Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, July 31, 2017

Vancouver

Vancouver Art Gallery to spotlight Scandinavian design, Royal Collection artist portraits, and more in fall season Contemporary Canadian painting, portraits of artists from the Royal Collection, Scandinavian design, and the work of iconic West Coast artist Gordon Smith are all in the spotlight for the Vancouver Art Gallery’s just-announced fall roster. Georgia Straight, July 26, 2017

Elad Lassry’s Shows The Displeasure In Simplicity With VAG Exhibit Elad Lassry, His artwork is like a bottle of lukewarm water on a hot, dry day. It’s like the first two seconds of your favorite song, turned off before the rhythm begins. In other words, the works of this Los Angeles-based artist can be uncomfortable and frustrating. But this is not an insult. In fact, Lassry specializes in making his audience feel dissatisfied, thirsty, and subtly unsettled. Beatroute, July 28, 2017

Claude Monet’s Secret Garden – Seminal French Painter Blooms Again In Significant Exhibition 
With Claude Monet’s Secret Garden, the Vancouver Art Gallery is inviting the public to fall in love again with the art that helped define modern painting. “Monet is one of the most important European artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” says senior curator Ian Thom. “His work has been widely influential and allows us to see the world in a novel manner, quite unlike the academic art of the 19th century.” Monet is known for being foremost in a party of painters who fled the confined and dark studio for the great outdoors. Beatroute, July 28, 2017

Vancouver Report: A Changing Climate As forest fires ravage British Columbia’s Interior, exhibitions across Vancouver delve into environmental issues with varying degrees of success. Canadian Art, July 26, 2017

Toronto

Another take on Canada at the Aga Khan Museum Here opened at the Aga Khan Museum just a week ago, well after the din of the official sesquicentennial markers, with a view of Canadian nationhood from a unique remove. The Aga Khan, its patron and the leader of a global community of Ismaili Muslims, put the museum here in 2014 for the express purpose of gently nudging western notions of Islam away from the ravages of extremism and closer to the complex beauty of a culture both ancient and contemporary. Here stands true to form: It presents a pan-cultural array of artists, all of them Canadian, with roots in Iran, Lebanon, Ethiopia, India, Korea and Iraq to name a few, intermingled with First Nations and European-descended Canadian artists. Toronto Star, July 30, 2017

Halifax

No, no, no and no — tribunal rejects Leibovitz photos for 4th time A federal tribunal has — for the fourth time — rejected the bulk of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s enormous Annie Leibovitz collection, raising questions about whether the prints by the famous American photographer will ever be displayed in Halifax…  This is the latest development in a saga involving doubts about the cultural significance of the 2,000 photos — valued by some appraisers at $20 million — and whether their donation to the gallery by the Mintz family of Toronto was intended as a tax dodge that would profit the family. CBC.ca, July 26, 2017

Canada

The Hard Truth about Reconciliation Now, once again, the relationship between Canadians and Indigenous peoples is at the fore, in the arts and beyond. The Canadian government’s endorsement of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls have got many thinking that if enough effort and resources are applied, maybe a real difference could be made. But many are still skeptical. Canadian Art, July 24, 2017

Seattle

A tale of two Coast Salish blankets A Coast Salish blanket being shown in Seattle is believed to be the only one in a Northwest museum that’s confirmed to be made with the hair of woolly dogs. The blanket was already in the Burke Museum’s collection, but was recently tested and proven it was woven with the hair from the now-extinct small canines that were once raised for their coats and shorn like sheep. Salish Sea Sentinel, July 2017

Los Angeles

Full House: Artists from Latin America Imagine Home Home — So Different, So Appealing, curated by Chon Noriega (director of UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center and Adjunct Curator at LACMA), Mari Carmen Ramírez (Director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), and Pilar Tompkins Rivas (Director of the Vincent Prince Art Museum at East Los Angeles College), is the first of numerous shows in the region that will appear under the rubric Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA (Latin America/Los Angeles), funded, in part, by the Getty Museum. For the curators, “home” is a broad concept that encompasses various notions, which they’ve organized into eight sections that cover a period of six decades and feature forty Latino and Latin American artists. Hyperallergic, July 29, 2017

Who is the collector behind the Getty’s windfall master drawings acquisition? Last week, the Getty announced the acquisition of 16 major master drawings and one painting—Watteau’s exquisite, recently re-discovered La Surprise (around 1718)… According to sources in the field, the windfall comes from the collection of the 62-year-old collector Luca Padulli, the co-founder of the British investment management company Camomille Associates, who bought the works at auction over the last 17 years… The Art Newspaper, July 25, 2017

Houston

Menil Collection Delays Opening of Drawing Institute, Citing ‘Ongoing Construction Work’ The Menil Collection in Houston has rescheduled the opening of its Menil Drawing Institute, a new home for shows of contemporary works on paper. The museum did not give a new opening date for the institute, which was initially expected to welcome its first visitors on October 7. In a release, the museum explained that “the need for ongoing construction work and a revised estimate for building completion” prevented the institute from opening on time. Major shows of work by Jasper Johns, Brice Marden, and Roni Horn had been planned for the institute; these, too, will be rescheduled. Artnews, July 26, 2017

New York

Michel Houellebecq’s Cynicism Persists in His Photographs Prolific French writer Michel Houellebecq is not one to shy away from controversy. His six novels oscillate between anti-Semitism and blatant, gross misogyny, with an overarching, looming sexuality… For his U.S. gallery debut, Houellebecq presents a sample of his body of work in a solo show entitled French Bashing at Venus Over Manhattan. The exhibition showcases an austere array of urban scenes, with Paris as their focal point. The show is inspired in part by Rester Vivant (Staying Alive), an exhibition of Houellebecq’s work that took place in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo in 2016. Premiering a year after Houellebecq’s seclusion in Germany in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Rester Vivant drew a large audience eager to hear his thoughts on the current global state of affairs.  Hyperallergic, July 27, 2017

London

V&A names Christopher Turner as new head of design, architecture and digital collections London Design Biennale director Christopher Turner has been appointed to lead the architecture and design department at the V&A museum. Turner, is also deputy director of the London Design Festival, will become the keeper of design, architecture and digital at the London museum in October. He takes over from Kieran Long, who left the position earlier this year. He will be responsible for the Rapid Response Gallery, where the museum showcases objects collected as soon as they became newsworthy… He will also oversee the museum’s architecture and design programme, and will lead the V&A’s contribution the next Venice Architecture Biennale. Dezeen, July 27, 2017

 

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