Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 7, 2016


Brian Howell’s photographs find meaning in unexpected places. Leaping wrestlers and devoted fans, empty offices and deserted newspaper printing plants, a grocery cart filled with bottle caps, red paper stars punched out with pellets, streams of pedestrians looking at their cellphones, an old yellow fridge covered in metallic grey paint—Brian Howell’s wide-ranging photography is difficult to wrap definitions around.  Georgia Straight, April 6, 2016

North Vancouver

Nanitch reflects the flow of B.C. history through Langmann photo collection. Nanitch is a Chinook word meaning “to look”. It is also the title of an amazing survey of historical photographs of British Columbia, on view at Presentation House Gallery. Georgia Straight, April 6, 2016


Tattoo exhibition makes its mark at Royal Ontario Museum. You’d probably expect to come across displays of tattoos at a dank downtown parlour rather than at one of Canada’s most prestigious cultural institutions. But Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum has gone for the inky art in a big way, with its first ever exhibition exploring the world of tattoos.  CBC News, March 30, 2016


Singh Twins bring contemporary art retrospective to Peel Art Museum and Archive. As a strategy for art-world success, the one employed by the Singh Twins would seem to have some holes.  “Narrative, decorative, figurative, non-European, small scale — all the things you’re not supposed to do in contemporary art,” they laugh. “So we just thought, ‘let’s put it all in one package and throw it out there.’ ” Toronto Star, April 5, 2016


Montreal artist Skoltz depicts drifting along in a relationship as like being underwater. In y2o, Dominique Skoltz depicts two lovers submerged as they negotiate the sometimes-treacherous waters of love and relationships.  This short documentary by Article, and produced for CBC Arts by Stephanie Matteis, shows the ephemeral nature of love. The artist uses each scene of the installation to show the struggle to remain true to another without being held back.  CBC Beta, April 4, 2016


Maud Lewis’s home inspires visitors at Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.  When Shannon Parker was a girl growing up in Digby County, N.S., she and her mother often drove past Maud Lewis’s home.  It was in the early 1980s and the tiny, art-strewn home stood in disrepair. Lewis, a renowned folk artist, died in 1970 and her husband Everett passed in 1979. It didn’t seem like the house — which Lewis had turned into a work of art — would survive.  CBC News, April 6, 2016


News in Brief: New CEO for Contemporary Calgary, SappyFest Launches Artist-In-Residency Program, Latitude 53 Announces Writer-In-Residence. Phyllis Lambert, architect and founding director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, will be awarded the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize at the 2016 Architecture Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York;  Arts administrator and independent curator Riva Symko will be the next writer-in-residence at the Edmonton artist-run centre Latitude 53 and other news from Canadian Art editors.  Canadian Art, April 1, 2016


New York

Two Canadian Artists Win Guggenheim Fellowships.  The Guggenheim Foundation announced its 2016 fellows this week in New York.  Among the winners are two Canadian artists: Deanna Bowen, who currently resides in Toronto, and Louie Palu, who was born in Toronto and is currently based in Washington, DC.  Canadian Art, April 6, 2016

Does my family own a painting looted by Nazis?  I’ve spent four years researching an artwork that passed through Nazi hands  and now hangs in a relative’s home.  The more I dig, the more I find murk.  The New York Times, April 5, 2016

State of the Art.  For nearly a century and a half, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the beaux arts behemoth on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, has been rather a dowdy operation, a standard-bearer for everything ancient and ageless in human culture. Now, quite abruptly, it’s on the move.  The New Republic, March 29, 2016

Whitney Museum’s New Home Named After Leonard Lauder.  Leonard A. Lauder, the Whitney Museum of American Art’s chairman emeritus, initially opposed the museum’s move downtown to its new home in the Meatpacking district from the Breuer building on Madison Avenue. How to explain this turn of events?  “Things change,” Mr. Lauder said in an interview. “When the discussion started, it was before the completion of the High Line, before Hudson Yards started and before a lot of the major building boom. I was afraid, in truth, that the Whitney would be a lonely institution down in a neighborhood that was waiting to happen. Well it’s happening.” The New York Times, April 5, 2016


Chinese artist’s image of dying grandmother vies for BP portrait award.  A haunting portrait by Bo Wang of his grandmother lying in her hospital bed in the last stages of cancer, almost beyond speech but gazing at the artist and the viewer, has made the shortlist of three for the National Portrait Gallery’s annual prize.  While two of the three artists, Clara Drummond and Benjamin Sullivan, are competition veterans who have made the shortlist at last after many appearances in the annual exhibitions, Bo Wang has made the shortlist – chosen this year from 2,557 portraits submitted from 80 countries – on his first attempt. He is only the second Chinese artist to do so.  The Guardian, April 6, 2016


“New” Rembrandt Created, 347 Years After the Dutch Master’s Death. A “new” painting by Rembrandt was just revealed in the Netherlands, bringing the master’s talent for portraying light and shadow back to life. Don’t worry, the project didn’t involve reanimating the master’s lifeless corpse—that’s still resting somewhere beneath Amsterdam’s Westerkerk.  Rather, it used Rembrandt’s other paintings as the basis for an ambitious project that combines art and today’s most impressive technology.  The Smithsonian, April 5, 2016


Stolen Edvard Munch artwork recovered after seven years.  Norwegian police have recovered a valuable lithograph by Edvard Munch that was stolen in 2009.  The artwork, named Historien, shows a bearded man speaking to a young boy, and was retrieved undamaged. It was valued at the time of its theft at €240,000, but art experts said it was too well-known to be put on the market. The Guardian, April 6, 2016



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