Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 24, 2017

Vancouver
Singaporean billionaire plans to build Asian art museum in Vancouver One of Southeast Asia’s richest men, and a part-time Vancouver resident, wants to build a “world-class” museum dedicated to Asian and Buddhist art in the city.  Oei Hong Leong, who is ranked by Forbes as the 19th richest man in Singapore with a personal net worth of $1.2 billion, usually keeps a low profile in Vancouver. But he said in a rare interview Wednesday that he wants to go public with the museum proposal because he believes it could be a significant cultural addition to Vancouver and B.C.  Vancouver Sun, April 19, 2017

Vancouver artists are incorporating nature into their practices On a hill behind a community college, a group of artisans harvest spring willow. From it, they weave living fences and intricate baskets. In Mount Pleasant, a master gardener tends delicate indigo seedlings; she will use the pigment to make a rich blue paint.  All over the city, a Linen Growers Club offers participants a chance to grow their own small flax crop and spin linen. Across Vancouver, people are incorporating nature into their artisanal practices. Metro Vancouver, April 21, 2017

Winnipeg
Flowers for Winnipeg Where have all the flowers gone? They’re at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, apparently. The gallery hosts Art in Bloom, which kicked off Thursday night with a preview gala and runs until Sunday. The event, which like a tulip is expected to blossom every second spring in the city, includes 61 pieces of art from the WAG’s collection that have received floral interpretations by volunteers. Winnipeg Free Press, April 22, 2017

Hamilton
Ferment and fear at the Hamilton Biennale From behind his store counter on James Street North, art supply shop co-owner Dave Kuruc has had a frontline view of Hamilton’s profound changes since opening there 12 years ago. When Mixed Media moved in, he and his wife had their pick of empty storefronts. Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find an opening, he says, as properties that go to market fetch record prices while, nearby, condo construction is underway…. Kuruc is one of 30 artists and artist teams invited to exhibit their work at the 2017 Hamilton Biennale, presented by DIY art collective comrades Hundred Dollar Gallery and Casino Artspace, on April 21-23 at the latter’s 176 Mary St. headquarters. The theme for this edition is: Hot Properties. Toronto Star, April 22, 2017

Toronto
Georgia O’Keeffe: Carefully curated, in life and art Georgia O’Keeffe is a towering figure in 20th-century art by anyone’s measure, so maybe the Art Gallery of Ontario isn’t laying it on too thick by opening its installation of the American painter’s touring survey with exactly that: a 6-metre-tall portrait of O’Keeffe by her husband, the iconic photographer Alfred Stieglitz, her chin angled upward in a regal incline. Or is it?  Georgia O’Keeffe opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., on Saturday, April 22 and continues to July 30, 2017. Toronto Star, April 19, 2017

Toronto incubator aims to bridge gap between art and business Artscape revealed plans for its newest project on Friday, an incubator designed to bridge this gap called the Artscape Daniels Launchpad. Still under construction, the 30,000-square-foot space will overlook Toronto’s harbour from the fourth floor of the Daniels Waterfront-City of the Arts Centre. Its neighbours will be George Brown College and OCAD University’s upcoming Campus for the Connected World. It will focus on providing tools, business training and opportunity to make professional connections for all sorts of artists. The Globe and Mail, April 22, 2017

Canada
Making Space in Indigenous Art for Bull Dykes and Gender Weirdos The space of the gallery, and the very scaffolding of arts administration itself, has facilitated an erasure of gender-variant and sexually diverse realities from Indigenous art. The fixation on art catalogues as historical record, and the attempt to define one singular Indigenous art canon to fit neatly within the white box, are both integral to this system of erasure. Canadian Art, April 20, 2017

Hotboxing the White Cube: The Rise of Cannabis Culture in High Art  … as cannabis culture becomes more visible in the mainstream, some contemporary artists in Canada are directly referencing that trend to explore themes of memory, narrative, place and consumerism. Canadian Art, April 20, 2017

Atlanta
Self-Portraits of the Artist as Historical African Figures Self-portraits have been part of art history ever since artists used their own reflections to determine how a viewer might perceive them. This trope of self-empowerment takes a different turn with Senegalese photographer Omar Victor Diop’s series of self-portraits in his debut US exhibition, Project Diaspora, at the SCAD Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta. Diop’s discovery during a residency in Spain of a classical painting by Diego Velasquez of his African assistant Juan de Pareja led to his investigation of other European representations of prominent African figures who have long been relegated to the dustbin of history. Hyperallergic, April 19, 2017

Buenos Aires
Tomás Saraceno collaborates with 7,000 spiders to make largest-ever exhibited web Arachnophobes look away now. The Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno’s first show in a public institution in his home country, which opened this month, includes an installation of the largest spider web to have ever been exhibited. Made by around 7,000 spiders, the work titled Quasi-Social Musical Instrument IC 342 built by 7000 Parawixia bistriata—six months (2017), covers an area of more than 190 sq. m. The piece is one of two large installations that form the exhibition How to Entangle the Universe in a Spider Web (until 27 August), which opened this month at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires. The Art Newspaper, April 24, 2017

Edinburgh
The National Galleries of Scotland Is Digitizing Its 94,000-Piece Collection If you don’t know when you’ll next visit Edinburgh, you can at least start exploring its major art collections immediately, including works in storage. The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) — which comprise the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery — has relaunched its website to showcase its entire national art trove. Since the start of this month, about 40,000 images of works have been digitized along with their details; the remaining objects in the about 95,000-strong catalogue will gradually join them over the course of the next five years. Hyperallergic, April 21, 2017

Venice
Inuk artist to be featured at renowned international exhibit Dorset Fine Arts and Kinngait Studios announced this week that 10 pieces by the late Kananginak Poootoogook have been selected to be shown in the Venice Biennale’s central exhibit—the first Inuk artist to be featured in this show. This is the 57th edition of the major international art exhibition, which first launched in the Italian city in 1895. Nunatsiaq Online, April 24, 2017

Chengdu
New in Chengdu: private art museum opens its new venue The Luxelakes A4 Art Museum in the Chinese city of Chengdu opened its new location last weekend (April 15) with a 13-artist show Create Spaces (until July 16). The museum was established in 2008 and named after the building number of its original location, which closed in late 2015. It is the sole private art museum in the culturally vibrant capital of Sichuan Province. The opening exhibition occupies 1,500 sq m of a 3,500 sq m building, which rises dramatically over the man-made lake that is the centrepiece of a 1.5 million-sq-m property development in the city’s Tianfu New Area. The Art Newspaper, April 21, 2017

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