Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, July 14, 2016

The Art World Celebrates National Bastille Day  Today marks national Bastille day, and from our corner of the universe, we know that the celebration extends far beyond French pride… To celebrate the holiday, and its revolutionary spirit, artnet News decided to turn to some historical offerings from the art world: from a canvas by American Impressionist painter Childe Hassam, who made a portrait of Parisian streets enlivened by celebration from his balcony view, to an iconic throwback of a French woman up in arms by Eugene Delacroix, courtesy of the Morgan Library., July 14, 2016

Could Pokemon Go help Vancouver arts organizations?  Arts organizations like East Vancouver’s The Cultch and the Contemporary Art Gallery have both realized they are designated “PokeStops” and have tweeted out their findings. “It’s a pretty incredible feat of technology that not only encourages us to get out and be active, but to draw people toward arts organizations in their neighbourhood,” Cultch artistic associate Jamie King said. “There are so often organizations like ours that exist a little off the beaten path, and games like this bring people out of their houses. With a little help from a PokeStop, suddenly they find a gallery or theatre or event hall they never knew existed.” The Province, July 12, 2016

Artists’ work gets a mega-viewing on Moss Street  On Saturday, about 170 artists at the TD Art Gallery Paint-In — painters, sculptors, carvers, potters, illustrators and printmakers — will show an expected 35,000 onlookers how they create their artworks. The Times Colonist spoke with three participants in the outdoor extravaganza: an artist who transforms abandoned brass instruments into sculptures, a “finger painter” who overcame the threat of blindness and a comic-book illustrator specializing in retro 1950s and 1960s-style art. The Times Colonist, July 14, 2016

Stampede artist’s frames capture piece of Prairies A painting of a white horse, framed in reclaimed wood from an antique stable door. A portrait of a cowboy, framed in a piece of old fence. A depiction of the city skyline with the Calgary Tower in the foreground, mounted on an original piece of crown molding from the Palliser Hotel. With Airdrie artist Brad Holt’s works, the frames are as much pieces of art as the paintings they enclose. Each frame is repurposed from an old grain elevator or a barn door or old window frame, selected to match the subject matter of a specific painting. Calgary Herald, July 12, 2016

Museum shares Islamic art, culture and history  On 17 acres, on a North York hillside with a view of the CN Tower, it is two structures: One is the Museum itself, and the other the Ismaili Centre for Learning. Between the two, elegant, understated buildings are five huge black reflecting pools of water in a welcoming treed park. It begs the visitor to sit and meditate. Many cities around the world bid for this centre, which cost $300 million. Toronto was chosen. And for us in Peterborough, it’s an easy trip… Funded entirely by the Aga Khan Foundation, it was 12 years in the planning and four years in the building….Its purpose is to show Islamic art, culture and history, all in a mission to increase cross-cultural understanding and dialogue. Peterborough Examiner, July 14, 2016

At the Power Plant, getting into the art  There’s an austerity to the work of Ulla von Brandenburg currently at the Power Plant that those accustomed to her immersive, constructed environments might find a little surprising or even lacking. But this being her first major showing in Canada, that will apply to the well travelled precious few of us and shouldn’t matter anyway, although it does, mostly in ways more beneficial than anything. Von Brandenburg, a German, is best known for elaborate installations that knit together the experience of theatre, performance and architectural space — homes, really, for the films that form the meat of her practice. As a viewer negotiating the environments she builds, you’re part of the piece, like it or not. Toronto Star, July 14, 2016

A long lost piece of Toronto’s public art set to shine again One of Toronto’s long lost public artworks will shine again as early as next year. The TTC and Oxford Properties are joining forces for a $500,000 project that will re-illuminate Yorkdale station’s Arc en Ciel. Originally created in 1978 by Canadian artist Michael Hayden, the light installation consisted of rainbow-painted glass tubes that spanned the roof of the station and lit up as trains pulled in and out. But it was scrapped by the city in the mid-1990s after it stopped working and was deemed too costly to repair. Hayden, who has done similar works around the world, including at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, has signed a contract to remake the installation. This time, he’ll use LED lights. Metronews Toronto, July 13, 2016

Summer visual-arts scene is a study in contrasts  Aires Libres is the name of the pedestrian mall in the Gay Village, but it is also the title of an art exhibition that makes its presence felt on that section of Ste-Catherine St. in summer. The theme is autarky — the idea of whether self-sufficiency is possible in today’s world — as chosen by Aseman Sabet, curator for the third year in a row. The art consists of three sculptures, 10 illuminated panels of collages and photographs, and Michelle Furlong’s choice of an aquatic theme for a set of six large panels with peepholes through their centres. There are also musical bicycles and the Belvedere Staircase at Wolfe St., which takes visitors above the canopy of pink balls that marks the site. Montreal Gazette, July 14, 2016

Pokémon Go Users Flock to Museums, Passing Picasso in Search of Pikachu If you’ve visited a museum in the last few days and spotted larger-than-average groups of people wandering around and looking a tad lost, their eyes glued to their phones, you were likely witnessing the phenomenon of Pokémon Go. Since the game’s launch last week, many museums have actually witnessed increased foot traffic as players have swarmed to them in hopes of catching some Pokémon, as the institutions are integrated with the game. Hyperallergic, July 12, 2016

Agustín Arteaga to Lead Dallas Museum of Art as New Director  The Dallas Museum of Art announced today that Agustín Arteaga, director of the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, has been appointed director of the institution. He will start in his new position on September 1…Throughout Arteaga’s thirty-year career as a museum professional he served as the executive director and CEO of the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico for nine years; the founding director of the contemporary art museum Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires from 2000 to 2002; and the director and chief curator of Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City from 1994 to 1999. Artforum, July 14, 2016

New York
A bridge between New York and Paris: on Stuart Davis at the Whitney Museum  Stuart Davis (1892-1964) is known, perhaps more than any other American artist, for his ability to combine the formal inventions of the avant-garde with the political spirit of the American scene. The drama of his paintings (which are the subject of a survey titled In Full Swing at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York) were deepened by the early Modernist debates of out of which they were born—debates in which abstraction and realism came to loggerheads at a defining moment for American art. As the exhibition title implies, Davis synthesised the lessons of Cubism with a jazzy and politically-aware adoption of American popular imagery: shop windows, consumer packaging and the high-key colours of the radiant city. The Art Newspaper, July 12, 2016

David Bowie’s private £10m art collection goes on display for first time David Bowie is revered as one of the most influential and talented musician’s of all-time, but few know how much he loved art. The “Starman” singer, who sadly died of cancer aged 69 earlier this year, was a committed art collector but kept his passion almost entirely secret. Now, for the first time, Bowie’s private collection will be shared with the public at a Sotheby’s display in London. It consists of almost 300 artworks, mainly by 20th-century British artists, with an estimated cost of more than £10 million. Paintings by Damien Hirst, Frank Auerbach, Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland feature in the collection, alongside surrealist and contemporary African art. The Independent, July 14, 2016

Made in Memphis: William Eggleston’s surreal visions of the American south  Eggleston returns with another major retrospective at another major museum, the National Portrait Gallery – a sign, perhaps, that Eggleston is now part of the establishment. Colour photography is mainstream; mobile phones and social media have made snapshots the most natural visual language of all. Once reviled, Eggleston himself is now revered, and correspondingly expensive – prints now sell for £350,000-plus. Yet to encounter his photographs is still to revel in their strange wonder, their droll and sphinx-like resistance to interpretation. Critics falter when they try to place him: a reworker of the Duchampian readymade? A chronicler of southern gothic? Eggleston, forgivably wary of those who presume to pin down his work, prefers to let the pictures do the talking. The Guardian, July 8, 2016

‘Never Again’: the life and influence of Judy Blame at the ICA  Judy Blame is a man of many fabulous hats: accessories designer, fashion stylist, celebrity confidante, ahead of the curve underground icon. He was doing ‘art direction’ before it was a thing, creating the look for Björk’s Debut album (1992), and draping Massive Attack in fake Rolexes and Kangols for their Blue Lines era. He’s the guy who encouraged Boy George into headgear. Now, London’s ICA (an institute known for championing the radical, unexpected and malapropos side of contemporary art) presents the first major exhibition on the British iconoclastic powerhouse. Wallpaper, July 14, 2016

Iran tells Canadian-Iranian sculptor his art ‘disturbs the public peace and spreads lies’ The daughter of Canadian-Iranian sculptor Pardiz Tanavoli — whose passport was seized July 2 in Tehran — says her father is an Iranian treasure, not a troublemaker. Tandis Tanavoli says it’s a mystery why her father was barred from leaving Iran and told his internationally-collected artwork was a problem. Tanavoli is the second Canadian-Iranian intellectual targeted in the past few months in Iran. Professor Homa Hoodfar, 65, was arrested June 6 for unclear reasons her family suggested may be linked to “dabbling in feminism.” Some of Tanavoli’s works did involve nudes but had never sparked controversy., July 13, 2016

Hong Kong
Samson Young to Represent Hong Kong at the 2017 Venice Biennale  M+ Museum of Visual Culture and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council have announced that sound artist Samson Young has been selected to represent Hong Kong at the Fifty-Seventh Venice Biennale, which will be held from May 13 to November 26, 2017. This is the third edition that the council and M+ will collaborate on to present Hong Kong’s contribution to the biennale. Ying Kwok, an independent Hong Kong-based curator, was asked to curate the pavilion. Doryun Chong, deputy director and chief curator of M+, will serve as a consulting curator. The artist has not revealed any details about the work he will exhibit. Artforum, July 14, 2016


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