Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, December 13, 2016

Today we celebrate the 145th birthday of Emily Carr, born December 13, 1871 in Victoria, B.C. Not only a remarkable artist, but also an eloquent and entertaining writer, her books form an important part of our collection. Take a little time this week and read or re-read Klee Wyck or The Book of Small, Growing Pains or The House of All Sorts. These exceptional books are still in print and available at public libraries and bookstores across Canada and around the world.

Artist fuses paintings with playful quality Squamish’s Lan Yao never really found the opportunity to produce art on her own time when she worked in 3D animation in Vancouver… Even though she admits she takes a long time on her artwork, she has been productive, especially over the last three years, although this year has brought a change… This weekend, she will be taking part in a Vancouver event from collective Shiny Fuzzy Muddy at Heritage Hall, not far from where she used to live. Squamish Chief, December 7, 2016

Robert Amos: Local art a fine choice for Christmas  Dear Diary: It’s the distracted time of the year, when almost every gallery is offering the widest variety in the smallest size at the lowest price. There is nowhere better to start than Eclectic (2170 Oak Bay Ave.). The walls there are paved with little panel paintings, in this gallery with a specialty in semi-precious stones and the jewelry made from them. If your taste runs to the masters of West Coast ceramics, this is the place to nab a fine piece by Robin Hopper, Wayne Ngan or the late Walter Dexter. Times Colonist, December 11, 2016

Interim curator at Kamloops Art Gallery  An interim curator has been named for the Kamloops Art Gallery, taking the reigns while the current curator is on maternity leave. Adrienne Fast will be taking over until January, 2018 from Charo Neville. Fast, who recently received a PhD from UBC in Art History, has worked in art education and as an assistant curator at the province’s largest public gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery., December 12, 2016

Art in 2016: A View from Winnipeg  This was a big year for decolonizing artistic and curatorial practice in Winnipeg. It was also a great year for feminist practice, and for looking at survival through art. And yet many questions still remain about the ways that art systems need to change in this city, and beyond. Here are some of the lasting impressions. Canadian Art, December 9, 2016

Notman, A Visionary Photographer: Montreal Mounts A Sensational Historic Exhibit  Of all the great cities in the Americas, north to south, Montreal is among the best at having preserved its old port town. It’s not hard as you walk the Vieux Port area today to imagine stevedores loading barrels onto clipper ships and horse carts navigating the paved stone streets. Now, a wonderful photographic exhibition at Montreal’s McCord Museum, Notman, A Visionary Photographer, makes it even easier. One of the greatest of early North American photographers, and someone you’ve likely never heard of, the Scottish-born William Notman (1826-1891)… Notman shot everyone in his day, from the high-and-mighty to Quebec’s most rugged trappers, as well as First Nations people whose cultures were as ever in flux. The McCord’s gorgeous retrospective is one of countless civic events connected to Montreal’s 375th Anniversary and the 150th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation, both set for 2017. Forbes, December 12, 2016

Eliza Griffiths: Painting the Psyche  The drama of group interaction—from the life of the party to the couch of therapy. The lust to possess another person completely. The delicate and dangerous search for self. All of these are themes that come to mind when considering the paintings of Eliza Griffiths. In her figurative works, she concocts characters who come across as alternately clownish and careful, vicious and vulnerable. New instances of this practice are currently on view at Ellephant in Montreal until December 17. Canadian Art, December 8, 2016

New Brunswick
Art in 2016: A View from New Brunswick  It’s been an eventful year in New Brunswick. More than I can really account for. I’ve felt a strong pulse of conversation and cooperation, and have witnessed many forms of committed artistic inquiry taking shape with burgeoning irreverence for disciplinary categories. What follows are some bits and pieces of it, found scattered across the cities and provinces of Atlantic Canada. Canadian Art, December 12, 2016

Portland, Maine
Judy and Leonard Lauder Give Portland Museum of Art $5 M., Largest Matching Donation in its History The Portland Museum of Art in Maine announced today that New York–based philanthropists and collectors Judy and Leonard Lauder will provide the institution with a $5 million donation that is intended to inspire others to give, the museum announced today in a press release. It’s the largest matching donation in the history of the institution. Through its Focused Endowment Initiative, the PMA aims to raise $15 million. To honor the gift, the museum’s renamed its directorship the Judy and Leonard Lauder Director of the Portland Museum of Art. Artnews, December 8, 2016

Denver Art Museum Receives $25 M. Donation Toward Renovating Its Gio Ponti–Designed Building The Denver Art Museum announced today that J. Landis Martin, the chairman of its board, and his wife, Sharon, have given $25 million toward renovating its Gio Ponti–designed building. Construction is slated to begin by the end of next year, with the project expected to be completed in 2021. The Martins’ donation is the largest gift the museum has ever received. To renovate the building, DAM will spend a total of $150 million. Artnews, December 9, 2016

Australia’s Impressionists review – from the outback to the Riviera  There is a portrait in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, that shows the Dutchman in dark clothes, brush in hand, looking sharply over one shoulder. The encounter is intimate and intense. Friends thought it by far the best likeness, and Van Gogh himself treasured the portrait, asking his brother, Theo, to take special care of it in the last months of his life. Some years ago, conservators uncovered an inscription on the canvas: “For Vincent, in friendship.” The friend was not some fellow European painter but an athletic Australian named John Peter Russell… Australia’s Impressionists is at the National Gallery, London until 26 March. The Guardian, December 11, 2016

Portrait of Oscar Wilde to return to UK for first time in nearly a century  A portrait of the writer Oscar Wilde, which had to be sold off after he was accused of gross indecency, is to return from America for the first time in nearly a century. It will be displayed at Tate Britain, in an exhibition called Queer British Art 1861-1967, which opens in April. The Art Newspaper, December 13, 2016

Contemporary Turkish artists and where to find them  Prominent contemporary Turkish artists have long crossed the borders of their homeland and entered the watchlists of culture-vultures around the world. Here are some of the artists whose works have made waves in different parts of the world. The first signs of modernization in Turkish art began to appear in tandem with the modernization efforts undertaken during the last century of the Ottoman Empire. At first, Turkish artists imitated the works of their European counterparts, yet they found their own identities towards the 1960s and began to create artworks not only belonging to the European schools of art but those favored around the world. Today, Turkish artists are making a name for themselves and thanks to the vast number of galleries that began to open after the 2000s, artists have a chance to showcase their art… Daily Sabah, December 11, 2016

Hong Kong
The anti-white cube: entirely black gallery expands in Hong Kong  When is the last time you visited a contemporary art gallery and found anything other than pristine white walls? For Stephen Cheng, the founder of a newly-expanded space in Hong Kong, black, not white, is the most conducive environment for a meaningful art experience. The Art Newspaper, December 12, 2016

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