Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, December 21, 2016


Print’s charming for reinvigorated zine scene.  Zine culture is alive and swell.  This news may come as a surprise to some as it was assumed by many that the Internet would kill any need for paper publishing of all kinds. Why bother to hand-craft and self-publish a magazine when creating a blog could be done in a fraction of the time? …  The interest in art books is there, evidenced by the popularity of the Vancouver Art Book Fair held at the Vancouver Art Gallery in October. The fair, going into its sixth year and modelled after the New York and Los Angeles art book fairs, featured more than 100 local, national and international publishers and saw more than 5,000 visitors through the doors.  Vancouver Courier, December 20, 2016


Video: In the Studio with Liam Crockard.  Liam Crockard’s east-end Toronto studio is large, light-filled and populated with sculptures of wooden cast-offs that look a little, but not quite, like chairs. The form, arguably the most mundane furniture object, has been obsessing him for the past while. It started pragmatically, with a need to build studio furniture, but blossomed into something more: a look at jury-rigged objects that are often a “class-driven means of making do.”  Canadian Art, December 14, 2016

401 Richmond arts haven facing huge tax hike.  401 Richmond, a long-standing downtown haven for dozens of non-profit arts and culture organizations, is grappling with a property tax increase in January likely to cripple the many tenants it has long sheltered from skyrocketing market rents. Toronto Star, December 15, 2016


Cross Canada Year in Review Canadian Art’s series Art in 2016 including reviews of exhibitions and events in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Vancouver and New Brunswick.  Other articles: Art in 2016: From Many, One  (Leah Sandals); Art in 2016: A Year of Failing to Understand Others.  (Caoimhe Morgan-Feir)  Canadian Art, December 14-20, 2016

Los Angeles

ArtRx LA.  This week, artists challenge mass media at the Getty Center, the Santa Monica Public Library hosts a participatory performance of a minimalist masterpiece, an artist-conceived pop-up shop in Chinatown offers last-minute holiday goods, and more.  Hyperallergic, December 20, 2016

Painter Jonas Wood turns Arata Isozaki’s MOCA exterior into building-sized art canvas. The building that Japanese architect Arata Isozaki designed for the Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Avenue is known for its quieter qualities: the sunken levels and the demure, red sandstone facade. That facade is now getting a makeover courtesy of painter Jonas Wood.  Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2016

New York

New York City’s Most Classic Street Photographer.  Louis Mendes has been photographing people on the streets of New York City for more than fifty years. You may have seen him around: looking dapper in a suit and fedora, his jumbo Speed Graphic camera—the old-fashioned kind the press used to use, with extending bellows and a flashbulb—strapped to his chest.  New Yorker, December 15, 2016

Trouble ahead for New York’s museums.  After years of expansion, the financial pressures on New York’s major museums are greater than ever. How will they fare if the Trump administration provokes fresh culture wars? Apollo, December 19, 2016

Judge Dismisses Ex-Employee’s Case Against Robert Motherwell’s Foundation.  Artist Joan Banach lost her long, contentious legal battle with her former employer, Robert Motherwell’s Dedalus Foundation. On December 13, New York State Supreme Court Judge Geoffrey D. Wright dismissed her complaint.  Artnet News, December 20, 2016

Mexico City

How General Idea Got Specific to Confront the AIDS Crisis.  A retrospective in Mexico City traces the Canadian trio’s evolution from Fluxus-inflected performance directives to twists on commercial objects and images directly addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  Hyperallergic, December 20, 2016


Ignore the snobs – Monet is a contender for the greatest artist ever. Who is the greatest artist of all time? Names like Rembrandt, Michelangelo and Picasso spring to mind. Yet a very strong contender has to be Claude Monet. The year ends with an early Christmas present for the Scottish National Gallery, which has just unveiled a scintillating pastel by Monet that has been in a Scottish private collection since the 1920s and has now been given to the museum through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.  The Guardian, December 20, 2016


Chattering classes cause an almighty row at the Musée d’Orsay.  A teacher at a French secondary school has sparked debate about the treatment of school groups in French museums after a museum staff member at the Musée d’Orsay told her party of 93 pupils to “shut their mouths” during a visit to the Paris museum. The French Minister of Culture, Audrey Azoulay, has also been drawn into the row, and requested that a report be drawn up on the incident and its aftermath.  The Art Newspaper, December 16, 2016


Jonathan Jones’s top 10 art exhibitions of 2016. From great masterpieces by Caravaggio and Picasso to Georgiana Houghton’s hypnotic rediscovered paintings, this was a year full of stunning blockbusters.  The Guardian, December 20, 2016


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s