Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, November 8, 2016

Judy Chartrand: What a Wonderful World uses everything from ceramic soup cans to cereal boxes to take on racism and colonialism  Chartrand, who is Cree, grew up in what she calls “the skids”, the area we now know as Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The fourth youngest of 13 children, she was raised in poverty by a single mother who struggled to feed her family by working as a chambermaid. While guiding the Straight through her compelling exhibition at the Bill Reid Gallery, Chartrand said that she was brought up with the expectation that she, too, would become a chambermaid. At the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art until February 19, 2017. Georgia Straight, November 7, 2016

Hundreds attend Survivors’ Totem Pole procession and raising in the Downtown Eastside After five years of planning, Bernie Williams and her team of carvers were joined by close to a thousand people early this afternoon, to watch the raising of the Survivors’ Totem Pole. Carved from a 982-year-old red cedar log by Williams and 12 apprentices, the 27-foot pole now stands tall at the corner of Hastings and Carrall, in the centre of Pigeon Park. A ceremony was held prior to the pole’s procession down West Cordova, where witnesses including matriarchs, elders, and politicians (Mayor Gregor Robertson, Councillor Andrea Reimer, and MLA Melanie Mark, among others) were honoured for their support of the project. Georgia Straight, November 5, 2016

Audain Art Museum transforms for new film exhibit  The Audain Art Museum’s new exhibit, Intersections: Contemporary Artist Films, asks for a little more of your time than you might spend on traditional art. The upside: you’ll be happy to oblige. “What I find fascinating is that when we go into a museum or art gallery and experience an artwork, usually we spend a few seconds in its presence and say, ‘oh that resonates with me’ or not,” said Darrin Martens, the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky chief curator at the museum. “What the artists are doing here is asking for a commitment to really think about, engage, participate in something.” The exhibit is running at the Audain Art Museum until Feb. 6. Whistler Question, November 7, 2016

Bill Brooks: Definitely worth a LOOK LOOK 2016, the premiere fundraiser for Contemporary Calgary held Oct 22 in the Centennial Planetarium was an SRO success and was attended by scores of cultural revolutionaries. That none other than Steve Martin was the evening’s special guest may have had something to do with the highly coveted tickets…Joining Martin on stage for a rare conversation on the art of our times was The New Yorker’s award-winning writer Adam Gopnik, who made the trek to our fair city to attend the LOOK gala again this year. Calgary Herald, November 5, 2016

WAG Celebrates French Sculptor Auguste Rodin  The Winnipeg Art Gallery is paying tribute to French sculptor Auguste Rodin to celebrate the November 12 birthday of the 19th-century artist. Starting with Rodin is a new exhibit at the downtown Winnipeg gallery set to run until spring 2017. It brings together nearly 30 works of art from the WAG’s permanent collection to reflect on the significant presence of Rodin in art history, his adaptation of earlier classical themes, and impact on later modernists., November 8, 2016

In Toronto, there’s art for everyone  This fall, Toronto plays host to an impressive array of artworks by world-famous impressionists, celebrated Canadian masters and emerging talent. Indeed, art has never been so accessible in the city. The star attraction may be the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and More, which senior curator of international exhibitions Katharine Lochnan promises has “the potential to change [viewers’] lives.”, November 7, 2016

How much should city taxpayers shell out for art?  This past Friday, around the time budget chief Gary Crawford was explaining why taxpayers will need to pay 5% more on both their water and garbage tax bills next year, the city issued a news release proudly announcing funding for 13 more arts projects. Toronto Sun, November 6, 2016

William Notman: portrait of visionary photographer at McCord Museum  The 650,000 images by the Notman firm are the jewel in the crown of the McCord Museum’s collection — a priceless record of the Confederation era, when Montreal was the young nation’s bustling metropolis. But it’s been a generation since the McCord staged its last major exhibition on photographic pioneer William Notman (1826-91), who operated 20 studios across Canada and the United States at the height of his success in the 1880s. “Often, when people came to the museum, they were asking, ‘Where are the Notmans? We would like to see them,’ ” said Hélène Samson, curator of the Notman Photographic Archives. That desire will be amply sated by Notman, a Visionary Photographer, an exhibition of 300 images and other objects that opened Friday and runs until March 26. Montreal Gazette, November 4, 2016

New York
Love connection: gallery show pairs works by famous artist couples  When it comes to romantic relationships, one never knows what goes on behind closed doors—but for artistic couples, hints may be found in their work. Such is the premise behind Artists and Lovers, a pop-up exhibition by the dealer Pilar Ordovas that arrived in New York from London this week (until 7 January 2017). “I wanted to show couples, both of whom were artists in their own right—not one to be the muse, the other to be the artist”, says Ordovas. “I’m really interested in the dynamic where you have friendship and love and something else.” The Art Newspaper, November 8, 2016

Modernist photos from Elton John’s private collection go on display  Almost 200 modernist photographs from a vast collection built by Sir Elton John after he stopped drinking 26 years ago have gone on display at the Tate Modern. The singer has about 8,000 works – some of which he hangs in his penthouse in Atlanta, Georgia – in a private collection considered one of the finest in the world. The photographs lent to the London gallery are images from the 1920s to the 50s by some of the most important photographers of the past century, including Man Ray, André Kertész and Berenice Abbott. The Guardian, November 8, 2016

Bob Dylan: a Hockney-like painter of America’s strange essence  Long before Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel prize in literature, pundits used to talk about “Dylan versus Keats”, as if you had to choose, and as if Dylan’s poetic transformations of folk song are really so different from what John Keats does in his eerie ballad La Belle Dame sans Merci. When it comes to Dylan’s art, the dice fall differently. Dylan versus John Constable would make no sense, for when it comes to drawing and painting it’s as plain as a Brooklyn ice cream parlour that Bob Dylan is a bluff old traditionalist. He draws and paints what he sees, although in his latest, impressive show at London’s Halcyon Gallery you feel that what he sees is always subtly merging with an America in his mind. The Guardian, November 8, 2016

Pieter Brueghel the Younger painting found in Holburne Museum store  A painting found in the stores of the Holburne Museum in Bath has been identified as being by Flemish artist Pieter Brueghel the Younger. The painting, titled Wedding Dance in the Open Air, was spotted by Jennifer Scott when she took over as the Holburne’s director in 2014. It was previously thought to be the work of a copyist or follower. But it has been dated to 1607-14 and will be at the centre of an exhibition about the Bruegel dynasty next spring., November 7, 2016

Helsinki Proposes New Plan to Fund Guggenheim Museum  The city of Helsinki and the Helsinki Supporting Foundation announced today that a new proposal to fund the construction of a Guggenheim Museum on the city’s waterfront will be presented at a board meeting on Monday… The museum is estimated to cost between $134 and $156 million. According to the new proposal, taxpayers will no longer be expected to pay $45 million. Helsinki will fund up to $90 million of the construction costs and the Guggenheim Helsinki Supporting Foundation will provide $17 million. Artforum, November 3, 2016

Greece unveils first contemporary art museum Introducing modern art to a culture brought up on marble columns and the galloping friezes of the Parthenon would appear to be a daunting and thankless task, but Katerina Koskinas, the director of Greece’s first National Museum of Contemporary Art, was giddy with excitement and lack of sleep on the eve of the museum’s opening. “We are very used to feeling proud about our past. Now I think the moment has come to bridge the past with the present,” she told Al Jazeera, sitting in the midst of the hangar-sized exhibition space, a converted brewery… Legislation establishing the museum, known as EMST, was passed 19 years ago. Since then a permanent collection has been bought and the Fix brewery in central Athens refurbished, all at a cost of $37m., November 1, 2016

Work censored as art world descends on Shanghai  The unprecedented convergence of the 11th Shanghai Biennale opening and two major art fairs as well as numerous exhibitions makes the Chinese city the focal point of the Asian art world this week… But the week kicked off on a sour political note after the Shanghai Cultural Bureau censored a film by Sun Xun from Everyday Legend, a group show looking at Chinese traditions in contemporary art that opened last night at the private Minsheng Art Museum Shanghai. A sign saying: “The work is unable to be shown as part of the exhibition due to non-technical reasons”, accompanied the empty screen. The Art Newspaper, November 8, 2016

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