Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, May 10, 2017


ART SEEN: Beginning and Ending in conversation about photography at Capture Festival. Two exhibitions at Capture Festival that stood out for Kevin Griffin were Victor John Penner at West Vancouver Museum and Lewis Baltz at Griffin Art Projects. Vancouver Sun, May 6, 2017


Video exhibit shows you Saskatoon artist’s hours spent in hole. Saskatoon artist Linda Duvall’s latest work began with curiosity about the the root system of a rose bush on her property just outside the city.   But after excavating the earth around the bush to get a closer look, she found herself more interested in the hole itself.    CBC News, May 8, 2017


McMichael’s new exhibit strikes a different kind of chord.   The Group of Seven Guitar Project features seven acoustic guitars from seven renowned Canadian luthiers, each tasked with creating one-of-a-kind instruments representing a specific Group of Seven painter.  Globe & Mail, May 4, 2017


Shelley Niro wins $50,000 Scotiabank Photography Award. Shelley Niro, a Toronto-based indigenous artist whose long career has deeply engaged both the presence and conspicuous absence of First Nations peoples here and in the United States, is the winner of the 2017 Scotiabank Photography Award.  Toronto Star, May 9, 2017.  See also: Shelley Niro Wins $50K Scotiabank Photography Award.  Canadian Art, May 9, 2017

Face To Face: Dennis Ward sits down with artist, Kent Monkman. ‘Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience’ is a new art exhibit travelling the country challenging Canadians to look beyond the glossy celebrations for Canada’s 150th birthday. Artist, Kent Monkman believes at this point in time it’s important to have a critical perspective of Canada.  Monkman joins Face to Face to discuss his work that depicts how colonial policies have institutionalized Indigenous people in Canada. APTN News, May 9, 2017

Petra Collins turns the lens on own family for Toronto show.  With her first solo show on Canadian soil, Collins gets ultra-personal with Pacifier, a peek at her family life and upbringing, featuring shots of her parents, sister, cousins and friends, as well as a mural of her childhood home in North York. It’s a featured exhibit at the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, on until June 24.  Toronto Star, May 6, 2017

Toronto’s EDIT exhibition strives to serve global goals through design.   Design can change the world. In fact, it already is changing the world for the better. That’s the argument of EDIT, a new exhibition and festival that will launch this fall in Toronto.   Last week, the Design Exchange announced details of the event, which will take place Sept. 28 to Oct. 8 in an old detergent factory on the edge of downtown Toronto. Featuring an installation by the designer Bruce Mau, it will showcase “an edit of real-world problems,” said the Design Exchange president Shauna Levy, along with innovative solutions.  Globe & Mail, May 7, 2017


Bob Rennie donates art worth $12 million to National Gallery in Ottawa. “For a few years now, we have wanted to make a gift from our collection to Canada, to the nation,” Rennie said in a news release sent by the National Gallery.  “With Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations taking place across the country, we decided this is the moment to do it, to showcase and support the rich and diverse accomplishments of artists.”  In recognition of the gift, Rennie will get a gallery named after him. The National Gallery will call the Upper Contemporary exhibition gallery (B204) the Galerie Rennie Gallery.  Vancouver Sun, May 9, 2017 .  See also: National Gallery of Canada receives one of its largest-ever donationsGlobe & Mail, May 9, 2017

New York

Playing With Mirrors. “Rather than offering viewers immediate access to information about the world or simply how some given portion of it looks, artists such as Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Jason Loebs,  working in this mode see the techniques, conventions, and history of photography as an interpretive grid that makes some things harder to see and other things easier. They consider that their work can only reflect on the world by looping back on itself—by rendering visible its photographic character as a pre-interpretation of the world that it claims merely to show.” The Nation, May 2, 2017


Phyllida Barlow on representing Britain at the Venice Biennale… and living in a slum. Phyllida Barlow is not a traditional sculptor, working with wood, metal or stone. Rather, she is a maverick inspired by materials readily available from any builders’ merchants – felt, insulating foam, Formica, rubber tarpaulin, sticky tape – which she slathers with raucous paint, frequently, as in her hallway, using pink.  The Telegraph, May 6, 2017


1.5mn-euro painting ‘forgotten’ in Paris taxi is returned.  A painting worth 1.5 million euros ($1.64 million) that a Paris art dealer left in a taxi’s boot has been handed over by the cab’s driver, the police said Tuesday.  The artwork is by Argentina-born Italian sculptor and painter Lucio Fontana (1899 – 1968), entitled “Concetto spaziale” (Spatial concept), with an estimated value of 1.5 million euros. Yahoo, May 2, 2017


Sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz’s work addressed dark forces of the 20th century.  Magdalena Abakanowicz, a Polish sculptor who transformed sisal and burlap into brooding forms that evoked the weight of political oppression, the desperation of the individual and the sufferings of the natural world, died on April 20 in Warsaw. She was 86.   Globe & Mail, May 7, 2017


Inuit Art Makes a Global Breakthrough at the Venice Biennale.  In a groundbreaking moment for Inuit art worldwide, this year marks the first time that the work of an Inuit artist is being included in the Venice Biennale’s headlining exhibition.  The name of that exhibition this year is “Viva Arte Viva,” curated by Centre Pompidou’s Christine Macel, and the Inuit artist being honoured is Kananginak Pootoogook (1935–2010), a community leader and creator in Cape Dorset from the 1950s through to the end of his lifetime.  Canadian Art, May 9, 2017

Evan Penny Enters His Next Phase—In Venice.  The new work has art history and the history of images as its starting point,” he says. “So, in a way it is broader, larger than photography, but it’s the same kind of dynamic, where now I’m situating the sculpture somewhere between that historic framework, which includes photography, and our bodies, our physical bodily response, or our immediate emotional response to objects or experiences.”  The results go on view this week in an exhibition curated by Michael Short, and supported by Trépanier Baer, the Art Gallery of Alberta and the Curia Patriarcale di Venezia. Titled “Evan Penny: Ask Your Body,” the exhibition will run from May through to November, in parallel with the Venice Biennale.  Canadian Art, May 8, 2017

The Canada Pavilion, One of the Venice Biennale’s Most Intriguing Artworks. A look back at the history of the “notoriously inhospitable” and soon-to-be-restored Canada Pavilion in Venice reveals it as one of the Giardini’s most intriguing artworks.  Canadian Art, May 8, 2017

9 Canadian Connections at the Venice Biennale. 2017 is shaping up to become one of Canada’s most significant years yet in terms of presence at the event; here are nine promising projects involving Canadian artists and curators that are on view. Canadian Art, May 4, 2017


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