Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, March 21, 2016

What is your ‘Rule for Vancouver’? Art exhibit asks An unusual art exhibit is making Vancouverites ponder the “rules” for their own city. The unconventional artwork dubbed “17 Rules for Vancouver” is supposed to be text-based and conceptual in nature, challenging and playing with the definitions of art, while also inviting viewers to participate and respond. The “rules” were created by British artist Peter Liversidge, who lived in Vancouver during his International Artist Residency in 2014 and came up with 60 proposals for artworks after exploring the city. Global News, March 21, 2016

Cost of Audain Art Museum hits $43.5 million Audain said initially, he estimated it would cost $30 million to build a 30,000 sq ft art museum to house the collection of art – much of it by B.C. artists – that he and his wife Yoshiko Karasawa have amassed over the years. But to accommodate the collection and provide enough temporary exhibition space, Audain realized the size of museum had to increase by almost double to 56,000 sq ft. Audain said the cost of building the museum is $42.2 million which works out to about $750 a square foot. The museum incurred another $1.3 million in pre-opening expenses. The total cost of construction and opening is 45 per cent more than the original estimate. Vancouver Sun Blog, March 17, 2016

Montreal exhibit examines complex heritage of indigenous artifacts  The McCord Museum in Montreal has one of the largest and most important collections of indigenous artifacts in Canada. The museum is justly proud of this, though it’s an uneasy kind of distinction. Museums have always played a big role in storing and validating the booty of colonialism. The mere act of putting something in a display case cuts it off from the social context that gave it meaning. The McCord’s new permanent display of its First People’s Collection is steeped in awareness of the problem. It’s called Wearing Our Identity, and it strives at every step to help the visitor project the artifacts back into the societies in which they were created. The Globe and Mail, March 18, 2016

From pacifiers to Picassos: Museums around the world are catering to a younger clientele Fathers, I have bad news. When your kid says “dada,” she might not be talking about you. She might be weighing in on early-20th-century art. (See how she flips her sippy cup upside down? Clearly an homage to Marcel Duchamp’s seminal work “Fountain.”)… New amenities geared toward these young visitors are making the introductions easier than ever. Take, for example, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, which unveiled “Wegmans Wonderplace” in December. The first exhibition on the Mall designed for children ages 0 to 6, it features stroller parking, changing tables and nursing pillows. The Washington Post, March 18, 2016

New York
Return to form: Julian Rose on the Met Breuer IN THE FALL OF 1963, presenting his vision for a new Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Marcel Breuer described a structure that would play the role of mediator—actively shepherding the visitor through the transition from a frenetic urban context into the spaces of contemplation that awaited within… The vitality of the street has been welcomed inside, particularly as both urban public life and cultural tourism have been reduced to the common denominators of entertainment and consumption. While the Whitney’s new home, designed by Renzo Piano, is almost 400 percent larger (220,000 square feet to Breuer’s 85,000), it includes only about 50 percent more gallery space (50,000 square feet to Breuer’s 33,000). Artforum, March 2016

Guggenheim Receives $3 M. Endowment for Conservation from the Mellon Foundation The Guggenheim Museum’s conservation department has received a $3 million challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support its conservation efforts. The grant, which the museum will need to match two-to-one (raising an additional $6 million), endows the position of deputy director and chief conservator, held since 2007 by Carol Stringari, and a new position, director of engagement, conservation, and collections. Artnews, March 18, 2016

Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky review – not to be missed  This is not an exhibition to miss. Many works have never travelled outside Russia, and most have never been seen in Britain before. To walk among them is to return to that almost unimaginable Russian culture of radical thinkers, writers, artists and composers before it was devastated by the first world war and the Bolshevik terror. Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky is at the National Portrait Gallery, London until 26 June. The Guardian, March 20, 2016

Wakefield, UK
Hepworth Wakefield Names Shortlisted Artists for U.K. Museum’s Sculpture Prize The Hepworth Wakefield announced the shortlisted artists for its Hepworth Prize for Sculpture today. According to a release, the prize is the U.K.’s first-ever sculpture award, and it’s going to be given out biennially to a British or U.K.-based sculptor. The winner will receive £30,000, or about $43,400. Artnews, March 21, 2016

Hong Kong
7 things you wanted to know about Art Basel but were too afraid to ask  The facts and figures behind Hong Kong’s giant art fair, attracting the biggest name artists and galleries from China, Europe and the USA: Art Basel launched in Hong Kong in 2013, attracting some 60,000 people. Originally held in May, Art Basel Hong Kong runs from Thursday, March 24 to March 26. The South China Morning Post, March 20, 2016

Art Basel in Hong Kong Reveals Film Sector Details Beijing and Zurich-based multimedia artist and producer Li Zhenhua returns to curate the film sector of Art Basel Hong Kong 2016, the fair announced on Wednesday. For the first time, the 2016 film sector has been expanded to include five feature-length and documentary films in addition to 67 short films, exploring six different and diverse themes., March 21, 2016

Sydney Biennale review – contemporary art meets sci-fi in wide-reaching show  … the 2016 Biennale of Sydney revealed its title to be The Future Is Already Here – It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed, a typically wry, aphoristic comment by the American-Canadian science fiction author William Gibson. That the biennale is at times frustrating, dystopic, obtuse and ugly – instead of always utopian, beautiful, accessible and optimistic – proves that it is once more a reflection of the here and now. The 20th Biennale of Sydney runs until 5 June. The Guardian, March 19, 2016


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