Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, July 27, 2016

British Columbia
ART SEEN: Artists Talk is a practical, informative and well written guide for emerging artists.  Artists Talk is an ebook that’s clearly written and devoid of art jargon. It speaks with the kind of knowledgeable, informative voice I’ve heard artists use with one another.  Artists Talk: A Practical Guide to Emerging As an Artist in Canada is available through CARFAC BC. Contributors are Annie Briard, April Britski, Bryce Evans, Kristina Fiedrich, Ashley Guindon, Brian McBay, Lou-ann Neel, Luke Parnell, Kimberly Phillips, Jonathan Syme, and Ash Tanasiychuk.   Art Seen, Vancouver Sun, July 22, 2016

Edmonton & Winnipeg

Artists Pay Homage to Western Canada’s Gay Bar History. It seems to me—as a white, middle-class, cis, bi woman just past 40—that there has rarely ever been such a wide public discourse about the importance, and shortcomings, of queer spaces as there has been this summer… All these events and related dialogue were on my mind as I considered, from a distance, recent works by two artists with roots in Western Canada: Mark Clintberg and Kegan McFadden.  Canadian Art, July 21, 2016


A new AGO exhibit explores space and race.  Striving for ecstasy, working toward freedom, and the question of whose life experience gets preserved and represented.  These are central currents of the sprawling, complex show, How to Build a House Museum, which opened this week. Among other things it’s a tribute to specific black lives.   Globe & Mail, July 22, 2016

The Floor Hits Back: Talking Dance With Brendan Fernandes. In preparation for his performance of Révérence at the upcoming 21st-annual Canadian Art Gala this fall, Brendan Fernandes was in Toronto to lead a rehearsal. To be performed throughout the night, Révérence will continue the artist’s recent incorporation of classical dance within his performance and installation practice. The New York–based artist of Kenyan, Indian and Canadian descent came to prominence through sculpture and installation works that question notions of authenticity, translation and labour.  Canadian Art July 21, 2016

Sketching the line with TTC employee and artist Marek Badzynski.  Marek Badzynski is the mysterious artist behind the pencil sketches displayed on Toronto’s subway cars. He manages the TTC’s computer-aided drafting and design systems and creates drawings for the TTC using computer software.  But that’s not enough for him.  In his spare time, Badzynski rides the rails and sketches the people he finds on the subway cars.   CBC News, July 24, 2016


Montreal Artist Opens a Concert Hall—In Her Uterus. Described online as “about 6.5 to 12.5 cm” long and “2.1 to 3.5 cm” in diameter, with a “flexible and expandable” stage that is “closed for renovations approximately once a month for 4 to 6 days,” the Uterine Concert Hall is due to have its grand opening this Thursday, July 28, in a performance by Dayna McLeod at Montreal’s Darling Foundry.  Canadian Art, July 26, 2016


Laura Watson, Sackville artist, turns mail into art.  For two years, a Sackville artist has been corresponding with people over the world and turning that old-fashioned mail into modern art.  Laura Watson started working on a mail exchange project when she was a fine arts student at Mount Allison University… Amanda Fauteux, the program manager at Struts Art Gallery and Faucet Media Arts Centre, said Watson’s project is a natural fit for the arts festival, going into its 12th year.  CBC News, July 26, 2016


Artist behind Tin Can Hill display says he’s not surprised by polarized reaction.  Terry Pamplin, a longtime Yellowknife artist has revealed that he is behind a haunting —  and controversial — artistic display on the city’s Tin Can Hill designed to draw attention to the Northwest Territories’ history of residential schools.  CBC News, July 26, 2016


A Prized Stettheimer Painting, Sold Under the Radar by a University. When Fisk University, the historically black school in Nashville, tried to sell two paintings several years ago from its storied Alfred Stieglitz art collection, a firestorm erupted. The proposed sale violated conditions of the gift of the collection from Stieglitz’s widow, Georgia O’Keeffe, according to her foundation.  A drawn-out legal challenge ended in a compromise in 2012 that allowed Fisk to share its collection with Crystal Bridges.  What was not revealed at the time, and has only recently come to light, is that before the agreement was completed — and with the debate over the future of Fisk itself swirling around her — Hazel O’Leary, then the university’s president, on behalf of the school quietly sold off two other paintings owned by Fisk.  New York Times, July 26, 2016

New York

Marina Abramović says having children would have been ‘a disaster for my work’  The performance artist Marina Abramović said she has had three abortions during her life because having children would have been “a disaster for her work”.  In an interview with the German newspaper Tagesspiegel, she said that children hold women back in the art world.  The Guardian, July 26, 2016

A Photographer’s Focus Captures a City. Larry Silver was taking pictures of beachgoers at an outdoor shower in Westport, Conn., not long ago when he was approached by police officers. Apparently, a man objected to his girlfriend being photographed and had called law enforcement. It helped that a woman watching the exchange came to his defense. She went over to the officers, Mr. Silver recalled, “and said, ‘I know this man. He has a show at the New-York Historical Society. He’s a reputable photographer.’”The show, “Photographs by Larry Silver, 1949-1955,” vividly shows the artistic benefits of what Mr. Silver describes as lingering.  Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2016

 Jersey City

Jersey City Censors a Public Artwork It Commissioned.  Jersey City officials have painted over a contentious artwork that the city’s public arts program commissioned, prompting calls to tighten what critics view as a highly ambiguous, if not essentially nonexistent, citywide public arts policy. Yesterday afternoon, artist Gary Wynans learned that workers had painted over his giant painting of a Monopoly game board at the heavily trafficked Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza.  Hyperallergic, July 26, 2016


St Paul’s to unveil new Bill Viola video work of Mary carrying body of Jesus.  A large-scale video installation by artist Bill Viola of Mary carrying the body of Jesus will be unveiled at St Paul’s Cathedral.  The permanent project, entitled Mary, will be a companion piece to the American artist’s Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), which was unveiled in the south quire aisle of the cathedral in 2014.  The Guardian, July 26, 2016


Artist Doris Salcedo on Bogotá: ‘The forces at work here are brutal’ – video.  Art cannot explain things but it can expose them – that’s why art here is so important and necessary,’ says Doris Salcedo as she takes us on a tour of Bogotá and her studio. The Colombian sculptor’s works are poetic memorials to the victims of violence, corruption and displacement, created to give the people of her home city ‘the tools of mourning’.  The Guardian, July 26, 2016


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