Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, March 21, 2017

An Interview with Susan Point An exhibition of her work, Susan Point: Spindle Whorl, is now on view at the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG). This is her first solo museum exhibition in Canada since 1986, and includes more than a hundred works spanning a career of more than three decades, along with a number of new works created specifically for the exhibition… In this interview, Susan Point talks about why she feels it is important to continue pushing her personal artistic, emotional and creative boundaries. NGC Magazine, March 14, 2017

Queer Arts Festival announces Indigenous LGBTQ+ theme Two-spirit perspectives that aren’t often heard will be featured at Vancouver’s annual Queer Arts Festival this summer — and its curator hopes it will open the door for more work of the same theme to be shown across Canada. In many Indigenous communities, the term “two-spirit” is used to describe a gender, sexual and spiritual identity that often encompasses all LGBTQ+ people, but it’s something that has been stifled by colonization. The Queer Arts Festival announced earlier this month that its 2017 event called UnSettled will focus on reclamation in the two-spirit world, featuring performances and an art exhibit curated by Blackfoot artist Adrian Stimson. MetroNews Vancouver, March 16, 2017

Japanese artist shows her porcelain art in Coquitlam New Westminster ceramic artist Hitomi McKenzie combines beauty with function in her porcelain pieces, of which she’ll show about 100 at a new Coquitlam exhibit that opens Friday. Place des Arts will display her work in its Atrium Gallery until April 22 — art that was created in her East Vancouver studio. “I make them for people to use, not just for display,” the Osaka, Japan, native said. “I want to show beauty and function working in harmony.” Tri-City News, March 20, 2017

Exhibit delves into U of L Art Gallery A new exhibit at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery provides a glimpse into the university’s art collection as it has grown over the past 50 years. Elise Pundyk and Graze Wyrzba are student curators and interns at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, presenting “Looking Back, Looking Forward,” an exploration of the gallery’s extensive collection and the community which has evolved with the gallery. The exhibition is part of the U of L’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Lethbridge Herald, March 21, 2017

Creative Time Will Stage 25-Year Sophie Calle Project at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn Spring is here again. With it we get longer days, of course, plus, in New York at least, another exciting annual development: news of the latest Creative Time commission. The next commission is typically grandiose and ambitious: a 25-year-long project involving French conceptual artist Sophie Calle, to be staged at Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery. The enticing title of the piece will be “Here Lie The Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery.” It begins with a two-day inaugural event at the cemetery April 29 and 30. Artnews, March 21, 2017

Replica of statue destroyed by Isis and whipped cream to top London’s Fourth Plinth The American artist Michael Rakowitz and the British artist Heather Phillipson were announced today, 21 March, as the winners of the next two commissions to occupy the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square. Rakowitz will present a replica of the Lamassu statue that once stood at the Nergal Gate in Nineveh, Iraq, and was destroyed by Isis in 2015, while Phillipson will show THE END, a sculpture of a giant mound of whipped cream complete with cherry, fly and a functioning drone on top. The works are due to be unveiled in 2018 and 2020, respectively. The Art Newspaper, March 21, 2017

Rodney Graham: That’s Not Me review – starring role in his own method-acting dramas  Graham always goes the long way round in his videos, films and large light-box photographs, now filling two floors of Baltic [Gateshead]. There are movies of a whirling chandelier and an indolent pipe smoker (in the next room, the sink is overflowing with suds), there are books, the smell of cinnamon, a road trip to Kurt Cobain’s hometown and recordings from Graham’s accomplished but still undervalued music career. Most of all there are sumptuous, large-scale light-box images, all featuring Graham himself in a starring role: canoeist, stilt-walking plasterer, sous chef, lighthouse keeper, dupe in a wild-west bar, thinker, painter, voyeur… The labels are insufficient for the Vancouver artist, 68, who keeps slipping in and out of view. The Guardian, March 17, 2017

Saving Syria’s heritage: Archaeologists discover invisible solution The recent plundering of priceless artefacts from Syria and Iraq by both terrorists and criminal gangs has taken place on an unprecedented scale. Stolen items have been turning up in Europe and the US, where they have then been offered to private collectors. The UN heritage body Unesco says the illicit trade is worth millions of dollars. But an innovative solution may now be at hand which enables archaeologists to trace precious artefacts. Working in secret, in areas outside Syrian government control, Syrian archaeologists have begun painting some of the country’s most valuable artefacts with a clear, traceable liquid. BBC News, March 21, 2017

Contemporary Chinese art sprouted in the ’20s: Scholar In contrast to the beliefs of many Western scholars who claim that contemporary Chinese art arose in the late 1970s after the young generation came to embrace the art of influential figures such as Ralph Rosenborg and Andy Warhol, Zheng Shengtian believes that contemporary art took root in China in the 1920s and 1930s…. Sunday afternoon, some 200 art fans attended a lecture by Zheng at Artron Art Center in Nanshan District. Zheng is a veteran art scholar, head of jury for this year’s Art China Award and director of Asian exhibitions at Vancouver Art Gallery. Shenzheng Daily, March 21, 2017

Newly Discovered Chinese Tomb Murals Give a Glimpse of Domestic Life 1,000 Years Ago Archaeologists in the northern Shanxi province of China have uncovered a vibrant record of the customs and costumes of the people living in the area about 1,000 years ago. An ancient tomb filled with colorful, partially preserved murals resurfaced in Datong City as part of Datong Municipal Institute of Archaeology’s excavation of 31 tombs of the Liao and Jin dynasties; although the findings occurred in July 2007, the researchers published their study in Chinese in 2015, with an English version appearing only in this year’s issue of Chinese Cultural Relics. Hyperallergic, March 20, 2017

Centre Pompidou to pop up in Shanghai Plans are well advanced for Paris’s Centre Pompidou to set up a branch in Shanghai’s West Bund cultural district, The Art Newspaper understands… Among the planned institutions is the West Bund Art Museum, designed by the British architect David Chipperfield, which would house the Shanghai branch of the Centre Pompidou. The site chosen is close to Tank Shanghai, an art centre being developed by the collector Qiao Zhibing in disused oil tanks. The West Bund Museum could open in two to three years. The Art Newspaper, March 21, 2017

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