Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 15, 2017


Unlearning the Vancouver School. A new Vancouver exhibition challenges the perception of photoconceptualism as glossy and apolitical—and upends the idea that it dominates local image-making.  Curator, Grant Arnold, butts against the naturalized connection between big, pretty pictures and Vancouver with a sophisticated selection of photographic and video work by 20 artists and artist duos strategically arranged throughout  the Vancouver Art Gallery’s “Pictures From Here.” The show widens the category “pictures” by stretching its chronological and technical boundaries beyond postmodernism and art photography….Throughout, the exhibition portrays Vancouver’s artistic community as an archipelago that harbours many different views.  “Pictures from Here” pays attention to the spirit of experimentalism that has existed in the region since the 1970s among artists outside the herd of photoconceptualists.    Canadian Art, June 14, 2017

Tarah Hogue named Vancouver Art Gallery’s new senior curatorial fellow. The Vancouver Art Gallery has just appointed local writer and grunt gallery curator Tarah Hogue as its first senior curatorial fellow focusing on indigenous art.   Hogue, who is of Métis/French Canadian and Dutch ancestry, is set to start the new job in September.  The VAG launched the new fellowship to bring more diverse perspectives to its curatorial team, and to “examine and re-contextualize the colonial legacy of the institution.” Georgia Straight, June 14, 2017

Queer Arts Festival reflects a vision of two spirits.  Restival Director, S.D. Holman reached out to Siksika artist Adrian Stimson, curator of the festival’s featured exhibition, UnSettled. The show, curated by and for two-spirit artists, includes the work of Ursula Johnson, George Littlechild, John Powell, and Raven John, among others, in visual-art pieces that explore the many facets of two-spirit identity.  Georgia Straight, June 14, 2017

Alliance for Arts’ Revolution conference discusses solutions, audience engagement in the wake of changeRevolution: Engaging Human Creativity was the theme for this year’s BC Alliance for Arts & Culture conference.  Keynote speaker Ben Cameron and executive director Brenda Leadlay addressed a sold-out delegation of arts leaders, students, and community members about the importance of adaptability during a time of political, technological, and cultural upheaval.  Cameron, a Minnesota-based arts advocate, spoke about how the social contract involving the arts has expanded, with audiences demanding more involvement.   “The way we talk about the arts is deeply alienating to the public.” Georgia Straight, June 9, 2017


Art Gallery of Greater Victoria presents Cumberland captured in timeMirror with Memory — 27 prints and 60 more projected images — features photos from a single Japanese-Canadian studio in Cumberland in the Comox Valley. The studio was founded by photographer Senjiro Hayasi, an immigrant, and later taken over by apprentices.  The exhibit portrays a slice of life from early 20th-century Cumberland, the Vancouver Island mining town built in 1888 by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. There is a wide variety of images — families, friends, baseball players, labourers toiling in coal mines.  Times Colonist, June 15, 2017


‘Bridge communities and break stereotypes’: Art project begins northern tour in InuvikArt Express’d, an art project created by the Winnipeg Art Gallery to mark Canada 150, is in Inuvik this week on a mission to unite people and communities through art.  From Winnipeg, three artists are travelling to 16 communities across Canada with six-metre shipping containers converted into mobile art studios. One is heading east, the other west, and Ontario artist Jessie Buchanan is on the northern route.   CBC News, June 13, 2017


Cree artist Kent Monkman to lead Toronto’s 2017 Pride parade. The acclaimed two-spirited Cree artist Kent Monkman will lead Toronto’s 2017 Pride parade. Monkman, renowned for using classic art techniques to challenge notions about gender and Indigenous people, was named Pride’s grand marshal on Tuesday.    Metro Canada, June 13, 2017

Time running out for deal to save 401 Richmond. In a spiralling property market, a one-size-fits-all model for property assessment endangers countless other such buildings. Artscape, a non-profit that manages hundreds of affordable spaces for cultural activity, is facing a similar tax crunch.   A new tax class would not just assure their survival but might encourage the blossoming of like-minded ventures, thanks to a tax regime based on a building’s actual use, not its potential maximized value.   Toronto Star, June 15, 2017

San Francisco

High-priced art plan to be unveiled for Treasure Island. On Wednesday, the Treasure Island Development Authority is expected to approve a plan meant to provide one part of the answer. The long-awaited Treasure Island Arts Master Plan lays out a strategy to spend $50 million on public art. The money will come from development firms under San Francisco’s “1 percent for art in private development” requirement….The 107-page plan considers a broad range of “art typologies” including permanent sculpture, light- and media-based art, “interactions with the maritime community,” murals and environmental art.   San Francisco Chronicle, June 13, 2017


Lost Jackson Pollock painting found in a garage could be worth $15 million.  When a rare Jackson Pollock painting was found in an Arizona garage, figuring out its origins wasn’t just about analyzing brush strokes. Like any good mystery, uncovering the painting’s history took tracking down the people behind it.  CNN, June 13, 2017

North Adams, MA

A Journey Through James Turrell’s Disorienting World at the Newly Expanded MASS MoCA. “Perfectly Clear” is the centerpiece of a James Turrell retrospective, Into the Light, at the newly expanded Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.  And, as with much of his work, the piece has been designed to disrupt our sense of space and time — to call into question the authority of sight. At times, light seems to thicken, to encase the viewer in a turbid substance, and also to erase the contours of the gallery: the far wall does not appear to be a wall at all, but an undifferentiated void. Hyperallergic, June 14, 2017

New York

An Exhibition Celebrating the GIF’s 30th Anniversary. Everybody’s favorite digital image file type (sorry, PNGs) turns 30 this year, and to mark the occasion 30 Graphics Interchange Format (or GIF) artists will show their loopy, glitchy, colorful, pixelated, and otherwise whimsical work beginning Saturday, June 17.  Hyperallergic, June 14, 2017

United States

A Mystic Monumentality.  By the time Louis Kahn died in 1974 at the age of seventy-three, he was widely and correctly considered America’s foremost master builder, even though his mature career spanned little more than two decades and he executed only about a dozen important buildings. In recent years Kahn’s messy personal history has threatened to overshadow his immense professional accomplishments, yet his aura has grown steadily, not just for what he achieved but also because of what has taken place in the built environment since his death. New York Review of Books, June 22 issue, 2017


Fahrelnissa Zeid: Tate Modern resurrects artist forgotten by history.  She was an artist of such “force and originality”, says Tate Modern, that it is astonishing that Fahrelnissa Zeid should have been practically forgotten. Now, in the first retrospective of its kind in the UK, Tate Modern hopes to lift the pioneering Turkish artist out of obscurity to ensure that she does not become yet another female artist forgotten by history.  The Guardian, June 12, 2017

Artist Khadija Saye Missing in Massive Fire in London Apartment Building.  The artist Khadija Saye, whose work is currently included in the Venice Biennale’s Diaspora Pavilion, is among the many people missing following the deadly fire that broke out early this morning in a west London apartment building. The Guardian, June 14, 2017

Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition showcases the world.  The 2017 edition of the Summer Exhibition, which next year celebrates its 250th anniversary and is still the world’s largest open-submission art exhibition, was curated by painter and printmaker Eileen Cooper. Cooper, known best for her colourful, stylised paintings of women, had her first work selected for the Summer Exhibition as a student in the 1970s. She said she wanted to display artists who have never come close to the Royal Academy in the past.   The Guardian, June 8, 2017

 The man who made colour cool – in pictures  Joel Meyerowitz spent his early days shooting in a mix of black and white and colour on the streets of New York, alongside Garry Winogrand and Tony Ray-Jones. Joel Meyerowitz: Towards Colour 1962-1978 is at Beetles+Huxley, London, until 24th June The Guardian, June 12, 2017


Ai Weiwei Drifting’: China’s most famous, displaced artist.   The DW documentary “Ai Weiwei Drifting” initially aimed to showcase Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s work at Berlin’s University of the Arts, but it ended up focusing on much more. It shows China’s most famous artist in the western world as a filmmaker, architect, concept artist and sculptor, but also as a father.  Deutche Welle, June 14, 2017







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