Below are highlights from last week’s Canadian Art web coverage. Together they make a digest of the bits that stuck and continue to stick from the stories appearing on our site. A click of the headline will take you to the original post.
In the second gallery, where both the Woo and Woodchopper paintings are installed, Mackenzie grapples with ideas of longing, self-representation and self-determination. In a self-portrait dating from the mid-1920s, Carr depicts herself from behind, sitting in a chair in front of an easel, painting. Fully clothed, of course. In many ways, her strategy is the spectral opposite of Mackenzie’s full frontal, axe-wielding self-portrait, although both works address what it is to be a woman painter in her own time.
In an era characterized by starchitects and power curators, lists of top 100 collectors and best young artists, we’re accustomed to hyping the activities of certain professions while obscuring others. We’re often unsure about what many workers in the arts and culture industry actually do all day unless they happen to have a particularly charismatic personal brand. I wondered: what might Studs Terkel’s Working (or, for that matter, Slate’s Working) look like if applied to arts workers?
Yet if Coupland is an (anti)social novelist, he is also an (anti)social artist. There are precedents for this in Pop art. Like Warhol and Koons (the former a declared influence) Coupland is interested in commercialism and kitsch and their relationships with mass engagement. Interestingly, Coupland’s survey—which debuted last year at the Vancouver Art Gallery and is entitled “everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything”—is concerned with what Warhol and Koons, by virtue of their respective ages, couldn’t be: the Internet.
A Canadian gallery hasn’t attended the Armory Show for a couple of years, but several dealers offered artworks by Canadians, and Abbas Akhavan’s Untitled Garden (2008/2015), a hedge of cedar bushes that served as one wall of the fair’s VIP area was one of the fair’s installations. London’s Lisson Gallery presented a large lightbox, Sous-Chef on a Smoke Break (2011), by Rodney Graham, in which the artist appears in that guise lounging under a tree. Close by, at Zurich’s Eva Presenhuber, Steven Shearer’s German Helmets (2007) was typical of the artist’s work, which examines youth, alienation and barely suppressed violence within a conceptual framework.… New York’s Zach Feuer included the photograph Manifolds B (2015) by Jon Rafman at their booth; a solo show by the Montreal-based artist was on view at the gallery during the fairs. Lining one wall of Reykjavik-based gallery i8’s walls were works from Janice Kerbel’s letterpress-text-on-newsprint series Lust, Deceit, Love, Death, Revenge (2014), the title expressing emotions that many probably experience during the frenzy of Armory week.