Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 29, 2017

Arts News is taking a short break.  We’ll be back on July 5th.  See you then!


Claude Monet’s Secret Garden uncovers the impressionist master’s late abstractions.  “The “secret” in the exhibition title is both tantalizing and a tad misleading. Monet’s gardens at Giverny, a village in northern France where the Epte River flows into the Seine, and where the artist lived from 1883 until his death in 1926, were and are probably the best known of any artist’s gardens anywhere in the world… No, the secret here is the highly abstracted paintings Monet produced late in his career and refused to exhibit or sell.”  (Claude Monet’s Secret Garden will be at the Vancouver Art Gallery until Oct. 1.)Georgia Straight, June 27, 2017

Vancouver Art Gallery’s Fuse party fastforwards to 2167.  The upcoming multimedia Fuse party at the Vancouver Art Gallery takes the ubiquitous Canada 150 foofaraw and turns it artfully on its head. Curators Sherry J. Yoon and Jay Dodge are calling the event Fuse: 2167, asking all its performers and artists to look back on the present from the vantage point of another 150 years into the future. Georgia Straight, June 28, 2017

Canadian gov’t invests $3 million in Vancouver coworking spaces for creatives.  The Government of Canada is investing $3 million towards establishing two new creative coworking spaces in Vancouver through the government’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. The Canadian government said the investment will support the construction, infrastructure upgrades, and facility expansion activities of the BC Artscape Society and the Vancity Community Foundation, two nonprofit organizations that support and fund art-driven and creative projects throughout Vancouver. The  foundation will renovate and convert Vancouver’s former police headquarters located at 312 Main Street into a new community space. The Canadian government said that once renovated, the space will be known as “Vancouver’s Centre for Social and Economic Innovation,” and act as a shared coworking space where cultural entrepreneurs, artists, and nonprofit organizations can collaborate, brainstorm, and execute their ideas. Betakit, June 29, 2017

Come Together film premiere promises chaotic night of art, music, and memory. Vancouver artist Peter Ricq has a lot to celebrate on Friday (June 30). He’s screening his first (and last) documentary film Come Together, reflecting on the trip of a lifetime to Bogotá, Colombia, and stepping away from visual art for the time being.  In 2013, Ricq and his friend Ken Lum, curator of the Ayden Gallery, set off with a handful of artist friends to put on a music and art festival in Bogotá, Colombia. Naturally, nothing went as planned: they barely sold any art, saw their personal belongings stolen, and lost tens of thousands of dollars in the process. The ensuing chaos, set against the backdrop of Bogotá‘s politically-charged art scene, makes up the narrative of Come Together’s 90-minute runtime.  Georgia Straight, June 27, 2017


150 years of Canadian art celebrated at Kelowna gallery. A new exhibition opening on Canada Day at the Kelowna Art Gallery aims to take viewers on a journey through the past 150 years of visual art in Canada.  The exhibition, entitled A Legacy of Canadian Art from Kelowna Collections, features 80 works that were all borrowed from the homes and private collections of residents in the Kelowna area. Kelowna Daily Courier, June 28, 2017


ArtPic: Beth Howe and Clive McCarthy’s 3500 BRB at SNAP Gallery.  Get up close to Beth Howe and Clive McCarthy’s gorgeous prints on the wall at SNAP and the sense of motion is dizzying.   From a distance, 3500 Black Red Black is a lonely train — prints on paper made of wavy lines of varying thickness that trick our brains into sensing grey scale. These lines seem to dance like mad as your eyes travel over them.   Edmonton Journal, June 22, 2017


Montreal Report: Darkness in Summer.  Summer has finally arrived in Montreal, with its carnival atmosphere of non-stop festivals intensified, this year, by the overlapping occurrence of Canada 150 celebrations, Montreal’s 375th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of Expo ’67.  Canadian Art, June 28, 2017

Stanford, California

The American Landscape Photographers Who Focused on the Environment in the ’70s  The 1970s are sometimes called the “environmental decade,” due to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the enaction of major environmental legislation, and the increase in awareness of ecological issues such as ozone depletion, the harms of DDT, and acid rain. The spirit of the times also made a considerable impression on the field of landscape photography, most memorably catalogued in New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape, a modest but influential 1975 exhibition at the George Eastman Museum.  Hyperallergic, June 28, 2017


Exhibit of Frida Kahlo, Other Mexican Greats Is Cultural Touchstone for Dallas Latinos.  There was skepticism when Dallas Museum of Art director Agustín Arteaga proposed bringing a major exhibit of Mexican masterpieces here from Paris and allowing families who were not regular museum visitors to see it for free.   But since the exhibit’s arrival in March, so many people have seen it, its attendance ranks as the second highest for a special exhibit at the DMA in the past five years, according to the museum.  NBC News, June 26, 2017


$1M Chicago initiative to create public art in all 50 wards.  The city of Chicago has commissioned artists to create murals, sculptures and other works in all 50 city wards this summer and fall.   The $1 million initiative is part of the “Year of Public Art,” a citywide effort to bring art to more public spaces.  Chicago Tribute, June 26, 2017

New York

MoMA Receives $50 M. Gift From Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to Support Expansion.  The collector and hedge fund titan Steven A. Cohen and his wife, Alexandra Cohen, are the latest big-money contributors to the Museum of Modern Art’s capital campaign for new exhibition space. The institution announced today that the couple’s foundation has given $50 million in unrestricted funds.  Artnews, June 27, 2017

Errol Morris’s “The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography”: An Artist’s Soul, Unleashed by a Polaroid Camera.  Errol Morris’s quietly passionate and inspiring new film, “The B-Side,” which opens Friday, is a work of echoes and reflections. It’s a documentary portrait of Elsa Dorfman, a photographer who does mainly portraits and whose photography is inseparable from the details of her daily life. New Yorker, June 28, 2017


Nicholas Serota’s stranglehold on contemporary art.  Charlotte Higgins (How Nicholas Serota changed Britain) wonders if Nicholas Serota’s revolution is in danger of being reversed. One can only hope so. Serota’s single-minded promotion of so-called “cutting edge” art at Tate Modern has resulted in a stranglehold of such art in most galleries in the public realm. It has, in fact, become the new academicism, as rigid and unshakeable as that of the 19th century.  The Guardian, June 28, 2017

Dreamers Awake review – a sublime anatomy of female surrealism.  Dreamers Awake is a sublime survey of more than 50 female artists, from Dorothea Tanning and Louise Bourgeois to Hannah Wilke and Tracey Emin.  The exhibition riffs artfully around what it means to live inside rather than gaze upon a female form.  The Guardian, June 28, 2017


First Public Showing of Monet, Rodin and Maillols From Gurlitt Trove.  “Nearly four years after news of the discovery of the trove stunned the art world and stirred outrage over the fact that German authorities had kept its existence under wraps for months, the public will finally be allowed to view about 250 works” – among them pieces by Monet, Rodin, and Maillol – “selected from more than 1,200 as part of a show to open on Nov. 3 at the Bundeskunsthalle [in Bonn]. The show, “Dossier Gurlitt: Nazi Art Theft and Its Consequences,” will focus on works believed to have been stolen by, or sold to the Nazis at below-market prices, from mostly Jewish-owned private collections.  ” New York Times, June 29, 2017


The Thinking Process of the Visual Artist.  A quick experiment: Glance out of your nearest window and describe the scene. If you could leap through it and explore the environment, where would you go? And what would you like to change?  The answers you give, and the descriptive language you use, will be very different depending on if you are a painter, a sculptor, an architect, or none of the above.  That’s the conclusion of a newly published study, which finds members of those three professions conceptualize space differently from the rest of us, and from each other.  The Pacific Standard, June 28, 2017


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