Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 8, 2017



Vancouver Art Gallery challenges tradition with Pictures From Here.  The Vancouver Art Gallery’s survey show Pictures From Here is poised to serve as a thoughtful counterbalance to the gallery’s big summer draw, Claude Monet’s Secret Garden, opening on the main floor on June 24. It also functions as a contemporary rejoinder to Emily Carr: Into the Forest, on display on the fourth floor until December 3…Pictures From Here examines concept-driven photographic and video works produced by some two dozen leading Vancouver artists across four decades and two generations.  Georgia Straight, June 7, 2017

Raymond Boisjoly lands on shortlist for Sobey Art Award.  Photo and text-based artist Raymond Boisjoly has made the shortlist for the annual Sobey Art Award—a $50,000 prize that’s given out each year to a contemporary artist under the age of 40.   Boisjoly represents the West Coast/Yukon region amid the nominations and he’s up against for females for the prize: performance and installation artist Ursula Johnson from the Atlantic; photo artist and videographer Jacynthe Carrier from Quebec; performance and video artist Bridget Moser from Ontario; and multimedia artist Divya Mehra from the Prairies/the North.  Georgia Straight, June 7, 2017 

Vancouver Mural Festival set to bring more artists to the streets this August.  Artists from Vancouver and around the globe will be transforming city walls across Mount Pleasant and Strathcona once again from August 7 to 12, for the second annual Vancouver Mural Festival.  Last year’s inaugural festival saw murals by over 40 artists go up. This year, organizers have expanded the lineup to include 60 murals, and will be putting on more public events including live music and speaker series.  Georgia Straight, June 7, 2017 

Alliance for Arts and Culture’s Revolution conference calls for systemic change.  In a year rife with political and social change, how can the arts serve the needs of an audience caught up in it all?  Revolution: Engaging Human Creativity, an arts leadership conference put on by B.C. Alliance for Arts and Culture on Thursday (June 8) at the Annex, hopes to address necessary changes within the industry, and the concerns of the community it serves.   Georgia Straight, June 5, 2017


New collection of Canadian and indigenous art is National Gallery’s largest ever.  In what is being hailed as a new “way forward” for the National Gallery of Canada, a new permanent collection will display nearly 800 works in the largest group of Canadian and indigenous art ever presented at the gallery.  Ottawa Citizen, June 7, 2017.  See also: A tour of the new Canadian and Indigenous art galleryCBC, June 7, 2017


Monsters of the Urban Unconscious.  Duane Linklater’s work for the Don Valley, due to be unveiled in late July, comprises cast concrete sculptures—reconstructed copies of the gargoyles and grotesques that watch Toronto’s denizens from atop the city’s historic architecture. The artist’s replicas will be tucked into what is formally known as the Don River Valley Park, a hinge space connecting Toronto’s downtown core to its east end…. As a present-day urban borderland, the Don River Valley is caught between a highway and a rail corridor, with pockets of woodland persevering like islands in a sea of pavement. At its industrial channeling, vines, wildflowers and weedy undergrowth push up through the space between asphalt and rail spike. Deer, rabbits, cranes and coyotes share space with spandex-clad cyclists.   Soon joining these residents of Toronto will be creatures leaning and lying in state: antecedent ruins, part of Toronto’s ecological life cycle.  Canadian Art, June 8, 2017

Luminato’s wide, wild projects shows influence of new boss.  Before it’s even begun, Josephine Ridge’s first season as artistic director of Luminato makes a clear statement about her vision for the festival and for the arts in Toronto.  Toronto Star, June 5, 2017

All the best things at Luminato that you can see for free.  As Toronto’s annual festival of the arts, Luminato’s programming is always as wide-ranging as the arts themselves. From June 14-25, it’ll play host to theatre and opera and music and visual arts and even ice dancing — and this time around there’s more of spotlight on local talent than previous iterations, which have parachuted in projects by international art stars including Ai Weiwei, Marina Abramovic and David Byrne.  CBC, June 7, 2017

At the Galleries: Two locally oriented shows get out of Contact. Luis Jacob’s Habitat (Gallery TPW) composes an ode to our slippery sense of place, while Sandra Brewster: It’s All A Blur (Georgia Scherman Projects) captures the city’s endless state of becoming.  Toronto Star, June 8, 2017


‘I’m usually either up or down’   Amid the ordered clutter in Dale Chihuly’s studio, some items hint at more than  eclectic tastes: a long row of Ernest Hemingway titles in one bookcase, and in another an entire wall devoted to Vincent van Gogh — homages to creative geniuses racked by depression.  Chihuly, too, has struggled with his mental health, by turns fragile and luminous like the art he makes. Now 75 and still in the thrall of a decades-long career, he discussed his bipolar disorder in detail for the first time publicly in an interview with the Associated Press.   Times Colonist, June 6, 2017

Los Angeles

In creating a haven for artists, Ghost Ship operators built a deathtrap, prosecutors allege.  Derick Ion Almena and Max Harris took over the aging warehouse in Oakland with hopes of creating an affordable space for artists and musicians to live and work in the Bay Area’s overheated housing market.   But prosecutors said what they actually created was a deathtrap.  Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2017


Sam Durant Doesn’t Need Defending. When “Scaffold” landed in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which is jointly maintained by the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, members of the local Dakota community showed up to protest it. One of the gallows replicated in the sculpture was that used for the hanging of 38 Dakota men in Mankato, Minnesota, in 1862 — the largest mass execution in US history. The protesters argued that the sculpture was traumatic for their community, and Sam Durant and Walker Director Olga Viso listened. They agreed to a mediation process, which resulted in Durant’s transferring of the intellectual property rights for “Scaffold” to the Dakota people and the destruction of the sculpture.  Hyperallergic, June 7, 2017

North Adams, MA

Meandering Through MASS MoCA’s Vast Expansion.  On May 28, Building 6, a three-story, claw-shaped structure that was renovated and designed by American architecture firm Bruner/Cott, opened on its industrial campus and doubled the museum’s gallery footprint — rounding out at 250,000 square feet — and adding a significant chunk for outdoor installation.  Building 6 has only enhanced the museum’s generally open and non-constricting design, and feels conducive to its mission to realize new, collaborative, and often experimental projects with visual and performing artists. Hyperallergic, June 6, 2017


Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! review – the court jester strikes again.  Grayson Perry is even-handedly contrarian and nicely curmudgeonly, poking at prejudice wherever he finds it. A lively, perceptive and engaging commentator on social habits, masculinity and – in his Reith Lectures – on art and the art world, Perry’s ideas translate less well as art itself. Provoking at best mild amusement, Perry’s Serpentine Gallery exhibition is unlikely to be The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!, as his title for the show proclaims.  The Guardian, June 6, 2017

Top spot in world museums chart shared by London and Washington.  London has been named the museums capital of the world after topping a chart of the most visited exhibition venues globally. The report by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and the economics practice at global infrastructure services company AECOM listed the 20 most visited museums around the globe from 2016 and found four of London’s attractions made the cut – tying the city in first place with Washington DC which also bagged four spots on the table.  The Guardian, June 5, 2017

Banksy’s art-for-votes offer erased after police warning. The pseudonymous British graffiti artist Banksy has withdrawn an offer of free artwork in return for tactical voting in Thursday’s general election after police warned it would invalidate the result.  The artist, who found global fame with his pop-up street art, offered prints of his famous “girl with balloon” for those who voted against Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party in six constituencies near his Bristol home.   Reuters, June 7, 2017

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