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


ART SEEN: Ron Burnett on Emily Carr University, the Internet and sponsor naming In 1996, Ron Burnett became president of Emily Carr. Next July, after seeing students, faculty and staff settle into the new $122.6 million campus on Great Northern Way, he’ll step down from his post. Burnett has been recognized on numerous occasions for his accomplishments in the arts and post-secondary education. They include the government of France awarding him the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) and the board of Governors of Emily Carr University of Art + Design naming the library the Ron Burnett Library + Learning Commons. I talked to Burnett following a tour of the new campus building. Vancouver Sun, September 8, 2017


Robert Amos: Scenes from a (R)evolving whorl(D) Alcheringa [Gallery], in its continuing advocacy for native culture and the development of new talent, is hosting an exhibition of three fine young artists, focusing on the whorl shape and bearing the engaging title (R)evolving whorl(D). The artists, all men and all local, have accepted the challenge to work in new media and to try new forms, and this exhibit is rich in experiment and personal evolution. The artists are lessLIE, Chris Paul and Dylan Thomas. The theme of the show offers a sensitive crossover to the circular, feminine imagery and, coincidentally, all three artists are fathers of young daughters. Times Colonist, August 20, 2017


Art exhibit celebrates indigenous identity Three indigenous artists representing the three major language groups on Vancouver Island have been brought together to show off their work under one roof. Curtis Wilson from Wei Wai Kum First Nation, Richard Thomas of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and Vince Smith of the Ehattesaht First Nation were selected to participate in the inaugural TimberWest First Nation Cultural Art Showcase event, Identity: Art as Life, which is being held at The View Gallery at Vancouver Island University. TimberWest commissioned each artist to create between eight and 12 pieces for the seven-week exhibition, which begins on Thursday (Sept. 14) with an opening reception in VIU’s Malaspina Theatre. Nanaimo News Bulletin, September 11, 2017


Remembering Terry Ryan, a champion of Inuit art The year was 1964 and Terry Ryan — with nearly a decade’s experience in the Arctic — weathered an arduous journey by dog sled across Canada’s north to collect 1,863 sketches by Inuit artists. One day, the Toronto man hoped, the collection would tell stories of the country’s north in a public museum. In January, an exhibition of the entire collection opened for the first time at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University. Ryan, a lifelong patron of Inuit art, was too ill to attend. He died peacefully in his sleep on Aug. 31, after living for years with Parkinson’s disease. He was 83. Toronto Star, September 11, 2017


Blue paint and lights on Highway 20 a birthday gift from private sector The city of Montreal and partners from the private sector unveiled an art installation that will be a permanent fixture along Highway 20 west of downtown for the next five years. Bleu de Bleu is an eight-kilometre art installation, with concrete walls painted blue, blue posts added in the middle of the highway and blue LED lights installed on the shoulders to beautify the heavily used corridor. The project cost $3.2 million and was funded entirely by the private sector for Montreal’s 375th anniversary. Montreal Gazette, September 9, 2017


Artist responds to Dreamers repeal with giant US-Mexico border installation Artist JR has erected a huge billboard-style image of a child peering over the border fence dividing the US and Mexico, in response to American president Donald Trump’s proposed repeal of the DACA programme that protects children of undocumented immigrants…. French photographer and artist JR responded to the action with a temporary work, located close to the town of Tecate, towards the western end of the US-Mexico border. It shows a blown-up black and white photograph of a small child, who is posed as if peeping over the fence from the Mexican side. Dezeen, September 11, 2017

An Introduction to the 2017 ARTnews Top 200 Collectors  … for the 28th edition of the ARTnews “Top 200 Collectors” list, we asked the connoisseurs in our survey—some of them veterans and others new to the enterprise—to tell us a bit about themselves. What are some of the pieces they have acquired over the past year? Who inspired them to start collecting? Was there ever an artwork that got away? The answers we received are grand. Artnews, September 11, 2017

Los Angeles

Greg Escalante, noted gallerist, Lowbrow champion and a founder of Juxtapoz magazine, dies at 62 Greg Escalante, a bond trader who went on to become a key patron of the Lowbrow art movement as a collector, gallerist and co-founder of the magazine Juxtapoz, died Thursday evening of undisclosed causes at his home in Huntington Beach. He was 62. His death was confirmed by Wendy Sherman, manager of his Chinatown namesake art space, Gregorio Escalante Gallery… Escalante is one of the key figures associated with Lowbrow, a pop-inflected school of art that emerged in 1970s California, and which drew inspiration from underground comics, punk music, tattooing, the custom car scene, and surf and skate culture — the exact opposite of what the minimalist-minded mainstream art world was into during that era. Los Angeles Times, September 9, 2017

Porto Alegre, Brazil

Far-Right Criticism Shuts Down Brazil’s Largest Ever Queer Art Exhibition In early August, the cultural center Santander Cultural in Porto Alegre, Brazil, opened an exhibition on queer art. Featuring 85 artists and 263 artworks ranging from the mid-20th century to today, Queermuseum: Queer Tactics Toward Non-Heteronormative Curating was anchored, as curator Gaudêncio Fidelis put it in the catalogue, “in a concept we believe dearly: diversity observed under the aspects of variety, plurality, and difference.” The exhibition featured prominent artists such as Lygia Clark, Cândido Portinari, and José Leonilson, alongside lesser known, contemporary ones. It was the first major exhibition dedicated to queer art in Brazil — until it was shut down yesterday, September 10, almost one month before its planned end date. Hyperallergic, September 11, 2017


Turner winner Rachel Whiteread has a pop at ‘plop art’ Artist Rachel Whiteread has criticised what she calls “plop art” as an exhibition of her work opens in London. “I’m not a great fan of what I call ‘plop art’, where you plop a piece of work down where it doesn’t bear any relationship to anything else.” The Turner Prize’s first female winner, known for sculptures that often take the form of casts, said public sculpture should suit its surroundings. A retrospective of her work opens this week at Tate Britain. BBC News, September 11, 2017

Modern British art fair returns to London When London’s 20/21 British Art Fair was cancelled last year after the sudden loss of its venue, the Royal College of Art, many thought it would never be revived. Although a minnow in the world of international fairs, it is alone in focusing on Modern British art since its inception 28 years ago and has a loyal following among galleries and collectors. Due to exhibitor demand, owner-organisers Gay Hutson and Angela Wynn are relaunching it in the Mall Galleries in St James’s from 13–17 September. The Art Newspaper, September 12, 2017


Documenta faces yawning €7m deficit, seeks financial help The company that runs Germany’s Documenta art exhibition faces a reported deficit of €7m and is seeking help from the state of Hesse and the city of Kassel, where the event takes place. The local Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine newspaper said Hesse and Kassel had each agreed to take over loan guarantees of €3.5m. A spokeswoman for the city of Kassel said she could not confirm the figures, and that a firm of accountants would examine Documenta’s ledgers before the full details are disclosed. The Art Newspaper, September 12, 2017


Budi Tek presses China to make his Yuz Museum public Not content with opening Shanghai’s Yuz Museum in 2014 or last month receiving the Legion d’Honneur, Budi Tek is seeking to overhaul the legal framework for China’s fast-proliferating private museums. The Indonesian-Chinese collector and poultry magnate is appealing to the Chinese government to turn the Yuz—and a planned second location—into fully fledged public institutions. “I am still full of ambition. That’s what’s keeping me alive—and thinking positively,” says Tek, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer around 18 months ago. Though the Shanghai museum has non-profit status, it is run by a private foundation based in Hong Kong, Tek says. Going public will require him to establish a registered foundation in mainland China. The Art Newspaper, September 11, 2017


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