Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 4, 2017

Vancouver Art Gallery seeks $100m from feds for new $350m home The money would be for capital costs over the next three years for construction, said Ann Webb, the gallery’s associate director. “We’ve been working with the federal, provincial and municipal governments on this,” Webb said Friday. “We remain optimistic that things are going forward. But I can’t be specific right now.” The $100 million ask from Ottawa is for a new gallery on the lot across from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at West Georgia and Cambie. The new gallery, designed by the Swiss architectural firm of Herzog & de Meuron, would have 7,989 sq. m. (86,000 sq. ft.) of exhibition space — double the size of the current gallery at 750 Hornby St. Vancouver Sun, April 3, 2017

Remembering Beau Dick (1955–2017) Earlier this week, Beau Dick—the revered carver, artist, storyteller and Dzawada’enuxw chief—died in BC at the age of 61. Dick passed just as some of his most striking masks yet were being installed at the soon-to-open European art event Documenta. Also as part of Documenta, Dick was slated, in early April, to have one of the traditional Kwakwaka’wakw dances he has orchestrated be performed in front of the Parthenon in Athens. Certainly, Beau Dick’s presence—and the loss thereof—is being felt far and wide, just as his own work has reached far and wide. Canadian Art, March 30, 2017

Reawakening First Nation memories Contemporary art by First Nations artists is the most important subject area in Canadian art. The three artists included in this show at Open Space — lessLIE, Sonny Assu and Marianne Nicolson — are young, talented and highly regarded nationally. And they all live on Vancouver Island. Thoughtfully curated by France Trépanier and presented with assistance from the Royal British Columbia Museum, this is engagement with a powerful theme: Awakening Memory. Times Colonist, April 2, 2017

Artist explores space between photography and video in Glenbow Museum exhibit Art comes to life in The Raft of the Medusa (Saint-Louis), a video-based work where actors try to hold a pose while the camera rolls. Running until May 22 at the Glenbow Museum, the exhibit is the first instalment in the three-part Artefacts: Contemporary Moving Images exhibition series. “I’m interested in the space between photography and video,” said Adad Hannah, the artist behind The Raft of the Medusa. “You bring all kinds of things into question.” Born in New York in 1971, Hannah spent his childhood in Israel and England before moving to Vancouver during the early ’80s. Calgary Herald, April 1, 2017

McMichael Collection names British art historian as new director Ian A.C. Dejardin’s first experience with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection was a disaster. A decade ago, the art historian had travelled to Toronto from England, “desperately keen” on seeing the works of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. Speaking to someone with the tourist office here, he was told to rent a car if he wanted to visit the gallery, situated in a woodsy, transit-unfriendly plot in Kleinburg, Ont. The Globe and Mail, April 3, 2017

Banksy work cleared from vacant site and restored for public display A work attributed to the anonymous British street artist Banksy has been conserved and put on public display in Toronto by a Canadian real estate company. Known as Guard with Balloon Dog, the piece was recently unveiled at its new location in a pedestrian walkway network called the Path. The work originally appeared on the wall of a vacant building in May 2010, around the time that the artist was in town to release his film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, and has reportedly been featured on Banksy’s website. The Art Newspaper, April 4, 2017

Charles Bierk: Bringing XL painting down to size When Charlie Bierk was wrapping up at OCAD University seven years ago, he already had a toehold in the tenuous Toronto studio market… Seven years later, Bierk, who just turned 30, has the painting practice to go along with the much-coveted studio he still occupies. In mid-March, he was partway through a monumental black-and-white portrait of Tau Lewis, a young sculptor carving her own space in the local scene. On April 6, that portrait will headline a new show of Bierk’s paintings, his second, at the Nicholas Metivier Gallery. Toronto Star, April 1, 2017

Terra Foundation reveals ambitious plans for Art Design Chicago in 2018 The Terra Foundation for American Art announced its long-awaited plans for Art Design Chicago, a year-long, multi-institutional exhibition series to take place in 2018. Comparisons to Pacific Standard Time, the survey of Los Angeles art largely funded by the Getty held in 2011 (and due to take place again this year), are unavoidable; in fact, it provided much of the inspiration.  Among the 25 exhibitions planned so far are a retrospective on the artist Charles White at the Art Institute of Chicago (co-organised with the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and travelling to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), a look at African American product designers to be mounted at the Chicago Cultural Center, and the show Picture Fictions: Kenneth Josephson and Contemporary Photography at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The Art Newspaper, April 4, 2017

New York
The Mess at the Metropolitan Museum Gets Messier When, in February, Metropolitan Museum director Thomas P. Campbell announced that he would resign, many reasons were given for his sudden departure. Discontent among the museum’s board over his capacities as a manager, the spiraling costs of a disproportionately large digital department that then suffered severe layoffs…, a deficit that sits somewhere between $10 and $40 million, and the indefinite shelving of a $600-million expansion project were all cited as contributing factors for his ouster at the time… Yesterday, the New York Times‘s Robin Pogrebin filled in some of those details, reporting on a close relationship between Campbell and a female member of museum’s digital department, and the departure of several staff members in protest. Hyperallergic, April 2, 2017

85 Rare and Vibrant Coptic Textiles Find a Home at Queens College This month, Queens College announced an acquisition of 85 Coptic textiles that will be part of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum. The delicate fabric fragments from late antiquity are adorned with sea nymphs riding dolphins, vibrant birds in primary colors, geometric motifs, and portraiture, all visualizing the diversity of pagan and Christian religion and culture that was occurring in Byzantine-era Egypt from the third to seventh centuries. The collection is a gift from the estate of the late Rose Choron, bolstering the ancient holdings of the New York City museum. Hyperallergic, April 1, 2017

On Kawara’s Epic ‘One Million Years’ Reading Will Take Place During Venice Biennale, Volunteers Needed The opening of the Venice Biennale is only a little more than a month away, and the lineup of shows timed to coincide with it is looking increasingly juicy. The latest to be confirmed for the grand affair is a staging of On Kawara’s storied One Million Years (Reading) performance, which involves a pair of people reading from a two-volume book by the late artist that lists, in chronological order, one million years into the future and one million years into the past. The project, housed at the Oratorio di San Ludovico, is being organized by Ikon Gallery of Birmingham, England, and curated by Jonathan Watkins, the museum’s director. Artnews, March 29, 2017

No smoke without fire: Documenta 14 unveils first work in Kassel After months of secrecy, Documenta 14 has given the public another glimpse of its exhibition programme with the unveiling of the first work in Kassel, Germany. The installation by the Romanian-born, Berlin-based artist Daniel Knorr marks the beginning of the prestigious quinquennial contemporary art exhibition, which this year is split between the cities of Athens and Kassel. It kicks off in Athens on 8 April (until 16 July) and in Kassel, where it was launched in 1955, on 10 June (until 17 September). In line with previous editions of Documenta, the full artist list is kept under wraps. The Art Newspaper, April 3, 2017

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