Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 13, 2016

Picasso’s influential lovers: Vancouver exhibition explores the place where Picasso the artist and Picasso the lover meet  A new exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery explores the place where Picasso the artist and Picasso the lover meet. Picasso: The Artist and his Muses looks at his work and life through the stories of six key women who were his muses and lovers and/or wives: Fernande Olivier, Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Gilot and Jacqueline Roque. The Vancouver Sun, June 8, 2016

At the Vancouver Art Gallery, Picasso: The Artist and His Muses impresses as much as it provokes questions  The mere name of the man—easily the most famous artist of the 20th century, whose personal myth is built as much on his prodigious womanizing as on his protean art-making—guarantees attendance. Irrespective of what’s on view. Irrespective, too, of the challenges his work might pose to contemporary critics. Organized with Art Centre Basel in Switzerland, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s big-draw summer show includes some 60 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints ranging across the years 1905 to 1971. Borrowed from an international array of public and private collections, it is the most ambitious exhibition of Picasso works ever shown in Western Canada. The Georgia Straight, June 10, 2016

Picasso: The women, the myth, the legend Photographers, law students, star ballerinas… in examining the impact of his first loves, wives, introduction to fatherhood and infamous womanizing, the Vancouver Art Gallery has gathered some of Picasso’s most major works – paintings that altered the course of art history and continue to impact artists today – into Picasso: The Artist and His Muses (June 11-Oct. 2), the most significant Picasso exhibition ever presented in Vancouver. There are more than 60 artworks from 38 international lenders present, including highlights like Bust of a Woman (Dora Maar) and the rarely exhibited Head of a Woman (Olga Kokhlova), with some of the most iconic works coming from the Picasso family themselves. The Westender, June 8, 2016

Vigée Le Brun’s vivid portraits on display at National Gallery  The exhibition, which opens on Friday for a showcase ending in early September, features close to 90 often-ravishing works by [Elisabeth] Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842). Among them are four portraits of the artist’s greatest and most famous patron, Marie Antoinette, doomed Queen of France, plus an equal number of self-portraits testifying to Vigée Le Brun’s stature as one of the great beauties of Paris in the years preceding the French Revolution (1789-1799). The Globe and Mail, June 8, 2016

At the McMichael, an anniversary makes peace with a complicated history  Sarah Stanners, the chief curator at the McMichael Collection of Canadian Art… is surrounded by the big, bright abstract paintings of Jack Bush, the towering Canadian artist who accomplished the remarkably un-Canadian artistic achievement in his time of being internationally known….“I have a deep knowledge and love and understanding of the Group and historical Canadian art; I don’t want to turn my back on that,” Stanners says. “And I have no intention of turning this into (the Museum of Modern Art’s) PS1 in the woods. But I really do believe in the stories in Canadian art. And there are a ton of stories, not just one. We can’t be so wrapped in the gloss of the Group being the nation’s painters that we forget everything else.” 50/50/50: A.Y. Jackson & Tom Thomson: Wounds of War; Jack Bush: IN Studio and Colleen Heslin: Needles and Pins continues at the McMichael Collection of Canadian Art to Jan. 8, 2017. The Toronto Star, June 11, 2016

Lauren Harris: Where the Universe Sings  An intimate portrait of Canada’s most renowned artist, Where the Universe Sings is the most comprehensive film on Harris to date. It features over 130 of his paintings, dozens of previously un-seen photographs and 8mm family films, plus works by those who influenced him, including Van Gogh, Cezanne, Gauguin, Kandinsky, Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keeffe. In addition to rare archival footage (some of which was shot by Harris himself), Where the Universe Sings is told through interviews with the top Harris experts including actor/comedian Steve Martin, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Andrew Hunter, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Ian Thom, curator and former Globe art critic Sarah Milroy, biographer Peter Larisey, author Dennis Reid, curator Roald Nasgaard, collector Ash Prakash, author Lisa Christensen of Heffels and Harris’ grandchildren Stew Sheppard and Toni Chowne. More information on the film. The, June 2016

Daytrip: Eleganza exhibit at the Montreal’s McCord Museum  Today’s daytrip is to Italy. Actually, to an Italian high fashion exhibit at the McCord Museum in downtown Montreal. The show, running until Sept. 25, is organized by Britain’s Victoria and Albert Museum and is called Eleganza: Italian Fashion, From 1945 to Today. Prepare to be dazzled. The Ottawa Citizen, June 10, 2016

Federal government looking at state of museums in 2016 Canadians are visiting museums more often but they aren’t interested in memberships, according to data the federal government is looking at to determine the state of the museum in 2016. On Thursday, the standing committee on Canadian Heritage began a study looking at the challenges facing museums and non-profit art galleries across the country. The study includes federal museums – there are six, and four are in Ottawa – as well as small and medium facilities. Challenge number one for most museums, unsurprisingly, is money. Metronews, June 9, 2016

Tate Modern: a museum for our times  The Turbine Hall at Tate Modern is perhaps the most well known, and probably the most photographed, space in the world of contemporary art. A striking feature of a great example of 20th-century industrial architecture, it has hosted the important Unilever (and now Hyundai) series of large-scale installations since the museum opened at the Millennium. But as you enter Tate Modern what you initially experience is not so much particular artworks as an impressive space. In the public imagination, what Tate Modern first presents is the dramatic setting for a contemporary art experience. The Art Newspaper, June 10, 2016

French museums kick off culture events to mark Euro 2016 Football fever is spilling over into French museums and galleries for the next month as France plays host to the 15th UEFA European championship (until 10 July). The Louvre-Lens is leading the pack, welcoming fans with an exhibition celebrating its local club RC Lens, titled RC Louvre: Memories of Blood and Gold (until 17 November). The show traces the history of the team and its stadium, the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, which is visible outside of the glass pavilion gallery space. On display are mementos and testimonies from RC Lens fans, former players and coaches as well as archival material and contemporary art works. Also hoping to take full advantage of the influx of tourists, Lyon has announced a programme of cultural events. The Art Newspaper, June 10, 2016

Hard lives of China’s internal migrants inspire its artists  China’s urban migration since 1979 is the largest peacetime movement of people in human history—around 277 million Chinese have moved from rural areas to the cities, where they are officially classified as migrant labourers. Their lives, and issues of consumption, production, labour and identity are potent topics for the country’s artists. Typically semi-skilled, they often suffer discrimination. They are outsiders in the cities, often separated from their families, and the hukou household registration system restricts their access to health and other public services as it is based on a person’s place of origin. Migrants’ cultural, economic and often linguistic displacement remains one of the most pressing inequities of Chinese society. Migration was forbidden during the Maoist era, but “after 1979, with Reform and Opening, population and merchandise alike began to ‘migrate’,” says the artist Li Jinghu, who was born in 1972 in the southern manufacturing hub of Dongguan. The Art Newspaper, June 13, 2016



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