Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, February 9, 2017

Vancouver

Museum of Anthropology at UBC announces new Amazonian exhibition.  UBC’s Museum of Anthropology has unveiled a new major exhibition titled Amazonia: The Rights of Nature, which will be on display from March 20, 2017, to January 28, 2018.  Curated by Dr. Nuno Porto (MOA curator, African and Latin America), the collection will feature Amazonian basketry, textile, carvings, feather works, and ceramics that represents indigenous, Maroon, and white settler communities.  Georgia Straight, February 7, 2017

Vancouver Report: Resistance is Not Futile.  To balance “a winter of seeking, and of feeling lost,” Lucien Durey looks at “Circle, Sphere, Horizon Line,” Lyndl Hall’s solo exhibition at the Burrard Arts Foundation. Three blocks away, looking in from the doorway to “Wanna talk about reading?”—Jimmy Robert’s solo exhibition at Western Front—the scene is of stillness after commotion.  Farther north, at Unit 17—a new gallery open by appointment in the studio building above 2400-block Main Street—an inaugural exhibition features recent photography, painting and sculpture by Derya Akay, Tiziana La Melia and Tristan Unrau.   Canadian Art, February 2, 2017

Toronto

MOCA gets $5 million from feds. The Ministry of Canadian Heritage announced Wednesday that it had granted $5.1 million to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada, through its Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. The funding is earmarked to help complete the renovation of the museum’s new home in the historic Automotive Tower on Sterling Rd. in Toronto.  Toronto Star, February 8, 2017

Pop goes Iran. Author Marina Nemat, a survivor of Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, takes an emotional journey through the Aga Khan Museum’s new exhibition of modern Persian art.  Globe & Mail, February 4, 2017

Ceramics whiz brings unlimited imagination to Gardiner exhibit. At the Gardiner Museum next week, the ceramicist Janet Macpherson unveils an intricate zoo that stands in for the complexities of Canadian identity – no standard beavers, moose or Canadian geese in sight. Instead, with Janet Macpherson: A Canadian Bestiary, the young Toronto-based artist has curiously fashioned slip-cast porcelain into hybrid creatures, often masked or swathed in a peculiar way.  Globe & Mail, February 8, 2017

The Alternative Realism of Kent Monkman. In 1883, the Canadian government commissioned Robert Harris to execute a group portrait of the participants in the 1864 Charlottetown Conference.  Half a century later, on January 26, Cree artist Kent Monkman’s exhibit Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience opened at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. The centerpiece of the show, which will travel across the country to coincide with Canada’s 150th celebrations, is an immense group portrait titled The Daddies (2016), a mostly accurate reproduction of Woods’ painting, with one difference—a naked Indigenous man in stiletto heels heraldically gesturing from the stool in front of the group.The Walrus, February 7, 2017

Halifax

Halifax Report: Can an Art Gallery Be a Place for Mourning?  Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery has been the only stop in the Atlantic provinces for “Walking With Our Sisters,” an exhibition that currently has 29 scheduled tour dates. This installation features more than 1,700 vamps (moccasin tops) created by 1,300 artists as a memorial to murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people. Canadian Art, February 9, 2017

Salt Lake City

As the Great Salt Lake Dries Up, “Spiral Jetty” May Be Marooned. Last November, NASA’s Earth Observatory blog published satellite photographs of the Great Salt Lake from 2011 and 2016, revealing a significant shrinkage of its boundaries.  The western United States is experiencing the onset of what’s called a “megadrought,” citing a 2015 NASA study published in the journal Science Advances. “We anticipate that this drought is a permanent fixture and is likely going to get worse,” she says. “And that’s based on data.” The waterline is expected to continue to recede, and for “Spiral Jetty” to one day become completely marooned in salt.  Hyperallergic, February 8, 2017

Chicago

When an Exhibition Leaves You Feeling Like an Idiot.  Alivia Zivich, a co-curator of the chaotic exhibition Eric Schmid is an Idiot, likened the experience of putting the 80-something artist show together to “tying loose strings to other loose strings.”  Hyperallergic, February 6, 2017

New York

Oprah Said to Snag $150 Million Selling Klimt to Chinese Buyer. The art world is feeling Oprah Winfrey’s Midas touch.  The billionaire entrepreneur sold a Gustav Klimt painting for $150 million in one of the biggest private art deals of 2016, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction. Winfrey bought “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II” for $87.9 million in 2006 at Christie’s in New York — still an auction record for the Austrian artist. Since then, its value has risen about 71 percent. Bloomberg, February 8, 2017

London

David Hockney review – 60 years of sex, sun and seismic shocks  Touching, tender, ribald, raunchy, innovative, annoying: there are many pleasures in David Hockney’s Tate Britain retrospective, but just as many exasperations. The Guardian, February 6, 2017

Sotheby’s takes Mark Weiss to court over contested Frans Hals. The auction house has started proceedings in English High Court to recover its losses in the sale of a work that was deemed a forgery after technical testing.   The Art Newspaper, February 8, 2017

England

House of horrors: the shows putting a macabre twist on domestic bliss. Domestic life as a subject for art suggests a smug casserole of Cath Kidston prints and sentimentality: hints of amateurism, family portraits, tasteful still-life paintings. But a number of current exhibitions offer a more oppressive – even macabre – vision of domesticity, in which the home appears as a site of burden and confinement. That these sinister depictions of family space arise in exhibitions featuring a large number of female artists is by no means coincidental, but the experiences they draw on are as varied as the works themselves.  The Guardian, February 8, 2017

Paris

Two Cy Twombly Exhibitions Marry Myth and Sensual Abstraction.  There is a marvelously sprightly, loose and intuitive feel about Cy Twombly’s operatic paintings that manages to merge mythic, classical intellectualism with a Dionysian sensual immoderation that verges on shit. By this playful amalgam of semiotics with scatology, Twombly redevised history painting into palimpsest poop.Hyperallergic, February 8, 2017

Berlin

How we made the Wrapped Reichstag.  “It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen: 100 rock climbers abseiling down the facade of the Reichstag, slowly unfurling this huge silvery curtain. There were no cranes or machinery, just people descending in a kind of aerial ballet. It was 1995 and huge crowds came to watch. Then, when it was finished, they came up to stroke the fabric.” – Christo.   The Guardian, February 7, 2017

Dresden

Right-wing protesters disrupt unveiling of Syrian artist’s installation in Dresden.  Three wrecked buses turned vertically in front of Dresden’s Frauenkirche, an installation intended as a “Monument” to the people of Aleppo by the Syrian-German artist Manaf Halbouni, drew protests from supporters of right-wing populist movements at its opening yesterday (7 February).   The Art Newspaper, February 8, 2017

 

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