Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 30, 2016


New Vancouver Art Gallery show pays tribute to Wolfgang Paalen and Emily Carr’s artistic rendezvous.  In Victoria, B.C., in the summer of 1939, there was a historic meeting of two brilliant artistic minds. Surrealist artist Wolfgang Paalen had left Paris on a voyage to Alaska and B.C., where he was introduced to Emily Carr and her paintings of the forests and the art of the Northwest Coast.  Georgia Straight, June 28, 2016

ART SEEN: Everything from the beautiful to the disturbing is in Drama QueerDrama Queer is a mass of contradictions — and that’s exactly as intended.  It has works that are both utterly beautiful and shockingly disturbing. It has provocative political works and quieter intimate works. It also has works that are designed to evoke an emotional response in the viewer. Drama Queer is easily one of the best art exhibitions of the year in Vancouver. It’s a shame it’s only up for nine days.  Vancouver Sun, June 29, 2016

On Charting My Indigenous Art Horoscope.  “Thanks to the invention of the daily newspaper, and related archives, Arthur Koestler argued, it is possible to recover a lot of specific information from the time when you were born and sift it with an eye to its cultural importance for the life to come.  There are two reasons that I want to go back to the year and place of my birth—namely, Vancouver in 1967—and cast my Indigenous art horoscope, particularly in the context of researching a book about contemporary Indigenous art from 1980 to 1995.” – Richard William Hill.   Canadian Art, June 29, 2016

Artist with Down syndrome written off as ‘incapable’ blooms in the Downtown Eastside.  Barely three years ago, Teresa Pocock was written off as “incapable” and banished to an old-age care home to live out the rest of her life in an institutionalized setting.   Today she is a poet and artist with a solo exhibit at Gallery Gachet that runs until Saturday.  Vancouver Sun, June 29, 2016


Rebranding, renewed focus as Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity lays out five-year plan. On Thursday, the Rocky Mountain hub and organization announced a new five-year strategic plan and vision titled The Creative Voice, which they will embark upon immediately. Among the goals are clarifying what the organization is and does, honing in on those aspects it does best and spreading the message to the general public and its funding partners.   Calgary Herald, June 23, 2016


L.A. artist Cleon Peterson brings monumental mural to Old Strathcona.  Without any official warning or fanfare, international painter Cleon Peterson has dropped a gigantic, untitled mural onto a 24-metre-long, two-storey brick wall in Old Strathcona, across from the Farmers’ Market.  Edmonton Journal, June 27, 2016


Inuit art created at Hamilton TB Sanatorium to be showcased at AGH. The Art Gallery of Hamilton is planning a major public exhibition to showcase Inuit art created by Inuit recovering from tuberculosis at the former Hamilton Mountain Sanatorium. The 132-piece collection of sculptures and prints will be put on display at the AGH next year, celebrating an important period in the city’s history.  CBC News, June 29, 2016


The 113 newest members of the Order of Canada — the full list.  Among  of the Order of Canada appointees for this year are: Abraham Anghik Ruben (indigenous artist) and Gail Dexter Lord (museum planner and manager). Toronto Star, June 30, 2016

Los Angeles

Getty exhibition makes a case for the enduring power of Theodore Rousseau. Is there a fate worse for a painter than being remembered primarily as a “precursor” to a later, very major development in the history of Western art?  Take Theodore Rousseau (1812-1867), the subject of a fine, newly opened survey exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Once he had been celebrated for textured landscape paintings of the French countryside, especially the fabled forest of Fontainebleau 40 miles southeast of Paris. Now he is mostly extolled for a leading role in opening the door on Impressionism, which blossomed after his death.   Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2016

Man arrested in theft of trailer containing $250,000 in artwork by Matisse and Chagall.  A Canoga Park man was arrested in connection with the theft of a trailer containing $250,000 in artwork by Matisse and Chagall, police said Tuesday.  Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Art Theft Detail recovered more than $120,000 in stolen art.  Other pieces are still missing.  Los Angeles Times, June 21, 2016

New York

The Daredevil of the Auction World.  A generation ago, the wealthiest art buyers sought to build collections of canonical works, many of them decorative. (The Impressionists were popular among the investment-banker class of the nineteen-eighties.) But today’s collectors of contemporary art, having made their fortunes in the tech industry or in hedge funds, are more entrepreneurial. They are less beholden to art history, and often less cognizant of it. Loïc Gouzer, a specialist in contemporary art at Christie’s New York is their peer, generationally and culturally. The New Yorker, July 2 (issue), 2016

New record for a Basquiat painting set at Christie’s auction.  A monumental self-portrait by Jean-Michael Basquiat set a world auction record for the artist at $57.3 million US Tuesday evening at a Christie’s contemporary art sale.  CBC News, June 28, 2016


The legacy game: Gormley isn’t the first artist to worry about his place in history . Antony Gormley has been struck down by modesty. The artist who casts his own body religiously, and whose monumental works include not only the Angel of the North but a hotel room whose exterior is shaped like a squatting Lego figure, has been musing about his own place in history.  Gormley clearly does not doubt his own significance. His self-criticism is laced with narcissism. And that’s fair enough, maybe. If you are going to be an artist you need a big ego. It’s injudicious of Gormley to wonder about something that only the future can decide – but all artists fret secretly about the same thing. The Guardian, June 29, 2016

The Ethics of Dust: a latex requiem for a dying Westminster.  Jorge Otero-Pailos applied latex to walls in Westminster Hall to lift out centuries of dirt. But he can’t remove the post-Brexit stains of British politics.  The Guardian, June 29, 2016


Death, volcanoes and Nazis in the family: Ragnar Kjartansson, wild man of Icelandic art He makes art in the bath, thinks Nigel Farage has a punchable face and gets together with his mum every five years to be spat on. Meet the unstoppable force that is Ragnar Kjartansson.  The Guardian, June 28, 2016


Spanish Court Rules Dalí Foundation Has No Legal Authority to Protect Artist’s Image  The Civil Chamber of Spain’s Supreme Court has ruled against the Dalí Foundation in a lawsuit between the organization and a Barcelona exhibition organizer, declaring the foundation does not have exclusive rights to the artist’s image.  ArtForum, June 30, 2016




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