Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, February 2, 2017


Elizabeth Price announced as Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s Audain Artist-in-Residence.  As cutting-edge visual art trends tiptoe further towards multimedia and digital pieces, Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s latest choice for the Audain Distinguished Artist-in-Residence Program is right on point.  Offering some of the world’s leading contemporary artists the chance to live and work in Vancouver for up to three months, the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts has just announced that London-based artist Elizabeth Price will be taking up the mantle for Spring and Summer 2017.  Georgia Straight, February 1, 2017

Gastown’s Six Hundred Four elevates everyday sneakers with works by local artists. Inspired by the grit of the historic neighbourhood and the many artists and ateliers situated throughout the area, James Lepp began reaching out to emerging illustrators, designers, and painters. His vision? A part shop, part museum “shoe gallery” that would showcase limited-edition sneakers adorned with prints by local artists. Georgia Straight, February 1, 2017


Gallery pays tribute to Burnaby artist.  The Burnaby Art Gallery is paying tribute to the longstanding careers of two local artists with its new off-site shows at local libraries.   An exhibition at the Bob Prittie (Metrotown) Branch includes 14 etchings created by the well-known Burnaby artist, Ingeborg Raymer working at the Malaspina Printshop in the late 1970s.  At the McGill library branch, visitors can explore Robert R. Reid: ‘Allied Arts’ Affirmative.   Burnaby Now, February 1, 2017


Edmonton emojis of sad Don Iveson and Art Gallery of Alberta now available.  EDMOjis, created by Lucas Timmons and Sandra Sperounes, is available for download from the iTunes app store.  “[People] like living in Edmonton. They’re proud of living in Edmonton. This is a great way for them to express that when they’re talking to other people.”   Edmonton Journal, January 27, 2017


Material Girls: All-female art show avoids austere gallery tradition. When designing the space for Material Girls, an art exhibition featuring the work of 24 female artists at Regina’s Dunlop Art Gallery, the idea was to make it as inviting as possible.  Star Phoenix, February 1, 2017


Video: In the Studio with Jennifer Rose Sciarrino.  Toronto artist Jennifer Rose Sciarrino blends equal parts research and speculative fiction in her projects, which try to “understand how parts of technology are part of our world, how they affect us, and vice versa.” It’s a deeply interdisciplinary project, which is reflected in Sciarrino’s desire to speak about her work with writers, scientists, theorists and others outside of the art world.   Canadian Art, February 1, 2017


Indigenous artists eagerly await National Gallery of Canada facelift. Indigenous artists are keenly awaiting the results of the National Gallery of Canada’s first major makeover since it opened nearly three decades ago.   Renovations are underway to create the new Canadian and Indigenous galleries. The National Gallery has knocked down walls and widened doorways to make room for Indigenous art alongside classic and contemporary Canadian works in what used to be called the Canadian galleries.  CBC News, February 2, 2017


Mother and son exhibiting at Durham Art Gallery.  Mother and son Elia and Tony Luciani of Durham will both be featured at the gallery from Jan. 26 to March 19.  Sparked by his interest to challenge himself artistically in a new medium, Tony, an established painter, bought a professional camera in 2014.  While still in his exploratory stage of photography he moved his mother from Toronto to his home and studio in Durham.  Durham Post, February 2, 2017


19th-century female artist finally gets credit for works attributed to men.  For nearly half a century, Caroline Louisa Daly’s sketches and watercolours have graced the walls of one of the largest galleries in Atlantic Canada – but until recently they were always mistakenly attributed to two male artists.  The works, which bear signatures of C Daly or CL Daly, were long attributed to John Corry Wilson Daly and Charles L Daly.   Doubts over the attributions first emerged in 2014 when a British visitor to the gallery suggested that they were actually by Daly, his great-grandmother.  The Guardian (UK), February 1, 2017


John Diefenbaker is standing on a chair in Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.  It’s John Diefenbaker as you’ve never seen him – standing on a chair, an intricate miniature statue of the 13th prime minister in a quirky exhibition that captures 150 years of Canadian political history.  The Guardian (PEI), February 1, 2017

Los Angeles

Artist Khaled Akil vows not to seek US visa under Trump. A Syrian artist whose work about the war in his country has captured the world’s imagination has vowed not to apply for a United States visa until President Donald Trump is out of power.  Khaled Akil’s latest project is being exhibited from Tuesday at California’s Stanford University. Under Trump’s recent executive order, which suspends travel for Syrian refugees indefinitely, there is no way he would be able to attend his opening.  Aljazeera, February 1, 2017

San Francisco

Facebook objects to X-rated ads for Asian Art Museum antiquities.  Staffers at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco were gratified when IFLScience — a site dedicated to the “lighter side of science” (IFL stands for “I f— love”) wrote a story about the museum’s forthcoming exhibition, “Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries From China’s Han Dynasty.” This was such good publicity that the museum social-media people placed a link to the story on its Facebook page. Their effort to use that link in a Facebook was thwarted, however, by Facebook.  San Francisco Chronicle, January 30, 2017

New York

The Japanese-American Artist Who Went to the Camps to Help. A new exhibition at the museum, “Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center,” which opened on January 18th—one month before the seventy-fifth anniversary of Roosevelt’s executive order—sheds light on what Isamu Noguchi was thinking when he left home for such an inhospitable place, at one of the worst times in history to be a Japanese-American. It helps one to understand the incredible optimism that Noguchi must have had, and how devastating his time in the camps was. And it provides a glimpse of his remarkable resilience. The New Yorker, January 31, 2017

Why Jerry Saltz is the provocative art critic you need to follow.  I have known American critics Jerry Saltz and his wife, Roberta Smith (of the New York Times), for nearly 30 years and have read just about every word either has ever written. Saltz’s writing voice is colourful, conversational, lively and erudite, a feat none too easy to repeat. He is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prize For Criticism nominations, but more than that, Saltz and Smith are the defenders and evangelists of galleries, and those who man (and woman) them, as much as the artists who fill them.   GQ, January 25, 2017


Jacob Epstein: the immigrant bringing morals to the Oval Office.  Jacob Epstein’s bust of Winston Churchill has become a bizarre political football, returned to the Oval Office with great fanfare as the symbol of a special relationship between Brexit Britain and Trump’s America. Yet this work of art holds a subversive secret.  Its creator embodied everything Trump hates. Epstein was the product of America’s previous openness to immigrants. Born in New York in 1880, he was the son of Jewish refugees from Poland…  There is an obvious analogy between Epstein’s immigrant parentage and the plight of today’s refugees and banned nationalities, but his presence in the Oval Office may be even more directly subversive than that.  The Guardian, January 31, 2017


John Akomfrah wins Artes Mundi prize and attacks UK’s intolerance.  The video artist John Akomfrah has been named the winner of this year’s Artes Mundi, the UK’s biggest prize for international contemporary art, and used the platform to berate the “bleak culture of fear and intolerance” he said had gripped Britain.   The Guardian, January 26, 2017


Co-Defendant in €100 Million Art Heist Claims He Threw Five Masterpieces in the Trash.  In the early hours of a May morning almost seven years ago, Vjeran Tomic meticulously cut a glass panel out of a window at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville in Paris. The police have since apprehended Tomic, but the paintings he took— a Picasso, a Matisse, a Modigliani, a Braque and a Léger—have yet to be recovered. On Monday, one of Tomic’s alleged accomplices said in a Paris court that in a panic, he disposed of the paintings.  Smithsonian, January 31, 2017


Russell Smith: Do not be afraid to doubt the political power of art.  Most of the political art being discussed in the pages of magazines – art made by gallery artists, classical composers or poets – will be seen by people who were not likely supporters of Donald Trump to start with.   This does not make it worthless, either politically or artistically: Just as marches and demonstrations serve to boost the morale of those feeling powerless, there is nothing wrong with art that reassures members of a political group that its values are widely held.  Its effect is psychologically uplifting to those who are already convinced. Globe & Mail, February 1, 2017


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