Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, November 9, 2017


Vancouver Art Gallery’s Portrait of the Artist pulls some big names from the royal collection.Portrait of the Artist opened in London, England, in November 2016. The first show to focus on the rich history of artists’ portraits and self-portraits in the Royal Collection, it was installed in the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace and accompanied by a handsome and illuminating publication. The works on view, spanning some 500 years, called forth a number of themes, including the increasing status of the artist in the Western world from the Renaissance forward and the growing desire by those with wealth and power to acquire depictions of these individuals, now deemed creators rather than mere artisans… A smaller and somewhat diluted version of that exhibition is now on view at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The big names are here—from Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, and Rembrandt van Rijn to Lucian Freud and David Hockney”…Georgia Straight, November 7, 2017

Things To Do: 6 can’t-miss Vancouver arts events this week, November 8 to 14. Among the great events this week, is Vancouver Art Gallery’s upcoming late-night art party, Fuse: A Conjuring on Nov. 10.   Georgia Straight, November 7, 2017

Five reasons to check out 2017’s East Van Culture Crawl. The Crawl keeps getting bigger. This year’s features the annual event’s largest lineup of artists, venues, and events to date. More than 500 new and returning artists are opening their studios, workspaces, and garrets to art-lovers, furniture-buyers, and the merely curious.  Vancouver Sun, November 8, 2017  See also: Eastside Culture Crawl Artist & Studio Spotlight, Georgia Straight, November 6, 2017

Capture Photography Festival invites photographers to submit their work for a public art installation. Capture Photography Festival and the Georgia Straight are inviting photographers of all backgrounds to submit their work as part of the Canada Line Public Art Project open call.   A shortlist will be announced on or around January 15, 2018, and the shortlisted images will be posted on the Straight’s website for public voting.  Georgia Straight, November 7, 2017

Vancouver Island

Reimagining the Art Symposium.  In September, the Primary Colours gathering on Vancouver Island attempted to reimagine the typical art symposium. As part of a larger project spanning 2016 to 2018, Chris Creighton-Kelly and France Trépanier organized the three-day gathering at the Songhees Wellness Centre, on Lekwungen territories near Victoria. There were over one hundred attendees, including Skawennati, Nadia Myre, Sylvia Hamilton, Andrea Fatona, David Garneau, Camille Turner and Aliya Pabani. The following is Aliya’s account of the gathering… Canadian Art, November 9, 2017


Free entry boosts attendance at Art Gallery of Alberta.  Attendance at the Art Gallery of Alberta  is up 22 per cent after a cash injection from Edmonton city council helped provide more free admissions to the gallery.  Admissions for April, May, June and July 2017 were 24,789, compared with 20,308 for the same period last year, gallery figures show.  CBC News, November 8, 2017


Local artist donates $100K sculpture to Remai Modern. A sculpture valued at more than $100,000 has been donated to the Remai Modern art gallery by Saskatoon-based artist and educator Eli Bornstein.  Remai Modern had commissioned the new Structurist relief sculpture for its inaugural exhibition, Field Guide, which opened with the new museum on Oct. 21. The exhibition features 300 works by nearly 80 artists.   CBC News, November 8, 2017

Los Angeles

“Pacific Standard Time” Writes Overlooked Chicano Artists Back Into Art History.  The sprawling initiative, which includes 88 affiliated exhibitions across Southern California, comes five years after PST: Los Angeles 1980–1945, a 60-institution, $10 million effort that frequently felt boosterish, offering LA arts venues the opportunity to rediscover and celebrate their own histories. When the Getty announced that the next version would focus on LA and Latin America, it was clear that this self-congratulation would not recur. Despite the large Latinx population in Southern California, major local institutions have too rarely exhibited the work of Chicano and Latino artists.  Momus, November 7, 2017

Kansas City

Nelson-Atkins Acquires 800 Photographs, Director Says Collection Is Now ‘Unparalleled’ The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art announced on Wednesday that it had acquired more than 800 photographs thanks to a $10 million grant made two years ago by the Hall Family Foundation. “They range from single print by an artist we didn’t have, to a whole portfolio of an artist who kept his prints and traveled with them from Europe to America,” Director and CEO Julián Zugazagoitia said, speaking of Jewish photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, who emigrated to the U.S. from Hitler’s Germany.”  KCUR, November 8, 2017

 United States

Putting on a Show.  In the unpredictable and often baffling way that hip, new meaning can glom onto even the stuffiest of words, “curating” has emerged in recent years as a ubiquitous cultural tag for fashion, groceries, Instagram posts, Pinterest accounts, and much else.  For much of the 20th century, museums settled into a more sedate and refined existence; during this time, curating was for the most part an amateur calling. But then came J. Carter Brown, director of the National Gallery of Art in the 1970s and ’80s. As historian Neil Harris argues in his book Capital Culture, Brown launched a “new age of museums.”  Weekly Standard, November 13 (issue), 2017

Why Young Queer Artists Are Trading Anguish for Joy. Contemporary investigations of queer identity are certainly no longer limited to death, tragedy, rage, and violence; instead, we see happiness and intimacy, as well as melancholia and nostalgia—a wider spectrum of emotions and subjects available outside the context of crisis. This is a major departure from the gut-wrenching and essential work of these artists’ predecessors in the 1980s and ’90s, but it optimistically suggests the possibility that the queer community can overcome trauma, and move toward an age of freedom and safety, even in the face of ongoing struggle.   Artsy, November 8, 2017


The Newest Home for Rembrandt and the Dutch Masters Is Gorgeous Outer-Space Museum (Thanks to Virtual Reality).  Dutch and Flemish Old Masters are getting the VR treatment. Remarkable works by Rembrandt van Rijn and Frans Hals, as well as other beloved painters like Hendrick ter Brugghen, Gerrit Dou, and Pieter de Hooch, are part of an Amsterdam collection that will soon be visible in jaw-dropping virtual reality to anyone in the world with the necessary gear.  Artnet News, November 2, 2017


Financial crisis may see Auckland Art Gallery turn away visitors one or two days a week.  Arts patron Dame Jenny Gibbs says the gallery’s operating budget has been progressively cut from $12 million in 2012 to the current $6.9m.  “This does not even cover salaries and wages and the gallery is having to consider closing on one or more days a week.  “The $6.9 million grant to Auckland Art Gallery is a disgrace and completely unsustainable. Auckland Council should be ashamed,” said Gibbs, a major supporter of the gallery.  The funding squeeze has also meant the gallery cannot afford to keep top staff.  New Zealand Herald, November 8, 2017


Tate Modern to show Soviet propaganda art by Aleksandr Deineka.  Three paintings of proud Russians marching with unrestrained joy during what was the height of Joseph Stalin’s purges have travelled to the UK for the first time.  The paintings by the leading Soviet realist Aleksandr Deineka have been lent to Tate Modern by the state art gallery in Perm, eastern Russia, for a London show exploring the visual history of Russia and the Soviet Union in the first half of the 20th century.   Almost all the objects in the show come from the remarkable collection of the late graphic designer David King, a prolific collector of Soviet-era posters, paintings, photographs, books and ephemera.    The Guardian, November 7, 2017

Abu Dhabi

Five impressive pieces of art at the new Louvre Abu Dhabi. As the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens its doors to the public on Saturday, here are five pieces of art out of the 620 on display you should look out for that show the breadth of the new museum… Globe & Mail, November 9, 2017

Chiba, Japan

Japanese billionaire sends $110m Basquiat on ‘world tour’  The Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has sent his prized 1982 skull painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat on a world tour, just five months after he bought it for a record $110m (with fees) at Sotheby’s in New York.  The Art Newspaper, November 7, 2017



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