Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, October 24, 2016

Vancouver Art Gallery hosts major exhibit of Walker Evans photographs  The Vancouver Art Gallery is set to open what it says is the most comprehensive exhibition of work by the influential American photographer Walker Evans ever shown in Canada. “Walker Evans: Depth of Field” features more than 200 photos from the 1920s to the ’70s. Many of them have become iconic, made in the U.S. South during the Great Depression. The show runs from Oct. 29 to Jan. 22. It originated last year at the Josef Albers Museum Quaddrat in Bottrop, Germany, before moving to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta this past summer. The two institutions organized the exhibition in collaboration with the Vancouver gallery., October 23, 2016

How Emily Carr shaped our identity with a paintbrush  I asked myself “Why Carr?” recently as I stood in front of one of her best-loved works, Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky (1935), in the Vancouver Art Gallery, which now holds the bulk of her paintings. The canvas shows a lone, spindly tree, surrounded by brutally logged land, reaching up to a pearly pale sky painted with undulating circular strokes. The scorned tree could almost be a self-portrait for this defiant artist — her solitary, single-minded reach to self-fulfillment, while the landscape is desecrated around her…. From The Promise of Canada: 150 Years – People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country by Charlotte Gray, published by Simon & Schuster Canada. Toronto Star, October 23, 2016

Taking art beyond gallery borders  Thinking outside the white cube. That’s what the incoming director of the Richmond Art Gallery (RAG) is planning to achieve when he starts his new job next Monday (Oct. 24). Shaun Dacey, who replaces the outgoing Rachel Rosenfield Lafo, told the News he wants to build on the gallery’s fine reputation for showcasing works inside the Richmond Cultural Centre by reaching out to other areas in the community. Richmond News, October 19, 2016

Confederation arts project will highlight Canada’s national parks  A boat tour through Thousand Islands National Park narrated by two artists. Sculptures that allow visitors at four national parks to listen to the earth. Postcard books examining the themes of migration and belonging. These pieces and more will be part of LandMarks2017/Repères2017, a cross-country series of art projects meant to provoke discussion about “our collective histories and shared future” as Canada marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Project details were revealed during a presentation by project director Helena Grdadolnik at Surrey’s Creative City Summit on Tuesday. Vancouver Sun, October 23, 2016

Glenbow’s Beaver Hall Group exhibit showcases a colourful and jazzy Montreal  The Beaver Hall Group were a short-lived collective of Canadian painters in Montreal who were contemporaries of the Group of Seven but had a wildly different esthetic. While Group of Seven member have become Canadian icons for their landscape paintings, Beaver Hall painters never reached the same level of notoriety in art history, despite the bold innovation of their work. Opening Saturday at the Glenbow Museum, 1920s Modernism in Montreal: The Beaver Hall Group is an expansive exhibition that puts a spotlight on these artists, who generally depicted modern life of Montrealers in the 1920s in stunning portraits and urban landscapes. Calgary Herald, October 21, 2016

Mystical Landscapes brings Monet, van Gogh masterpieces to Toronto  Vincent van Gogh’s star-filled sky, Claude Monet’s water lilies and Edvard Munch’s blazing sun are artworks that speak volumes with brushstrokes. But a new exhibit in Toronto is re-examining these and other magnetic masterpieces under a new lens of spirituality and mysticism. “In the art world, we tend to dismiss them as popular culture pictures, but I do believe there’s a reason they’re so popular… They’re feeding people spiritually,” lead curator Katharine Lochnan told CBC News. Opening at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, van Gogh and more is the first exhibition to consider how art, nature and mysticism intersect in some of Western art’s most famous works., October 21, 2016

B.C. groups seek hundreds of millions in 2017 federal budget  B.C. groups are trying to paint an inspirational vision of the province’s future as they stretch their open hands toward the nation’s capital in anticipation of the 2017 federal budget. The collective “ask” from the Vancouver Art Gallery, the province’s top universities, businesses and other agencies totals well into the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to submissions filed this autumn with the House of Commons finance committee… Scrambling to get to the front of the line is the Vancouver Art Gallery, which is seeking $100 million from Ottawa to help fund a new downtown building. The Province, October 23, 2016

“We were here”, legacy of WW-I soldiers beneath the battlefield. A century ago, tens of thousands of young Canadians and other Commonwealth soldiers were living in tunnels under the WW-I battlefields around Vimy Ridge, and also Arras, France. They might spend, hours, days, or even weeks underground and to pass the time many would write or carve their names, write messages, and even carve intricate designs into the soft chalk-like walls. Now through high-technology, exact reproductions of these carvings and messages have been created and are on display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. The exhibit is called, “Preserved in Stone – Underground Art of the First World War” and is presented from October 17, 2016 to January 7, 2018 in the Lobby of the Canadian War Museum. Radio Canada International, October 19, 2016

New York
Frick Collection Names Selldorf Architects for Its Renovation  Ever since the Frick Collection yielded to public protest and abandoned plans for a six-story addition last year, curiosity has mounted as to how that museum would revise its renovation plans. Now the Frick has taken the first step in that direction. On Thursday, the board approved the selection of Annabelle Selldorf’s architecture firm, whose projects have included the Neue Galerie in Manhattan and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. The New York Times, October 20, 2016

Trump’s Mexican border wall envisioned as Barragán-inspired pink barrier  Mexican firm Estudio 3.14 has visualised the “gorgeous perversity” of US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the countries’ border. In response to the controversial proposal, a group of interns at the Guadalajara-based studio came up with a conceptual design that would celebrate Mexico’s architectural heritage. The giant solid barrier would run 1,954 miles (3,145 kilometres) uninterrupted from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico, and be painted bright pink in the spirit of the 20th-century buildings by Pritzker Prize-winning Mexican architect Luis Barragán. Dezeen, October 20, 2016

The woman who painted her body for artist Yves Klein  In a Paris art gallery in 1960, three naked women covered themselves in blue paint and made impressions of their bodies on paper as an orchestra played and guests wearing formal dress looked on. It has come to be seen as one of the landmark events in the history of performance art….One of the women who painted their bodies and Klein’s canvases that night, and on numerous other occasions, was Elena Palumbo-Mosca. As some of Klein’s Anthropometry paintings go on show at Tate Liverpool, Ms Palumbo-Mosca, now 81, rejects the notion that she was exploited and says she was more than just a “living brush” or a traditional passive model., October 21, 2016

US collectors Marlene and Spencer Hays donate major collection to Musée d’Orsay  The Musée d’Orsay has received one of its largest ever donations after the US collectors Marlene and Spencer Hays announced they will give 187 turn-of-the-century masterpieces to the Paris museum. The gift includes works by Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Odilon Redon. Audrey Azoulay, the French culture secretary, told France24 TV: “This donation, which is exceptional for its size and coherence, is the largest a French museum has received from a foreign donor since 1945.” A statement from the French Ministry of Culture says that all 600 works owned by the couple will eventually be donated to the museum. The Art Newspaper, October 24, 2016

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