Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, August 25, 2016

The Arts News will be back next week on Wednesday (August 31) and Thursday (October 1).  Have a great weekend!

Vancouver

Douglas Coupland – Highbrow Hoarder.  “I’ve written before about links between collecting and hoarding—recoding art-collecting and art-fair behaviour as subdued forms of hoarding. Basically: Where does collecting end and hoarding begin? One thing psychologists seem to agree on is that hoarding is grounded in deep loss. First, there needs to be a pre-existing hoarding proclivity (not uncommon, with our hunter-gatherer heritage)… The people who freak me out the most are the people who don’t collect anything at all. Huh? I don’t mean minimalists. I mean people who simply don’t collect anything. You go to their houses or apartments, and they have furniture and so forth, but there’s nothing visible in aggregate: no bookshelves, no wall of framed family photos—there’s just one of everything. It’s shocking.” — Douglas Coupland.  The Walrus, August 24, 2016

Sooke

Robert Amos: Island painter combines Impressionism, Realism.  Clement Kwan is a talented painter. His work has been a regular feature of the Sidney Fine Arts Show and the Sooke show. The entrance to his studio is festooned with ribbons, and many of them are the coveted People’s Choice Awards, an accolade he values highly. Times Colonist, August 22, 2016

Ottawa

Photography book The Canadians a kind of reimagining of The Americans.  A new book of photography, The Canadians is a riff on or reimagining of Robert Frank’s canonical The Americans, first published in France in 1958, then in the United States a year later and now regarded as “arguably the most significant book in the entire history of photography,” to quote the distinguished Canadian art writer Robert Enright.  To get its 79 black-and-white images, its creators – veteran British photography curator Roger Hargreaves and two Toronto associates, Jill Offenbeck and Stefanie Petrilli – pored over the 20,000 photographs from The Globe and Mail print archives that are soon to be housed in the Canadian Photography Institute in Ottawa.  Globe & mail, August 22, 2016

Toronto

Why the White Cube Can Never Be a Nightclub. When I arrive to the final instalment of It’s Not U It’s Me (INUIM)—a summer dance-party series put on by the namesake collective of self-proclaimed “Toronto party enthusiasts,” hosted by the Power Plant—doors to the summer exhibition are shut. What the artists Nadia Gohar, Sidney Starkman and Thank You Kindly (the latter being a curatorial and production project by Allegra Christie and Ariella Starkman) refer to as a collaborative “idealized desert lounge” installation bridges between the building and the nearby bubble tent that is home to the DJs. Canadian Art, August 24, 2016

David Balzer’s Top Pick at Canadian Art’s Gala Auction.  The top pick by David Balzer for Canadian Art’s Gala Auction is Shannon Bool, Iman’s, 2014. “Shannon Bool plays alchemy with history. Iman’s is part of a series of photograms Bool has made based on images from the 1925 Paris exposition—a key event for the introduction of the Art Deco aesthetic to the world.  Canadian Art, August 24, 2016

San Diego

Museum of Contemporary Art to Cut Jobs, Close La Jolla Campus Ahead of Expansion. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is eliminating eight full-time positions and 20 part-time positions in January. The layoffs come in anticipation of the museum’s big expansion, which will quadruple the exhibition space of the La Jolla location to about 40,000 square feet, MCASD’s communications and marketing manager Leah Straub said in an email. The La Jolla location will close temporarily starting in January 2017 as the expansion gets under way.  Voice of San Diego, August 22, 2016

Chicago

Despite verdict, Peter Doig case could pose problems for other artists.  You could see more artists being tested by third parties who believe they own works by particular artists – but which the purported artists deny are theirs – following a federal court decision Tuesday involving the renowned Scottish-born, Canadian-raised painter Peter Doig.  Globe & mail, August 24, 2016

New York

Why Do Critics Still Hate Andrew Wyeth?  As every scorned artist is always reminding us, the critics hated the Impressionists, too. Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) has one of those—the love and admiration of the general public—but critical acclaim is still largely absent for the painter who is best known for his highly detailed depictions of rural life. At best, one might say that the most virulent haters are dead or are moving on, but the void is still not exactly filling up with love. Maybe there is some grudging respect, which might count as a victory for this most singular of artists.  The Observer, August 17, 2016

Cambridge, MA

Explore the Harvard Art Museums’ Massive Bauhaus Collection Online.  Home to one of the first and largest collections devoted to the Bauhaus, Harvard Art Museums now has a new, online resource that makes it easier to navigate these holdings. Over 32,000 Bauhaus-related objects of a variety of media are now easily searchable through the Bauhaus Special Collection by keyword, title, artist, medium, date, and even a handful of themes, from “Typography” to “The Bauhaus in America” to the theater-focused “Stage.”  Hyperallergic, August 22, 2016

London

Wanna Be a Tate Curator? Don’t Quit Your Day Job!  In mid-June, Tate opened the £260 million (~$344 million) expansion of Tate Modern, the Switch House. In mid-August, it posted three job listings for assistant curator positions at Tate Britain and Tate Modern with starting annual salaries of £24,360 (~$32,200). The average monthly rent in London, £1,561 (~$2,065), will gobble up all but £5,628 (~$7,450) — or 23% — of that.  Though Tate’s entry-level assistant curator salary works out to £13 (~$17.20) per hour before taxes, comfortably over the London Living Wage of £9.40 (~$12.44) per hour, it amounts to just half of the average London salary of £48,023 (~$63,500). To close that gap, an up-and-coming Tate curator could supplement their income with a second job as a “team leader” at Tesco — let’s call it a curatorial project if that makes you feel better.  Hyperallergic, August 24, 2016

Italy

Art experts fear serious earthquake damage to historic Italian buildings.  Art experts fear numerous historic Italian buildings and their contents were damaged in Wednesday’s earthquake, across a region where almost every hilltop town and village has beautiful churches and monuments.  The Dutch classicist David Rijser, an expert on the culture of Abruzzo, said there had been damage to the central region’s many churches, funeral monuments and museums.  The Guardian, August 24, 2016

Syria

Almost 70% of smuggled objects seized in Syria and Lebanon are fakes, antiquities chief says.  close to three-quarters of the artefacts seized in anti-smuggling operations in Syria and neighbouring Lebanon this year have proved to be fakes, Syria’s antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim tells The Art Newspaper. The Art Newspaper, August 24, 2016

Myanmar

Earthquake Wrecks Scores Of Pagodas In Myanmar’s Ancient Capital.  At least four people were killed and at least 171 pagodas were damaged in Bagan after a 6.8 magnitude quake struck the area on Wednesday. The tremor was centered about 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Chauk, just south of Bagan.  Associated Press, August 25, 2016

 

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