Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, July 20, 2016


Vancouver Entrances: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun and Beau Dick.  Artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun—larger than life in video projection—instructs in the politics of his art as we enter his exhibition “Unceded Territories,” on at the Museum of Anthropology until October 16. Before seeing Yuxweluptun’s art, we encounter him at the end of the corridor that slopes down past the museum’s Multiversity Galleries and the Bill Reid Rotunda.  Conversely, entering Beau Dick’s “Lalakenis / All Directions: Journey of Truth and Unity” at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery earlier this year, we passed a seemingly innocuous piece of gallery signage…Canadian Art, July 14, 2016


Robert Amos: Mining a rich vein of old Canadiana. There is a rich vein in Canadian art that uses our national identity as its theme. Cornelius Krieghoff made much of life in British North America, and the Group of Seven developed our True North imagery. Greg Curnoe, in the mid-1960s, made his pop-art motto “close the 49th parallel,” and Charlie Pachter of Toronto made icons of the moose and the Queen. Douglas Coupland brought Canadianism to an international audience. Victoria’s Timothy Wilson Hoey continues the work with his Canadiana series, now 6,000 paintings strong and growing.   Times Colonist, July 17, 2016


Big Museum on the Prairie: The Remai Modern and Saskatoon. After serving its community for 51 years, Saskatoon’s Mendel Art Gallery closed in June 2015. An exhibition called “The Fifth World” was the last to grace its walls. Curated by Wanda Nanibush, the exhibition showcased the work of 11 emerging and mid-career Indigenous artists from across North America. It was presented by the 20-year-old Tribe Inc., a local itinerant artist-run centre that partners and collaborates with galleries to put focus on Indigenous art. Canadian Art, July 18, 2016


I know I want to do things here.’ Chantal Pontbriand on life post-MoCA and why she’s staying put in Toronto.  It was a rested-looking Chantal Pontbriand, wearing a stylish, sleeveless summery frock, who strolled into a Toronto museum restaurant the other day for what was likely her first on-the-record conversation since leaving the Museum of Contemporary Art as its CEO in late June.  Globe & Mail, July 15, 2016

These Two Curators Sound Awfully Alike.  Following the June 1 release of the Sobey Art Award shortlist, a reader approached Canadian Art with the observation that one of Kunsthalle Wien artistic director Nicolaus Schafhausen’s jury statements in the Sobey Art Award shortlist press material closely resembled a statement previously made in a presentation by ex–Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada CEO Chantal Pontbriand.  Canadian Art, July 19, 2016

Toronto bar Early Mercy accused of copying an artist’s work. In town from New York for the Hot Docs Film Festival in May, Noa Osheroff knew a quick way to confirm. After an iPhone snapshot-and-send to her brother, Yair Osheroff, her guess seemed a good one: that the stylized portraits of world leaders lining the wall of the bar above the lengthy banquette were unauthorized copies of “Hipstory,” a series of works by Amit Shimoni, an Israeli artist Yair represented… The circumstance points to a larger issue. In the endless churn of image sharing on social media, it has become easier than ever to copy a work of art without the artist ever knowing — until they see it shared again on social media, of course.  Toronto Star, July 18, 2016


Ottawa Art Gallery just shy of its $3.5M fundraising goal.  The Ottawa Art Gallery won’t move into its long-awaited new facility next door for another year, but it is now only a few hundred thousand dollars shy of its fundraising goal of $3.5 million.  CBC News, July 20, 2016


A huge dose of art therapy for Montreal.  For the city’s 375th anniversary in 2017, residents see art and culture as an antidote to corruption and scandal. Toronto Star, July 17, 2016

Getting to know the lesser-known and forgotten Canadian influences.  With the help of a $235,000 grant from the federal government, Ronald Rudin, co-director of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia, and a team of artists and filmmakers are creating artwork and documentaries to share these obscured tales.  The artwork will aim to transform the stories of unknown influential Canadians into physical objects, and the documentaries, while also telling those histories, will follow each artist as they are “puzzling over what to do with the story” and how to turn it into an appropriate piece of artwork. To mark the 150th anniversary of Canada, the artwork will be released in the summer of 2017, with the documentaries following soon after.  Globe & Mail, July 19, 2016


Mathieu Léger: Pushing the Boundaries of Acadie.  As a self-described “serial artist-in-residence,” Moncton-based Léger is the antithesis of a stay-at-home creator. He has spent more than a decade travelling to different parts of the globe to mine local environments for creative ideas: since 2000 he has left his artistic mark on Canadian cities stretching from Banff, Alberta, to Corner Brook, Newfoundland, and travelled to the United States, Switzerland, France and Finland.  Canadian Art, July 19, 2016


William Eggleston: Portraits review – momentous, trivial, marvellous.  Eggleston’s photography has been derided for its ordinariness, for its compositional blankness, even for its use of colour. This now seems absurd. How could his critics not see what was there – the things unrevealed but somehow unaccountably present? Eggleston’s photography gets under your skin, just as he got under the skin of Memphis (where he was born in 1939), of Tallahatchie County, of the south and of social situations, capturing both the discomposure and awkward indifference of his subjects. The Guardian, July 20, 2016


Nazi Art Loot Returned … to Nazis.  “It turns out, the archives show, that hundreds of works were actually sold back at discounted prices in the 1950s and the 1960s to the very Nazis who had taken possession of them, including the widow of Hermann Goering, a senior aide to Hitler who pillaged art to amass a collection of more than a thousand works.” New York Times, July 15, 2016


Who Stole These Francis Bacon Masterpieces?  “The case seems to have baffled both local police and international investigators. But that’s because every element of the story is baffling.” The Daily Beast, July 16, 2016


Google’s app for touring virtual art galleries now supports Cardboard VR. Google’s attention to preserving and sharing artwork has always been admirable, and its new, updated Arts & Culture app for iOS and Android continues this work.  There are also two big additions to the app. The first is a new Art Recognizer tool that lets you hold your phone up in front of real-life artworks and retrieve more info on the painter and artist. It’s currently only supported in a handful of museums (including London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery, Sydney’s Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC), but Google says it plans to roll out support for other institutions “around the world.” The Verge, July 20, 2016

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