Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, October 18, 2016

We’re back, after a 10-day hiatus to prepare for the annual Library Book Sale. During the weekend of October 15-16, we raised over $3,000 for the Vancouver Art Gallery Library. A huge thank-you to everyone who supported us despite the torrential rain!

And now on with the news…

Emily Carr and Wolfgang Paalen: I Had an Interesting French Artist to See Me This Summer [review} “I Had An Interesting French Artist To See Me This Summer” is rooted in two important curatorial initiatives at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The first is the ongoing series of shows in which selections from the gallery’s collection of Carr paintings and drawings are freshly reconsidered by placing them in dialogue with the works of other artists and art movements, past and present. The second is the VAG’s 2011 Surrealist exhibition, “The Colour of My Dreams,” curated by the British scholar Dawn Ades. A wide and richly various survey of the movement, it also included examples of the Northwest Coast First Nations art that the European Surrealists found so appealing. Canadian Art, October 10, 2016

Outstanding BC First Nations artists honoured with awards Premier Christy Clark and BC Achievement Foundation Chair Keith Mitchell announced today the recipients of the 2016 BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations Art. “The legacy of First Nations Art reaches back millennia,” said Premier Christy Clark. “Today’s artists are preserving and building on this proud tradition with works that inspire and resonate not just in British Columbia, but far beyond our borders.” Susan Point, a Coast Salish artist from Musqueam, will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, an honour bestowed on individuals who have made a profound contribution to their First Nations culture. NationTalk, October 6, 2016

Artist Stan Douglas’s journey from theatre to photography On his 56th birthday, last Tuesday, Stan Douglas was calmly preparing to fly to Toronto and then on to Sweden, to be fêted and awarded the prestigious and lucrative Hasselblad Award…. While Douglas is often lumped in with the so-called Vancouver School of photoconceptualists, he rejects that categorization. But Vancouver has remained home for Douglas, even as his international stature has grown. The Globe and Mail, October 14, 2016

North Vancouver
Museum gets $3M promise from Ottawa The North Vancouver Museum and Archives is a big step closer to making its new home in the base of Polygon’s Site 8 tower a reality after receiving a promise of $3 million towards the project from the federal government. Ottawa announced the funding Wednesday, to be provided through the Canada Cultural Spaces fund in the Department of Canadian Heritage….Other funding for the museum project includes a $2.5-million commitment from the city – which has been budgeted but not yet formally approved – a 16,000 square-foot space contributed by Polygon in return for additional building height and $1 million to be raised in a fundraising campaign. Project proponents are hoping to open the doors to the new museum in 2019. Northshore News, October 13, 2016

Richmond Art Gallery Announces New Director The City of Richmond and the Board of Directors for the Richmond Art Gallery Association are pleased to announce Shaun Dacey as the new director of the Richmond Art Gallery, effective October 24, 2016. Dacey is leaving his position as curator at the Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver where he has, since 2013, planned and held responsibility for a diverse program of exhibitions, educational and off-site projects with particular focus on the residencies and outreach with artists based at the CAG Burrard Marina Field House Studio., October 13, 2016

From Geisha to Diva opens at Audain Art Museum  The Audain Art Museum’s newest exhibition From Geisha to Diva: The Kimono of Ichimaru opens on Oct. 22 and aims to reveal the complexities of geishas.“These women were not one dimensional characters,” said the museum’s chief curator Darrin Martens. “There is a depth to these women and the role they played within Japanese society.” That role, which has been sensationalized through stereotypes and Hollywood portrayals, was pivotal in Japanese culture from the late-1700s onwards. Whistler Question, October 17, 2016

Cape Dorset annual print exhibition celebrates Inuit art  One of the most sought-after events for collectors of Inuit art — the Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection — opens this Saturday and some are using the occasion to remember Inuk artist Annie Pootoogook. In Nunavut, the collection will be on display and up for sale at Iqaluit’s Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum. The annual collection, presented by Dorset Fine Arts, started in 1959 and showcases some of the best work produced by Nunavut’s most famous printmakers., October 15, 2016

A Museum About Rights, and a Legacy of Uncomfortable Canadian Truths  The Canadian Museum for Human Rights offers many opportunities for contemplation. A glass display case holds the bloodstained salwar kameez worn by Malala Yousafzai, the activist for girls’ education in Pakistan, during an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Video testimonials from survivors of the genocides in Rwanda, Ukraine and Bosnia aim to teach tolerance. Or one can think about the fact — unmentioned by the museum — that the water flowing through its reflection pools comes from a lake on an aboriginal reserve where residents have not had safe drinking water for almost two decades. The New York Times, October 5, 2016

With the war in mind, Aga Khan Museum looks to the history of Syria  As the death toll in Syria continues to rise and with no end to the civil war in sight, a Canadian institution is due to present an exhibition documenting 5,000 years of Syrian heritage. Syria: a Living History, which opens this month, includes around 50 objects ranging from Mesopotamian artefacts to paintings by contemporary artists, which together reflect the continuity of artistic traditions. “Syria was one of those topics that we just had to do,” says the museum’s director, Henry Kim, stressing that the war makes the show especially necessary. The exhibition fits the mission of the Aga Khan Museum, which opened in Toronto in 2014. The Art Newspaper, October 15, 2016

Toronto artist wins competition to display sculpture at Gardiner Museum Toronto artist Shary Boyle was recently announced as the winner of the ceramic sculpture competition launched earlier this year. More than 60 artists from across the country submitted applications for the job, and Boyle beat out other distinguished finalists including Christopher Reid Flock, Linda Lawson and Brendan Lee Satish Tang. Metronews Toronto, October 9, 2016

The Montreal Biennial will be seen from the ‘balcony’  The Montreal Biennial – which opens Oct. 19 – will be a paean to the pursuit of aesthetic pleasure as a way to make positive social change. Or not. Curator Philippe Pirotte insists that this biennial, involving 55 artists from 24 countries including Canada, does not have a message. “It’s not the job of the curator to make a statement, but to open a discussion” about art and artists that are relevant, he said. The discussion – at the Musée d’art contemporain and 20 other venues – will be about Pirotte’s proposal that the full potential of the brain and body can be unleashed through “the pursuit of sensual pleasures, making a case for its decisive role in everyday life and political decision-making.” Montreal Gazette, October 9, 2016

Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts hosts unique naked tour  They say nudity is art and around 85 people put that saying into practice Thursday night at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Participants and got to know each other over drinks in the museum’s Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion before they stripped -keeping only their shoes- to tour Robert Mapplethorpe’s exhibit: Focus: Perfection. It was only appropriate as Mapplethorpe is renown not only for his celebrity portraits, which include Patti Smith, Andy Warhol and Isabelle Rosellini, to name a few, but also for his provocative black-and-white nude photographs that invite guests to reflect on questions of gender, identity and sexuality., October 15, 2016

Kader Attia wins France’s Marcel Duchamp Prize  The artist Kader Attia, who was born in Paris to Algerian parents, has won the €35,000 Marcel Duchamp Prize—France’s answer to the UK’s Turner Prize, organised by the Association for the International Diffusion of French Art and the Centre Pompidou. “Art sometimes possesses the talent of divination—the capacity to pick up on vibrations in a world in mutation. Kader Attia’s work has this fascinating power,” says Serge Lasvignes, the Pompidou’s president. For the first time, the work of all four shortlisted artists is on view in an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (until 29 January). The Art Newspaper, October 18, 2016

Cave art: Etchings hailed as ‘Iberia’s most spectacular’ Cave art as much as 14,500 years old has been pronounced “the most spectacular and impressive” ever discovered on the Iberian peninsula. About 50 etchings were found in the Basque town of Lekeitio. They include horses, bison, goats and – in a radical departure from previously discovered Palaeolithic art in the Biscay province – two lions. Some depictions are also much bigger than those found previously – with one horse about 150cm (4ft 11in) long. “It is a wonder, a treasure of humanity,” senior Biscay official Unai Rementeria said., October 14, 2016

Vladimir the monumental rises in Moscow  A 16m-tall statue of prince Vladimir the Great, a tenth-century ruler of Kiev who converted his kingdom to Orthodox Christianity and is regarded as the founder of the Russian state, is to be unveiled near the Kremlin, in Moscow, on 4 November. Both critics and supporters of the Russian president Vladimir Putin, see the statue, which was originally planned to be even bigger, as a barely disguised homage to Putin too and an effort to legitimise Russia’s claim to Crimea. The New York Times, October 17, 2016

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