting at the Grace Campbell Gallery in Prince Albert, Sask.   CBC News, February 4, 2016


Radiodress Queers the Ritual Bath in New Performance Project.  Here’s a performance that takes pleasure in its products. But rather than falling into the consumerist trap of self-care myths, Radiodress  (in the Art Gallery of York University’s “Centre for Incidental Activisms (CIA) #3),”has tempered these impulses by turning them into an occasion for collaboration. I often think of activist art as something that looks outward—at social crises, environmental degradation, political policy. But MKV is deeply internal.  Canadian Art, February 3, 2016

A Weekend With Queer Art Legend Charles Atlas.  This weekend, Toronto’s protean moving-image screening collective Pleasure Dome presents a series of events celebrating New York-based artist Charles Atlas. Atlas has forged a unique place in the history of art: he is a pioneer in using the medium of video not simply to record but, more importantly, to reimagine how performance—and specifically dance—might take on a life beyond the body’s live moment.  Canadian Art, February 4, 2016

San Francisco

Avidly awaited SFMOMA to reopen on a grand scale. It will be all about the collection when the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opens its doors to the public May 14 after a three-year rebuilding that roughly doubles its size and triples its gallery space.  SF Gate, February 3, 2016

Los Angeles

Portraits Of LA’s Female Artists Send A Powerful Message: ‘You Are Here’  The question of who is represented and who is left out is rocking the country these days, from Hollywood to politics. And, in Venice, Calif., representation is at the heart 19 dramatic portraits, now on display at the L.A. Louver.  NPR, February 1, 2016

New York

Teaching an old Met contemporary tricks: Museum director Thomas Campbell on launching Met Breuer.  In mid-March, the museum will open a branch devoted to Modern and contemporary art: The Met Breuer, which will inhabit the Marcel Breuer-designed building on Madison Avenue that once housed the Whitney Museum of American Art.   For Met director Thomas P. Campbell these projects represent an opportunity to expand the museum’s collections and its reach. But they also mark a significant turnaround from when he first took over as director, in the immediate wake of the financial crisis of 2008.  Los Angeles Times, January 30, 2016


Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge celebrates its 200th birthday.  That good substantial museum, the Fitzwilliam, is now one of the most renowned in the UK, holding half a million works of art and antiquities, and celebrates its 200th birthday this week on the anniversary of the death of the 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion. The Guardian, February 4, 2016


A concrete future For me the most exciting building in any town is always the brutalist one. It is architecture on heat: it struts, invites you to rub its porridgey skin and goggle at its projections. There is a reason that music videos are shot in them, rather than in drab supermarkets.  The Observer, January 31, 2016


‘Public nudity is a uniform’: the artist who stripped off at the Musée D’Orsay. When  Deborah de Robertis walked into the Musée D’Orsay in Paris and threw off her fur-collared coat in front of Édouard Manet’s painting Olympia to reveal her own naked body, it wasn’t meant as a fleeting publicity stunt. She wore a GoPro camera strapped to her head to capture what unfolded.  The Guardian, February 3, 2016


The Bouvier Affair. The relationship between art dealer and collector is particular and charged. The dealer is mentor and salesman. He informs his client’s desires while subjecting himself to them at the same time. The collector has money, but he is also vulnerable. Relationships start, prosper, and fail for any number of reasons. It is not always obvious where power lies. Over time, each one can convince himself that he has created the other.  The New Yorker, February 8, 2016 issue


A tortured artist: Michelangelo chiseled marble until his death, despite awful arthritis in his hand.  The life of Michelangelo has been painted by one biographer in terms of the agony and the ecstasy. Just how deep that agony cut in his later years has become more clear. The Renaissance artist and architect continued to sculpt, paint and even drew up the plans for St Peter’s Basilica in Rome while suffering from chronic osteoarthritis which left his fingers twisted into bony protrusions, a new study suggests. National Post, February 3, 2016


Price Ranges And Studio Images Of 12 Contemporary Artists.  Discovering talent in the explosive world of online art has never been easier. Finding details on pricing, however, remains elusive. Over time, this series will serve as a pricing database for creatives across the globe. For now, let’s take a journey into the studios of twelve artists, from Jackson Hole to Madrid.  Forbes, February 3, 2016


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