Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 25, 2016

A Modernist gem falls victim to Vancouver’s housing market  Dr. Friedman had lived in the house until a year ago, when he died, at 98. It is still furnished with original teak furniture and objects from the 1950s, and so it feels like stepping into the past. Through the floor to ceiling living room window is a view of the pool, fencing and gardens that Mrs. [Cornelia] Oberlander designed….Dr. Friedman had tried to have the house preserved with a heritage designation, but it is in the University Endowment Lands jurisdiction, which is governed by the province. He was told a designation wasn’t available. The Globe and Mail, April 23, 2016

A new base for Chinese art in Metro Vancouver Metro Vancouver has a new facility dedicated to increasing the presence of Chinese art and culture here. While the field in Metro Vancouver is already crowded with proposed Chinese art museums and facilities, officials say each may have enough of a niche to coexist, despite overlapping in some ways. The latest entry is the Vancouver China Culture Centre, which opened this month in Richmond… Other Chinese/Asian art projects in the works include the Vancouver Art Gallery, which is planning a new building that would include an Asian-arts wing, while Chinese art auction giant Poly has said it is interested in creating a museum dedicated to showcasing collections from company clients. The Vancouver Sun, April 22, 2016

Photographer’s edgy work displayed in Vitas Luckus: The Prince of Obscurity He is perhaps Lithuania’s greatest photographer, but the late Vitas Luckus is mostly unknown outside that Baltic nation. In fact, the title of a Toronto exhibition is Vitas Luckus: The Prince of Obscurity. However, the life and work of Luckus is now becoming known, thanks to Charlotte Hale, the namesake proprietor of a small Toronto gallery where the photographer’s portraiture is being shown this month. The Globe and Mail, April 22, 2016

ROM exhibition takes detailed look at tattoos across cultures and continents  Saying the audience for Tattoos may figure significantly in the show’s success isn’t meant as as a kind of put-down of what the ROM is presenting; Tattoos, in fact, is a rather arresting show, spanning about 5,000 years of tattooing history as it has been manifested across continents and cultures. It’s just to say the tattoo – or tatau, to cite the Pacific Islands’ word from which tattoo is derived – is a living tradition… Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art is at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, through Sept. 5. The Globe and Mail, April 20, 2016

Major art museum extension by OMA underway in Quebec  OMA’s New York office is almost doubling the size of Quebec’s Musée National des Beaux-Arts with a new building in the city’s Parc des Champs-de-Bataille. Due to open in June 2016, the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion is set to increase the 83-year-old museum’s exhibition space by 90 per cent. The 14,900-square-metre building is designed as a contemporary gateway to the museum’s existing campus in the centrally located park, close to the St Lawrence River. The project is the first in Canada by the Dutch firm’s North American branch, which is led by architect Sho Shigematsu, and is a collaboration with Montreal studio Provencher Roy. Dezeen Magazine, April 22, 2016

Museums go Bard: the best Shakespeare exhibitions  Theatres across the globe are pulling out their best ruffs to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death this year. But museums are also getting in on the act. From a US-wide exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio to a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to see his will, we bring you the shows that are taking centre stage. The Art Newspaper, April 22, 2016

New York
David Geffen Donates $100 M. To MoMA  The Museum of Modern Art announced today that philanthropist David Geffen has presented the museum with a $100 million gift for the purpose of its upcoming renovation and expansion. It comes just four months after hedge-fund honcho Kenneth C. Griffin gave $40 million to the museum. MoMA will honor this gift by christening three floors of new galleries, which are being built as part of the museum’s expansion into a nearby tower at 53 West 53rd Street, the David Geffen Wing. On top of that, a group of galleries on the fourth floor will be renamed the David Geffen Galleries this spring. Artnews, April 21, 2016

‘The Dog Really Confused Things’: Another Side Of William Wegman  A different view of Wegman’s career is on display through this weekend at two galleries in New York: Sperone Westwater, exhibiting the artist’s so-called postcard paintings, and Magenta Plains, which has a selection of his drawings, mostly from the 1970s. Wegman picked painting up again in the mid-’80s, after 20 years of avoiding the form. Artnews, April 21, 2016

Lucian Freud self-portrait left to nation in lieu of inheritance tax  An intense and previously unseen self-portrait by Lucian Freud is to go on display at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) after the artist’s estate left it to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax. The unfinished oil on canvas, thought to date from the mid-1980s, will settle £559,773 of tax. Arts Council England, which administers the acceptance in lieu scheme, said the portrait fragment had only been discovered recently. The Guardian, April 22, 2016

Rich list 2016: fortunes drop for several British-based art collectors  Britain’s super-rich have seen a drop in fortunes over the past year, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, which was published yesterday (24 April). Among them were the steel magnate and art collector Lakshmi Mittal, who is reported to have lost three quarters of his wealth and is now worth £7.12bn. The decline in fortune for Mittal, as well as several other major collectors, coincides with a global slowdown in the art market. The Art Newspaper, April 25, 2016


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