Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, March 20, 2017

Susan Point Whorls The Imagination In Current Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibit Point is a Musqueam artist with not only an incredible body of work, but her range of materials shows off her ability to express her cultural traditions and background in a way that rivals anyone who thinks of culture as something that is in the past. Using materials like glass and synthetics, as well as pastel colours of pinks and teals, tradition is carried forward, and continued in new ways. Inside Vancouver, March 20, 2017

Long-term dementia survivor turns to art as new form of expression [Lynn] Jackson’s work and that of several others living with dementia is part of an exhibition called Keepsake at Gallery Gachet. “Keepsake is part of an early-stage dementia support group,” said Jackson, a former registered nurse. “We were asked if we wanted to put some pieces into the gallery. I think it will be fun. I think people will find it interesting to see what the brain of a person with dementia might produce — that they can do things and maybe beautiful things.” According to the Alzheimer Society of B.C., 564,000 Canadians are living with dementia; that figure is expected to increase to 937,000 in 15 years. Vancouver Sun, March 19, 2017

ART SEEN: What would Emily say? Yoga pants with Emily Carr painting for sale at Audain Art Museum Now you cannot only can look at an Emily Carr painting at the Audain Art Museum. You can wear one too while doing yoga among the art in the museum. Art, fashion and active wear have been combined in custom-designed clothing featuring one of Carr’s paintings. The Capri-length leggings feature the soothing greens and browns of Quiet — which also happens to be an appropriate name for yoga where the focus is on listening and being quiet during practice. Vancouver Sun, March 17, 2017

Heart of the park: iconic pavilion a real work of art In 2016, the [Assiniboine Park] pavilion shut its doors for eight months so it could get a little TLC. The $2.3-million renovation to the pavilion was not scheduled as part of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s $200-million redevelopment plan, but, as Trevor Clearwater, the conservancy’s senior director of business development and sales, says: “When you start seeing moisture around priceless works of art, things tend to move a little quicker.”… The pavilion is home to the largest collections of works by Manitoba artists Eyre, Walter J. Phillips, and Clarence Tillenius. Winnipeg Free Press, March 20, 2017

Quebec City Biennial event draws artists and art lovers For the first time, since its inception in 2000, this huge exhibition of contemporary art in Quebec City is being held in the midst of winter, and will continue until May 14. The first event was a much smaller venture with 30 artists, but this biennial features the work of more than 100 Canadian and international artists and two-thirds of the art is newly created. “One of the good points about doing a biennial in winter is it provides extra inspiration for artists, especially those who have never experienced winter,” said Line Ouellet, the director of the Musee national des beaux-arts du Quebec. “We are the world’s sole winter contemporary art biennial.” National Post, March 17, 2017

New York
David Rockefeller, banker, philanthropist and lifetime MoMA patron, dies at age 101 David Rockefeller, the New York banker, philanthropist and art collector, died at his home in the Pocantico Hills in upstate New York on Monday, aged 101. As well as the long-time chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan bank, Rockefeller served on the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art since 1948, taking the role of chairman for multiple terms. But his family’s ties to the museum go even further back however. His mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, helped found the museum in 1929 and the sculpture garden named after her is on the very spot where the Rockefeller family’s townhouse used to stand—and where the future philanthropist was born. The Art Newspaper, March 20, 2017

Painting on Message at the 2017 Whitney Biennial Scarcely two months into the Trump administration, it’s impossible not to crave art and culture that is relevant. Our generalized collective anxiety supersedes almost everything. In this sense, the 2017 Whitney Biennial delivers. The two curators, Christopher Lew and Mia Locks produced a show in which half of the artists are women and people of color. Issues like police brutality, climate change, the wealth gap, gun violence, immigration, and hate crime pulse through the fifth and sixth floor of the museum. Hyperallergic, March 17, 2017

The ICA Miami goes both global and local in its new home opening this December The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, which was founded in 2014 and has been camping out temporarily in the historic Art Deco Moore Building in the city’s Design District, will finally get a permanent home on 1 December—and with it some new art. The museum has announced a series of commissions and exhibitions—by artists like Chris Ofili, Tomm El-Saieh, Allora & Calzadilla and Mark Handforth—to kick-start its new 37,500 sq ft building designed by the Madrid-based firm Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos and funded by the local philanthropists Irma and Norman Braman. The Art Newspaper, March 15, 2017

JW Anderson examines the human form for Disobedient Bodies exhibition at The Hepworth Fashion designer JW Anderson has curated an exhibition at UK gallery The Hepworth Wakefield that explores the way artists depict the human form through their work. Anderson – whose work often explores ideas of gender and identity – has brought together over 100 examples of art, fashion, ceramics and design from the 20th and 21st centuries in the Disobedient Bodies exhibition. Dezeen, March 20, 2017

An exclusive tour of Ai Weiwei’s new work A 70-m (230-ft) life raft hangs in the vast hall of Prague’s Trade Fair Palace. In it sit 258 faceless, inflatable figures. Although Ai Weiwei’s monumental new artwork is as light as air, its subject matter is heavy. Ai Weiwei is himself a refugee and in recent years he has turned his attention to the subject of displaced people. In 2015, he wrapped the columns of Berlin’s Konzerthaus concert hall in hundreds of bright orange life vests. He is currently working on a film, The Human Flow, which will be presented later this year. BBC Culture, March 17, 2017

Olafur Eliasson’s Green lights to welcome refugees in Venice and Houston Green lights designed by Olafur Eliasson will be made during the Venice Biennale by around 60 refugees who live in and around Mestre on the mainland. Proceeds from the sale of the €300 lights, made from recycled materials during the artistic workshops—which involve language courses, film screenings and other activities—go towards supporting the project launched last spring in Vienna by Studio Olafur Eliasson and founding partner TBA21 (Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary). They are working with the Biennale’s organisers and the local government to bring the project to Venice from May until November. The Art Newspaper, March 20, 2017

Montreal artist designs ‘room with no view’ in Banksy’s new Walled Off Hotel When Montreal artist Dominique Pétrin was first asked to participate in elusive British artist Banksy’s newest political project, the Walled Off Hotel, she thought she was being scammed. “For the longest period, I was very skeptical,” she told CBC. “I thought it was another prank. But at some point, the more there was details, I believed it.” A printmaker and installation artist, Pétrin designed a room in the hotel, which – located in the West Bank city of Bethlehem – is meant to draw attention and promote dialogue about Palestine. Every room, including Pétrin’s bright, colonial-era inspired design, feature a view of the wall, located right across the street., March 15, 2017

Hong Kong
Andy Warhol portrait of Mao goes on auction in Hong Kong An Andy Warhol painting of Chairman Mao is to be auctioned in Hong Kong – and it could go to a Chinese bidder for a “homecoming” of sorts. The portraits immortalised the founder of China’s Communist Party as a pop art commodity in the vein of Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe and Campbell soup. Based on a photo in Mao’s Little Red Book, the portrait series is among the most famous images of the 20th Century. The auction of this work is expected to fetch as much as $15m. BBC News, March 17, 2017

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