Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, November 2, 2017


The Georgia Straight presents FUSE: A Conjuring. Featuring artists from across the country, FUSE: A Conjuring creates a lively environment where participants can cast a contemplative glance into how artists’ materials and processes create a magical art experience.  Participating artists include Yu Su, Minimal Violence, Hick, and Soledad Muñoz. Small Practices of Deep Looking has artists and musicians Tsēma Igharas, Stephen Murray, Simranpreet Anand, and Stacy Ho respond to and offer their unique perspective on individual works from the gallery’s fall exhibitions.    Georgia Straight, October 27, 2017


Robert Amos: It’s hip to be square, and edgy  When I graduated from university in 1973, the art world had just crossed a great divide: The end of modernism and the birth of post-modernism. Just about the last chapter of modernism was geometric abstraction, currently the subject of a survey of the collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.   The show begins with two views of Myfanwy Pavelic’s studio, which are basically her fully representational paintings that have been cut into facets, the hard edges suggested by the views in mirrors placed around the artist.  Times Colonist, October 29, 2017


Kelowna Art Gallery getting more room to store works. A federal grant is helping the Kelowna Art Gallery’s permanent art collection have a little bit more space to grow. The grant provides funds for what the art gallery says is significant upgrade to the storage vault that houses more than 800 of the works that are in the collection.  Kelowna Capital News, November 1, 2017

Bergen, Alberta

Haunted House. This is how horror stories start. Two brothers buy and renovate an old building in rural Alberta, then fill it with curious collectibles: A plaster death mask from 1850s Holland. A wooden Ouija board from 1940s Baltimore. Ventriloquist dummies. Vodou dolls. Garden gnomes. And not just any gnomes—these are family heirlooms, of a sort. It was Jude and Brendan Griebel’s ancestor Philipp Griebel who invented the iconic ceramic lawn ornaments in the 19th century, whimsical symbols of simpler times in Germany (with an admittedly kitschier pedigree this side of the Atlantic).   This fantastical biographical note is just one of the details that make up the brothers’ journey to their latest venture: the Museum of Fear and Wonder near Bergen, Alberta.  Canadian Art, October 31, 2017


Worlds inside Worlds. The 2017 Canadian Biennial—which opened at the National Gallery of Canada on October 19 and closes March 18—is the first of its kind to include artists from outside Canada. Their presence has the welcome effect of casting the NGC’s best, new(ish) Canadian art in a global light.  Canadian Art, November 1, 2017


Los Angeles Comes to Toronto.  Los Angeles is a city of neighbourhoods, and far from ignoring this diversity, curator Santi Vernetti is highlighting it with his selections for the FOCUS: Los Angeles portion of Art Toronto 2017.  Canadian Art, October 29, 2017


Montreal artist John Little’s street scenes are steeped in nostalgia.  John Little has always kept a low public profile — for decades he has been one of the more reluctant stars of Montreal’s art community.  Throughout his 65-year career, the modest, self-effacing painter has refused to grant interviews or allow reproductions of his work to be published. Instead, he has been rendering Montreal’s urban landscape in a signature style that blends nostalgic whimsy with gritty realism. “He prefers to let his canvases speak for themselves,” says art dealer Alan Klinkhoff, who is about to open a rare Little exhibition at his Montreal gallery — the first public show the 89-year-old artist has consented to in nearly 40 years.  Montreal Gazette, November 1, 2017

Los Angeles

LACMA and the MFA Houston Go to Bat Over the World Series on Twitter.  For those of us who care about a bunch of millionaires swinging a piece of wood at a small orb and running around a diamond as fast as they can, this year’s World Series has been one of the more exciting contests.   As fans trash talk outside stadiums, a rivalry of another sort is taking place online between two unlikely adversaries: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art  and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston . With the hashtag #WorldSeriesArtThrowdown, the two venerable institutions have taken to Twitter, trading rhyming barbs accompanied by images of work from their respective collections.  Hyperallergic, October 30, 2017

New York

Painter’s Ex-Assistant Charged With Stealing His Works. The painter Sean Scully was surprised in early September to receive an email from Bonhams auction house with a photograph of a work attributed to him that they hoped to sell at an upcoming auction. Could the artist confirm certain details about it?   The image showed three panels painted with lines of alternating color.  They certainly resembled Mr. Scully’s trademark style, but something was not quite right.  New York Times, November 1, 2017

Pittsfield, MA

The Berserk Battle Over the Berkshire Museum and Its Art Collection.  After throwing the Berkshires into chaos in July, Pittsfield’s storied Berkshire Museum has found itself brought up in front of Berkshire County’s Superior Court. The museum had bet everything on a desperate and deeply unethical plan to sell off the most valuable and historic artworks in its collection, rip out the architectural heart of the building, and build up a fortress endowment so large that it would never need public support again.  Hyperallergic, November 2, 2017

Hastings, East Sussex

Walking tall: Hastings pier wins the Stirling architecture prizeHastings Pier is the work of London-based architects de Rijke Marsh Morgan, who have been shortlisted for the Stirling on two previous occasions: in 2010 for a colourful primary school in Clapham, London, and last year for a housing scheme in the controversial redevelopment of the Heygate Estate in the borough of Southwark. In Hastings, they have thankfully shown a greater sensitivity to the local community.   Nicknamed the Plank, de Rijke Marsh Morgan’s stark wooden wonder – using timber reclaimed from previous fires – was praised for changing ‘the idea of what architecture is.’  The Guardian, November 1, 2017


Former Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis remaps Lisbon’s Gulbenkian  Two years after leaving the helm of London’s Tate Britain to run the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Penelope Curtis is leading a quiet revolution at the prestigious Lisbon institution. The British scholar of sculpture is the first non-Portuguese director of the private museum established by the Armenian oil magnate Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian. Backed by the wide-ranging Gulbenkian Foundation, it has around ten curators and gets around 600,000 visitors a year (with 60% of them coming from outside Portugal)—roughly half the numbers of Tate’s British art gallery.  The Art Newspaper, October 30, 2017


Giant blobs and floating parks: Seoul’s first architecture biennale shakes up the city From Zaha Hadid’s bulbous plaza to a ‘library’ of flora planted across a skygarden, the South Korean capital is using its architecture festival to look to the future – and atone for the costly sins of the past.  The Guardian, November 1, 2017


‘It’s hurting everyone’: the truth about sexual misconduct in the art world.  He is being called the Harvey Weinstein of the art world. Artforum magazine publisher Knight Landesman, 67, has been accused of sexual misconduct by nine younger women, which caused him to resign last week.  The Guardian, October 31, 2017



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