Visual Art News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, July 5, 2016

Vancouver
Some fascinating facts from VAG’s Picasso show Vancouver Art Gallery senior curator Ian Thom talks to Wayne Moriarty about the enormity and intricacies of putting on a Picasso show. Among the many lingering impressions from the Picasso exhibit at the VAG is that the artist himself was something of a roué — a rake, if you will. Certainly, the title of the show hints as much: Picasso: The Artist and His Muses. The Province, July 3, 2016

‘Bharti Kher Matter’ at the Vancouver Art Gallery The Vancouver Art Gallery recently announced the ‘Bharti Kher Matter’, the first major retrospective in North America of internationally acclaimed Indian artist Bharti Kher. The exhibition will open on July 9 and it incorporates elements of painting, photography and sculpture that have been the hallmarks of her practice over the past two decades. Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Daina Augaitis, Chief Curator and Associate Director and Diana Freundl, Associate Curator, Asian Art, the exhibition is presented as part of the Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art initiative which features historical, contemporary and emerging international and local Asian artists. Blouin Artinfo, July 3, 2016

City issues contract to transform Vancouver Art Gallery’s north plaza  Vancouver city councillors have green-lighted a $5.7-million contract to overhaul the Vancouver Art Gallery’s north plaza. The work, set to start this month and end by February, will transform a space that for years has served as the city’s primary gathering place for protest, celebration and mourning after tragic national or world events. The biggest changes will be the loss of the bark mulch fields as well as the large fountain. The water feature no longer works and the province intends to put it into storage, according to the design team, led by Nick Milkovich Architects. Vancouver Sun, July 4, 2016

Calgary
Two artists offer different perspectives of the Alberta landscapes in joint exhibition “Photography is kind of dangerous.” Calgary artist Philip Kanwischer is struggling to boil down the message of Inhospitably Ours, part of a new joint exhibit at Window Galleries at Arts Common, into a few manageable words. The above sentence may not exactly do the trick. But it does have a certain ring of irony given that the 24-year-old is a photographer and Inhospitably Ours is a photography exhibit. His works on display are composites that take wildlife out of the environment they were photographed in and imposes them into different landscapes. Calgary Herald, July 3, 2016

Toronto

Dave Heath, Photographer of Isolation, Dies at 85  Dave Heath, a photographer whose images expressing his sense of urban isolation and a yearning for personal connection won a fervent group of admirers despite his many years of public obscurity, died on Monday, his 85th birthday, in Toronto. Although his lustrous black-and-white prints owed a lot to the bleaching techniques of W. Eugene Smith, and though his poetic images of people glimpsed in streets and public parks sounded some of the same broken chords as those struck by his friend Robert Frank in his book “The Americans,” Mr. Heath was in many ways a school of one. His photographs, notably collected in his signature work, the 1965 book “A Dialogue With Solitude,” reflected his own troubled experience. The New York Times, July 1, 2016

Dale Chihuly at the ROM: Pretty, vacant For most of his long career, “Dale Chihuly,” the Seattle-based blower of colourfully heroic glass confections, and “art” have sat uneasily in the same sentence. With a near-industrial level of production, an embrace of bloated excess for its own sake and grandiose installations that can produce gasps but precious little thought, Chihuly’s work sits well outside the standards we tend to apply to great art: to provoke, to enlighten, to embody, to emotionally engage (just for starters). Toronto Star, June 28, 2016

Canada
Arts philanthropy a winning formula for artists, wealthy  Artists must go cap in hand to support their enterprises. And often it’s the same people doing the giving – high-net-worth individuals, whose largesse supports the arts while advancing their status as philanthropists. It’s a winning formula, but only if you can find the people who willing to open their pockets. High-net-worth people are usually defined as those with investable assets of between $1-million and $10-million, says Darren Farwell, senior wealth adviser with ScotiaMcLeod in Toronto. The Globe and Mail, June 30, 2016

International
Guess Who Are the Most Popular Contemporary Artists of June  So, it is that time of the month again when we take a look at the artists that have spiked your curiosity the most! There are so many names in our ever-growing database, but these ten contemporary artists have managed to make it to the top ten… While there are a lot of names coming from the world of street art, our list is still very diverse and includes artists working in the variety of media and styles. Widewalls, July 2016

United Kingdom
Silent soldiers across the UK mark Battle of the Somme in poignant live art piece  First World War soldiers appeared in public places across the UK yesterday (1 July), marking the centenary of the bloody Battle of the Somme that claimed the lives of more than 19,000 British troops on the first day of the Anglo-French offensive across the fields of northern France a hundred years ago. The men, who congregated in shopping centres, high streets and at railway stations, were volunteers in a “human memorial” devised by the artist Jeremy Deller, who is known for his re-enactment of the Battle of Orgreave in 2001. The Art Newspaper, July 2, 2016

Tehran
Renowned Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli barred from leaving country Authorities in Iran have confiscated the passport of the country’s most renowned living artist, Parviz Tanavoli, the day before he was due to speak at the British Museum. Tanavoli told the Observer that he went to Tehran’s international airport on Saturday to take a Lufthansa flight to London but border officials confiscated his passport and barred him from leaving the country without giving any reasons…. Sunday’s event at the British Museum is a celebration of the work of Tanavoli that it holds in its collection, and serves as the launch for his new book, European Women in Persian Houses, recently published in English by I B Tauris. The Guardian, July 2, 2016

Abu Dhabi
Louvre Abu Dhabi to host summit on culture versus terrorism  The United Arab Emirates will host a high-level, international conference on terrorism versus culture, led by the French president François Hollande and the president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The exact date is not yet fixed, but the event is due to take place in December in Abu Dhabi, when the Louvre Abu Dhabi building, designed by Jean Nouvel, is due to be completed. Since 2015, France has taken the lead in this campaign. The Art Newspaper, July 5, 2016

Johannesburg
Africa’s first major Matisse show to open in Johannesburg The running thread through the exhibition is freedom. Featured are around 70 works, including paintings, drawings, collages and prints covering the dominant themes in Matisse’s work. A central exhibit is the suite of 20 impressions for the prints in Matisse’s book Jazz (1947), which indicate how he was inspired by Kuba cloths from the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). “His correspondence indicates that he would hang these cloths on the walls of his studio and look at them for long periods, waiting for inspiration,” informs [curator Federico] Freschi, adding that these abstract forms also influenced Matisse’s paper cut-outs in the 1940s and 1950s. The Art Newspaper, July 1, 2016

 

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