Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, October 19, 2016


Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s Ovoidism keeps a watchful eye on the future home of VAG Larwill Park is a parking lot located on the corner of West Georgia and Cambie which will soon be the home of the new Vancouver Art Gallery building. On September 22nd, artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun unveiled a series of latex paint and laminated plywood sculptural pieces installed throughout the lot, entitled Ovoidism.  The Ubyssey, October 18, 2016

Bing Thom was visionary architect who united East and West.  Throughout his career in architecture, Bing Thom was adept at transcending cultural boundaries, taking great care to experience and understand every locale in which he designed.  Thom was born in Hong Kong, studied architecture at UBC and UC Berkeley, and worked in the offices of Fumihiko Maki and Arthur Erickson before opening his own firm in Vancouver.   Globe & Mail, October 7, 2016

Bing Thom, Daring Architect With a Sense of Place, Dies at 75.  Bing Thom, whose swooping, playful design for the Arena Stage company’s Mead Center for American Theater enlivened Washington’s dreary southwestern waterfront and drew critical acclaim, died on Tuesday in Hong Kong. He was 75.   New York Times, October 6, 2016.  See also: Bing Thom, Architect and Urban Alchemist, Dies at 75.  Architectural Record, October 12, 2016

Museum to showcase Vancouver in the Seventies photo exhibit.  Vancouver in the ’70s was a city of change, from Greenpeace and the Canucks to protests, long hair and bell bottoms.   More than 400 images of that decade from The Vancouver Sun’s archives are on display at a Museum of Vancouver exhibition to accompany a new book by former Sun librarian Kate Bird.  Vancouver Sun, October 14, 2016


Haunting mountain legend inspires B.C. artist to visit Kootenay town. Every autumn, B.C. artist Roy Henry Vickers heads to Fernie, a small resort town in B.C.’s East Kootenays, to hunt elk and gaze at Mount Hosmer, which is the scene of a haunting First Nation legend. Whenever Vickers returns to Fernie, he looks to Mount Hosmer in the late afternoon to catch a glimpse of the haunting shadow, which appears to depict a horse, a rider and a figure walking beside it. CBC News, October 15, 2016


This artist flooded an art gallery to capture the wonder of the Northern Lights.  It’s not unusual to spot the Northern Lights in Edmonton, but this is the only way to experience them indoors — and you don’t even have to wait till sundown.  Steve Driscoll is the Toronto artist behind the exhibition, And a Dark Wind Blows. Since the early 2000s, he’s built a reputation for his surreal wilderness scenes — landscapes inspired by his love of open country and painted with pigment-laced urethane.  CBC News, October 18, 2016


Fate of Aleppo weighs heavily on Syrian archeologist.  In the past year or so, Maamoun Abdulkarim has taken to calling himself “the saddest museum director in the world.”  He’s said it often enough, in speeches and interviews, that it’s become akin to shtick. In fact, he said it to this writer this weekend in Toronto where Sunday afternoon he was scheduled to deliver the second annual Aga Khan Museum Lecture, titled Heritage and Conflict: Syria’s Battle to Save Its Past.  Globe & Mail, October 16, 2016

Artists Respond to Cleveland Team’s Racist Logo. Today, the Toronto Blue Jays play a baseball game that decides whether they will move through to the playoffs in the American League Championship Series, but there is more than just their season at stake. In this deciding round, they’re playing a team from Cleveland who use a racist slur and caricature as their name and mascot.  Yesterday, architect and activist Douglas Cardinal filed a legal complaint against the Cleveland team that asked the court to bar them from using their offensive name and mascot while in Ontario.  Canadian Art, October 16, 2016

Parviz Tanavoli: The Leading Iranian Artist Who Calls Vancouver Home.  After 27 years in Canada, a public-art breakthrough. That is what leading Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli—who, since 1989, has been based half of every year in Vancouver, though you’d hardly know it from his low Canadian profile—is enjoying right now.  Tanavoli’s massive bronze and stainless-steel sculptures Poet in Love (2009), Big Heech (2014) and Horizontal Lovers (2016)—the latter, his largest work to date, never before seen in public—have just been installed on the grounds of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, where they will remain until April 2017. Canadian Art, October 11, 2016

The essential elements of Edward Burtynsky – in pictures.  Edward Burtynsky produces photographs that are colossal in scale and dramatically depict the impact of humans on urban and natural landscapes. Curated by William A Ewing, Edward Burtynsky: Essential Elements draws on four decades of his work, with over 140 photographs showing the effects of a global economy.  The Guardian, October 16, 2016er


Not an Outsider Artist: An Appreciation of Judith Scott.  Born in 1943 in Cincinnati, Ohio, with Down syndrome, Judith Scott spent much of her life in a state institution. At 42 years old, her fraternal twin sister, Joyce, became her guardian, and Judith was enrolled at the Creative Growth Center in Oakland, California, where she discovered fibre art and became a sculptor. Scott’s first Canadian survey exhibition runs at Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square until December 30.  The Fall 2016 issue of Canadian Art includes Luanne Martineau’s personal thoughts on how Scott influenced her practice.  Canadian Art, October 13, 2016


Marie-Michelle Deschamps: The Art of the Untranslatable.  In 2012, as part of the dissertation project for her MFA at the Glasgow School of Art, Marie-Michelle Deschamps produced a publication titled The Twofold Room. Born and raised as a French speaker in Montreal, Deschamps relocated to Switzerland after finishing her studies in Glasgow. She has shown her work in Zürich, London and Paris, while also participating in residencies and exhibitions in Marseille, Cherbourg, London, Banff, Romania and Mexico. This year, Deschamps staged a triumphant return to Montreal with simultaneous exhibitions at Battat Contemporary and the Darling Foundry.  Canadian Art, October 17, 2016

St. John’s

Inuit Artist on Hunger Strike to Protest Hydro Project.  Just over a week ago, Inuit artist Billy Gauthier was celebrating his culture, and showing his art, at iNuit Blanche, the world’s first all-night, all-circumpolar arts festival in St. John’s.  Now, this award-winning artist is on a hunger strike—one Gauthier promises he will continue until he is sure that a massive hydro project near his home in Labrador will be changed in order to prevent the poisoning of his people’s food sources. Canadian Art, October 17, 2016

San Francisco

Leah Rosenberg draws on Saskatchewan roots to create edible works of art. The painter and pastry artist Leah Rosenberg brings the colours and inspiration of her Saskatoon youth to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – and beyond.  Globe & Mail, October 18, 2016


Painter David Salle makes his mark as art critic with vibrant, jargon-free essays.  Art criticism has always struck me as a strange, exotic – and somewhat frightening – land whose inhabitants have a patois that feels as unreal as it is foreign.  That was before I encountered David Salle’s criticism. A remarkable painter whose writing is as fresh, vital, and startling as his canvases, Salle, 64, talks about artists and their work in witty, jargon-free, and eminently accessible prose.  Philadelphia Inquirer, October 16, 2016


The Future of Everything Artist Lea Chavez Lends her Mind to Science.  At first glance, Lea Chavez seems more mystic than academic, with her penchant for wearing coaster-size earrings, feathery hats and heavy streaks of eye shadow in red and blue and black. But like her new home and studio, her work has a scientific background, and her recent collaborations with neuroscientists could help answer a question that has eluded researchers for decades: What does the creative spark look like in the brain?  Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2016

Ragnar Kjartansson’s exuberant work at Hirshhorn is a party celebrating mediocrity. The work of the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson is all about the quest for beauty and the ways in which that quest is doomed to failure, bogging down in mediocrity or kitsch, or, in these works, the trappings of Las Vegas. But the work radiates so much theatricality and glitz and humor that it feels like a big party.  Washington Post, October 17, 2016

Empty Corcoran gallery hosts discussion on museum’s demise.  “The bare walls of the gallery — where priceless American paintings were long displayed — reflected the mournful tone of the discussion about the museum and school. In 2014, a District judge approved a deal that gave the National Gallery of Art custody of the museum’s 17,000-piece collection and George Washington University control of its renowned art school.”  Washington Post, October 16, 2016


Major Edinburgh art gallery closes as new report warns of financial pressures on art scene  One of Scotland’s leading visual arts venues is to close, as a major new report warns of increasing financial strain on artists and galleries.  Inverleith House at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, which has been a gallery for contemporary art for 30 years, is to close as a home for modern art. Herald Edinburgh, October 18, 2016

United Kingdom

Cornelia Parker, Stuart Maconie and more on the axing of A-level art history It sparked Cornelia Parker’s career, shaped Yinka Shonibare’s politics and opened Stuart Maconie’s mind to all things unorthodox.  Leading cultural voices on why children deserve to study art history. The Guardian, October 18, 2016


Conversation: Wolfgang Tillmans Considers Three of His Own Photographs.  Perhaps no other photographer of the last quarter century has helped us better to see what our world looks like than Wolfgang Tillmans.  Early this summer, Tillmans and I found a few moments one afternoon to connect over Skype and talk about his work. He was briefly pausing in his Berlin studio, planning the next stages of his passionate contribution to the anti-Brexit campaign in advance of June’s EU referendum—as a German who has long resided in London, he has been deeply concerned by rising nationalist tendencies throughout Britain and the Continent Canadian Art, October 16, 2016


The paint fights of eight great artists.  The relationship between Manet and Degas is one of four ‘friendly rivalries’ considered by the Boston Globe art critic, Sebastian Smee, in his new book (Matisse vs Picasso, Pollock vs de Kooning and Bacon vs Freud being the others). In each case, Smee reckons, competition between the pair changed the course of modern art. And this wasn’t a matter of sworn enemies slugging it out for art-world supremacy, but of ‘yielding, intimacy and openness to influence’ inspiring the respective parties to greater heights.  The Spectator, October 15, 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s