Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, July 7, 2016


Bharti Kher’s hybrid vision merges humans with animals to address politics, sociology, and love.  The first artwork visitors will see when they enter Bharti Kher’s thoughtful and provocative exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery is a life-size sculpture of the heart of a blue sperm whale. The largest creature that now exists on our planet, the blue whale possesses a heart that is also the biggest in the world—the size, the artist says, of a small car. Kher’s realistic, cast-resin depiction of the organ’s two massive chambers, enormous aorta, and branching blood vessels is a work of weird grandeur.  Georgia Straight, July 6, 2016


Yvonne Mullock and the New Stampede Aesthetics.  From its superstar mayor Naheed Nenshi to its NDP premier Rachel Notley, Calgary has become one of the most diverse, cosmopolitan and politically progressive cities in Canada.  But the Calgary Stampede—still billed as the greatest outdoor show on earth, in true Western-maverick fashion—continues to have a very defined and singular aesthetic.  in recent years, been interesting for me to see the ways that Stampede aesthetics have been reworked, redirected and reframed by contemporary artists.  Canadian Art, July 6, 2016


Museum of Contemporary Art names Terry Nicholson interim CEO.  Less than two weeks after it was announced that Chantal Pontbriand would be leaving as chief executive officer of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Toronto-based museum has appointed a veteran city bureaucrat as interim CEO.  He’s Terry Nicholson, 65, who, until his retirement late last month, had been director of arts and culture for the City of Toronto since 2012.  Globe & Mail, July 6, 2016

AGO to move much-loved Henry Moore sculpture from Dundas St. Its bronze hide has been burnished by the bottoms of generations of Toronto schoolchildren, who have seen it more as a misshapen jungle gym than an icon of late-Modern sculpture… And now, Henry Moore’s LargeTwo Forms, that pair of outsize, amorphous doughnuts as much a part of the Art Gallery of Ontario as the building it inhabits, is on the move. The gallery confirmed Wednesday that the beloved sculpture will be uprooted next year and relocated to a new home in Grange Park.   Toronto Star, July 6, 2016


Canada’s close-up.  Martin Weinhold has embarked on a cross-country project to capture Canadians in the intimacy of their work environments.  James Adams talks to the photographer about the journey so far.   Globe & Mail, July 2, 2016

New York

Nan Goldin’s Life in Progress.  Just as certain works of literature can radically alter our understanding of language and form, there are a select number of books that can transform our sense of what makes a photograph, and why.   Between 1972 and 1992, the Aperture Foundation published three seminal photography books, all by women.   Between  Diane Arbus (1972) and Sally Mann’s “Immediate Family” (1992) was  Nan Goldin’s “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” (1986).    The New Yorker, July 4, 2016 issue


Can art fight crime? South Philly installation aims to find out. The Electric Street [is] an illuminated neon mural … down the block from the iconic cheese-steak spots Pat’s and Geno’s, in an alleyway hidden by the unusual curve of the block. … Sam Albright, who owns one of the houses covered by the mural … said he’s already noticing more people on the block – to take pictures, not to buy drugs.” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 7, 2016


‘Unforgettable’ V&A wins museum of the year award.  The V&A has been named 2016 museum of the year, winning the UK’s largest arts prize, for providing visitors with what judges called an unforgettable experience. The London museum was praised for an exhibition programme that included its most visited ever show, an Alexander McQueen retrospective, and the opening of restored permanent galleries devoted to European arts and crafts from 1600-1815.  The Guardian, July 6, 2016


‘It’s an important moment’: Sydney Biennale’s first Asian curator on the role of Asian art in Australia.  On Tuesday it was announced that Mami Kataoka – chief curator at Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum  and a key player in raising the profile of Asian contemporary art abroad – has been appointed as artistic director of the 21st Biennale of Sydney in 2018. The Guardian, July 4, 2016

Lake Iseo

Floating Piers: how Italy learnt to love Christo. As the local officials who approved the project pay tribute to the boost to international tourism in the region, it seems that Italy has learned to embrace Christo’s monumental, ephemeral brand of sculpture. But against the instincts of an artist who claims not to understand computers, the Floating Piers will have a digital afterlife. The selfie-friendly installation has generated 130,000 hashtags on social media, while Google is due to put 360-degree images of the work online through its Street View function.  The Art Newspaper, July 5, 2015


Those Italian Artifacts Actually Were Looted, Danish Museum Now Says. It took years of often tense negotiations, but on Tuesday the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek art museum in Copenhagen signed an agreement that includes the return of archaeological artifacts that Italy said had been looted from Italian soil. New York Times, July 5, 2016


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