Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, October 17, 2018


World-famous couture designer Guo Pei brings exquisite creations to Canada for the first time.  When Rihanna stepped onto the red carpet at the Met Gala in 2015, the yellow gown she was wearing took people’s breath away. Weighing an astonishing 50 pounds and featuring a 16-foot train, the exquisitely embroidered dress took 30 months to make — and more than 50,000 hours of work.  Guo Pei’s designs are the subject of a major exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery — the institution’s first-ever fashion exhibit — and a documentary film, Yellow is Forbidden, that wowed audiences at Hot Docs in Toronto, the Vancouver International Film Festival and at Tribeca, where it premiered.  CBC Radio Q, October 16, 2018

Giant Vancouver poster collection goes to Simon Fraser archives Perry Giguere put up posters in Vancouver for four decades. And he tried to keep at least one copy of every poster he ever put up.   But he often had duplicates, and collected more posters from events he didn’t do. Which is why at one point he had about 250,000 posters in the basement of his house in Mt. Pleasant. Giguere decided he needed to find a new home for the collection, but it took a while to find one. Finally, last week 30,000-40,000 of his posters were carted off to Simon Fraser University’s library. Vancouver Sun, October 16, 2018


Downtown art gallery totem poles to rise on Oct. 27th.  Two new totem poles are going to be raised in the Comox Valley this month.   Carved by Randy Frank and Karver Everson, the poles are going to be installed on the sidewalk near the front entrance of the Comox Valley Art Gallery, located across from the Courtenay Library.  Comox Vallery Now, October 16, 2018


Gerald Ferguson. In 1972, Gerald Ferguson took a six-inch-square copper plate, and using a stylus traced the shape of the plate, as close to the edge as he could go without slipping over it. The resulting dry-point etching was printed in an edition of ten. Ferguson typed the title on each print: “Close to the edge, but not going over the edge.” As he later wrote of the title, “It functioned well visually and as a self-parody and would later serve as a procedure and attitude in paintings that I began in 1972.”   That procedure and attitude is well represented in the retrospective exhibition that takes its name from that print. “Close to the Edge… The Work of Gerald Ferguson” represents Ferguson’s work from his arrival in Halifax in 1968 to take up a teaching post at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design until his death in 2009.   Canadian Art, October 16, 2018


Seattle Art Museum Appoints Theresa Papanikolas as Curator of American Art.  The Seattle Art Museum has hired Theresa Papanikolas, who currently serves as deputy director of art and programs at the Honolulu Museum of Art, as curator of American art. She will begin at SAM in January 2019.  Artnews, October 16, 2018

Santa Fe

Trio of deaccessioned Georgia O’Keeffe paintings could make over $30m at Sotheby’s. Three paintings by the American Modernist Georgia O’Keeffe which have been deaccessioned by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will come to auction at Sotheby’s in New York this November. And, surprisingly, while two of them, A Street (1926) and Calla Lillies on Red (1928), will be in the contemporary art evening sale on 14 November, the third, Cottonwood Tree in Spring (1943), will be included in Sotheby’s American art auction on 16 November. None of the works are, as yet, guaranteed. The Art Newspaper, October 16, 2018

New York

Linda Nochlin Explores the Role of Women in the Arts in a Previously Unaired Interview.  In this extensive interview from a year before the pioneering feminist art historian passed away, she shares her thoughts on women in the art world, particularly during the Abstract Expressionist movement. Hyperallergic, October 11, 2018

Ai Weiwei is moving to America: ‘Everybody in United States are refugees’ The Chinese conceptual artist and political provocateur knows that with his pro-migrant message he’s swimming against a populist tide. In the United States, President Donald Trump, at rabble-rousing rallies, promises to build a border wall to keep Mexican migrants out.  Ai has lived and worked in Germany for the past few years, ever since the Chinese government released him from jail and returned his passport. But he is about to move to New York. “Everybody in the United States are refugees, in some time in the history,” he says.  CNN, October 16, 2018

Lawsuit Over Warhol’s Portraits of Prince Fuels Debate Over Art and Appropriation The Andy Warhol Foundation and photographer Lynn Goldsmith both filed cross-motions for summary judgment in a Manhattan federal court last Friday, October 12, reports the Art Newspaper. Raising questions on artistic appropriation, the lawsuit in question began last year and concerns Warhol’s 1984 portrait series of Prince, which Goldsmith claims are derived from her photograph of the popstar from 1981, and which she granted a one-time license to be used as source material for an artist illustration for Vanity FairArtforum, October 16, 2018

Now More Than Ever: Sarah Lucas’s Provocations, Renewed.  When New Museum director Lisa Phillips addressed the small crowd – women, mostly – gathered in the lobby last week for the press preview of Sarah Lucas’s retrospective Au Naturel, she stated, wearily but proudly, leaving the odious particulars of the larger moment unspoken, that we needed the British artist now more than ever. While the phrase has become well-worn in the Trump era, it felt, that morning, neither clichéd or vague, but rather weirdly precise – as if Phillips meant that we needed Lucas now, Tuesday at 10:30am, even more than we needed her the afternoon before.  Monday, of course, many of us had worn black and stood in the street at 1pm in solidarity with Christine Blasey Ford…Momus October 10, 2018

If You See One Art Exhibit This Season, Make It This Blockbuster.  This June, when the art world descended on Basel, Switzerland, for the city’s annual art fair, the must-see event wasn’t in the booth—it was the Bruce Nauman retrospective at the Schaulager. Reactions tended to fall into two camps. The first was outright adulation. The second was about how it would look when it traveled to MoMA in the fall.   Now the show—Nauman’s first U.S. retrospective in 25 years—has finally arrived in New York  Bloomberg, October 17, 2018


The Relentless Efforts of Maren Hassinger Result in an Overdue Retrospective. It is unusual to hear loud peals of laughter echoing through a museum. As artist Hugh Pocock walked up the stairs to view Maren Hassinger’s The Spirit of Things — a retrospective of sculpture, video, drawing, and photo documentation of performances at the Baltimore Museum of Art  — the voices grew louder and more joyful. As he turned the corner, he found nine African-American women wearing nine different shades of red and pink dresses and skirts, assembled in front of Hassinger’s glowing pink installation, “Embrace/Love,” to celebrate a birthday. Hyperallergic, October 11, 2018


This Year’s Frieze Masters Signals the Changing Identity of the Art Fair. Several factors at play at this year’s Frieze Masters, where art made before the 21st century is for sale, indicate the changing identity of the art fair — not least the issue of the tighter balance of the cost of exhibiting versus profitability. The fair’s strong emphasis on curated displays, and its acute awareness of social media presence, suggests a reaction to dwindling visitor numbers in traditional art venues, like museums. Hyperallergic, October 16, 2018

A soaring miracle of art’ – Albukhary Gallery of the Islamic World review.  The best way to get to the British Museum’s new gallery of Islamic art is via the Sutton Hoo gallery. That way, you first take a trip through Anglo-Saxon England, past Celtic gold, Viking jewels and treasures from the burial of a seventh-century king. These artefacts, lurking in shadow, all date from a time that is often called the Dark Ages. Then you step out of that gallery and into a world of light.  The Guardian, October 16, 2018

Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde; Anni Albers – review. Modern Couples is a staggeringly ambitious anthology, taking in nearly 50 avant-garde couples, from the inevitable – Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar – to less familiar figures, including the Czech artists Toyen and Jindřich Štyrský, whose enthusiastically pornographic drawings are shown in a curtained side room. But it cannot decide what to do with all these names. There are tales of three-ways, intimate jottings and any number of fervid letters, but much less in the way of looking. The show cannot decide between art and biography. The Guardian, October 14, 2018

British Army starts recruiting for revived Monuments Men unit to protect art and archaeology in war. A former Gulf War tank commander is recruiting experts to form a specialist unit that will protect cultural heritage in war zones, similar to the role carried out by the famed Monuments Men who saved artistic treasures from the Nazis during the Second World War.  Lt Colonel Tim Purbrick, who took part in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 as a 26-year-old subaltern, has just taken up command of the newly-created Cultural Property Protection Unit.   The Telegraph, October 11, 2018


Snubbed, cheated, erased: the scandal of architecture’s invisible women.  This month marks a small righting of past wrongs when Denise Scott Brown, now 87, will be awarded the 2018 Soane medal. She is the second recipient of an annual award given to architects who have made a major contribution to their field. I was part of the jury this year, and as soon as Scott Brown’s name was mentioned, all the other competition fell away. It was the most unanimous decision of any such deliberations I have witnessed.  Scott Brown is not alone. A deeply institutionalised invisibility cloak has long obscured the women in successful architectural partnerships, whether it’s MJ Long’s work on the British Library, a project usually credited to her husband Colin St John Wilson, or Su Rogers and Wendy Foster’s work on early projects with their husbands, Richard and Norman (though Rogers feels she was always equally credited for her work and says she’s never suffered any discrimination from being a woman working in architecture). The Guardian, October 16, 2018

The best international photography galleries chosen by Brett Rogers. Discovering, supporting and engaging with new photographers and practice is a key part of my job as gallery director [of London Photographers’ Gallery]. I visit as many international institutions and events as I can and always return from research trips so optimistic about the future of photography and excited by what is happening, not just in Europe and the US but further afield. Here is some of the best of what is happening around the world… The Guardian, October 14, 2018



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