Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, May 26, 2016


Things To Do: 7 can’t-miss Vancouver arts events this week, May 26 to June 2.  Among other events, local painter Roselina Hung, who’ll show her work at ROVE open studios at Gene Studios on Friday recommends taking in Marina Roy’s Your Kingdom at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite at 1100 W. Georgia Street.   Georgia Straight, May 25, 2016

Norman Tait, renowned Nisga’a carver whose totems span the world, dead at 75.  Norman Tait, a Nisga’a First Nation artist whose work is displayed around the world, has died at the age of 75.Tait was known for carving totems, but the self-taught artist’s work also includes masks, jewelry and photos.  Times Colonist, May 25, 2016

Is There an Indigenous Way to Write about Indigenous Art?  “Earlier this year, I was at an event where an artist of Indigenous heritage said that non-Indigenous ideas are dangerous to Indigenous people and that we ought to stay away from them. I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of it.  The statement got my attention for a number of reasons. As someone researching a book on Indigenous art, I am grappling with how to approach and make sense of the material I am gathering.” —Richard William Hill, Emily Carr University.  Canadian Art, May 25, 2016

Record set for E.J. Hughes painting at Vancouver auction.  E.J. Hughes didn’t sell that many paintings until he hooked up with Montreal art dealer Max Stern in 1951.  But the dozen or so large canvases the late Vancouver Island artist painted in the late 1940s have become cherished among collectors, to the point where whenever one comes up for auction, it seems to set a new record.  This happened again Wednesday, when the 1949 painting The Post Office at Courtenay, BC, sold for $1.593 million at the Heffel auction at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Vancouver Sun, May 26, 2016

Heffel Auction: Harris and Carr on the block, with no record in sight.  Last November, a middling (by some accounts) canvas by Group of Seven godfather Lawren Harris broke all records for the painter at auction, topping out at $4.6 million (including buyer’s premium). It pushed past the six-year old high-water mark for the artist’s work of $3.5 million, reached in 2009, and left many wondering what, if any, limits there might be for Harris’s increasingly rare canvases. Toronto Star, May 25, 2016


Michiko Suzuki’s white-silk tents house hope for young women. “Lovely and contemplative as it appears, Michiko Suzuki’s ongoing Hope Chest project was inspired by horror. Some years ago, she was shocked by a documentary on the trafficking and sexual exploitation of Cambodian children in the decades following that country’s savage civil war. Through her church, Suzuki also met a young Cambodian girl who had been adopted by a Canadian minister.  These encounters, and the dawning understanding about how vulnerable girls and young women are, led her to create an ambitious, mixed-media installation that spoke generally of hope rather than oppression.”  Georgia Straight, May 25, 2016


Winnipeg Art Gallery sets up shop, promotes Inuit art at The Forks. A new retail space to promote and sell Inuit art is opening at The Forks, as part of a partnership between the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Government of Nunavut.  CBC News, May 25, 2016


A dress fit for a queen.  Can a little white dress change the world? That question can be answered in the affirmative if the dress in question is worn by a queen. And the implications of all of that are explored in a fascinating new Masterpiece in Focus exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada called The White Dress. This is a companion exhibition to the major summer show at the gallery of the works of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, which will open next month.  Ottawa Citizen, May 25, 2016


Scott Conarroe’s Top Tabs.  We asked Canadian photographer Scott Conarroe, who recently debuted a project about alpine glaciers in Lugano, Switzerland, to share some of his favourite online destinations for Top Tabs, our series of favourite Internet finds and fancies from artists, curators, dealers and others. Here’s what he shared…  Canadian Art, May 25, 2016

Ontario and B.C. artists named recipients of 3D printing grants. Two artists from British Columbia and Ontario are recipients of the first grants from a fund dedicated towards promoting innovative work through 3D printing technology.  Vancouver-based Geoffrey Farmer and Duane Linklater of Moose Cree First Nation in northern Ontario will be able to draw from the $100,000 Be3Dimensional Innovation Fund.   Vancouver Sun, May 26, 2016

San Diego

UC San Diego Plans to Shut Down University Art Gallery  The University of California San Diego will permanently close its University Art Gallery this summer, instead turning it into a classroom, reports Jacky To for the UCSD GuardianArtforum, May 25, 2016

San Francisco

SFMOMA Cruise Ship Makes Port With Trophies Aboard.  “Why are so many works by single artists — male artists who enjoy art-superstar reputations — hung as if animating visual encyclopedia entries, occupying one gallery upon the next upon the next? And whose idea was it to do it this way? For the influential donors of the new SFMOMA, political art appears never to have been invented.” Adobe Airstream, May 25, 2016


Houston native Rabinow returns home to lead Menil Collection. Houston native Rebecca Rabinow, currently curator-in-charge of the [Met Museum’s] new Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art, takes up her new position in July. Houston Chronicle, May 19, 2016

New York

Qatari Royal Family Settles Picasso ‘Bust of a Woman’ Suit.  A settlement was reached in an international legal drama over Picasso’s plaster “Bust of a Woman” pitting two of the world’s biggest art buyers against each other, New York billionaire Leon Black versus a member of Qatar’s royal family.  Bloomberg News, May 23, 2016

Why finding Nazi-looted art is ‘a question of justice’.   On May 26, Sotheby’s will auction a 356-year-old painting that once hung in the Munich residence of Adolf Hitler.   “An Officer Paying Court to a Young Woman” by Dutch painter Gabriel Metsu could sell for $6-8 million — and the price tag is high, in part, because of that history.  In 2001, the American Alliance of Museums published guidelines for checking collections and handling looted art. And in 2006, after suing all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, Maria Altmann won restitution of her family’s paintings looted in Austria, including Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele” (1907), later purchased from them for $135 million by cosmetics billionaire and philanthropist Ronald Lauder and permanently exhibited at his Neue Gallery in Manhattan. PBS, May 22, 2016

Cambridge, UK.

The Adoration of the Shepherds: Fitzwilliam Museum 10-year restoration A Renaissance masterpiece has been returned to a complete painting for the first time in centuries following a 10-year restoration.  BBC News, May 17, 2016


Alberto Giacometti / Yves Klein review – one master, one mad genius.  Alberto Giacometti, the Swiss sculptor who gave visual form to Parisian existentialism after the second world war has a big exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich and an even bigger one planned by Tate Modern in 2017. It is hard not to respect this anguished artist of the modern condition, but you can get sick of his dry funereal austerity… This, anyway, is what I felt seeing his overwrought bronzes and drawings alongside the joyously playful, mysteriously visionary work of Yves Klein in Gagosian’s provocative pairing of two stars of the Paris art scene of the 1950s and 60s. It is Klein who takes my breath away. What a mad genius he was. The Guardian, May 26, 2016

George Shaw review – down, dirty and delightful in the woods.  That spot on the edge of town where depravity and danger bloom like fungi is the theme of George Shaw’s luscious, funny, provocative new paintings.  The Guardian, May 26, 2016


Kids Smash Art at Glass Museum While Adults Stand by Filming.  Just when you’d thought you’d seen it all when it comes to art-breaking mishaps (selfie seekers, I’m looking at you), along comes this incredible footage from China of two boys fracturing a sculpture in the Shanghai Museum of Glass.  Recently released CCTV video shows the young lads touching and pulling the wall-mounted work, but we also see their two adult chaperones whip out their phones and film the entire incident — because documentation of this precious scene for posterity sure beats discipline.  Hyperallergic, May 23, 2016



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