Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, March 8, 2016

Mash of the titans MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture is the most ambitious show in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s history – and aims to change the way we think about artists from Picasso to Tarantino. …The exhibition requires a longish visit but it’s a colourful trip – energized by the range of works, the sometimes thumping soundtrack featuring the likes of Madonna and Grandmaster Flash, the opportunities to stop and take in a video, or even a full-length Jean-Luc Godard film in a darkened screening room. There are surprises and revelations around every corner. The Globe and Mail, March 4, 2016

Vancouver planning $7.75-million party to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday Vancouver is set to host a massive party in the summer of 2017 to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. City Council is expected to approve plans on Tuesday for the city to host a massive $7.75-million, 11-day festival at downtown Vancouver’s Larwill Park, the 2.7-acre vacant parking lot site that was used as a Live Site during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Fan Zone. The proposed festival site, next to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, is also slated as the future new home of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Vancitybuzz, March 8, 2016

Walter May finds beauty in the discarded and obsolete As with many of his sculptures, the early glimmers of inspiration for Still Life with Canes came to Walter May from an unusual object he came across. It was a tree, nestled between houses in his Charleswood neighbourhood in northwest Calgary…Born in Edmonton, May studied at the University of Alberta in the 1970s and got his Master of Fine Arts at the University of Regina before moving to Calgary. Walter May: Object Lessons is on view at the Glenbow Museum until May 22. The Calgary Herald, March 5, 2016

Ottawa galleries host Wikipedia edit-a-thons for International Women’s Day Surveys done by the Wikimedia Foundation suggest women make up only 10 to 20 per cent of editors. The Ottawa galleries are building on a New York campaign called Art + Feminism that sprung up to address the lack of participation of women on Wikipedia., March 8, 2016


Yayoi Kusama Debuts New Work in Hawaii — Inspired by Snails In anticipation of next spring’s Honolulu Biennial — which will feature local and Indo-Pacific contemporary art — the Honolulu Biennial Foundation will present Yayoi Kusama’s first Hawaiian exhibition starting this week. The Tokyo-based artist’s “Footprints of Life,” a 15-piece installation of giant blob sculptures, is a nod to Kahuli tree snails, endemic only to Oahu, which were nearly picked into extinction to decorate leis in the mid-20th century. The New York Times, March 7, 2016

How museums learned to stop worrying and love the digital world Interactive displays are just one of the ways museums are harnessing technology to reel in younger, digital-savvy audiences. Just a few years ago, cultural institutions asked visitors to turn off their mobile phones — a losing battle, the more prescient leaders realized. Now they’re hiring social media experts and offering apps that let you customize and personalize every museum experience, from visiting in-person to iPad surfing at home to checking in from another continent. The Star Tribune, March 5, 2016

New York
Art Galleries Face Pressure to Fund Museum Shows Galleries have always provided scholarly support for museums exhibiting their artists’ work. Now they’re expected to provide money, too. In today’s exploding art market, amid diminishing corporate donations and mounting exhibition costs, nonprofit museums have been leaning more heavily on commercial galleries for larger amounts of money — anywhere from $5,000 to $200,000 each time — to help pay for shows featuring work by artists the galleries represent. The increasingly common arrangement has stoked concerns about conflicts of interest and the dilution of a museum’s mission to present art for art’s sake. The New York Times, March 7, 2016

The Gilded Age Glows Again at the Park Avenue Armory’s Veterans Room The Veterans Room at the Park Avenue Armory — completed in 1881 by the then-brand-new dream team of Louis Comfort Tiffany, Stanford White, Candace Wheeler and Samuel Colman — may be as close as any room in New York City comes to such beyond-words fantasia….On Monday it reopens to the public in all its historical swagger after more than a year of work, at a cost of more than $8 million, by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, which is overseeing the restoration of the armory… The New York Times, March 6, 2016

Stan Douglas Wins the 2016 Hasselblad Foundation International Photography Award The Hasselblad Foundation announced today that Canadian artist Stan Douglas has been awarded the 2016 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. As part of his prize, Douglas will receive 1,000,000 krona (about $156,000). The award will be bestowed in Gothenburg, Sweden, on October 17, with an exhibition of Douglas’s work opening at the Hasselblad Center the day after. Artnews, March 8, 2016

Full steam ahead for Italy’s museums reform Italy’s minister of culture, Dario Franceschini, is determined to make good on his promise to shake up the country’s cultural institutions. He announced a radical overhaul of the ministry’s regional arms, the Soprintendenze, last month… Until recently, separate government bodies oversaw fine arts, archaeology and parks in each of Italy’s regions. Now, a single entity will oversee all three facets of a particular region. There will be 39 Soprintendenze, not including the two special entities that oversee Pompeii and the Colosseum. The Art Newspaper, March 6, 2016




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