Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, July 18, 2016

Bharti Kher’s art gets to heart of the Matter in Vancouver Art Gallery exhibit  She’s called Warrior with cloak and shield. Like all of Bharti Kher’s work, she’s complicated. She’s a female warrior who doesn’t fit a traditional, male-centred definition of a warrior… Warrior is one of Kher’s urban goddesses in the exhibition BHARTI KHER Matter at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Born in London, England, Kher moved to India as an adult. She now lives and works in New Delhi. Matter is Kher’s first major solo retrospective in a public gallery in North America. The exhibition shows the range of Kher’s diverse artistic practice that includes photography and painting in addition to sculpture. The Vancouver Sun, July 15, 2016

Victoria’s Moss Street transforms into art gallery for annual paint-in  Thousands of people flocked to Victoria’s Moss Street on Saturday for a chance to see artists at work. More than 160 artists brought their studios to the street for the annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In. Around 30,000 people were expected to stroll the street, taking in the colourful walk from Fort Street to Dallas Road. Artists mentioned the paint-in is a great way to get exposure.“One year I got some gallery representation at the Eclectic Gallery on Oak Bay Avenue because they saw me working here,” artist Peggy Fletcher said. CTV News Vancouver Island, July 16, 2016

Michael Audain delighted to display mother’s portrait at new Whistler exhibition  A giant Salvador Dali painting of the patron saint of Spain soaring through the sky on a white horse is the showpiece of a new exhibition at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. The four-metre tall painting Santiago El Grande is one of 75 “masterworks” on display from the Beaverbrook Gallery in New Brunswick, including paintings by art legends like John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough and Joseph Mallord William Turner. But to Michael Audain, the museum’s founder, the most intriguing painting is an Augustus John portrait of a beautiful young woman — Audain’s mother, Madeline Stulik. The Vancouver Sun, July 18, 2016

Calgary Stampede-affiliated artists honour indigenous culture  Amy Dryer stands beside her vivid oil canvas portrait of the Calgary Stampede’s Indian princess whose wide smile is front and centre. Vanessa Stiffarm, of the Blood Tribe, represents the five tribes of Treaty 7 lands, Indian Village and the Calgary Stampede. On Thursday, she was presented the painting at the Stampede’s Western Oasis, a gallery of art depicting Calgary’s western roots….Her piece was part of the Calgary Stampede’s Artist Ranch Project, where six artists were taken to ranches in rural communities to experience life outside the city and take in the region’s western roots. Calgary Herald, July 16, 2016

Art installation supports Shoal Lake 40’s clean water campaign A collection of the city’s community groups led by 13 Fires Winnipeg presented the vision of local artist Leah Decter with her project, Reflect in Water, to draw attention to the inequities of life for the Ontario First Nation…. The First Nation was cut off from the mainland by an aqueduct a century ago to supply Winnipeg with fresh water. The community has been under a boil-water advisory for 19 years…The plight of Shoal Lake 40 is the ongoing focus of various national awareness campaigns, but Saturday’s event was an attempt to use art to reach ordinary Winnipeggers out for an afternoon stroll. Winnipeg Free Press, July 16, 2016

Artist explores fashion and identity politics in ‘Upping the Aunty’ Some wear rhinestones and sequin-adorned jeans, some match baseball caps with saris, others prefer pairing sneakers with floral ensembles: such is the singular style of a South Asian “aunty,” depicted in Canadian artist Meera Sethi’s new series “Upping the Aunty.” An aunty, Sethi explains, is an “all-encompassing term” in South Asian culture, describing a woman around your mother’s age, a stranger, a friend, or family… The exhibit — eight multimedia paintings depicting different aunties — is showing in the First Floor Galleries of Daniels Spectrum, curated by Elle Alconcel. The show follows a street-style photo blog by Sethi, documenting aunties in Canada and India. Toronto Star, July 10, 2016

New York
Job Cuts at the Met Might Exceed 100 After A Wave of Layoffs After a hiring freeze and a round of voluntary buyouts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is looking to cut more costs by trimming down its core staff by at least fifty positions… Curatorial and conservation jobs may have to be reduced by 5 percent, and the administrative staff, which includes the marketing, human resources, and digital departments might be cut by 15 or 20 percent. The number of annual exhibitions will also be slimmed from fifty-five to around forty. The museum has already postponed an expansive show on Versailles. Artforum, July 15, 2016

Baton Rouge
An Art Historical Perspective on the Baton Rouge Protest Photo that Went Viral This past Saturday, protesters gathered in Baton Rouge to protest the death of Alton Sterling, an African American man shot to death while being arrested by white police officers. A video of the event had gone viral, sparking an announced Justice Department investigation and protests this weekend as over a thousand gathered in the streets. Among the protesters was Ieshia Evans, a nurse and mother from New York who had come down to Baton Rouge to show solidarity with the community. As protesters stepped back from heavily armored riot police, Evans stood alone, maintaining her calm as two officers ran up to arrest her. Jonathan Bachman, a Reuters photographer based in New Orleans, snapped a photo that would quickly capture the attention of social media users and mainstream media alike., July 15, 2016

Los Angeles
It’s raining visitors at Lacma  Visitors to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) rose to 1.4 million in the past year, boosted by Random International’s Rain Room and its Robert Mapplethorpe show, among other exhibitions and events. The latest batch of timed tickets for Rain Room, the installation of which on the Lacma campus is sponsored by Hyundai, went on sale yesterday (14 July). The indoor artificial downpour, which opened last November, has now been extended and is due to continue until 22 November. The piece temporarily turned purple in April in honour of the late musician Prince. The Art Newspaper, July 15, 2016

In Ireland, a Biennial Examines the Vestiges of Empire Still (the) Barbarians is the bold title for this year’s EVA International Biennial in Limerick. The curator, Koyo Kouoh, of Raw Material Company, has turned what might seem obvious, invisible, or banal into a quandary of infinite possibilities. Spread across Limerick’s city center, the biennial’s highlights are at the Limerick City Gallery of Art, Cleeves Condensed Milk Factory, the Sailor’s Home, and Ormston House. For three months, art lovers drifted in and out of 50 commissioned projects by 57 artists, nine of them Irish, displayed across six sites, all within walking distance. The theme was inspired largely by the centenary of the Easter Rising in April 1916 when a small group of Irish militiamen rebelled against British rule. For EVA Chair Hugh Murray, this show “offers a compelling reflection on the history and legacy of our colonial past.” Hyperallergic, July 15, 2016

Long Museum Chongqing tackles Cultural Revolution with rare show of paintings  The exhibition in Chongqing, 100 Years of Chinese Art (1911-2011), includes 21 paintings dating from 1966 to 1976. These depict officially sanctioned themes such as robust peasants and revolutionary figures portrayed in a stylised heroic style. The official requirements of the time were that art should be “hong, guang, liang” (red, bright, shiny) and “da, guang, qiang” (big, bright, powerful). “All artists were required to merge art and politics” while Mao was in power, says the exhibition’s curator Lv Peng, noting that before the Cultural Revolution there was still a degree of personal artistic expression within Mao’s restrictions. But the Cultural Revolution curtailed that diversity, he adds. “The decade was devastating for China; it did a lot of damage to Chinese art, and it had adverse impacts on the individual creations of artists,” writes Lv in the wall and catalogue texts accompanying the display. The Art Newspaper, July 18, 2016

Le Corbusier Buildings Given UNESCO World Heritage Status According to the UNESCO website, seventeen sites around the world designed by the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for “Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement,” after two previous proposals to add the sites to the list were declined in 2009 and 2011. The seventeen sites, situated across seven countries, include his Marseille housing project La Cite Radieuse, La Villa Savoye near Paris, and The Capitol Complex at Chandigarh in northern India. The World Heritage Committee added these to their list yesterday morning at their meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, where proceedings as to which sites to add were interrupted by the recent military coup in that country. Artforum, July 18, 2016


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