Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, November 17, 2016


ART SEEN: Multi-generational group of artists chosen for Vancouver Special. “The Vancouver Art Gallery announced today the 40 artists who have been selected for the first Vancouver Special. I like very much the idea that the curators looked not only at recent graduates of art schools but also artists who have been working at their practice for years. Sometimes, it takes an artist a long time before he or she hits their stride. It’s a more inclusive approach and suggests to me that the quality of the work was an important factor in selecting the artists.”  Vancouver Sun, November 15, 2016

Eastside culture crawls strongly toward 20th anniversary.  It’s a visual-arts festival that has grown to become one of Western Canada’s largest, but ask Richard Tetrault about the first-ever Eastside Culture Crawl, and he’ll admit that its founding members “didn’t always have such grand schemes.” Georgia Straight, November 16, 2016

Toasting 20 artists for 20 years of the Eastside Culture Crawl. The Eastside Culture Crawl is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a blast.  In honour of the occasion, we’re choosing 20 artists for 20 years. We’re talking about artists you may not have heard of, materials being used in ways you might not have imagined, and just cool stuff.  Georgia Straight, November 16, 2016

Vancouver-based artist Douglas Coupland has found his Vincent van Gogh.  After putting out a global call for Vincent van Gogh lookalikes to aid in a commissioned piece earlier this year, Vancouver-based artist and admittedly unpredictable author Douglas Coupland has found a dead-ringer.  Georgia Straight, November 16, 2016

Donation Returns Over 200 Indigenous Art Objects to British Columbia.  The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia has been gifted an anonymous donation of over 200 First Nations art objects, worth around $7 million. According to MOA, it is “believed to be the largest collection of Northwest Coast First Nations art to return to B.C. in recent decades.”  To make its newly acquired objects accessible, MOA is planning to open a Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks on June 21, 2017, the next National Aboriginal Day. Hyperallergic, November 16, 2016

Province welcomes Susan Jackson and Yosef Wosk to B.C. Arts Council board. The province has announced the appointment of two new board members of the B.C. Arts Council.  Susan Jackson and Yosef Wosk were welcomed to the board by council chair Merla Beckerman, and Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender.  Georgia Straight, November 16, 2016


The unruly, omnivorous eye of Wolfgang Tillmans.  At 48, Wolfgang Tillmans is one of the world’s most-discussed and heralded, prolific and influential photographers. Born in Germany, educated at the Arts University College at Bournemouth and the Poole College of Art in Britain, he gained attention in the mid-1990s with (mostly) colour images of the world he was inhabiting – a world of raves, nightclubs, squats and squalour, of sexual exploration, drug experimentation, electronic music, gay activism and the proverbial “much else.” Globe & Mail, November 16, 2016

Montreal-based artist Rebecca Belmore wins $50,000 Gershon Iskowitz Prize.  Iskowitz Foundation president Thomas Bjarnason describes Belmore as one of the country’s most important visual artists, whose work crosses disciplines between film, installation and performance.  Montreal Gazette, November 16, 2016

New York

Record-Setting $66.3 M. de Kooning Leads $277.5 M. Christie’s Postwar and Contemporary Auction, But Sales Still Down.  Christie’s netted a total of $277.5 million at its postwar and contemporary sale in New York Tuesday night, a haul healthily over its low estimate of $216 million, though just shy of the high estimate of $296 million. By selling 54 out of its 61 lots, the auction house secured a sell-through rate of 89 percent despite a sale that appeared, at first, to have some bloat.  ArtNews, November 16, 2016  See also: Monet’s ‘Grainstack’ Sets Record With $81.4 Million at Auction.  New York Times, November 16, 2016

United States

An Era for Women Artists? Nearly half a century ago, a feminist art historian asked why there had been no great female artists. A new wave of all-women exhibitions revives the question—and suggests a new answer.  The Atlantic, November 2016

Russell Smith: In face of extremism, entirely new art forms may emerge. It is expected that art in periods of political polarization or extremism will become more explicitly political, that it will become “engaged,” actively commenting on world affairs, a form of protest or action. That is what a great many people are asking of art in the West, and particularly in the United States, after the surprising election. Globe & Mail, November 16, 2016


Gavin Turk: the analyst will unmask you now. Who is Gavin Turk? The title of his major new retrospective consists of a string of questions – Who What When Where How and Why – but it is no accident that the “Who” comes first. Turk’s explorations of artistic identity and authenticity have been as witty as they have been profound, from his early invention of an artist called “Gavin Turk” to his casting of himself as Jackson Pollock to create drip paintings with his own signature.  The Guardian, November 16, 2016

Anish Kapoor is Banned From Buying the World’s Pinkest Paint.  Earlier this year it was revealed that sculptor and color-hoarder Anish Kapoor had been given exclusive rights to the blackest black in the world. Called Vantablack it was developed by British company NanoSystem—specialists in nanomaterials—who created it for military and scientific uses. Still, if you felt slighted by the exclusivity bestowed on Kapoor, then you might enjoy this retort by British artist Stuart Semple.   The Creator’s Project, November 10, 2016

Time the Turner prize grew up: why it needs to embrace the over-50s.  The prize that did so much to make the Young British Artist movement famous in the 1990s has a rule that to be eligible you have to be under the age of 50. That rule is looking increasingly bizarre, self-destructive and inane. The Guardian, November 16, 2016


1,800-Year-Old Mosaic Portraits of the Dead Unearthed in Turkey.  A series of mosaics have emerged during archaeological excavations of rock tombs in Turkey, representing individual portraits of the long-deceased. Archaeologists working on the historic Castle of Urfa in the southeastern city of Şanlıurfa unearthed the floor tiles, according to the announcement from the Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Municipality, and they estimate that the images date to the first or second centuries CE.  Hyperallergic, November 18, 2016


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