Visual Art News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 29, 2016


ART SEEN: Shawn Hunt’s paintings capture moonlit moments of transformation.  Shawn Hunt’s new paintings [at the Burrard Arts Foundation] are populated with strange creatures. Some dance by themselves on black grounds. Others look trapped by the edges of the paintings. It doesn’t take much imagination to think of them as bursting from the imaginary world of art into the physical world around the viewer. But they can’t: they’re caught on the surface of the canvas….Hunt‘s sculptural work will be in an exhibition later this year at the Richmond Art Gallery. That exhibition will include Odalisque which is made from new and left over body parts used in Northwest Coast sculptural works.  You can see Odalisque at the Vancouver Art Gallery where it’s part of An Agreeable State of Uncertainty until Sept. 5.   Vancouver Sun, June 28, 2016

Emily Carr University president plays tour guide at half-finished Vancouver campus.  Students and staff at Emily Carr University of Art and Design on Granville Island are expected to start moving into the new campus in east Vancouver by next May, according to university president Ron Burnett…Although the 280,000 square foot building is north of Great Northern Way, its street address will be 520 East 1st Ave. The $122.5 million building is designed for up to 5,000 students.  Vancouver Sun, June 27, 2016

Christy Clark spoke on ancestral remains without Haida input: curator. When British Columbia Premier Christy Clark promised to work with the province’s aboriginal people to return ancestral remains and cultural belongings – while standing in front of a Haida house post – museum curator Nika Collison immediately picked up a phone and started doing damage control.   Ms. Collison, who works for the Haida Gwaii Museum and has been involved in repatriation efforts for almost 20 years, says the Haida have been working directly with museums for years, and she’s worried the Premier’s announcement – which came without any warning to her community – could potentially sour those relationships.  Globe & Mail, June 27, 2016


Toronto exhibit highlights Vivian Maier’s work, and a tricky legal dispute.  Under other circumstances, the exhibition of about 40 photographs by the late Vivian Maier, opening Saturday at Toronto’s Stephen Bulger Gallery, would be as close to a slam-dunk in terms of public appeal, critical approbation and commercial success as you can get in the art world. Globe & Mail, June 25, 2016


Ottawa Art Gallery opens host of summer shows. The Ottawa Art Gallery has opened a bouquet of exhibitions in the past week and there is much to see. Here are looks of varying brevity.  Jerry Grey: On the Grid shows a lesser-known side of Jerry Grey, one of the city’s best-known and beloved elder artists; Robbin Deyo: The Spirograph, the iconic kids’ toy that put many horrid drawings on fridge doors in the 1960s, attains new heights of imagination in Robbin Deyo’s Still Moving; Marc Adornato: I’ve Got Some Bad News is a survey of Marc Adornato’s recent work, and it’s chock-a-block with the acerbic satire that one expects from the iconoclastic Ottawa artist.  Ottawa Citizen, June 24, 2016


Two artists channel Marshall McLuhan in Montreal exhibitions.  Marshall McLuhan’s most radical idea was that everything we make also remakes us. Two new exhibitions at Montreal’s Musée d’art contemporain grapple with this proposition from very different perspectives. Liz Magor, who was born in 1948, works with what McLuhan called the material extensions of the body – clothes especially, but also shelters and implements. Ryan Trecartin, who was born in 1981, is all about electronic extensions, particularly cellphone cameras, social media and reality.   Globe & Mail, June 28, 2016

Mathieu Lefèvre: Retrospective of a Life Cut Short.  “Make It Big” was Centre Clark’s recent retrospective of the late Mathieu Lefèvre, who studied and worked in Montreal before moving to New York City. As retrospectives go, it was unusual, because it did not feature a selection representative of the life’s work of an established artist. Lefèvre died in 2011 at age 30, after being hit on his bike by a flatbed truck in Brooklyn. This is a retrospective of a life cut short.   Canadian Art, June 23, 2016


Gang Up: 16 Great Canadian Art Collaborations. Alison Cooley and Daniella Sanader create a cross-Canada roundup of leading-edge collaborative art practices, ranging from the tongue-in-cheek boosterism of Edmonton’s Tennis Club to the travelling memorial project Walking with Our Sisters. Canadian Art, June 27, 2016


Models Claim Artist Pressured Them to Violate Themselves With a Rope.  In Brazilian artist Laura Lima’s exhibition “The Inverse,” “the participant’s body achieves uncanny abstraction, presence, and suspense,” according to a description. But two models say Lima went way too far in trying to achieve this effect. Miami New Times, June 21, 2016


British Museum In Court Disputing Nearly $1M Tax Bill  The museum is contesting a tax bill from the local council of the London borough of Camden for £720,000. The council maintains that revenues from the museum’s two restaurants and gift shop should be taxed at for-profit rates. Museums Journal, June 22, 2016

The painter enchanting the art world with her thoroughly modern muse   Clara Drummond won the BP portrait award last week for her work with fellow artist Kirsty Buchanan.  It was the third painting of Buchanan by Drummond to contend for the prize in recent years, and came from intense discussions between the pair about the purpose and practice of their art. “We were standing together in total disbelief on the night I won. But it was the alchemy of our conversations that had lead to the work,” said Drummond.  The Observer, June 27, 2016


Empty gesture? Renzo Piano’s €600m cultural Acropolis for austerity Athens.  It was launched to great fanfare. But now the 20-hectare temple to culture stands vacant, its shelves built for 2 million books empty, its gates locked. Can this wildly ambitious civic gesture succeed?  The Guardian, June 28, 2016

Nimrud, Iraq

Isil rampage continues with destruction of the Temple of Nabu in northern Iraq.  The destruction of the Temple of Nabu in the Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq by the Islamic State (Isil) has been condemned by Unesco and a leading UK archaeologist. As part of its propaganda campaign, the jihadist group issued video footage earlier this month that appeared to show part of the ancient archaeological site being blown up. The Art Newspaper, June 28, 2016

Kolcata, India

World’s Oldest Operating Photo Studio Closes in India. After more than 150 years of documenting the faces and landscapes of India, a photo studio that many considered the world’s oldest in operation has shuttered. Bourne & Shepherd, named for its founding British photographers, Samuel Bourne and Charles Shepherd, officially closed earlier this month, following its last owners’ loss of a 14-year legal battle over the company’s sole space, a building in Kolkata’s busy Esplanade area.  Hyperallergic, June 28, 2016




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