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News / August 12, 2016

News in Brief: Peter Doig Testifies in Court, Douglas Coupland Unveils Golden Tree, Pride Toronto Exec Resigns

In art news this week, Peter Doig testified in a federal court case that he did not paint a work attributed to him, Douglas Coupland unveiled his newest public artwork in Vancouver and more.
A painting purchased for $100 in 1976 is at the centre of a federal court case involving Peter Doig. Photo: Whitten Sabbatini for the <em>New York Times</em>. A painting purchased for $100 in 1976 is at the centre of a federal court case involving Peter Doig. Photo: Whitten Sabbatini for the New York Times.

Artist Peter Doig testified in a Chicago federal court on Monday that he did not paint a vaguely Surrealist desert landscape in 1976. As reported by the New York Times in July, Doig is being sued by Robert Fletcher, a retired corrections officer in Saulte Ste. Marie, Ontario, along with Chicago gallery owner Peter Bartlow. Fletcher claims to have purchased the painting for $100 in 1976 from a man named Peter Doige—with an e—who served time at the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre in the 1970s, and died in 2012.  

A new piece of public art was unveiled in Vancouver, on the corner of Marine and Cambie Streets: a 13-metre-tall, to-scale replica, coated in gold, of Stanley Park’s Hollow Tree. According to CBC, the Golden Tree, made by Douglas Coupland, “weighs more than 15,875 kilograms and sits in front of a huge condo development, which played a role in getting the piece made in the first place.” This is Coupland’s latest Vancouver public artwork; his pixelated orca leaps skyward at the convention centre and his statues of Terry Fox are installed at BC Place.

After taking a flight to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, to visit the Great Northern Arts Festival, Toronto-based Inuk artist Kuzy Curley made an unhappy discovery: two of his sculptures—large bear carvings weighing more than 70 lbs each, and carefully wrapped—had been damaged in transit. Together, the carvings were valued at $20,000. A spokesperson for Canadian North says the airline is investigating how the sculptures were handled, but that it’s “too soon” to say if any compensation will be offered to Curley.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Mathieu Chantelois, executive director of Pride Toronto since January 2015, has resigned from his post. He has returned to Cineplex Media, where he previously worked for 11 years. Chantelois faced criticism after the Pride Toronto parade in July for initially agreeing to the nine demands presented by Black Lives Matter Toronto during their sit-in protest, but then rescinding his promise the next day. Daily Xtra reports that ‘Pride Toronto will be hosting two town halls at the end of August to gather feedback from the community on how to “create a safe and inclusive Pride festival in 2017 and beyond.'”