Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 12, 2017


ART SEEN: If you get the joke, send it to Artspeak If you have any jokes about art that are as good – or as bad – as the one above, now’s the time to do something about it. Artspeak wants to hear from you. The Gastown art space has grown up and turned 30. To celebrate being one of the city’s oldest artist-run galleries, Artspeak is looking for visual puns, wordplay, riddles, gags and one-liners. Selected works will be included in 30 Years of Laughs, a commemorative limited edition joke book. Vancouver Sun, June 9, 2017


Pitched roofs and wooden slats characterise Audain Art Museum by Patkau Architects  This angular museum in the forest was completed by Canadian firm Patkau Architects to house a private collector’s artwork, and creates an elevated promenade through the trees that leads to various gallery spaces. The Audain Art Museum is located in the town of Whistler, one of British Columbia’s most popular ski resorts. Covering 56,000 square feet (5,200 square metres), the institution houses a private collection as well as temporary exhibitions. Dezeen, June 10, 2017


Royal Alberta Museum to open in early 2018 The $375.5-million project will feature 72,000 square feet of permanent exhibition space, roughly double the area in the museum’s old location which closed in December 2015…. The new location will showcase 400 exhibits displaying 5,300 objects… “The museum has 99 permanent staff and we have about 60 temporarily helping us with the mammoth task of moving the new museum downtown,” [Executive Director Chris] Robinson said., June 10, 2017

Hockey and art collide at Edmonton gallery’s Gretzky exhibition Hockey and art fans will converge at the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) this weekend to watch Wayne Gretzky live in action. Or, rather, to watch people live in action looking at portraits of the Great One. The gallery’s new “simulcast exhibition,” Gretzky’s Everywhere, will feature four prints of Andy Warhol’s famous portrait of the former hockey superstar, alongside a screen broadcasting live streams of people looking at the same portraits at galleries in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and St. John’s, Nfld. Metronews, June 8, 2017


A buzz about Montreal’s awesome art hives Five days a week, people stop by Le Milieu, a small cooperative in the underprivileged neighbourhood of Centre-Sud in Montreal, and pick up a pencil, a paintbrush or knitting needles and let their imaginations run free. Some are artists but most are simply people from the local community. On this Thursday afternoon, two are painting on a wide table, sharing ideas; a man is resting in an armchair watching them; others drop by to provide material or just to greet others. Le Milieu is one of the 105 “art hives” in the world. The concept was invented by Janis Timm-Bottos, an art therapist and now professor at Concordia, after two decades observing the benefits of art on communities. National Observer, June 12, 2017


Giant dreamcatcher in P.E.I. captures dreams of young Canadians A giant dreamcatcher on display at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown celebrates the dreams of young Canadians from the 13 provinces and territories. It’s also a dream fulfilled for one of the artists who created it. In February and March, Indigenous artists Nick Huard and Watio Splicer travelled across Canada, teaching young people about the legend of the dreamcatcher and helping them create small dreamcatchers that would be woven together into one giant display., June 12, 2017

Los Angeles

The Getty gets £24.5m Parmigianino after no UK museum tries to match price The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has successfully acquired Parmigianino’s £24.5m painting of The Virgin and Child with Saint Mary Magdalen and the Infant St John the Baptist. Dating from around 1535-40, it is one of the finest works by Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola) in private hands. The painting was sold by the Dent-Brocklehurst family of Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, and has been in the UK for nearly 250 years. Sotheby’s handled the private sale. The Art Newspaper, June 12, 2017


Changes on the Land: 19th-Century American Photography East of the Mississippi In an unusual inversion of center and periphery, nineteenth-century photographs of the American West have attracted far more attention than those taken in the more settled, less majestic East. In fact, the exhibition East of the Mississippi, currently on view at the National Gallery in Washington, DC, is the first US museum survey of 19th-century photographs of landscapes and other scenic “views,” including urban imagery, that is limited to the eastern United States. While western scenes fed into the American ethos of conquest toward the continent’s farther reaches and summoned a sense of awe toward the sublime landscape, eastern photography is less grandiloquent and ranges more widely, its subjects more varied and socially representative. Hyperallergic, June 9, 2017

New York

Google partners with 180 institutions to launch art and fashion platform Digital giant Google has partnered with 180 institutions, schools and archives around the world for a new online project focusing on the history of fashion. We Wear Culture, which launched on the Google Arts & Culture website and mobile apps looks at “how fashion is stitched into the fabric of our societies”, according to a press release… There are more than 450 exhibitions and tours of important fashion and decorative art collections on the platform, from the story of the Silk Road, told through objects from the China National Silk Museum in Hangzhou, to Elsa Schiaparelli’s relationship with Surrealism, related through pieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Google has also produced 360-degree virtual reality films that dive deep into the history of specific objects, like Coco Chanel’s 1925 little black dress from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The Art Newspaper, June 9, 2017

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive opens at New York’s MoMA A major retrospective exhibition examining the drawings and models of legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright has opened today, coinciding with what would have been his 150th birthday. Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive presents almost 400 objects from the architect’s vast collection of materials, which was jointly acquired by MoMA and the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University in 2012. Dezeen, June 8, 2017

New York artist’s masterpiece depicts Quebec’s shaping of Canada On Saturday evening, some lucky New Yorkers attended a sneak preview of the latest work by figurative painter Adam Miller — a new masterpiece in the style of the Old Masters that is sure to become a lightning rod for debate in Quebec’s political, academic and artistic communities when it comes to Montreal this fall. The piece, titled simply “Quebec,” was privately commissioned by Salvatore Guerrera, a Montreal patron of the arts who wanted to mark Canada’s 150th and Montreal’s 375th birthdays by commissioning a monumental work of art that would celebrate the role of Quebec in shaping Canada. Montreal Gazette, June 11, 2017


Fahrelnissa Zeid: the Modern Turkish artist who walked on her canvases  Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901-91) may well be one of the most fascinating artists you’ve never heard of— that is, until recently. An exhibition of the late Turkish artist that is due to open at Tate Modern on 13 June and the recent of sale of her seriously large abstract painting Towards a Sky (1953) for just under £1m (nearly twice its low estimate) is generating a buzz both around Zeid’s work and her incredible life story, which has all the makings of a feature film. The Art Newspaper, June 12, 2017


The Many and Meaningful Libraries of Documenta 14 In lieu of a catalogue, Documenta 14 has what it is calling a “reader,” complete with essays, poems, and historical documents, and the curators took over three issues of the Greek magazine South as a State of Mind; the written word has special importance for this edition of the festival. So does the notion of the book as an object collected in a library. And so do libraries, as architecture and as entities that are constantly evolving. The most visible manifestation of this is Marta Minujín’s monumental The Parthenon of Books smack in the center of Friedrichsplatz. Wrapped in plastic and lining its giant columns are banned books from the world over, from To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (recently banned in a U.S. school district)… Visitors are welcome to submit a banned book to the work. The Parthenon of Books is, in effect, a library of banned books. Artnews, June 9, 2017


First House Built by Antoni Gaudí Will Become a Museum

For the first time in its 130-year-old history, the first house designed by Antoni Gaudí will soon be open to the public. Casa Vicens, built between 1883 and 1885 in the Barcelona neighborhood of Gràcia, will open in October as a museum following a major two-year restoration led by a trio of Spanish architects. With an interior as decorated as its dizzying facade, it’s one more stunning stop for visitors to check out on the city’s so-called Gaudí Route, which comprises a dozen other publicly accessible buildings by the Catalan architect, from the dragon-like Casa Batlló to the towering La Sagrada Familia. Hyperallergic, June 7, 2017


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