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

City announces Mayor’s Arts Awards, giving nod to everyone from Gordon Smith to Emily Molnar to the Georgia Straight  The City of Vancouver has announced its annual Mayor’s Arts Awards winners, a unique program where the winners also choose an emerging artist in their field to take the honour. The awards will be formally given out at a ceremony next Monday (October 3) at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. Georgia Straight, September 26, 2016

Iconic Harris landscape could be most valuable Canadian artwork ever sold  The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris was co-curated by actor Steve Martin, who owns several Harris paintings…. One of the key works in the show was Mountain Forms, a striking painting of Mount Ishbel in the Sawback mountain range, near Lake Louise. .. Mountain Forms is owned by Imperial Oil, and on Nov. 23, it will go up for sale at the Heffel Auction of Fine Canadian Art in Toronto. The pre-auction estimate is $3 million to $5 million, the highest estimate ever given by Vancouver’s Heffel gallery… Mountain Forms will be on display to Vancouverites at a preview at the Heffel Gallery at 2247 Granville from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1. Vancouver Sun, September 27, 2016

Mayor Don Iveson envisions national aboriginal museum at former RAM site  Mayor Don Iveson says Edmonton is an ideal location for a national museum of aboriginal heritage — and he thinks it could become a reality at the old location of the Royal Alberta Museum. With the new $375 million museum slated to open in late 2017, discussions have been underway about the fate of the existing 4,000-square-foot site in Glenora. Building a new aboriginal museum, Iveson said Saturday, would be a way to “tangibly express a commitment to reconciliation. Edmonton Journal, September 25, 2016

Nuit Blanche exhibit dominates Nathan Phillips Square  Tethered to the front of City Hall, the white globe, 45 feet in diameter, prompted many onlookers — tourists and locals alike — to stop and gawk. A few, naturally, took a selfie with it. The orb was an eye-catching reminder for Torontonians that Nuit Blanche is just around the corner. It’s part of “Death of the Sun,” a contemporary art project that’s the brainchild of Director X, the veteran Toronto music-video director behind Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” The all-night artistic and cultural festival takes place Saturday night, with installations, talks and tours across the city. Toronto Star, September 26, 2016

Plateau Mont-Royal borough welcomes controversial cross sculpture over Coderre’s objections  The work is a copy of La croix du Mont-Royal by Montreal artist Pierre Ayot created 40 years ago for an outdoor exhibit known as Corridart 76 on Sherbrooke St. that was destroyed on orders from then-mayor Jean Drapeau on the eve of the Montreal Olympics. Artists sued the city for compensation but lost. Critics blasted Drapeau, who was offended by the images the works presented of the city, for blatant censorship. Montreal Gazette, September 26, 2016

Vernissage Provides a Space for Black Feminist Art  The exhibit, which opened with a vernissage on Friday, is a space for the artists to express themselves. Placing the focus on young, Black female artists, the vern facilitated a conversation about art and social issues that are normally seen in a different, often less positive light. It offered a means of communication between the creators, the public and their communities. The Link, September 26, 2016

Pierre Huyghe Wins Nasher Sculpture Center’s $100,000 Prize  The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas announced today that Pierre Huyghe has won its 2017 Nasher Prize. Huyghe, who hails from France, will now receive $100,000 as part of the award, which is given annually to an artist who has made significant strides in sculpture. This is the second time the award has been given; the inaugural prize went to Doris Salcedo in 2015. Artnews, September 27, 2016

St. Louis
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis to Wall Off Exhibit After Public Outcry  In the wake of public protests and disagreements among the staff of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis over a Kelley Walker exhibition, “Direct Drive,” that opened earlier this month, the museum has decided to erect barriers around the show…Activists initially called for people to boycott the exhibition after Walker and the institution’s chief curator Jeffrey Uslip were unable to satisfactorily answer questions regarding why the artist appropriates images of the Civil Rights movement, race riots, and African American women from a gentlemen’s magazine at an artist talk hosted by CAM on September 17. Artforum, September 27, 2016

MOCAD Adds Jonathan Horowitz Hillary Clinton Sculpture to Current Exhibition  As the nightmare 2016 election season continues to ramp up, some art institutions are reacting. A bronze Jonathan Horowitz sculpture of a young Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton is a Person Too, has been added to the current Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit exhibition “Art as Social Force Exhibition: It’s Your Party, Cry If You Want To,” which runs until January 1, 2017. Artnews, September 26, 2016

New York
Want a piece of a former Met curator’s collection? It’ll cost less than you think  Next month, Christie’s is due to sell works from the eclectic collection of Everett Fahy, the former curator of European paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the former director of the Frick Collection in New York. The 46 paintings, works on paper and objects will lead Christie’s Old Masters sale on 26 October in New York. Some of the works, which span the 14th to the 20th centuries, were gifts Fahy received from famous friends. The Art Newspaper, September 27, 2016

Farideh Lashai’s Goya-inspired digital epic to go on show at the British Museum  An epic work by the late Iranian artist Farideh Lashai, inspired by Francisco de Goya’s Disasters of War series (1810-20), will be the centrepiece of a major exhibition at the British Museum in London in 2018, after being shown alongside the Spanish artist’s work in Madrid, as well as in Ghent in Belgium. The museum acquired the work—the first piece of digital art to be bought as part of its growing collection of works by Middle Eastern artists—in 2015. The Art Newspaper, September 27, 2016

The Hague
ICC ruling for Timbuktu destruction ‘should be deterrent for others’ An Islamic militant who helped destroy the fabled shrines of Timbuktu has been sentenced to nine years in prison in a groundbreaking case that prosecutors hope will deter other attacks on heritage sites around the world. The trial was the first at the international criminal court to focus solely on cultural destruction as a war crime. It was also the first prosecution of an Islamic militant by the institution, which is based in The Hague. The Guardian, September 27, 2016

Palestine biennial to focus on themes of return and refuge  The third edition of Qalandiya International (QI), a biennial-style initiative, is due to launch next month across towns and villages in Palestine (5-31 October). The project, based on the themes of return and refuge, includes a new version of the Tent Embassy work by the Aboriginal artist Richard Bell, which will go on show at the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem. The QI organisers will focus on the Nakba, when the Israeli state was established in 1948, and more than 750,000 Palestinians went into exile. In a statement, the curatorial team says it aims “to dust off the layers of repetitive manifestations of the Nakba and imagined return” under the title This Sea is Mine. The Art Newspaper, September 26, 2016

Nanjing International Arts Festival Reveals Theme and List of 315 Participating Artists China’s annual Nanjing International Arts Festival announced today that 315 artists have been selected to explore the theme of “HISTORICODE: Scarcity and Supply” for its third edition, which is scheduled to run from November 12, 2016 to February 12, 2017. Chief curator Lu Peng said, “The theme reflects on a shift of perception and production in the art world in recent years–namely after the 1990s. Artworks and artists have been affected by the role and place the art market has taken. What are the codes for art assessment and what makes art history in this time frame is the question I wanted to address through ‘HISTORICODE.’” Artforum, September 22, 2016


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