Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, August 3, 2016


Bharti Kher at the Vancouver Art Gallery.  Legend goes that in 1993 British artist Bharti Kher flipped a coin to decide her fate between New York and Delhi. Chance dealt her Delhi, India and her studio is still based there today. Despite being an internationally renowned and critically acclaimed artist since her rise in the art world in 2006, she is only now having her first major North American survey exhibition currently on view at the Vancouver Art Gallery.  North Shore News, July 28, 2016

This Week in History: 1947 Vancouver’s first park becomes a bus depot.  Vancouver’s first bus depot opened at Seymour and Dunsmuir in 1925. Bus travel outgrew the small station, so on Aug. 1, 1947, B.C. Motor Transportation Ltd. opened “Canada’s most modern bus terminal” at Cambie and Dunsmuir.  The bus depot would remain at the site until late 1992, when it moved to the Pacific Central (CN) train station. The panels with Pegasus remained standing after the station was torn down, but their whereabouts today are a mystery.   It’s also a bit of a mystery about just how politicians let the bus station take over the site, which was Vancouver’s first park….The park board transferred ownership of the site to the city in 1985, but the block is still known as Larwill Park. But it may not be for long — the Vancouver Art Gallery wants to build a new gallery on the site.  Vancouver Sun, July 29, 2016


Pierre Arpin, CEO of Contemporary Calgary, talks about the future of new organization Pierre Arpin’s flight from Australia landed in Calgary on April 4. He began his new job, as the first director and CEO of Contemporary Calgary, on April 5. On April 6, he went before a committee that would go on to recommend to City Council that Calgary put $24.5-million towards modernizing the Centennial Planetarium, the future home of the arts organization he was now overseeing.  During his fourth week on the job, City Council approved the spending.   Calgary Herald, July 30, 2016


Artist in residence shack: bringing art to the people. It’s a summertime staple in downtown Regina, and Dunlop Art Gallery’s way of bringing art to the people — it’s an artist in residence shack that sits outside the main branch of the Regina Public Library. CBC News, July 31, 2016


Feds to contribute $15M to Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre. The federal government on Tuesday promised a $15 million contribution to the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre, which will house and display the world’s largest collection of Inuit art.  Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr made the announcement at the WAG, which is building the four-storey, 40,000-square-foot Inuit Art Centre south of its existing facility… The city has pledged $5 million toward the project, while the province’s commitment is $15 million… If the provincial commitment stands, roughly $48 million of the $60 million needed for the centre has already been pledged.  CBC News, August 2, 2016

Datebook: Karel Funk Retrospective at Winnipeg Art Gallery.  Canadian artist Karel Funk’s exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery runs through October 2. Funk is known for his depiction of the urban individual craving anonymity and privacy. His compelling portraits of lone figures comprise his signature work. The exhibition is the first survey of his paintings from across the continent.  Blouin Artinfo, July 28, 2016


McMichael names Brit as director and CEO.  Ian Dejardin, director of London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery, has been named the director and chief executive officer of the McMichael Collection of Canadian Art. Dejardin, an affable and garrulous Scotsman, comes to the McMichael from the UK’s oldest public art gallery, whose collection boasts an impressive volume of works by such historical painting luminaries as Rembrandt, Constable, Turner and Poussin. But Dejardin is no stranger to Canadian content – to which the McMichael is exclusively devoted – having championed Canadian historical art in the UK and in Europe on two occasions in recent years.  Toronto Star, August 2, 2016


Does the 21st-Century Museum Include Gender-Neutral Washrooms?  Last month, I was struck by something unusual while visiting the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa: the washroom signs.  Beneath the “W” and “M” symbols, the signs read “self-identified.” In the wake of a flurry of putative legislation proposed in the US to police washroom access on terms of “biological gender,” and widespread activism in response, it seemed like a straightforward yet clever way to update washrooms to make them more gender inclusive. The signage originated after Sam Mogelonsky, the gallery’s manager of marketing and communications, visited the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Philadelphia.  Canadian Art, August 2, 2016


The 250-Year-Old Story of a Woman Who Got Paid.  Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun began amassing her fortune when she was 15. By 33, her husband had spent and gambled most of it away. So she remade it. This is the 250-year-old story of a woman who got paid.  Born in 1755 during the height of the excesses of the French aristocratic court, and after her father’s death in 1767, the 12-year-old Vigée Le Brun began painting portraits until she knew enough about both art and the social connections that underpin it to support her family.  Canadian Art, August 1, 2016

Saint John, NB

Heavy bronze plaques stolen from New Brunswick Museum.  Saint John police are investigating the disappearance of four bronze plaques that were pried from the walls of the New Brunswick Museum’s collections centre on Douglas Avenue and may be headed for the scrap metal market.  CBC News, August 2, 2016


9 Group Exhibitions That Defined Contemporary Indigenous Art.  Solo exhibitions are extremely important, but it is often group shows that define artistic movements. This is certainly the case with the discourse of contemporary Indigenous art that was constructed in large part through a series of important group exhibitions in the 1980s and early ’90s.  Canadian Art, July 28, 2016

San Francisco

For San Francisco’s Queen of Philanthropy, No Quiet Exits. Dede Wilsey, longtime head of the board that runs the de Young Museum and Legion of Honor in San Francisco, is giving up her top spot after the state attorney general’s office began investigating whether a 2014 payment authorized by Ms. Wilsey violated laws governing nonprofits.  This summer a reorganization — of sorts — has finally gotten underway. Board minutes in June noted that Ms. Wilsey would be leaving her post as board president, which includes chief executive duties, “to now focus on other areas where her skills and expertise will have a positive impact.”  The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Ms. Wilsey’s chief executive duties would be reassigned to the Fine Arts Museums’ new director, Max Hollein, and that term limits for the board president would be reinstated, at the suggestion of the attorney general’s office, whose investigation is continuing.  New York Times, August 1, 2016


The Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth Sackler on Mass Incarceration and the Role of Activist Art Elizabeth Sackler, founder of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art and the Brooklyn Museum’s first female chair of the board (she stepped down in June), has turned her attention to prisons. In 2014, she launched States of Denial: The Illegal Incarceration of Women, Children, and People of Color, a Sackler Center initiative to spark dialogue about the impact of our carceral policies.  Hyperallergic, July 29, 2016


Stolen Salvador Dalí and Tamara de Lempicka works recovered.  The Dutch art detective Arthur Brand announced on 27 July, the recovery of two works stolen from a private museum in the Netherlands in 2009: Salvador Dalí’s gouache Adolescence (1941) and Tamara de Lempicka’s oil painting La Musicienne (1929), which was shown in Madonna’s music video for Vogue (1990). Both works are said to be in good condition.  The Art Newspaper, July 28, 2016


Director of Vienna’s Belvedere Museum Dismissed Over Misconduct.  The director’s job at Vienna’s Belvedere Museum will become vacant in 2017. Austria’s culture minister Thomas Drozda announced on Wednesday, July 27, that the contract of outgoing director Agnes Husslein-Arco will not be renewed due to violations of internal codes of conduct and compliance standards.  Artnet News, July 28, 2016


Five Dealers Tell Us How to Start an Art Gallery.  How do you start an art gallery? The question is easier to ask than to answer. There is no degree or qualification required to be a gallerist. There’s also no specific path or trajectory that will fully prepare you for this highly complex and multifaceted occupation.  Everyone seems to end up in the job in a different way.    Artnet News, July 29, 2016

Our Architectural Future Isn’t What It Used to Be.  “The future, like everything else, is no longer quite what it used to be,” the French poet Paul Valéry wrote in 1937. Looking back on the decades that followed, that often rings true, especially when considering the utopian architecture that emerged in the 1950s and 60s, then faded out in the 1970s.  Hyperallergic, July 29, 2016


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