Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, August 13, 2018


How a chain-link mosque at the Vancouver Biennale became a community hub As diplomatic tensions mount between Canada and Saudi Arabia—with the Canadian ambassador expelled from Riyadh this week over comments made by the Foreign Affairs Minister criticising the Middle Eastern kingdom’s human-rights record—a more successful example of cultural exchange between the two countries stands in Vancouver’s Vanier Park. The Saudi artist Ajlan Gharem’s installation Paradise Has Many Gates, a replica of a mosque made of chain link and steel pipe, opened the fourth edition of the Vancouver Biennale, with the aim of serving as a meeting ground for different communities. The Art Newspaper, August 13, 2018

6,000 ceramic baby crows prepare to take flight for Vancouver International Bird Festival A massive community art project to craft 6,000 ceramic baby crows is finally ready for its fledglings to leave the nest. Artist and Emily Carr University of Art + Design professor Cameron Cartiere has been leading the workshops for the As the Crow Flies project for months, all to mark not only the Vancouver International Bird Festival, but the massive 27th International Ornithological Congress, both happening here August 19 to 26, with the latter bringing in an expected 30,000 visitors. All the artworks are numbered and meant to represent the total flock that commutes between Vancouver and the Still Creek Rookery in Burnaby each day–a familiar sight in the skies over the East Side. Georgia Straight, August 10, 2018


Learn about this master Canadian printmaker in a new Burnaby Art Gallery exhibition The Burnaby Art Gallery is getting ready to represent a retrospective of the work of master Canadian printmaker Anna Wong. Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads is on at the gallery from Friday, Aug. 31 to Saturday, Nov. 3. An opening reception is set for Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. Wong, who was born and raised in Vancouver’s Chinatown, had an internal [sic] career that spanned seven decades before her death in 2013. The Burnaby exhibition will examine Wong’s life between the West Coast of Canada and New York City, as well as extensive travels through China – with more than 70 original artworks, including paintings, hand-pulled prints and large-scale textile pieces. Burnaby Now, August 11, 2018


Kamloops Art Gallery celebrates forty years of memories The Kamloops Art Gallery (KAG) is celebrating its 40th anniversary by showcasing the most comprehensive selection of works from its permanent collection to date. The exhibition, Through the Memory Atlas: 40 Years of Collecting, is a collection of diverse works from across the KAG’s history. “Essentially this project is celebrating our 40th anniversary,” said Charo Neville, the gallery’s curator. The exhibition contains 167 pieces from a variety of mediums including print, photography, sculpting and even video. However, despite being the largest showcase of the KAG’s permanent collection to date, the exhibition contains only a fraction of the gallery’s many pieces, says Neville. The Omega, August 8, 2018


‘Too naked, too violent’: The Art Gallery of Ontario’s troubling $100M masterpiece hits the road Propped on a four-wheeled cart and wrapped in clear cellophane, you’d think Peter Paul Rubens’ The Massacre of the Innocents, a visceral masterpiece of epic brutality, might see its impact softened, or at least a little. Think again. “It’s hard to look at, I know,” sighed Sasha Suda, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s curator of European art. On a recent morning in the museum’s conservation department, Suda helped remove the plastic sheeting, revealing the work in all its terrible glory: a burly, naked warrior poised to dash a chubby infant onto the hard stone ground; a mother clawing at another assailant’s face as her own child teetered in her free arm… The painting, removed from both its frame and its longtime place of honour in the public galleries, was here in the cautious hands of the museum’s conservators to prepare for a very different kind of encounter. On Sept. 26, the Rubens House in Antwerp will be at the centre of Antwerp Baroque, a cultural festival honouring the painter as its favourite native son. Toronto Star, August 10, 2018


ByWard Market art installation pays homage to animation pioneer Norman McLaren A Canadian animator is the inspiration behind a new art installation at the ByWard Market that allows people to record their own dance moves in an outdoor studio — and then watch it all projected on a big screen. The Department of Canadian Heritage is celebrating animation pioneer Norman McLaren, who’s renowned for innovative work that garnered an Academy Award in 1952 and inspired countless other Canadian animators and directors… The interactive project is called “McLarena” — a riff on the popular dance that came to prominence in the 1990s — and is inspired by McLaren and fellow animator Grant Munro’s 1964 film Canon. It’s located at the HBC Plaza on George Street, and is running nightly from 8:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. CBC News, August 12, 2018

New York

The Met’s Van Gogh Paintings Are Usually Touring the World. Now, All 16 Have Been Reunited in New York At Last Vincent van Gogh’s work is in such high demand for exhibitions around the world that it’s rare to find all 16 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s paintings by the Dutch master at home together in New York at one time. But now, for the first time in four years, the Met’s full set of Van Gogh canvases in the European paintings collection are on view at the museum in galleries 822 and 825. artnet News, August 13, 2018


A New London Show Will Reveal the Painter Jusepe de Ribera as a Master of Violence. Was He Also a Murderer? When Domenichino died in mysterious circumstances while painting frescoes in the Duomo di San Gennaro, the grand cathedral at the center of Naples, Jusepe de Ribera was suspected of murdering his arch-rival… The exhibition in London of Ribera’s violent paintings, prints, and drawings will be the first major show of his work in the UK. [Edward] Payne, the chief curator of the Auckland Project in the North of England, and co-curator Xavier Bray, the director of London’s Wallace Collection (and former chief curator at Dulwich), have been working on the show for the past seven years. Among the 45 works they have secured from major European and North American institutions are three versions of the martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew that span Ribera’s career. artnet News, August 10, 2018


Parviz Tanavoli banned from leaving Iran over legal dispute with former gallery owner The Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli has been prevented from leaving his home country after a Tehran art dealer brought lengthy legal proceedings claiming $6m worth of art from him, the artist tells The Art Newspaper. Tanavoli tried to leave Tehran Airport in late July on a British Airways flight to London but, after he checked in and his bags were boarded, his passport was confiscated by Iranian authorities. He was informed that a travel ban had been enforced against him on charges of “the spreading of disinformation”. The case was brought against Tanavoli, who holds the auction record for a Middle Eastern artist, by a former Tehran gallery owner, Maryam Goudarzi. The Art Newspaper, August 13, 2018


Chengdu MoCA quashes rumours of demise but its problems are endemic in China’s art museums Chengdu’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) has quashed swirling rumours of its institutional demise. The museum was considered a promising addition to the emerging Sichuan art scene when it was founded in 2011 by a state-owned investment company, but reports of its closure have circulated since 2015… The number of shows has been reduced, however, “from eight to ten per year to three to four”… The uncertainty is symptomatic of the problems that plague China’s proliferating art museums. Contained within a software park, Chengdu MoCA was created amid the Sichuan capital’s property boom but it lost significant funding after a 2013 corruption crackdown implicated several of its official backers. The Art Newspaper, August 8, 2018


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