Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, September 11, 2017

Vancouver

Fall visual arts: Two new art venues opening in Metro Vancouver Two new venues for visual arts in Metro Vancouver are opening this fall. The first is the Libby Leshgold Gallery [previously the Charles H. Scott Gallery], the public space in the new $110.2-million building housing the Emily Carr University of Art + Design by Great Northern Way. The first exhibition of artists from the Pacific Rim opens Saturday, Oct. 21… The other big addition to the visual-arts scene is the opening of The Polygon — formerly Presentation House Gallery — in North Vancouver. The new, $15-million gallery is on the waterfront a short walk from the SeaBus at the foot of Lonsdale. The Polygon opens Saturday, Nov. 18. Vancouver Sun, September 8, 2017

Façade Festival Breaks Barriers, Brings Art to Life in Third Edition Featuring 10 Canadian artists of completely different styles, visions, and backgrounds, Vancouver’s third annual Façade Festival is a stunning showcase of rich diversity. Presented by the Burrard Arts Foundation, it brings unconventional stories and contemporary visions to the public, to break through the metaphoric façades of art and society. Beatroute, September 7, 2017

This Week in History: N.E. Thing set out to subvert the visual status quo On its cross-Canada tour in 1969, N.E. Thing Co. played around with visual conventions about landscape and art. From B.C., for example, the company took a bag of local dirt east and added it to some dirt in Alberta. The art provocateurs also took some Alberta dirt and mixed it in with dirt in Saskatchewan, to make it even dirtier. Iain and Ingrid Baxter, the husband-and-wife team who made up the group, picked up a bag of dirt from every province they travelled to — including Newfoundland. Vancouver Sun, September 9, 2017

Toronto

AGO facing big choices as top curator Andrew Hunter quits Andrew Hunter, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s top curator of Canadian art, resigned Thursday, according to an internal memo, and it’s hard to see it as anything less than a blow to the gallery’s progressive arc of recent years…. In a statement, AGO director Stephan Jost praised Hunter’s work at the gallery and singled out [the exhibition] Every. Now. Then. specifically: “Andrew has helped us think more critically, deeply and compassionately about our country and our world — and he has made an incredible difference at the Gallery as a result.” Toronto Star, September 7, 2017

Ottawa

Whipping council, good cop, bad cop — How the new OAG came to be The OAG [Ottawa Art Gallery] is moving this fall from a 10,000-square-foot maze of small, drab rooms in Arts Court to a spacious building next door offering 55,000 square feet. That means the OAG can finally partner with big institutions such as the Vancouver Art Gallery to create and display large exhibitions like [Howie] Tsui’s, which includes a 25-metre-long scroll-like video installation… In 2014, city council agreed to a $100-million project involving a new OAG, a 22-storey hotel and condominium tower, and classrooms for the University of Ottawa… The new OAG, with a front door on Mackenzie King Bridge, will have four times the exhibition space it did at Arts Court. Ottawa Magazine, September 11, 2017

Montreal

Elspeth McConnell: A Timorous Titan [obituary] Elspeth McConnell (née Bagg), 1931-2017, was an important Montrealer who tried to remain private and insignificant all her life. She grew up in Depression-era N.D.G., the only child of teachers, and worked as a journalist for the newspapers of the now defunct Montreal Star group. Her life was changed on marrying the boss, John Griffith McConnell, a son of perhaps Canada’s then-wealthiest business leader and foremost philanthropist, whose family and foundation continue today….Consulting with artists directly as well as a former curator of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British-Columbia (MOA), she built a collection that revealed her discerning eye as well as her commitment to First Nations art and artists. The works she collected are of extraordinary quality; many of the historical pieces had left Canada a hundred years ago or more, and through her generosity have now been brought back to inspire new generations of artists and scholars. The Globe and Mail, September 9, 2017

Los Angeles

LA’s New Contemporary Art Museum Celebrates a Flexible, Collectionless Model Described by founder Elsa Longhauser as a kunsthalle, the ICA LA is a small, non-collecting museum, whose origins lie in the now defunct Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA). After a lengthy rent dispute with its landlord, the SMMoA closed in 2015, and Longhauser, the museum’s executive director, took time to regroup before rebranding the museum as the ICA LA. Hyperallergic, September 8, 2017

New York

David Hockney interview: ‘I thought I was a peripheral artist, really’ The British artist talks about his new paintings, distorted perspective and the afterlife ahead of his major retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in November. The Independent, September 11, 2017

Paris

MoMA comes to Paris—why the Fondation Louis Vuitton is partnering with New York’s mega-museum Suzanne Pagé, the artistic director of the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, said today that partnering with the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) on a major new exhibition has been a “new, mythical adventure”… Being Modern: MoMA in Paris (11 October-5 March 2018). MoMA is lending 200 works of art to the Fondation Louis Vuitton, presenting key works from all six of the museum’s departments, including examples by Paul Cézanne, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Cindy Sherman and Ellsworth Kelly. The Art Newspaper, September 7, 2017

Pierre Bergé, French entrepreneur and art collector, dies aged 86 Pierre Bergé, a formidable French entrepreneur and art collector, died early on 8 September, aged 86, in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence… He died not long before the opening of two museums, in Paris and Marrakech, which he dedicated to his late partner, Yves Saint Laurent. From 1954 until Saint Laurent’s death in 2008, Bergé was the companion of the couturier…  He was also a supporter of the National Gallery and various museums in Paris. Last March, he married the landscapist Madison Cox, who will lead the foundation he created. The Art Newspaper, September 8, 2017

Sculptures of Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano will sit opposite the Centre Pompidou French artist Xavier Veilhan has created two new sculptures of Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, which are set to be permanently installed across from the architects’ iconic building, the Centre Pompidou.The sculptures are variations on pieces in Veilhan’s Architects series, first exhibited at a private viewing in the Palace of Versailles in 2009.  Dezeen, September 10, 2017

Taiwan

First-ever museum show celebrating queer Asian art opens in Taiwan The first ever museum show celebrating queer Asian art opened this weekend at the state-run Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art. Spectrosynthesis: Asian LGBTQ Issues and Art Now (until 5 November) presents 51 works by 22 artists and is organised by the Taiwanese curator Sean Hu and backed by the Hong Kong collector Patrick Sun’s Sunpride Foundation. They chose Taiwan for its May ruling setting the stage to legalise gay marriage, and plan to subsequently tour the project around Asia. The Art Newspaper, September 11, 2017

 

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