Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 20, 2016

Vancouver
Prestigious Awards Shine Light on Vancouver Artists. At a ceremony this evening, the Vancouver Art Gallery announced this year’s recipients of the Audain Prize and the VIVA Awards. Paul Wong was awarded the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts, an annual $30,000 award for senior BC artists funded by the Audain Foundation.  Kelly Lycan and Raymond Boisjoly are the winners of the VIVA Awards designed to celebrate exemplary achievement by British Columbia artists in mid-career. Each receives $12,000 from the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts.  Canadian Art, April 19, 2016  See also B.C. artist Paul Wong awarded 2016 Audain PrizeVancouver Sun, April 18, 2016

Art as Child’s Play: Recent Projects with Kids in Vancouver.  “What about the children?”Ciara Phillips, the Turner Prize–nominated Canadian artist, was at a Stockholm symposium last year when she heard those words—and they spoke to her strongly.  Canadian Art, April 14, 2016

Trees cut down in front of Vancouver Art Gallery shocks residents. The City of Vancouver says the trees had to go because they were either diseased or were at the end their lives, adding they will be replaced by 36 new trees in their stead.  CBC News, April 20, 2016

 North Vancouver
Plans for North Vancouver museum resurrected.  A couple of months ago, the North Vancouver Museum’s proposal to move to a spiffy new waterfront site was quashed by its council.  A new plan was hatched where the museum would take over a floor in the tower, and Monday night, North Van council asked Polygon to incorporate the museum into the building. Polygon is now revising the plans for the mixed-use development at 131 West Esplanade, which is largely on a parking lot beside Lonsdale Quay.  Vancouver Sun, April 19, 2016

British Columbia
Pulp Frictions: 5 Artists’ Takes on the Forestry Industry.  It is not surprising that artists of northern BC and nearby Alberta would be drawn to focusing on aspects of the forestry industry, whether materially or thematically. Here are five area creators who explore aspects of this complex—and often contradictory—force, with resonances relevant across a nation that (knowledge-economy fanfare notwithstanding) remains largely dependent on natural resources.  Canadian Art, April 18, 2016

Toronto
5 Editors’ Picks for the Images Festival.  The Images Festival, North America’s largest festival for experimental and independent film, opens on April 14 in Toronto for 10 days of screenings, installations, talks, tours and performances.  Here are the editors’ picks for the festival.  Canadian Art, April 14, 2016

Danish painter captures some grey Canada at AGO: Mallick.  There is something very Canadian about Wilhelm Hammershoi’s work and I can see why the AGO chose to show it. He was a strange reclusive man – “the weirdest soul ever to grace Danish painting”— and his paintings of solitary figures in empty rooms offer only mystery. Toronto Star, April 19, 2016

Five habits that helped Josh Basseches become a better museum CEO.  It’s been a few weeks since Josh Basseches began his new gig as CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum. Here he shares some of the secrets to his success, including why you should hunt metaphoric whales.  Globe & Mail, April 17, 2016

Charles Pachter, contemporary artist, on artists aging and thriving.  There’s a real state of grace about getting older,” according to septuagenarian Canadian artist Charles Pachter, who says he feels like he’s in his prime. “The celebrated Pachter, 73, continues to work out of his home studio and gallery The Moose Factory in Toronto’s vibrant Kensington Market neighbourhood, where he’s lived for decades.  CBC News, April 19, 2016

Montreal
Looping long-form videos fill Montreal gallery with hypnotic visuals. Running film backward is a simple trick, but at this scale and intensity it becomes a metaphor for memory, which restores images and events from the ashes of past experience.  This sequence was the first thing I saw in the sparse rooms at Montreal’s Galerie René Blouin, where Pascal Grandmaison and his partner, the artist Marie-Claire Blais, have installed two large, hypnotic video works. These looping long-form pieces tell no story, but are packed with fine-grained visual narratives about the complex interactions of time, appearance and recollection.  Globe & Mail, April 18, 2016

Visual arts: Papier 16 presents works on paper by 300 artists at Hangar 16.  The annual art fair known as Papier is an opportunity to discover how more than 300 artists from across Canada use paper to create art — there are drawings, photographs, digital images, collages and even sculptures made of paper. Montreal Gazette, April 14, 2016

Montreal art gallery displays paintings ‘stolen’ from the Internet.  Paul Lavoie had time to ponder his next venture, the fruits of which are now hanging on the walls of a gallery at Montreal’s Phi Centre.The paintings were made by InkDance Chinese Painting Gallery, a factory in southern China that will paint anything to order. Lavoie sent them kitschy images he found posted on social media: landscapes, dogs and cats, and a stock portrait pose that he Photoshopped with the faces of five young women. Globe & Mail, April 19, 2016

Washington
US Senate blocks the import of art and artefacts from Syria. The US Senate unanimously passed a bill intended to stem the perceived flow of illicitly removed artefacts from Syria on Wednesday, 13 April. The Art Newspaper, April 14, 2016

Providence, RI
Meet The Art Collective Of ‘Sad Asian Girls’ Destroying Asian-American Stereotypes When you think of an Asian woman, what comes to mind? A tiger mom? An anime fantasy? A manicurist talking about you in another language? For Asian women, these stereotypes are frustrating, disheartening and downright depressing.  Instead of letting those feelings fester and rot internally, Rhode Island School of Design students Olivia Park and Esther Fan decided to do something constructive.  Huffington Post, April 14, 2016

New York
An Artist at 100, Thinking Big but Starting Small.  The painter Carmen Herrera, who turns 101 in May, was sitting in her wheelchair on a gray day last month, waiting and watching, catlike.  She was quiet for the moment, but at any time she might toss off a teasing zinger toward an old friend who was present, or a directive to her assistant to make a minute calibration to one of her hard-edge abstract paintings.  The New York Times, April 15, 2016

Medellin
Colombian Activists Put Masks on Botero Sculptures to Protest Pollution.  Activists protesting severe pollution levels in Medellín, Colombia, aired their concerns last week with a striking public gesture: they strapped giant face masks onto a number of Fernando Botero sculptures in the famous Botero Plaza.  Hyperallergic, April 15, 2016

Berlin
Drawn Criticism: An Art Review in Pictures. For the past three years, Canadian artist and critic Sholem Krishtalka has been documenting his life in the drawing project A Berlin Diary, available on Tumblr.  Now in 17 hand-drawn panels, he documents his recent reflections on “Günter Brus: Zones of Disruption,” an exhibition at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.  Canadian Art, April 19, 2016

International
Trippy Blacklight Posters From the Psychedelic Heyday. Blacklight posters remained a decorative fixture well into the 1970s, becoming almost synonymous with velvet paintings, another kitsch art form that often incorporated fluorescent paints.  Atlas Obscura, April 15, 2016

 

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