Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, May 4, 2016


James Nizam: Aperture for Destruction.  James Nizam is a photographer who makes sculptures and a sculptor who takes photographs.  This reflexive descriptor can be ascribed to a particular modus operandi developed by the Vancouver-based artist over the past decade and, while hardly encompassing the entirety of his practice, it can be said to bind its central queries together.  Canadian Art, May 2, 2016


Suzy Lake Wins 2016 Scotiabank Photography Award.  Toronto artist Suzy Lake has won the sixth annual Scotiabank Photography Award. The winner was announced this evening at the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto.  “Suzy Lake’s pioneering, long-term photographic exploration in the arena of performative, feminist and self-identification themes places her firmly in the vanguard of Canadian greats” said artist Edward Burtynsky, chair of the Scotiabank Photography Award jury, in a release. Canadian Art, May 3, 2016.  See also Toronto-based Suzy Lake wins Scotiabank Photography AwardGlobe & Mail, May 3, 2016

Here’s how an artist built a 2,000-gallon lake inside a Toronto art gallery.  Toronto-based artist Steve Driscoll has 25 solo exhibitions to his name, but only one that requires a pair of wellies. Recovered Shores, on now until May 28 at the Angell Gallery, is a slice of Algonquin Park—lake, boardwalk, wooden bench and all—in the heart of the city.  Toronto Life, April 29, 2016


Wilfrid Flood’s legacy of art finding a home at Ottawa Art Gallery. A cartographer with the Department of Mines, Wilfrid Flood died of a heart attack in 1946, at age 42 and was all but written out of art history until 1998 when the artist’s widow, Henrietta, died and about 100 forgotten works were discovered in a closet in her home on Kensington Avenue, near Island Park Drive. The Ottawa Art Gallery is acquiring 88 of Wilfrid’s paintings and sketches found in that closet. Some of the 88 works are expected to be exhibited when the gallery opens its new building in 2017. All of the works can now be easily loaned to other museums and galleries.  Ottawa Citizen, April 29, 2016


Biennale de Montreal Announces Preliminary Artist List and Projects.  The Biennale de Montreal announced its preliminary artist list today. As it stands now, there are 45 artists who are set to show work at the biennial, which opens on October 19 at the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal.  Artnews, May 3, 2016

Joan Jonas: A US Legend Raises Cape Breton’s Ghosts.  This first retrospective in Canada devoted to the American multi-media artist Joan Jonas  will give insight into the artist’s œuvre, spanning over five decades. It begins with her early choreographic works and pioneering video performances, such as the Organic Honey series, and culminates with her most recent piece They Come to Us without a Word, which was presented in 2015 at the Pavilion of the United States for the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale, and will premiere in North America at DHC/ART. The multimedia installation and performance They Come to Us without a Word is emblematic of the artist’s long-term interest in environmental politics, the landscape and ghost stories of Nova Scotia.  Canadian Art, May 2, 2016


10 Indigenous Artworks that Changed How We Imagine Ourselves.  Last month, I said that the best Indigenous art from 1980 to 1995 “changed how we imagine ourselves and our place in the world.” Now I want to share 10 works that had that effect on me.”  — Richard William Hill, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Studies at Emily Carr University of Art and DesignCanadian Art, April 28, 2016

St. Louis

First Look: Space-Age Noguchi Ceiling Uncovered in St. Louis U-Haul Store.  An undulating, organic ceiling installation completed by midcentury designer and sculptor Isamu Noguchi in the ‘40s has been re-revealed after months of restoration work at a U-Haul Moving & Storage location in St. Louis.  Curbed, May 3, 2016

New York

The Big Fake: Behind the Scenes of Knoedler Gallery’s Downfall. Knoedler & Co. opened in New York City in 1846 and ran more or less continuously until closing abruptly at the end of 2011. Knoedler went into business almost a quarter of a century before the Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded. When the gallery started, California was not yet a U.S. state. Knoedler would become a leading supplier of Old Master paintings to the robber barons of the Gilded Age, counting among its clients Cornelius Vanderbilt, J. P. Morgan, and Henry Clay Frick. For years the business was described as a framer and “picture manufacturer”—its existence predated the very idea of a storefront business that sold art.  Artnews, April 25, 2016


Baltimore Museum of Art appoints Christopher Bedford as next director.  The Baltimore Museum of Art has chosen as its next director Christopher Bedford, who at age 39 already has achieved art world coups.  Bedford is credited with restoring the credibility of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, which he has led for four years. In addition, Bedford was selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to commission the artist and works that will represent the U.S. at the 2017 Venice Biennale, an international art show.  The Baltimore Sun, May 2, 2016


Why Moscow Has Suddenly Been Filled with Tacky, Terrible Art.  It was as if the city had been invaded by a horde of aliens with flamboyantly bad taste. The Moscow intelligentsia recoiled in horror.” Masha Gessen writes that “the aesthetic assault is a logical part of Moscow’s – and Russia’s – political progression.” The New Yorker, April 26, 2016


Can technoheritage be owned?  In 1947, French statesman and novelist André Malraux, famously wrote about the concept of a “museum without walls…Today, art is liberated in ways that Malraux could have never imagined. From Wikimedia Commons to Google Images, one-of-a-kind artifacts are frequently available to anyone with a Wi-Fi connection. The preservation and replication of antiquities has never been easier.  Boston Globe, May 1, 2016


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