Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, March 7, 2017

Vancouver
A New Vancouver Triennial Contends with Making Art in a Gentrified City A mass-produced, boxlike house seems like a curious namesake for a museum triennial. But given that it’s the reference behind Vancouver Special: Ambivalent Pleasures, the title for a survey of 40 local artists that the Vancouver Art Gallery launched this year, I felt compelled to investigate further… The ability of the Vancouver Art Gallery to maintain its commitment to its local artists in the future will be the true test of the triennial’s success, but building it upon an earnest representation of the realities of the present moment seems like the right way to start. Hyperallergic, March 7, 2017

Spring Arts Preview: It’s a good time to gallery hop For years, one of the city’s art destinations has been the Charles H. Scott Gallery at Emily Carr University of Art and Design on Granville Island… But the gallery is moving. Like the university, which has been on Granville Island since 1978, the gallery will reopen later this year in the new campus building designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects at Great Northern Way in east Vancouver. Goodbye Charles, which honours the gallery’s namesake, will be one of the final exhibitions in the space. [Other spring shows are also listed.] Vancouver Sun, March 3, 2017

Getting a lift Most people probably just walk past this sculpture, paying it little if any notice. It’s located on the west side of the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) facing Hornby St. The King Edward VII Fountain was unveiled on May 6, 1912 to commemorate the British monarch’s death on the same date in 1910. It is the work of Vancouver sculptor Charles Marega (1871–1939) whose works include The Lions at the Stanley Park entrance to the Lions Gate Bridge, the Joe Fortes Memorial Fountain in Alexandra Park, and the statue of George Vancouver at Vancouver City Hall. The Source, March 7, 2017

Offbeat Vancouver gallery Hot Art Wet City closing at end of month A gallery that showcased local art, comedy and other creative events is leaving the Vancouver scene at the end of the month. Hot Art Wet City on Main Street has been a centre for offbeat and affordable culture since 2012 but owner Chris Bentzen says the sky-high cost of real estate means this month’s exhibition will be the last. CBC.ca, March 5, 2017

Edmonton
Ottawa allocates $48M to Fort Edmonton Park expansion The federal government is investing nearly $48 million in the expansion of Fort Edmonton Park. The money, announced by Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi at a public ceremony on Friday, will help fund a number of exhibits that are part of a new master plan for the museum, first announced in 2010. An interpretive centre that showcases the region’s rich Indigenous history will be built, with camps, trails, classrooms and an outdoor amphitheatre. The Indigenous People’s Experience, which will be built on undeveloped land near Egge’s Barn and the old fort, will be the most expensive new exhibit, at a cost of $42 million. CBC.ca, March 3, 2017

Toronto

Beasts of burden at the Gardiner Museum There’s a chorus of pale song filtering through the upper gallery at the Gardiner Museum, soft and sweet, evoking ages gone by. The voice, broadcast quietly and in triplicate, belongs to Janet Macpherson, which is a nice way of describing not just what your ears take in here, but what meets your eye. It helps set the tone for A Canadian Bestiary, the artist’s largest ever declaration of self and the museum’s Canada 150 offering. Toronto Star, March 6, 2017

Ottawa
For Alex Janvier, art brought escape from residential school surroundings Residential school is where Alex Janvier was stripped of his culture and language. It’s also where he discovered art and a career path that eventually led him to a major exhibition of his life’s work at the National Gallery of Canada. The acclaimed artist of Dene and Saulteaux descent was taken from his family at the La Goff Reserve in Alberta when he was eight years old and sent to the Blue Quills Indian Residential School. CBC.ca, March 6, 2017

Montreal
Expo 67 fashion exhibit recalls groovier times in Montreal Montreal was never groovier than in 1967, and a new exhibition at the McCord Museum is about to remind us why. Fashioning Expo 67, which opens March 17, features more than 60 outfits worn at Montreal’s now legendary international and universal exposition. Space-age uniforms worn by Expo 67 hostesses and haute couture dresses by Montreal designers of the day like Michel Robichaud, Marielle Fleury and Jacques de Montjoye are just a few of the exhibition’s highlights. CBC.ca, March 5, 2017

Los Angeles
Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem to have first solo US show at Lacma The Saudi Arabian artist Abdulnasser Gharem will open his first US solo show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) next month. The artist, who was until recently also a lieutenant colonel in the Saudi Arabian army, is known for his politically and socially engaged works that draw on his Muslim heritage. Abdulnasser Gharem: Pause (16 April-2 July) includes 11 works of sculpture, prints and film, all of which were created after a significant moment for the artist, when he says “the world stood still”—the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York, where two of the hijackers were former classmates. The Art Newspaper, March 8, 2017

Washington
US embassy art scheme should survive Trump The Trump administration is considering cutting federal funding for the arts, among other spending programmes, in an attempt to reduce domestic spending. However, one US cultural initiative appears to be secure: the State Department’s Art in Embassies (AIE) programme, which places works by US artists in embassies and ambassadorial homes around the world. “Art in Embassies looks forward to continuing to engage, educate and inspire global audiences, by featuring art that transcends national borders and builds connections,” a US State Department spokeswoman said. The Art Newspaper, March 7, 2017

Berlin
Freie Universität Berlin and Heirs of Rudolf Mosse Join Forces to Locate Nazi-Looted Artworks The Freie Universität Berlin and the family of German-Jewish publisher, philanthropist, and art collector Rudolf Mosse are working together to locate artworks taken from the Mosse family by the Nazis. A contract between Mosse’s heirs and the university has been signed to keep the collaboration going until February 2019. The venture, called the Mosse Art Research Initiative, is a rare partnership between a public institution and a private party. Mosse’s collection contained thousands of art objects, pictures, sculptures, books, and antiquities. Artforum, March 7, 2017

Venice
James Lee Byars Tower, 65 Feet Tall and Golden, Will Grace Venice During the Biennale James Lee Byars, the elusive, enigmatic, and mystically inclined American artist who died in 1997, at the age of 65, once dreamed of installing a 1,000-foot-tall golden sculpture along the Berlin Wall. Sadly, that never came to be. However, Byars did create a few totemic golden sculptures throughout his life, the largest being a roughly 66-foot-tall piece, titled The Golden Tower, which was realized for a group exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin in 1990. Byars had always wanted to exhibit the work in a public space, according to Michael Werner gallery, which represents his estate, and so this May, the gallery, in collaboration with the Fondazione Giuliani, will present the piece outdoors in Venice, as part of the Venice Biennale’s official program. Artnews, March 2, 2017

Bethlehem
A Visit to Banksy’s New Hotel in Bethlehem Last Friday, Banksy’s new art venture into the Palestinian Occupied Territories was revealed to the local public and the world at large: the Walled Off Hotel. The artist already runs a Banksy Gift Shop in the city of Bethlehem, but the latest project is more ambitious and consists of nine rooms and a suite, with what is billed as “the worst view in the world.” Beginning on March 11, the Banksy hotel will open in the Holy Land. Visitors will be able to enjoy site-specific art by the British artist while staying at a posh place with all the amenities and services of a five-star accommodation. The hotel is located on Karytas Hospital Street and right by Israeli Checkpoint 300, which is steps away from the Aida Palestinian refugee camp. Hyperallergic, March 5, 2017

Seoul
Director of Leeum Samsung Museum of Art Resigns Hong Ra-hee, the director general of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, in Seoul, resigned on Monday, March 6, citing personal reasons, in a statement released by the museum. She also resigned from her position as director of the Ho-Am Art Museum, a private art museum in Yongin that houses the private collection of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul… Hong is the wife of Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of South Korea’s largest chaebol, Samsung Group, and was the director of Leeum from its inception in 2004. She is also the mother of Lee Jae-yong, the acting head of Samsung Group who was indicted last week on bribery and embezzlement charges… ArtAsia Pacific, March 6, 2017

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