Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, May 2, 2016

The Vancouver Art Gallery Library & Archives was delighted to receive a visit last Friday from Kim Nguyen, winner of The Hnatyshyn Foundation – TD Bank Group Emerging Curator of Contemporary Canadian Art Award. Kim received her award in a special ceremony at the Vancouver Art Gallery on April 27th. She is working on a new project about Vancouver artist Cornelia Wyngaarden and is exploring our artist’s file on Wyngaarden for an upcoming publication.

Museum of Vancouver to celebrate Expo anniversary with 1986 admission prices  This year marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication in Vancouver. To commemorate this historical event, the Museum of Vancouver (1100 Chesnut Street) is offering a special Expo ’86 pricing for visitors on Monday (May 2). The Georgia Straight, April 29, 2016

Winnipeg’s arts district considers face lift  The Manitoba Centennial Centre — the conglomeration that includes the Centennial Concert Hall, Manitoba Museum and Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre among others — has selected a local architecture firm to help lead a study over the next year with a focus on redeveloping the Centennial Centre. MCC put out a call for proposals in December and have selected Winnipeg-based PSAstudio Architecture + Urban Design and Sinclair and Nostrand Architects + Planners of Toronto to spearhead the study of the East Exchange District development. The Winnipeg Sun, April 28, 2016

Thomas Ruff at the AGO: the art of stopping time  Object Relations, the new show of Ruff’s work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, is less concerned with all that than it is Ruff’s hands-on, sleeves-rolled-up approach to a medium that’s becoming less tangible and material by the day. Look at Instagram and you’ll see what I mean, as old images replace new moment by moment, washed away in a sea of likes before they have a moment to stagnate…“I think he’s really dealing with the physicality of the photographic medium,” says Sophie Hackett, the AGO’s associate curator of photography, who stewarded Object Relations into being. “His works are very labour intensive. He’s a problem solver.” Thomas Ruff: Object Relations continues at the Art Gallery of Ontario to July 31. The Toronto Star, May 2, 2016

Frida Kahlo’s art captured through photography and film at Hot Docs   In many ways The Legacy of Frida Kahlo is a chronicle not only about connecting the dots but also a tale of opposites and unlikely alliances. This mission closes the gaps between Japan and Mexico, between painting and photography, between the gender politics of Kahlo’s era and the gender politics of today; and ultimately between the living and the dead.Kahlo has become so revered both as an artist and as a feminist icon that it’s easy to forget she was once known mainly as the wife of a man who had a bigger reputation in the culture world: Diego Rivera. The Toronto Star, May 1, 2016

Contemporary Native Art Biennial explores evolution of aboriginal identity  What does it mean to be aboriginal today? Sixty artists of aboriginal heritage address that question as they explore the evolution of identity among indigenous peoples of Canada and beyond in the four venues of the Contemporary Native Art Biennial. The biennial’s third edition opens Saturday, April 30 at Art Mûr, the central pavilion where 28 artists explore the event’s theme, Culture Shift. The Montreal Gazette, April 28, 2016

San Francisco
Twice the size and seven storeys high: the new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is ready for lift-off   Few museum expansions in recent memory have been as anticipated as that of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA). The city’s major Modern art museum is due to reopen on 14 May having doubled in size, tripled its gallery space and added 3,000 gifts to the collection, more than 600 of which are on show across 18 inaugural exhibitions. By many measures, the museum is now the largest space dedicated to Modern and contemporary art in the US. The $305m extension, which has been designed by the Norwegian architects Snøhetta, towers over the institution’s original Mario Botta-designed building. Together, the two offer a whopping 170,000 square feet of galleries—26% more than the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The Art Newspaper, April 29, 2016

Los Angeles
Lacma nearly halfway to goal for new building with two pledges totalling $75m  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) is the latest US museum to announce a major private funding windfall—two pledged gifts, totalling $75m, towards its $600m campaign for a new Peter Zumthor-designed building to house its permanent collection…The museum has now raised $275m for the campaign, which includes the $125m bond unanimously approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in November 2014. Construction is due to begin in 2018 on the building, with a planned opening in 2023. The Art Newspaper, April 28, 2016

 New York
In the Studio: Dara Birnbaum The premiere of a new installation by Dara Birnbaum is a significant event. Since the 1970s she has produced a focused body of work comprising videos and installations that illuminate the media politics of the moments in which they were made. The nature of the mass media has shifted over the years—from the control exercised by television broadcast networks of the 1970s to the Internet’s decentralization of information—but Birnbaum’s work has remained consistently prescient and vital, incorporating new technologies and providing a touchstone for generations of younger artists engaged with digital culture. Art in America, May 1, 2016

Frieze New York preview: welcome to the island  May is when the art world flocks to Manhattan’s Randall’s Island for Frieze New York. Since its 2012 debut as an outpost of the original London event, Frieze has become New York’s leading art fair, drawing around 40,000 visitors last year. This year’s fifth edition marks the first New York iteration without the founding directors Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp at the helm. It will be led in their place by Victoria Siddall, who has worked closely with the two since 2004. “It’s a different experience from Frieze London and Frieze Masters,” Siddall says. “It has its specific charms. By that I mean Randall’s Island.” The Art Newspaper, May 1, 2016

Sweatshop art: Berlin artists join production line in capitalist protest  Berlin street artist Emess walks into the Schau Fenster project space in Kreuzberg with a box of water-soluble spray paint and stencils. Taking off his puffer jacket, he puts on a white T-shirt with a number two printed on its back before starting his shift at Sweat.This three day art project – part of Gallery Weekend Berlin – coincides with the three-year anniversary of the deadliest garment-factory accident in history, the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, when a building collapse killed 1,130 people and injured 2,500. A global day of action for safe factories is set for 3 May. In Kreuzberg, curator Jan Kage has invited professional artists who sell in commercial galleries across the city to produce art to order under “sweatshop conditions”. The Guardian, April 30, 2016


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