Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, February 6, 2017

CBC’s Vancouver-shot Crash Gallery returns with fun and facts from the world of visual art What does trying to paint on a canvas suspended above you while being rotated in a circle sound like to you? Bizarre? Intriguing? Fun? All of the above? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’ll probably want to check out CBC’s Crash Gallery, back for a second season on CBC. If you haven’t heard of the Vancouver-shot TV series, in each episode, three artists are put to the test as they race against time to create works of art under specific conditions and with challenging requirements, ranging from trying to paint underwater to smashing plates to create portraits. Georgia Straight, February 3, 2017

West Vancouver
Public art as a reflection of community in West Vancouver If you haven’t yet, take a look at the south wall of the Aquatic Centre for an installation of moveable sunshades, or sit in the Big Chairs by the Seawalk at the foot of 18th Street. Some public art in the district is highly visible, but some of it is subtle … Although West Vancouver has had public art for some time, it’s fairly recent that interest in it has increased… The Public Art Advisory Committee was formed to develop and implement a more official plan for the art, and is currently in the process of developing a new, detailed arts and culture strategy. Northshore News, February 3, 2017

Stop-motion art intrigues at Surrey Art Gallery’s new shows Art meets science meets old-school photographic revolution in a new exhibit at Surrey Art Gallery. In “Out of Sight,” patrons can see and experience the stop-motion contributions of photographic pioneers Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) and Harold Edgerton (1903-1990)… Consider Muybridge. The victim of a violent stagecoach accident that left him somewhat impaired for the rest of his life, he later shot and killed his wife’s lover, but was acquitted. He was not your average dude. But it was his stop-motion photographs of a trotting horse that rocketed him to fame. Commissioned by railroad tycoon and race horse owner Leland Stanford, to prove if a horse really lifts all four legs simultaneously when it runs, Muybridge went to work. The exhibit appears in Surrey on loan from the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Stephanie Rebick is the curator. Surrey Now, February 3, 2017

In a time of Trump, Iranian exhibit at Aga Khan Museum hopes to bridge east and west Mohammed Afkhami sees art as a way to bridge the divide between people from all walks of life, and he says it’s even more imperative now that Donald Trump is U.S. president. “We’re living in a continually integrated global society and to try to create a ‘them and ‘us’ atmosphere is not only illogical but also not in the spirit of humanity,” Afkhami told CBC Toronto in an interview. The British-Iranian art collector is loaning works from his private collection to Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum that explore the diversity of post-revolutionary Iran., February 4, 2017

Exhibit featuring Leila Alaoui’s photography puts faces on the refugee crisis The Arabic graffiti on the sand-coloured wall looks as if it had been applied quickly. “Open the door or I’ll blow up!” it reads, defining in one tragicomic phrase the exact point at which the refugee’s anguish meets the Trumpian fear that every refugee could be a terrorist. A large photo of this graffiti is part of a small exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts called No Pasara, which the MMFA is translating as Access Denied. The 24 photos on display were all taken in Morocco by Leila Alaoui, a young French-Moroccan photographer who was killed a year ago by al-Qaeda, while on assignment in Burkina Faso. The Globe and Mail, February 3, 2017

United States
Frank Lloyd Wright’s unbuilt Trinity Chapel brought to life in images by David Romero An unbuilt chapel by Frank Lloyd Wright has been realised in these colour visualisations by architect David Romero, featuring red walkways, a green shingle spire and stained-glass windows… The images of Trinity Chapel form part of Romero’s Hooked on the Past series, which visualises the buildings of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, including the demolished Larkin Administration Building and ruined Rose Pauson House. The Spanish architect chose to recreate the exterior and interiors Wright’s unbuilt chapel because he wanted to reveal the intricacies of the design – a common feature of the Wright’s religious architecture… New York’s Museum of Modern Art will host a major retrospective of Wright’s work this year to coincide with what would have been his 150th birthday. Dezeen, February 4, 2017

San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Acquires 62 Works by African American Artists The director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Max Hollein, announced today that sixty-two works by contemporary African American artists from the southern United States have been acquired by the museums from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation in Atlanta. This major acquisition from the foundation’s William S. Arnett Collection was enabled via the Fine Arts Museums’s own funds and a gift from the foundation… Included in the new acquisition are paintings, sculptures, drawings, and quilts by twenty-two artists such as Thornton Dial, Ralph Griffin, Bessie Harvey, Lonnie Holley, Joe Light, Ronald Lockett, Joe Minter, Jessie T. Pettway, Mary T. Smith, Mose Tolliver, Annie Mae Young, and Purvis Young. Artforum, February 6, 2017

New York
In Memoriam Dore Ashton When Dore passed away on Monday, one of the last great oaks of American art criticism fell. Her writing career spanned the 1950s to the middle of the current decade, with more than thirty books and countless exhibition catalogues, magazine articles, and newspaper reviews to her credit. As a teacher she has influenced generation upon generation of young artists, many citing her class as the one that opened their eyes to the meaning of art. Hyperallergic, February 3, 2017

MoMA Installs Works by Artists from Countries Targeted by Trump’s Travel Ban In response to President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has replaced works in its permanent collection galleries with eight by artists from the targeted nations. Though it might sound small, the rehang is an unprecedented gesture in the museum’s history, instigated and executed by staff who wanted to react to unsettling political circumstances. Organized by a group of curators across a number of departments, the reinstallation occurred last night on the fifth floor, following an initial discussion two days after Trump issued the order on January 27. The new works span an array of mediums, from a painting by the Sudanese-born Ibrahim El-Salahi to an earthwork by the Iranian-born Marcos Grigorian to a video by Iranian artist Tala Madani. There are also sculptures by Iranian-born artists Parviz Tanavoli and Siah Armajani as well as works on paper by Zaha Hadid, who was born in Iraq, and Iranian-born Shirana Shahbazi and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi. Hyperallergic, February 3, 2017

David Hockney at Tate Britain: Biggest-ever retrospective of artist’s work More than 250 works by the Bradford-born artist will be on display, many of which have been in private collections and not on public display for decades, showing his development from an art student in the 1960s to the present day. Among the famous paintings on show is A Bigger Splash – the 1967 artwork inspired the title of the recent film starring Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton… David Hockney is at the Tate Britain from 9 February to 29 May. BBC News, February 6, 2017

UK’s oldest arts centre celebrates 300th birthday with works by Yoko Ono, Jeremy Deller and other alumni The Bluecoat in Liverpool, the UK’s oldest arts centre, has launched its year-long 300th anniversary celebration with a show dedicated to artist alumni including John Akomfrah, Jeremy Deller and Yoko Ono. Public View (until 23 April) features works by more than 100 artists who have previously exhibited at the venue, which first opened in 1717 as a charity school for orphans. The building became an art space in 1907, when local artists moved in and began staging exhibitions such as Roger Fry’s radical Post-Impressionist showcase in 1911. “Artists have always been at the heart of what we do, so it was important for us to do a show to say thank you,” says the Bluecoat’s artistic director, Bryan Biggs. The Art Newspaper, February 6, 2017

Saudi women artists make their mark at 21,39 festival in Jeddah Works by women artists are making waves at the fourth edition of 21,39, the non-profit art initiative in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which opens this week (until 6 May). The annual event, which has made a major contribution to the burgeoning Middle Eastern art scene, includes exhibitions in five venues, educational workshops, visits to artists’ studios and commercial gallery openings. Princess Jawaher bint Majed bin Abdulaziz, who founded the Saudi Art Council in 2013, is the driving force behind 21,39 (the geographic coordinates for Jeddah). This year’s programme, organised by the independent curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, is entitled Safar, the word for travel or journey in Arabic. The Art Newspaper, February 3, 2017

St. Petersburg
Hermitage storage centre searched by FSB agents Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, has played down concerns about a search earlier this week of a museum facility by the Federal Security Service (FSB). The Hermitage confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that FSB investigators were looking into “operational procedures” at the museum’s state-of-the-art Staraya Derevnya restoration and repository center. In 2015, the Hermitage announced a 3.7-billion-ruble tender to build part of the third stage of the Staraya Derevnya complex. The total estimated cost of the glass cube building, designed by the architect Rem Koolhaas, is 7.4 billion rubles ($1.25m). The Art Newspaper, February 3, 2017

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