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


West of Main expands boundaries, celebrates 25 years of art-walking.  The life of an artist can be lonely. Which is why the West of Main Art Walk is a boon for painters, ceramicists and the like, as well as curious visitors and art-lovers. This year,  organizers have expanded its boundaries. Artists from Point Grey to Main Street and from Granville Island to 41st Avenue will open their studios and homes to visitors, displaying everything from paintings to ceramics to textiles, and even automata (objects and figures animated by mechanical means, courtesy of artist David Dumbrell). Besides home studios, cafés and shops will also exhibit work.  The first walks went under the name Artists in Our Midst, and were organized by painter Pnina Granirer and artist Anne Adams.  Vancouver Sun, May 24, 2017

Art! Vancouver brings together a world of visual styles.  Modelling itself after world art fairs like Art Basel, ARCOMadrid, and Art Cologne, Art! Vancouver is back for its third installment at the Vancouver Convention Centre East from Thursday to Sunday (May 25 to 28).  Georgia Straight, May 24, 2017


Social Seen: Art on the Block. The talk of the town: Art Gallery of Alberta’s 19th annual fundraising event.  Edmonton Journal, May 20, 2017


Ottawa Report: New Romantics, Old Punks.  From a survey of early intersectional videos to a series of new fabric sculptures meant to be touched, Ottawa is showing both its tough and tender sides.  Canadian Art, May 24, 2017


$7.4-Million Jean Paul Riopelle Painting Breaks World Record at Auction. Vent du nord, a large Jean Paul Riopelle canvas created in 1952-53, sold for more than $7.4 million at a Toronto auction last night, setting a world record for the internationally collected artist.  That is more than four times the initial estimate of $1-to-$1.5 million dollars provided by Heffel auction house. It is also the second-highest amount ever paid for a Canadian artwork at auction.  Canadian Art, May 24, 2017.  See also Riopelle’s ‘Vent du nord’ now Canada’s second most expensive painting at $7.4M.  Times Colonist, May 24, 2017


McCord Museum’s Illusions exhibit conjures up the golden age of magic The McCord Museum’s stunning new exhibition Illusions: The Art of Magic,  spanning the 1880s through the 1930s, represents the highlights of the Allan Slaight Collection, which came into the McCord’s possession three years ago through La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso.   Montreal Gazette, May 24, 2017

Los Angeles

New Marciano foundation proves the potential and the pitfalls of a vanity art museum.  Once upon a time, major collectors who wanted to share the art they had acquired and loved would eventually donate it to a trusted institution. Attention and care for posterity were assured. Those days are on the wane, especially for contemporary art. Now, rather than give their art to a museum, many collectors are opening their own.  This week the Marciano Art Foundation joins the throng, opening to the public on Thursday in the long-shuttered, handsomely refurbished Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard.  Los Angeles Times, May 24, 2017

New York

Archival Slides from the Metropolitan Museum Find New Life as Artworks.  A few years ago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art digitized its massive library of 35-millimeter slides, which capture thousands of objects in its collections as well as views of the museum’s galleries over the last few decades. But once preserved in pixel form, theoretically for eternity, the original pictures were just eating up precious storage space. They could have ended up in the trash, but instead they found new life at the Department of Cultural Affairs’s reuse center, Material for the Arts (MFTA), where five artists have transformed the little squares into contemporary artworks, from sculptures to a multimedia installation.  Hyperallergic, May 24, 2017

Frank Lloyd Wright: fantasist or genius?   As an exhibition in New York marks 150 years since the birth of Frank Lloyd Wright, is it time for a reappraisal of this flawed hero of modernist architecture?  The Guardian, May 21, 2017

The Audacity of Robert Rauschenberg.  Robert Rauschenberg’s work, in mediums that range from painting and photography to a big vat of bubbling gray mud (“Mud Muse,” 1968-71), is uneven, and it lost pertinence and drama in his later decades. For a great artist, he made remarkably little good art. But the example of his nimble intelligence and zestful audacity affected the sense of vocation—thoughts and motives, doubts and dreams—of subsequent generations, to this day.  The New Yorker, May 29 (issue), 2017

An Illustrated Guide to Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”  Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” (1971) is generally considered the first major work of feminist art history. Maura Reilly, a curator, writer, and collaborator of Nochlin’s, described the work as “a dramatic feminist rallying cry.”  Hyperallergic, May 23, 2017

Is Jeff Koons ‘Seated Ballerina’ A Copy of This Ukrainian Sculpture?  Jeff Koons received praise and admiration on May 12th, 2017 when he released a 45 foot inflatable version of his ‘Seated Ballerina’ sculpture at Rockefeller Centre in New York, but Artdependence can reveal that the work bears several similarities to a work known as ‘Balerina Lenochka’ from the artist Oksana Zhnikrup and the The Kiev Experimental Ceramic-Art Factory.  Artdependence, May 24, 2017

Newark, DE

There Is a Secret Villain Threatening the World’s Masterpieces. It’s Soap. A team of researchers are working to find a solution to an unlikely scourge that is marring the surfaces of canvases around the world: soap.   Conservation scientists say that tiny formations of lead-based soaps—each about a tenth of a millimeter in diameter—are threatening to mar paintings by artists ranging from Rembrandt van Rijn to Georgia O’Keeffe. A team of experts has spent years researching why these microscopic white pockmarks appear—but they can’t figure out how to stop them.  Artnet News, May 24, 2017

United States

Trump’s 2018 Budget Proposes Ending National Endowments for Arts and Humanities [UPDATED].  Last night, US President Donald Trump released his proposed federal budget for 2018, which seeks to eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and about a dozen other independent agencies.  Hyperallergic, May 22, 2017


Giacometti review – master of all things thin.  The size and shape of Giacometti’s sculptures is both intensely famous and surpassingly strange. That is the lesson of this s how. Poorly lit, tactlessly displayed and about as overcrowded as a Giacometti show never should be – 250 works, densely contextualised with drawings, memorabilia and even ornamental floor lamps – it nonetheless gives a sense of the artist in all his prodigious variety, from the pinheads to the striding giants, the thin men to the rows of tapering women, rigid but helpless on their stands. Uniquely alone, and yet palpably connected, they amount to a new race of sculpture.  The Guardian, May 21, 2017


Momus: The Podcast: The Venice Biennale.  Welcome to the pilot episode of Momus: The Podcast! For our first broadcast, we focus on the historic Venice Biennale.  As the 57th edition opens to the public, we air a conversation on its history, its institution, its relevance, and its potential, with insight arriving from a group of critics, curators, artists, and gallerists speaking to us from around the world. Momus, May 25, 2017


When Wrong Goes Right: 30 Creative Museum 404 Error Pages. 404 pages are the dead ends of the internet, but some museums are using them for a bit of playful audience engagement.  Hyperallergic, May 19, 2017


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