Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, September 21, 2017


Coast Salish art takes on contemporary edge at the Bill Reid Gallery.  Intangible is a small exhibition with a large theme. Tucked into temporary exhibition space at the Bill Reid Gallery, it spotlights the work of six Coast Salish artists: Aaron Nelson-Moody, lessLIE (Leslie Sam), Marvin Oliver, Ostwelve (Ronnie Dean Harris), Roxanne Charles, and Tracy Williams (Sesemiya). Their innovative art ranges through nontraditional media and materials, from video and performance to blown glass and hammered copper. At the same time, these artists are reconstructing cultural knowledge through the teachings of their elders and connections with ancestral lands.  Georgia Straight, September 20, 2017

Best of Vancouver   Georgia Straight’s annual survey features winners from all over the Lower Mainland in various categories.   Under ‘culture’ we were delighted to see that the Vancouver Art Gallery shares the “Best Art Gallery” with The Museum of Anthropology at UBC and the Bill Reid Gallery.  Georgia Straight, September 20, 2017

Ola Volo, iHeart, and Okuda San Miguel among artists featured at Art Rapture’s prohibition-themed exhibition.  After a successful sold-out event that attracted over 800 attendees last fall, curated art experience Art Rapture will be conducting its second show in Vancouver on September 22 and 23.   Taking place at 130 West 4th Avenue, the show will welcome 10 local and international artists, including renowned muralists Okuda San Miguel and Michelle Tanguay, and Vancouver’s own Ola Volo, iHeart, and Priscilla Yu, who will present a collection of provocative, boundary-pushing works that reflect on the theme of prohibition.  Georgia Straight, September 14, 2017

Blanket Approval.  When Vancouver-based painter Kim Dorland paints his wife and muse, he likes to wrap her in a blanket. There are at least a half-dozen portraits—some outdoors in the forest and others inside the studio—where her body is variously covered or uncovered by a Hudson’s Bay point blanket.  Border Crossings, September 2017

 Q & A: New Forms Festival executive director Malcolm Levy.  Originally a showcase for what were the outside sounds of electronic music and arts, New Forms Festival now tries to showcase what’s outside that electronic mainstream…  The festival  features visual artists alongside the sounds, and has premiered exhibitions by many cutting edge stars of the avant-garde.  Vancouver Sun, September 20, 2017

Before the bulldozers arrive, this Vancouver artist turns empty houses into works of art.  If Emily Neufeld ever wants to confirm the stats on Vancouver’s housing situation, she can just walk down her street. Neufeld lives in North Vancouver and tells CBC Arts: “There’s three houses on every block in my neighbourhood being torn down” — a sight that suggests wrecking balls are about as common as yoga pants in the B.C. city…  Houses are the subject of Neufeld’s work, sure, but they’re also her canvas, her materials and her gallery. And since 2014, she’s found a way inside ordinary bungalows and split-levels around East and North Vancouver before the bulldozers arrive, securing permission through the builders  Neufeld carefully photographs each piece as part of the project, and a selection of her work now appears at Vancouver’s Burrard Arts Foundation Gallery.   CBC News, September 19, 2017


‘Ground Signals’ group show opens Saturday at Surrey Art Gallery.  In a new group exhibit at Surrey Art Gallery, artists from across Canada aim to explore the question of how to represent the land other than by its scenic topography.  Ground Signals, co-curated by Jordan Strom and Roxanne Charles, opens an 11-week run at the gallery with a panel discussion and opening reception this Saturday evening (Sept. 23), starting at 6:30 p.m.  Cloverdale Reporter, September 20, 2017


Performance Art Blows Open the Prairies, in “Stages”   Midway through the rooftop opening for Stages: Drawing the Curtain – a show of public art at Winnipeg’s Plug-In Centre – I look through a thicket of summer-clad bodies, and notice a teenager reading a book called How to Rap… Winnipeg is a modestly-scaled city, deposited in a tremendous expanse of colonized farmland. This August, the city’s downtown felt thin: emptied by both big-box commerce, and late-summer lake vacations. Strangely, though, the quiet only seemed to amplify the show’s protean function: investing so many half-alive urban spaces with non-conforming life and enveloping color.   Momus, September 14, 2017


The Incredible Rightness of Mischief.  Kent Monkman’s revisioning of the Canadian artistic, social, political and sexual landscape is the most radical rethinking of the way our society functions any artist has accomplished in the 150 years since Confederation.  Border Crossings, September 2017

Federal Funding to Support New Gallery in Downtown Toronto.  The Government of Canada provided funding to support renovations and increased public accessibility at the Onsite Gallery at the Ontario College of Art and Design University.   Business Insider, September 16, 2017


U.S. museum given award for returning 22 Inuit bodies dug up 90 years ago.  A renowned American museum and an Inuit government have received an award for returning Inuit bodies that had been dug up and taken for scientific study.  Chicago’s Field Museum and the Nunatsiavut government in Labrador have been given the first Cultural Repatriation Award by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada’s national Inuit group.  Toronto Sun, September 20, 2017


What Was Revealed During Canada’s #AskACurator Day. This year’s #AskACurator day—the annual social-media Q&A blitz—was not without controversy internationally.  One British Museum curator was called out for racism and an (admittedly humourous) debate erupted between a science museum and a natural history museum in the UK.   In Canada, the dialogue was quieter. But a few shortfalls, curiosities and treasures were nonetheless revealed.    Canadian Art, September 20, 2017

New York

Museum of Modern Art Announces Artist List for 2018 Edition of ‘New Photography. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has revealed the artist list for the 2018 edition of “New Photography,” the museum’s survey of emerging artists working in photo-based mediums. (The last edition of “New Photography” was in 2015.) The 2018 edition of “New Photography” opens on March 18, 2018.   ArtNews, September 20, 2017

As ‘Diller Island’ Sinks, Whitney Plans Major Artwork on Hudson. As Barry Diller’s proposed floating park in the Hudson River encountered hurdle after hurdle, until Mr. Diller finally scrapped the idea last week, the Whitney Museum of American Art was closely monitoring each twist and turn to learn from his experience. The museum, it turns out, had its own river project in the works near its meatpacking district home, and not far from so-called “Diller Island”: a permanent art installation on land and water by the prominent artist David Hammons… New York Times, September 20, 2017

Mexico City

Following Destructive Earthquake, Mexico City Art World Assesses Damage.  ARTnews has reached out to various museums, galleries, and arts organizations to better understand how they fared. This post is being continuously updated with details about how the earthquake has impacted the Mexican art world. ArtNews, September 20, 2017


Rachel Whiteread review – accentuate the negative.  There is a small white shack on the lawn in front of Tate Britain. It looks exactly like the very thing it is, namely the concrete cast of a chicken shed… The art of Rachel Whiteread turns things inside out. This piece – hailed as a major new work at Tate Britain, though it’s anything but, and the artist calls it “shy” – is a cast of the space inside the shed. There’s a clue in the fact that the window frames are indented, instead of standing out. But so what? The object on the lawn – literal, stolid, untranslated – retains the form of the shed. It is a sculptural tautology. The Guardian, September 17, 2017


The Plant-Loving Artist Who Puts Pants on Trees.  Trees are beautiful organisms, beacons of both change and stability. Each year, they herald the seasons, their green spring leaves giving way to the fiery hues of autumn. Whole ecosystems are housed in their branches. But have you ever wondered what they would look like in jeans?  Up until a few years ago, a quick trip to Sweden would let you find out. Dispersed about the grounds of Malmö’s storied Wanås Konst sculpture park stood “Untitled (Tree Pants),” a series of trees dressed up by the New York-based artist Peter Coffin. Atlas Obscura, September 20, 2017


Street art goes home: museum of graffiti opens in Berlin.  For some it is the largest and most democratic art movement the world has ever seen, for others it is unwanted visual pollution. But street art now has a permanent claim on the art world: an entire museum dedicated to the genre.  Urban Nation in Berlin is the world’s first major institution built to champion and archive street art and graffiti, which fully emerged in New York in the 1970s with artists who would tag the subway tunnels.  The Guardian, September 19, 2017


Prominent German Artists Object to Arms Manufacturer’s Exhibition Sponsorship.  A group of artists included in Deutschland 8 — German Art in China, an exhibition featuring 320 works by 55 contemporary artists spread across eight venues in Beijing that opened on Saturday, were alarmed to discover that one of its main sponsors is the German weapons manufacturer Rheinmetall.   “As artists, we refuse to enhance the image of such corporations,” an open letter signed by six of the artists in the exhibition — Antje Ehmann, Marcel Odenbach, Julian Rosefelt, Hito Steyerl, Rosemarie Trockel, and Clemens von Wedemeyer — and the estate of the late Harun Farocki reads.  Hyperallergic, September 20, 2017

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