Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, January 26, 2017

Vancouver

Vancouver Art Gallery’s 2017 program will highlight art with national, local ties.  The Vancouver Art Gallery has announced highlights for its 2017 programming, and it’s chock full of dynamic, thought-provoking work from around the globe—but it also includes important work from right here in Vancouver.   Georgia Straight, January 25, 2017

Canada 150: Michael Audain among B.C.’s most influential benefactors of visual arts.  To mark Canada’s 150th birthday, we are counting down to Canada Day with profiles of 150 noteworthy British Columbians.  “I never dared to be radical when I was young for fear it would make me conservative when old,” poet Robert Frost once said. Luckily, Michael Audain didn’t follow that caution or we would all be the poorer. It was the activism of youth that shaped the philanthropist collector now among the most influential benefactors of the visual arts in B.C.   Vancouver Sun, January 26, 2017

Indigenous artists invited to propose murals for Vancouver’s Canada 150+ celebrations.  As the City of Vancouver gears up for a yearlong celebration of indigenous culture, it’s asking aboriginal artists for help.  According to a city announcement, they can submit proposals for murals “that celebrate the creativity of Indigenous artists and the rich cultural histories and continuing presence of Indigenous peoples in what is now known as Vancouver, as well as look toward the city and the country’s future”. Georgia Straight, January 24, 2017

Fentanyl crisis: Artists contribute work to Covenant House fundraiser.  The epidemic of deaths in Metro Vancouver caused by fentanyl has fired up members of the art community to hold a fundraiser for Covenant House next month.  Vancouver Sun, January 25, 2017

West Vancouver

Following the line of Ann Kipling’s art.  Georgia Straight art critic Robin Laurence has curated an ode to the work of local artist Ann Kipling, in a show called Drawing the Line. The exhibit, at the West Vancouver Museum, brings together Kipling’s ink, gouache, and mixed-media drawings.  Georgia Straight, January 24, 2017

Toronto

Attica exhibition reveals a flashpoint that feels all too familiar now.  It wasn’t the point, or even the intention, shrugs Gaelle Morel, the chief curator of the Ryerson Image Centre. How could it be, with exhibitions planned a year or more in advance?  But on a recent morning this week, she had to allow that the moment for the gallery’s new suite of exhibitions, Power to the People, about the historical oppression of black people at the hands of police and the state, was opportune indeed.  Toronto Star, January 20, 2017

Montreal

Building Prisons In Order to Destroy Them.  For her ongoing series 35 Prisons in Quebec, Sheena Hoszko is taking graphite rubbings of the ground around all of the federal and provincial prisons in Quebec. Last year, for her Central East Correctional Centre piece at Peterborough’s Artspace, Hoszko amassed security fencing equal to the perimeter of a nearby Canadian Border Services Agency detention centre, stacking the fencing in the gallery so it made two large masses. In 2015, Hoszko used drywall to rebuild a Laval prison’s segregation unit at Axené07 in Gatineau.  Canadian Art, January 25, 2017

Charlottetown

Slow ‘little performance’ of winter walkers inspires young Island artist. Alexis Bulman loves to watch people walk on snow-covered sidewalks in the winter — so much so that she’s created an art installation about it.  The piece, which she named Slowly, will be on display at the gallery from Jan. 28 until April 23. It’s part of a larger project called New Positions, showcasing a selection of work by four emerging young Island artists.  CBC News, January 26, 2017

Arkansas River, Colorado

Christo, Trump and the Art World’s Biggest Protest Yet.  With one dramatic no, a major artist has just escalated the culture world’s war against Donald J. Trump. For more than 20 years, the artist Christo has worked tirelessly and spent $15 million of his own money to create a vast public artwork in Colorado that would draw thousands of tourists and rival the ambition of “The Gates,” the saffron transformation of Central Park that made him and Jeanne-Claude, his collaborator and wife, two of the most talked-about artists of their generation.  But Christo said this week that he had decided to walk away from the Colorado project — a silvery canopy suspended temporarily over 42 miles of the Arkansas River — because the terrain, federally owned, has a new landlord he refuses to have anything to do with: President Trump.  New York Times, January 25, 2017

New York

Dark Matter as a Metaphor for Arts Activism. At first blush, Gregory Sholette depicts art activism in dark tones because these are dark times. He gives chiaroscuro’s gravitas to drawings of GULF, Standing Rock, and Occupy Museums protests, such as at Berlin’s Pergamon Museum, among others. But there’s more to the darkness in these scenes.  Hyperallergic, January 25, 2017

United States

As Trump Threatens the NEA, an Artist Compiles All the Projects It Funded Last Year. To illustrate the vitality of the National Endowment for the Arts, artist Tega Brain created a website that gathers all the projects the agency funded in 2016.   Hyperallergic, January 25, 2017

Oxford

Lubaina Himid: Invisible Strategies; Tschabalala Self review – history and mystery.  Lubaina Himid’s show at Modern Art Oxford is rich, provocative and haunting. Born in Zanzibar in 1954, the artist came to London with her Lancastrian mother after the early death of her father. She was both member and champion of the 80s movement, and has since become a professor of art history. The Guardian, January 22, 2017

Berlin

Robert Doisneau, shy street photographer.  Doisneau is often grouped with 20th-century humanists behind the camera, like Brassaï and Edouard Boubat, who documented everyday European life as people struggled to recover their lives after the second world war. It wasn’t photojournalism, but it represented freedom to photographers. Doisneau felt that daily life was the most exciting of all: “no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.” The Economist, January 17, 2017

Antwerp

Female painter of the Flemish Baroque back in vogue—four centuries on.  The first ever exhibition for a long-forgotten 17th-century female artist is to be held at the Rubens House in Antwerp in 2018. Michaelina Wautier is probably the first woman who successfully painted works in nearly all the genres—portraits, history pictures, still-lifes and scenes of everyday life. At that time most successful Flemish female artists specialised in flower compositions.  The Art Newspaper, January 26, 2017

St. Petersburg

Protests as Russian Orthodox Church takes over iconic cathedral.  Flash protests have erupted in St Petersburg since the city government announced this month that it would transfer use of the iconic, 19th-century cathedral and Unesco world heritage site to the Russian Orthodox Church. Irish Times, January 25, 2017

Harbin, China

This Ice Festival in China Is a Rainbow-Colored Dream.  There’s an icy winter wonderland in Harbin, the capital of the northernmost—and coldest—province in China.  The city hosts an annual celebration, the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, where ice sculptors compete to create more and more elaborate buildings of ice, all illuminated in multi-colored lights.  The Smithsonian, January 24, 2017

International

Russell Smith: Selfies blur the line between high-art and social posturing.  German-Israeli artist named Shahak Shapira made an Internet splash recently with a project that aims to mock and shame the selfie generation. Shapira was troubled by the number of pictures he saw posted online taken at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. This place has a maze-like section, a grid of gravestone-like obelisks whose patterns of shadow make really cool backdrops for photos. People, insensitively, picnic and do fashion shoots there….Just as anti-selfie sentiment seems to reach an apex, the Saatchi Gallery in London is planning a major exhibition, to open March 31, entirely devoted to the notion of instant self-representation in the contemporary age.  Globe & Mail, January 25, 2017

 

 

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