Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, May 12, 2016


Daphne Bramham: Let’s keep Osgemeos’ Giants as a happy addition to the Vancouver landscape. The Giants are the most photographed and, arguably, most loved installation of the third Vancouver Biennale with their popularity rivalling that of the laughing men at English Bay. Ocean Concrete is open to the Giants staying and accommodating whatever needs to be done to preserve them. But for the Giants to even have a chance at survival, the Biennale needs $35,000 before September. Vancouver Sun, May 11, 2016

Vancouver’s top architecture and design honoured in Urban Design Awards. Henriquez Partners Architects were honoured with three awards and Durante Kreuk Ltd with two Monday evening at the 2016 Vancouver Urban Design Awards, which recognize and celebrate excellence in architecture and urban design. Vancouver Sun, May 9, 2016

$15.5-million expansion, public rooftop garden planned for Vancouver Public Library. Vancouver’s Central Library at Library Square is gearing up for a significant two-level expansion to create new reading and community spaces, including a unique public rooftop garden. On level eight, there will be a 77-seat fixed-seat auditorium, art and cultural exhibition spaces, community meeting rooms, and large quiet reading room on level eight, which will be a first for the building.  Vancity Buzz, May 10, 2016


Art installation by Douglas Coupland unveiled at Beltline condo complex.  It was four long years ago that Douglas Coupland first envisioned the concept: an eye-catching series of coloured targets on the wall of the lobby of a luxury condominium complex in Calgary’s Design District. Calgary Herald, May 7, 2016


Canadians get rare chance to see the severe beauty of Vilhelm Hammershoi.  The larger, non-Scandinavian art world seems to be having one of its periodic rediscoveries of the discreet, atmospheric charms of the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi.  Globe & Mail, May 10, 2016


Aboriginal art community cheers Linda Grussani’s return to Canadian Museum of History.  Fifteen years ago, the Canadian Museum of History invested time and money in Linda Grussani, a young aboriginal student intern with roots in the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation at Maniwaki, Que.  Ottawa Citizen, May 11, 2016

Lessons from history museum help Douglas Cardinal design new house for the north.  Construction techniques employed at the Canadian Museum of History could help replace shoddy, mould-ridden homes in northern indigenous communities with durable, healthy residences. Ottawa Citizen, May 9, 2016


We Need to Talk: Sexual Harassment in the Artworld.  To talk about harassment in the wider world is crucial, as is addressing it specifically in the artworld context.  The art milieu, in particular, has specific conditions that can contribute to, encourage or cloak bias, harassment and assault. Canadian Art, May 11, 2016

News in Brief: Canadians in Berlin Biennale, Emily Carr’s Honorary Doctorates, Saskatoon/Vienna Art Partnership.  News in brief include: the honorary doctorate degees awarded at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design ; Montreal-based artists Jon Rafman and Julien Ceccaldi will be participating in the ninth Berlin Biennale Canadian Art and more… Canadian Art,  May 6, 2016

Los Angeles

Why a white woman’s discrimination lawsuit against the Getty is no joke and could set a precedent  The case of Samantha Niemann vs. the Getty Foundation has generated all manner of headlines and Internet jabs after the white university student claimed she had been deterred from applying for an internship program geared toward underrepresented minorities.  Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2016

New York

New Museum Plans Expansion After Raising $43 Million. The New Museum — one of the smallest and in many ways still the scrappiest sibling in the bursting family of contemporary art museums in New York City — will expand into the building it owns next door to its Bowery home, doubling its space as it prepares for its 40th birthday next year.   New York Times, May 10, 2016

United States

Deserts and dynamite: my journey to the cosmic heart of land art.    The new film Troublemakers, explores the extremes of land art, from lightning fields to satanic jetties… it depicts land art as a Promethean struggle between man and nature. The Guardian, May 11, 2016


Turner prize 2016 shortlist features buttocks sculpture and choo-choo train. It sparks excitement and joy in some, bemusement and fury in others and this year’s most coveted prize in British contemporary art – the 2016 Turner prize – is unlikely to buck the trend.  Organisers named Anthea Hamilton, Michael Dean, Helen Marten and Josephine Pryde on this year’s shortlist and all four artists will exhibit their work at a Turner prize show running from September to January. The Guardian, May 12, 2016

United Kingdom

Five art spaces shortlisted for UK’s premier museum prize. The Art Fund’s Museum of the Year shortlist was announced today (29 April) with Bristol’s Arnolfini; the Bethlem Museum of the Mind in south London; Jupiter Artland near Edinburgh; London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and the York Art Gallery in the north of England being nominated for the £100,000 prize.  The Art Newspaper, April 29, 2016


A Different Guernica.  In Gernika, 1937: The Market Day Massacre, the historian Xabier Irujo reveals the hitherto unknown fact that the destruction of the historic Basque town of Guernica was planned by Nazi minister Hermann Göring as a gift for Hitler’s birthday, April 20…Picasso had not as yet chosen a subject for his World’s Fair commission. As often before, he had envisioned his studio—a favorite setting and the vortex of the world—in a series of sketchy designs. Within a week of the attack on Guernica, he abandoned this theme and began working along the lines suggested by Juan Larrea, the director of information at the Spanish embassy. New York Review of Books, May 12, 2016


Artist Ai Weiwei’s refugee documentary takes him to Gaza.  The Chinese artist and activist is including Palestinians in his film about the Syrian refugee crisis because they constitute “the longest history” of displacement.  Toronto Star, May 11, 2016


In Quest for Selfie, Tourist Scales and Smashes 126-Year-Old Statue.  Another day, another unnecessary, accidental damage of art. This most recent incident follows the utterly heedless decision of one unidentified tourist in Lisbon who scaled a life-size statue of a 16th-century Portuguese king at Rossio Railway Station to attain, of course, a selfie. Hyperallergic, May 9, 2016


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