Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 18, 2016

Town Talk: Artists’ gifts make million for gallery As suave as a Ritz head waiter in his tuxedo, artist, administrator and Vancouver Art Gallery trustee Hank Bull co-chaired the gallery’s recent art auction with former board chair Bruce Munro Wright. The $1.2 million reportedly raised from artists’ donations may have surprised even VAG director Kathleen Bartels and chief curator-associate director Daina Augaitis. The Vancouver Sun, April 15, 2016. See also The Province, April 17, 2016

Igloos, owls and snow goggles: Inuit culture highlighted in print collection  A new collection of prints from eight different Nunavut communities, including a piece by the late Kenojuak Ashevak, is on display at Iqaluit’s Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum., April 13, 2016

Stephan Jost sees only possibilities as he prepares for his first day as director of the AGO Stephan Jost cheerfully confesses he doesn’t know anything about Canadian art and he’s all right with that, Jack. In fact, it gets him “super-excited.” On first inspection, this seems a strange admission from a beamish, boyish-looking guy who, come next Monday morning, begins his new $350,000-a-year job as Michael and Sonja Koerner Director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Founded 116 years ago in Toronto and now one of the largest cultural institutions in North America, the AGO has a permanent collection of almost 100,000 art works. The Globe and Mail, April 14, 2016

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art gets a new, bigger location  MOCCA will take up residency in the auto building as the anchor tenant. Christened the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada, it will be devoted to art of the 21st century and is scheduled to open on May 2 next year. The museum will occupy five floors – 55,000 square ft. – of the 10-storey restored building. Built in 1919, the auto building represents an early example of industrial high-rise construction in Toronto and will remain a highly visible neighbourhood landmark in the emerging area. The Bloor West Villager, April 17, 2016

Montréal aura son Musée de la mode  Le Musée du costume et du textile du Québec annoncera officiellement la semaine prochaine qu’il devient le Musée de la mode de Montréal. Un nom plus représentatif de l’identité de ce petit musée qui veut faire davantage connaître la riche histoire de la mode québécoise. La Presse, April 15, 2016

‘This Institution Has Always Been Underfunded’: Anne Pasternak Offers Candid Thoughts On The Future Of The Brooklyn Museum  “Nimble” was a word she used repeatedly to describe her vision going forward. Pasternak hopes to make different use of the museum’s collection—which includes extensive holdings in Egyptian antiquities, 19th-century painting, decorative arts, as well as some contemporary work, among other styles—and plans to do more in-house curating, with the museum hosting fewer traveling exhibitions. Pasternak took over the directorship in September from Arnold L. Lehman after about two decades as the president and artistic director of the nonprofit arts organization Creative Time. Artnews, April 14, 2016

Barbarians at the gate: Irish biennial finds inspiration in Easter Rising  Eva International: Ireland’s Biennial opened this weekend in Limerick, Ireland, taking as its theme the “postcolonial condition” to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. As Koyo Kouoh, the biennial’s Cameroonian-born guest curator, pointed out at the press conference on Thursday, we do not often think of European countries as having been colonised, but Ireland was under “800 years of occupation”. There is work by 57 artists from 23 different countries in this year’s exhibition (until 17 July)…The Art Newspaper, April 18, 2016

Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979 review – an antiseptic archive of archives  Can time past ever be regained? The curators at Tate Britain evidently hope so. In the opening gallery of Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979 – note that dismal title and be warned – they have recreated a famous work from the heady London of 1967. Nearly 6,000 oranges are piled in a glowing pyramid on the floor. You are meant to pluck one and eat it, a literal parody of art consumption….But almost half a century has intervened and the scene is no longer so free and innocent. Contemporary art is a zillion-dollar business we paupers are urged to respect. My sense is that the gallery guards will have to encourage the public quite actively to get those oranges moving, thereby “destroying the work of art”, as I heard one horrified viewer put it this week. And the atmosphere at Tate Britain isn’t going to help, for this is the most antiseptic archive of a show. The Guardian, April 17, 2016

Obituary: Janet Hodgson  Janet Hodgson, who has died aged 56 of cancer, explored ideas of time, history, archaeology and language through sculpture, film, public art – accessible to all, usually outdoors – and installations. Curiosity and close investigation gave rise to complex ideas that left questions open. As the magazine British Archaeology noted in connection with a number of projects focusing on Stonehenge in 2008, her installations and films “generate the sensation of being lost in time”. The Guardian, April 15, 2016

New contemporary art museum takes shape in Beirut  A new museum of Modern and contemporary art in Lebanon has moved a step closer to becoming a reality with the announcement of the shortlisted architects for the project. The 2,780 sq. m museum, which will be located in central Beirut close to the National Museum, is due to open by 2020. Representatives from the Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon (Apeal), the non-profit organisation behind the museum, have signed a long-term lease agreement with the Université Saint Joseph for the site. Apeal has also launched an ambitious private fundraising campaign to build the new museum. The Art Newspaper, April 18, 2016


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