Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, February 15, 2016

Photos: MashUp at Vancouver Art Gallery MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture is the largest, and possibly wildest, show ever mounted by the VAG. Among the 156 artists featured at the show Feb. 20 to June 12: Picasso, Duchamp, Warhol, Basquiat, DJ Spooky, and scores of B.C. artists. [15 photos] The Vancouver Sun, February 12, 2016

Vancouver artist Jeff Hamada launches Booooooom TV Vancouver artist and leading Canadian art blogger Jeff Hamada kicked off 2016 with the launch of Booooooom TV, a sister-site to Canada’s top online art magazine Garnering 1.6 million monthly page views and with contributions and engagement from countries all over the world, is a respected global platform for arts and culture, covering a wide range of material. The Province Blog, February 14, 2016

Obituary – Joan Balzar: Abstract painter stood out in ‘60s West Coast art scene Her op art canvases matched her persona: intensely bright and highly sophisticated. They grabbed attention 50 years ago, when she began making them, and more recently in belated solo exhibitions. When Ms. Balzar died in North Vancouver on Jan. 16, the 87-year-old artist left a legacy of bold, luminous paintings that suggest power and vitality. The Globe and Mail, February 11, 2016

3 of 6: Performances by Mochizuki, Boudreau and Kerbel at the Contemporary Art Gallery What made me think about art and its expansionist ambitions was my food: a bowl of mushy white rice not unlike risotto with bits of seaweed, dried salmon and soya sauce (see image above). It was delicious. I was eating it as part of Paper, one of six performances presented by the Contemporary Art Gallery in late January. The Vancouver Sun Blog, February 12, 2016

The Sci-Fi Visions Of Canadian Artist John Scott His art was born out of the anti-war movement. Scott was one of this country’s first anti-establishment painters who was impacted by the Cold War and the raging war in Vietnam. He wasn’t supported in his art by government grants and largess from deep gallery pockets; instead, he got by working in a chemical factory by day and painting his black and white cartoonish canvasses at night. The Huffington Post, February 12, 2016

Ottawa urged to boost museum funding to restore aging buildings Canadian Heritage officials are warning new minister Mélanie Joly that Ottawa will need to spend tens of millions more on museums because most are in old buildings that require urgent repairs. Briefing notes provided to the minister show that 77 per cent of the more than 1,500 museums and galleries in Canada are in buildings that are more than 35 years old and are in need of upgrades. The Globe and Mail, February 9, 2016


Lansing, Michigan
Back to the Future: 50 Years of Video Art at the Broad Art Museum, MSU Video art has become far too big a phenomenon to be encapsulated in a single history, since the term by now encompasses projections, installations, films, sculptural forms, interactive projects, and digital media. It has had an omnipresent impact on contemporary art, often taking star turn at museums, galleries, performance festivals, and biennials… Artnews, February 12, 2016

New York
Cooper Hewitt Triennial Offers a Bold Look at ‘Beauty’ This year’s version of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s always interesting Design Triennial boldly ventures to tackle one of the most controversial topics in today’s visual culture. With more than 250 works by 63 designers from around the world in a jam-packed, two-floor show, “Beauty” is a mixed, visually cacophonous bag in terms of quality. But whether or not everything in it qualifies as incontrovertibly beautiful, it’s an exciting opportunity to meditate on the perennially confounding questions: What is beauty? The New York Times, February 12, 2016

Ai Weiwei wraps Berlin landmark in lifejackets in memory of drowned refugees In remembrance of the thousands of refugees who have drowned making the perilous journey to Europe, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has covered the front of a Berlin landmark with 14,000 bright orange lifejackets found on the Greek island of Lesbos. Members of Ai’s Berlin studio created the work on Saturday (13 February) by wrapping the vests around the six Ionic columns at the north entrance of the city’s Konzerthaus. The Art Newspaper, February 13, 2016

‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
Prado pulls two works from landmark Bosch exhibition After a row over attributions, the Museo del Prado has taken the unusual step of cancelling two loans for the artist’s greatest retrospective, which opened at the weekend at the Noordbrabants Museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The Art Newspaper, February 15, 2016


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