Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, November 7, 2016

Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition focuses on art of ‘what is happening now’  Its first iteration was this past August as a pop-up exhibition for four-days during the Seattle Art Fair. At the Vancouver Art Gallery, Juxtapoz x Superflat has been expanded to 36 artists from around the world. They’re from a variety of backgrounds including skateboarding, graffiti, comics, design and traditional arts. The exhibition is a mess — and I mean that in a good way. It’s a little like looking at a mash-up of visual culture from someone’s afternoon cruising around the Internet. Many works are about the body and the different pressures and stresses it’s under in a digital world. Vancouver Sun, November 7, 2016

ART SEEN: Pierre Coupey’s new paintings embody the passage of time  Pierre Coupey‘s new paintings are open and full of feeling and intelligence. In many ways, they look autumnal, although I doubt they were painted with this time of year in mind. They look seasonal because of the amount of reds and oranges and rusts that remind me of leaves turning colour as the days grow shorter…Pierre Coupey: Recent Work continues at Gallery Jones to Nov. 19. The gallery is now in its new location in The Flats at 258 East 1st. Vancouver Sun, November 4, 2016

Haisla artist carves gold in new Vancouver art exhibition It took Lyle Wilson a bit of time before he got comfortable working with gold to create his modern take on traditional Haisla artwork. “When you first start [using gold], you’re aware of the general history and how valuable it is. You can get kind of intimidated by it,” he told host Sheryl MacKay on CBC’s North by Northwest. Wilson’s works are now a featured exhibition at the Coastal Peoples Fine Art Gallery in Vancouver, running until Dec. 18. The art on display took him four years to create., November 6, 2016

Fred UnLEEshed: ASIAN ARTS & CRAFT  China Intangible Cultural Heritage Overseas Development Center launched its first Asian Pacific Cultural Festival in Vancouver. Starting with a gala dinner and auction at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, the week-long cultural festival featured five of China’s top Chinese Masters Yang Xiuling (Paper Cutting), Tang Yan (Silk Figurines) Qing Linhai (Batik Art), Yao Xiaojing (Clay Figurines) and Liu Zao (Leather Engraving) who showcased their artistic skills and centuries-old craft at weekend workshops held at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Their coveted works were also on the gala auction block… Liu Zao’s intricate leatherwork on canvas fetched the night’s top bid. Proceeds benefitted the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art. Vancouver Courier, November 2, 2106

North Vancouver
Emily Carr artwork donated to Lions Gate Hospital  The local McNeill family recently donated Wind in the Wood, a significant piece by the West Coast Canadian art icon from the 1930s, which is now on display outside the foundation’s office. “More British Columbians go through our hospitals each day than our galleries, and many of these hospital visits are in times of concern or pain,” said Stuart McNeill… “If our family donation can take someone’s mind off of a difficult situation, for even a moment, then it was worthwhile.” The foundation is in the midst of building up an art collection that began more than four years ago when the board wanted to adorn the inside of the new HOpe Centre with art that would be as impressive as its exterior architecture, according to Joanne McLellan, director of planned giving for the foundation. North Shore News, November 4, 2016

Opinion: We need a new vision to save old Royal Alberta Museum The spirit of optimism which caused Albertans to elect a new government last year was what I brought with me to an open house at the former Provincial Museum of Alberta on Tuesday, October 25. I was saddened to leave feeling little in the province has changed. I came for a meaningful conversation about the future of a great building. I spent my evening listening to the type of demolition announcement everyone in Edmonton’s preservation community knows. I suppose what I learned is that our difficulty respecting our built heritage is not a Conservative problem, nor an NDP problem. It is an Albertan problem, and an Edmonton problem. Edmonton Journal, November 4, 2016

Cultural program narrows language gap for Syrian newcomers  Training her eyes on the Syrian artifacts on display at the Royal Ontario Museum, Ghazel Alkak couldn’t help thinking of her now-ruined home near Aleppo. However, the 24-year-old law graduate is grateful and proud to see her culture and heritage preserved at the museum’s Middle East Gallery in Toronto, her new home. “Given what we all suffered, our museums destroyed and artifacts stolen, it is great to see Syrian history represented at the museum in Canada,” said Alkak, as she and her peers toured the ROM with volunteers from a University of Toronto support program for newly arrived Syrian youth. Toronto Star, November 6, 2016

‘What a legacy to have’: William Notman captured 19th-century Montreal through his lens A new exhibit at the McCord Museum on the life and work of celebrated photographer William Notman is a glimpse into Montreal and many parts of Canada in the 19th century. Notman, A Visionary Photographer is a part of the celebrations for Montreal’s 375th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. Notman was the first Canadian photographer to obtain an international reputation. He was pushing boundaries and using new tenchnology like stereography, where viewers could see photographs in three-dimensions., November 1, 2016

New York
Marina Abramovic on Right-Wing Attacks: ‘It’s Absolutely Outrageous and Ridiculous’ Just when it seemed this election could not get any more absurd, artist Marina Abramovic has been dragged into the mayhem. Among the latest batch of emails released by Wikileaks, allegedly from the hacked account of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, is one from Abramovic, in which she invites Tony Podesta, a major art collector who is John’s brother, to “a Spirit Cooking dinner at my place,” and asks if John might want to join. Tony forwarded the email to his brother, which is how it ended up among the stolen emails. Artnews, November 4, 2016

Artists raise millions for Hillary Clinton  Jeff Koons’s donation of $50,000 to Correct the Record, a “Super Pac” (Public Action Committee) backing Hillary Clinton, is the biggest cash donation by an artist to this year’s US presidential campaign. According to reports from the Federal Election Committee, Koons made the donation on 17 June this year. But the artist has potentially donated significantly more in kind: he created a print in an edition of 40, Gazing Ball (da Vinci Mona Lisa), which was given to those who bought a $50,000 ticket to an auction hosted by Larry Gagosian in September. If all 40 of those prints sold, it would raise $2m for the Hillary Victory Fund. The Art Newspaper, November 3, 2016

Outcry after Toledo Museum of Art sells ancient Greek and Egyptian objects at auction  The Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio has come under fire for selling off some of its antiquities to purchase new works. The museum, which put 68 objects into auctions at Christie’s New York last month, including ancient Greek and Egyptian artefacts, has been criticised by officials in Cyprus and Egypt. Citing the recent phenomenon of “unspeakable destruction and illicit looting of cultural heritage”, the Cypriot ambassador to the USA, Leonidas Pantelides, requested that the objects remain at the museum, while the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities demanded that the objects be returned to Egypt. Despite the international outcry, the sale went ahead reaching a total hammer price of around $800,000. The Art Newspaper, November 5, 2016

Chile’s first state-run contemporary art museum opens at former airport  The Chilean government has opened a new centre for contemporary art located in a disused airport, Los Cerrillos, near the capital Santiago. The National Centre for Contemporary Art Chile, which is funded entirely by the state, encompasses exhibition spaces, libraries, a digital archive centre, along with conservation and research laboratories. The budget for the project is unspecified. The centre will be home to the National Council of Culture and Arts Chile’s contemporary art collection, including works currently housed in Galeria Gabriela Mistral in Santiago. Chilean artists such as Norton Maza, Félix Lazo and Natasha Pons are among the artists represented in the collection. The Art Newspaper, November 4, 2016

Rare 19th century photographs of Shanghai [photo gallery] Rare 19th century photographs of Shanghai by English photographer William Saunders go on show in London in first public exhibition devoted to his work. Saunders travelled to China as an engineer in 1860 and following a brief return to Great Britain where he studied photography, he went back to establish one of the city’s first photography studios… Saunders is the first known photographer to produce hand-coloured photographs of China. Life in Qing Dynasty Shanghai: The Photographs of William Saunders, part of Asian Art in London, can be seen from 4-12 November at the China Exchange, 32a Gerrard Street, London., October 27, 2016

Herzog & de Meuron to extend Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin  Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron has revealed its competition-winning plans to extend the Mies van der Rohe-designed Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, creating a new museum for 20th-century art. The Museum of the 20th Century will be connected to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 1968 Neue Nationalgalerie building via an underground tunnel. The Basel-based practice headed up by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron was selected to design the scheme ahead of 40 other entrants to the competition, including New York studios SO-IL and Snøhetta, and British firms Zaha Hadid Architects and David Chipperfield Architects., November 1, 2016

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