Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, August 10, 2016

FilCan artists hold exhibit at Vancouver Consulate  The Dimasalang III International Artist Group, a distinguished cluster of Filipino-Canadian artists will showcase their works at the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver. Opening of the group exhibit is on Aug. 4. Their works will be on display for six months, according to artist Leo Cunanan. Philippine Canadian Inquirer, August 7, 2016

Mysterious art on Edmonton bridge’s suicide barrier sparks debate  An official with the Canadian Mental Health Association is hoping strange, human-shaped figures that were placed on an Edmonton bridge’s controversial suicide prevention barriers spark a discussion about mental health. But Ione Challborn said the message the sculptures sent is confusing, and since there’s no word on who put them up, there’s no way to understand the motive…The life-sized figures made from packing tape mysteriously appeared on the High Level Bridge on Sunday, and were posed as though they were scaling the recently installed barriers. Toronto Star, August 9, 2016

Toronto multimedia artist journeys from a garage studio to the world’s streets Fresh air and sunlight are, for multimedia artist Evond Blake, must-haves. They let him “go deep” into his artwork. His dream oasis is a hillside cabin in the West Indies, with doors open to ocean breezes, intense light and lush greenery. Blake, 37, has found the light and air in the garage of his east-end Toronto home… Blake’s other oasis is the street. Better known perhaps for his public work — under the pseudonym Mediah — he has been painting graffiti art since age 15… Toronto Star, August 6, 2016

San Francisco
The Sun Shines on the Bay: Around San Francisco During the Reopening of SFMOMA  After being closed for nearly three years of construction, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art reopened to the public this past May with 170,000 square feet of exhibition space—more than double what it had before—and a boatload of marquee art on a 99-year loan from the collection of Gap founders Doris and Donald Fisher… The museum’s opening was one of the main events on the art world’s spring calendar, and the usual globe-trotting suspects could be spotted all over town, many admitting that they had not been to the City by the Bay in some time. Galleries and museums, nonprofits and project spaces put on their Sunday best and offered up their choicest wares. The big question on everyone’s minds: is San Francisco, flush with tech money, shedding its sleepy reputation and joining the ranks of the world’s art capitals? Artnews, August 9, 2016

New York
The Met Announces Record Attendance Despite $10 Million Deficit  Despite the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s $10 million deficit, which has led to a hiring freeze, voluntary buyouts, and layoffs, the institution has announced that it has welcomed the highest number of visitors since it began tracking admission statistics forty years ago. During its past fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 6.7 million people visited the Met. Artforum, August 4, 2016

Jewish Museum Turns to Crowdfunding Campaign for Latest Exhibit, with Artworks as Reward  Earlier today New York’s Jewish Museum launched its first ever crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter in support of mounting an equally unconventional upcoming exhibition at the museum titled “Take Me (I’m Yours).” Donors who contribute toward the $30,000 fundraising goal will help pay for production costs. For the right price, these donors will be rewarded with gifts by participating artists, such as a Rirkrit Tiravanija-designed T-shirt, an Amalia Ulman bookmark, or, a “limited edition” bottle of pill capsules from Carsten Höller’s Pill Clock Project. Artnews, August 9, 2016

Sixth Duke of Westminster leaves one of the most important Old Master collections in the UK  The Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the aristocrat and property developer who died yesterday (9 August) aged 64, owned one of the most important private collections of Old Masters in the UK. The family collection includes works by artists such as Velázquez, Stubbs, Lorrain and Rembrandt. The property portfolio of the sixth duke covers around 300 acres in Belgravia and Mayfair in central London, but the late landowner also inherited an extensive collection of major Dutch and Flemish masterpieces, which are thought to be housed at the family seat of Eaton Hall in Chester, near Liverpool. The Art Newspaper, August 10, 2016

Art Brazil Rio’s Olympics aren’t awarding medals for art (Olympic art competitions stopped after 1948) but you can read about Brazil’s artists who might have been contenders here. Art Review, August 9, 2016

Photo Walk-Through: Wifredo Lam in Brazil While the Europe-based Wifredo Lam retrospective continues its run at the Reina Sofía in Madrid, we take a moment to catch up with another Lam exhibition that recently finished its tour in Brazil: a show of paintings and prints drawn from the collections of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Cuban Art News, August 2, 2016

Sydney University angers top end of town with plan to close art school at Callan Park  The University of Sydney’s attempts to shut down its art school could lead to a drop in donations from angry philanthropists. The top end of town has already publicly expressed dismay at the university’s plan to close its Sydney College of the Arts at Callan Park in Rozelle…The owners of 25 commercial galleries, meanwhile, signed an open letter on Wednesday calling on the NSW government to halt merger talks between the National Art School and University of NSW, and preserve its site at the historic Darlinghurst jail. The open letter also calls on the federal government to directly fund the art school, presently run by the NSW government, in a similar way to the funding model for the National Institute of Dramatic Arts. Sydney Morning Herald, August 3,2016

I understand why China is banning “weird” architecture, says Jacques Herzog  Swiss architect Jacques Herzog has declared his support for plans by the Chinese government to curb the number of flamboyant and “weird” buildings in the country. Jacques Herzog – co-director of Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron – said China’s construction boom has allowed Western architects to use the country as a testing ground for projects that would not otherwise be built. But the architect behind Beijing’s experimental Bird’s Nest stadium said that it is time for the practice to stop. He supports plans by the Chinese government to ban “oversized, xenocentric and weird” buildings. Dezeen, August 9, 2016


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