Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, April 25, 2017

Canada 150: Charles Edenshaw, the greatest of Haida artists B.C. has been blessed with many great First Nations artists, but Charles Edenshaw was something else, perhaps the greatest sculptor in Canadian history. “In my opinion, Edenshaw is not just a great Haida artist and sculptor, he’s equal to any of the great Renaissance masters,” collector Michael Audain once told The Vancouver Sun. “The way he creates movement in the argillite is a superb skill.” One glimpse at an Edenshaw sculpture and you understand. An argillite “casket” (small box) at the Vancouver Museum features a bird soaring above a serpent and a quartet of frogs, while a lion bursts out of the side of the main box. Vancouver Sun, April 25, 2017

Beau Dick’s informal agent of 20 years reflects on artist’s impact on her life When LaTiesha Fazakas opened her own art gallery on the Downtown Eastside in 2012, it was largely because of famed carver Beau Dick. She became Dick’s art dealer, friend and informal agent after they first met in 1999 while she worked for another gallery. They got along so well, that Dick encouraged her to open her own gallery so he could have a sole venue to show and sell his masks. The Northwest Coast artist was a big part of her life, and since he became ill and died in March, Fazakas continues to feel his impact. Metro Vancouver, April 24, 2017

ART SEEN: Bamboo grove blurs inside and outside at base of ‘soft skyscraper’ A lot has already been written about Kengo Kuma’s stunning condo tower at Cardero and Alberni. The tower that isn’t a tower – aka a soft skyscraper – will be one of the most distinctive buildings in the city’s skyline… On the ground along Alberni and on the east side there will be a bamboo grove which will lead into a Japanese moss garden and terraced seating at the base of the building, according to the design drawings submitted to the city for the development permit application. Vancouver Sun, April 24, 2017

Heart of glass: New Royal Alberta Museum aims to be transparent, in more ways than one When the RAM opens in early 2018, it will be the largest museum in Western Canada — 39,000 square metres, with 7,800 square metres of exhibition space — roughly double what the old museum in Glenora had. “We have 2.4 million pieces in our collection, and about 90 per cent are moving downtown with us,” says the museum’s executive director, Chris Robinson. “We’ll have 5,300 pieces on display in our opening exhibits.” … Where the old museum shyly turned its back to the street, the new building engages and connects with the city. Created by Edmonton architect Donna Clare and Toronto museum designer Michael Lundholm, it’s purpose-built to turn its gaze outward, to the world it curates. Edmonton Journal, April 22, 2017

MAC introduces contemporary art to the next generation Montreal’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) is gearing up for Les Printemps du Mac happening this Friday (April 21) at the museum. “The museum is going to be completely transformed,” said Stefanie Stergiotisit, co-chair of the event. “It’s an immersive experience. We really develop a crazy theme every year.” This year’s theme is “Jangala,” which Stergiotisit described as a techno jungle, “where technology and nature collide.” Global News, April 20, 2017

Art and Identity: Exploring competing views of Canada Nothing is ever as tidy as history suggests, and at times like these, challenges to the official line have been as rare as they necessary. Helping to complicate the picture are several new books on Canadian art whose challenge to officialdom resides in a mission to broaden the narrowcast view of our cultural history. None of these new books will produce watershed revelations regarding our sense of national self. But taken together, they help to suggest how much has been left in the margins. Toronto Star, April 20, 2017

San Francisco
Fake news! Photographers’ project explores the media in the post-truth era Stop the press! The photographers Jim Goldberg, Dru Donovan and Jason Fulford are staging a fake news project in San Francisco based entirely on imagery, sourced daily through the Associated Press (AP). Fake Newsroom, at the Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco (until 29 April), explores aspects of imagery and news today as Goldberg, Fulford and Donovan each take a turn as editor-in-chief of a daily online publication. The project takes its inspiration from a 1983 project called Newsroom, by the photographers Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, at the Berkley Art Museum in California. The Art Newspaper, April 25, 2017

Discovering Honoré Sharrer, an Eclipsed 20th-Century Surrealist Painter Perhaps the most initially astonishing thing about American Surrealist artist Honoré Sharrer (1920–2009) is the fact that so few people have heard of her. Though she received some acclaim as a young painter, Sharrer faded from public view early in her career, eclipsed by the prevailing trend of Abstract Expressionism and forced to move to Canada in the mid 1950s because of her outspoken Communist beliefs… A Dangerous Woman: Subversion and Surrealism in the Art of Honoré Sharrer continues at the Columbus Museum of Art (480 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio) through May 21. Hyperallergic, April 23, 2017

New York
Peggy Guggenheim’s great-grandchildren say New York exhibition violates her legacy  Three great-grandchildren of Peggy Guggenheim are accusing the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York of defying the wishes of the late collector. The museum’s current exhibition, Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim (until 6 September), celebrates collectors who helped shape the foundation. It includes 21 works from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, from major works by Duchamp, Picasso and Brâncuși, to Jackson Pollock’s Alchemy (1947), one of the artist’s greatest “drip” paintings. But three of Peggy Guggenheim’s great-grandchildren say that when she donated her Venetian palace and Modern art collection to the foundation set up by her uncle in New York, she stipulated that none of the works on show in Venice should be removed for display elsewhere between Easter and 1 November. The Art Newspaper, April 20, 2017

St. Ives
Jamie Fobert’s cliffside extension to Tate St Ives nears completion Work is almost complete on a sunken extension to the Tate’s seaside art gallery in St Ives, Cornwall, which is set to open to the public later this year. The extension by Jamie Fobert Architects will double the size of Tate St Ives gallery, which overlooks the Atlantic sea from a cliff in Cornwall, southwest England. The aim of the project is to provide extra space to host seasonal exhibitions alongside permanent collections. It will also enable the gallery to stay open all year round without the need to close while exhibitions change. Dezeen, April 24, 2017

Munch inspired by ‘screaming clouds’ Norwegian scientists have put forward a new theory to explain the inspiration behind one of the most famous works of art ever produced. The Scream (1892), by Edvard Munch, depicts a figure holding its face, which is making an agonised expression. But look above this individual and the sky is full of colourful wavy lines. The researchers say these are probably Mother of Pearl Clouds – rare phenomena that would have had a big impact on anyone who saw them for the first time. BBC News, April 24, 2017

Rome Prize Names 2017–18 Winners, Including Sanford Biggers and Rochelle Feinstein The Rome Prize announced its 2017–18 winners this weekend. Each of the awardees will receive a residency at the American Academy in Rome lasting anywhere from six months to two years, as well as a stipend. Among the winners in the Visual Arts category are Rochelle Feinstein, who is slated to have a Bronx Museum of the Arts retrospective next year, and Sanford Biggers, the New York–based artist known for his recent work about racism and police violence. Artnews, April 24, 2017

Political art withers as Mamut 5 opens in Istanbul At a time of growing challenges for the Turkish art scene, an art project showing works by around 50 emerging Turkish artists opens to the public in Istanbul tomorrow, 26 April. Works submitted from around 1,000 applicants for the Mamut Art Project, with a jury including the top Turkish-born Armenian conceptual artist Sarkis, suggest that artists are retreating from highly charged political work, curators say, with painting and more solitary work in the studio showing a “distinct prominence”. The Art Newspaper, April 25, 2017

Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Belgian photographer Frederik Buyckx has been named the Sony World Photography Awards’ 2017 Photographer of the Year for his series of snow-covered landscapes. Frederik Buyckx’s winning landscape series, Whiteout, captures the transformation of nature when winter arrives. Zelda Cheatle, who chairs the judges, says: “Landscape is often overlooked, but it is central to our existence. I hope this award will inspire many more photographers to take pictures that do not simply encompass the terrible aspects of life in these troubled times but also capture some of the joys and loveliness in each and every environment.” BBC News, April 21, 2017

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