Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, August 4, 2016


Chinese Canadian, First Nations artists will create massive prints in Chinatown all weekend long.  Celebrating the art of large-scale woodcut printing, 12 Chinese Canadian and First Nations artists are converging at Chinatown’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Plaza this weekend for the Big Print Project, where they’ll create new work in a performance-like atmosphere.  Georgia Straight, July 29, 2016

Mike Bourscheid: Vancouver’s Other Venice Biennale Artist.  In December 2015, the Canadian art scene was abuzz with the news that globally renowned Vancouver artist Geoffrey Farmer would be exhibiting in the Canada Pavilion at the next Venice Biennale.   Farmer seemed like a natural fit to many observers—he has already shown at other major international art events such as Documenta, he is represented by a New York dealer, and his art has been collected by the National Gallery of Canada.  But there is another Vancouver-based artist due to exhibit at the next Venice Biennale, too. His name is Mike Bourscheid. And while he has flown largely under the radar to date, his profile is due to rise. Canadian Art, August 3, 2016


Robert Amos: Art grows from Dumpster to gallery. He might not be someone you’ve heard of, but Rick Thomas has had a long and effective career as an artist in Victoria. Thomas is a sprightly 72 years old, boyish and open-minded, and he’s spending the summer creating murals on the walls of XChanges Gallery.  Times Colonist, July 31, 2016

These parkade stairs can sing Ode to Joy.  The City of Victoria has installed an interactive, musical piece of art on stairs of the parkade at 575 Yates St., leading down to Bastion Square. It consists of handrails with light-sensitive nodes inserted into aluminum covers. Touch or grip the nodes and a connected speaker produces a beat, backup sound or piano note. A user can play everything from dubstep to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy on the 10 railings.  The piece is the creation of Victoria artists Scott Amos and David Parfit and came about as part of a competition to liven up city parkades staged by Victoria’s Art in Public Places Committee. The $10,000 cost was funded by the Public Art Reserve Fund.  Times Colonist, July 27, 2016


Meet the Brit Picked to Lead Canada’s Most Canadian Art Gallery.   Imagine an art institution that collects only Canadian art. That focuses mainly on the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. Heck, that even has several members of the Group of Seven buried on its grounds.  Such a place might not seem, at first glance, like the ideal gallery for a non-Canadian to take the helm. But Ian Dejardin begs to differ—as does the board of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.  Canadian Art, August 2, 2016


Big Art in a Small Town: A Report on Sackville’s Ok.Quoi?!   “Thank you for your postcard. Happy Ok.Quoi?!”  Laura Watson’s words arrive in my Sackville community mailbox midway through the weeklong Sackville art festival Ok.Quoi?! The envelope that houses them is adorned with a Leonard Nimoy Spock stamp and drawings of birds.   Canadian Art, August 4, 2016


American Indian Museum still stalled 1 year after agreement  It’s been more than a year since Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation authorizing the city of Oklahoma City to complete and operate the unfinished American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.  Yet the unfinished concrete-and-steel structure sits empty and construction is at a standstill while city officials and the Ada-based Chickasaw Nation work out the details of a complex partnership for operating and maintaining the 173,000-square-foot museum and developing the surrounding 200 or so acres of commercial property along the Oklahoma River., July 31, 2016

San Francisco

Powerful San Francisco arts executive Dede Wilsey at the centre of a storm. No other city in America mixes high society and cultural philanthropy quite like San Francisco, and Diane Wilsey, known as Dede, has long been the indomitable queen of both.   Globe & Mail, August 3, 2016


Miami’s Bass Museum Details Relaunch  The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach has revealed plans to unveil its new, expanded building to the public this winter, as well as three high-profile exhibitions.  The museum’s historic Art Deco building has been under construction since 2013, when it first announced the $12 million expansion.  Blouin Info, August 2, 2016

New York

An Auction House Learns the Art of Shadow Banking.  A year before he got caught up in a U.S. money-laundering investigation, Malaysian financier Jho Low was looking to borrow more than $100 million without having to answer all the nosy know-your-customer questions required by U.S. banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co.  Low got his money a month later, not from a bank but from Sotheby’s, an auction house that isn’t subject to the same money-laundering scrutiny by regulators., July 27, 2016


Tate Britain revamps Turner galleries after paintings return from tour.  Tate Britain has marked the return of some of its most popular paintings from a tour of north America by rehanging its galleries devoted to JMW Turner.  The returned works were part of the gallery’s Late Turner exhibition which, in late 2014, became the most popular solo show held at Tate Britain. It received 267,704 visitors and was seen by nearly 500,000 more in a subsequent tour of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto.  The Guardian, August 3, 2016

Smithfield General Market: the new Museum of London sets out its stall.  After years of debate surrounding its future, London’s historic Smithfield General Market is to be the new home of the Museum of London. But will the architects chosen last week to redesign the site rise to the challenge?  Last Thursday the jury chose the well-established Stirling prize-winning practice of Stanton Williams, teamed up with the younger Asif Khan   The Guardian, July 31, 2016


Edinburgh art festival review – ugly beauty in the Jekyll and Hyde city. Calton Hill in Edinburgh is, architecturally, the sanest place in Britain. This deliberate recreation of the Acropolis of ancient Athens is graced with early 19th-century classical temples that express a belief in science, philosophy and education, embodying the spirit of the Scottish Enlightenment when thinkers such as David Hume and Adam Smith led Europe towards a future of sweet reason. The Guardian, August 3, 2016

Rio de Janeiro

Public art cancelled in Rio due to cultural budget cuts. The arts programme ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics has suffered another loss due to budget cuts, the Brazilian publication O Globo reports. A public work by the Italian artist Giancarlo Neri is among the installations recently cancelled by the country’s new culture minister Marcelo Calero.  The Art Newspaper, August 3, 2016


China back on top of global auction sales, Artprice reports.  A news study by calls China “the world’s largest art marketplace”, following an analysis of auction data for the first half of this year. The report estimated $6.53bn (including fees) in global sales turnover for the first six months of 2016, with China accounting for $2.32bn, or 35.5%, of that business. This marks an 18% turnover growth for China, made more impressive by the fact that the market seems to have contracted in the West, with London down 30% and New York down 49%. The Art Newspapers, July 28, 2016


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