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News / March 7, 2019

News Roundup: Alex Janvier Painting Breaks Auction Record, and More

Janvier's canvas exceeded estimates at an Edmonton auction. Plus: Canadian artists at the Venice Biennale, a premiere date for the AGO's new Kusama Infinity Room, Missy LeBlanc wins the Middlebrook Prize for Young Curators, and more
Alex Janvier's painting <em>Wandering Child</em> went for a record price at Lando Auctions in Edmonton. Photo: Lando Auctions. Alex Janvier's painting Wandering Child went for a record price at Lando Auctions in Edmonton. Photo: Lando Auctions.
Alex Janvier's painting <em>Wandering Child</em> went for a record price at Lando Auctions in Edmonton. Photo: Lando Auctions. Alex Janvier's painting Wandering Child went for a record price at Lando Auctions in Edmonton. Photo: Lando Auctions.

It’s been another busy week for arts news in Canada. A NSCAD faculty strike began—the first since the 1980s—and students spoke out about their disappointment regarding the university’s handling of labour concerns. CBC reported that Remai Modern CEO Gregory Burke is under investigation by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission following a workplace harassment complaint filed by a former female co-worker—it’s just the latest in concerning reports about the museum, with a revelation that the chief curator recently departed as well. The Canada Council launched a new pilot program aimed at new and early career artists. And dialogues on disability arts are continuing in Ottawa. Find more stories below.

Alex Janvier’s art reaches new auction record. Janvier’s oil on linen painting Wandering Child from 1981 went for four times its high estimate at Lando Auctions in Edmonton recently. Most Janvier paintings of late at auction in Canada have gone for $6,0000 to $8,000 maximum—which was also the painting’s estimate in Edmonton. It ended up going for $35,400. The auction house said it had bidders in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver interested in the work. It ended up going to a private collection in B.C. (Edmonton Journal)

Canadian artists on the list for the big Venice Biennale show. Vancouver-based artist Stan Douglas and Montreal-based artist Jon Rafman are two of 83 artists recently announced for “May You Live In Interesting Times,” curated by Ralph Ruggo. The exhibition opens to the public in the Venice Giardini on May 11. (Canadian Art)

And Canadian artists in the spotlight at Armory Week in New York. At the Armory Show, some Canadian dealers and artists are featured, including Joseph Tisiga‘s work at the Parisian Laundry booth; Vanessa Brown‘s work at the Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran booth; Jean-Paul Riopelle‘s work at the Miriam Shiell Fine Art booth;  Nadia Belerique and Shannon Bool‘s work at the Daniel Faria Gallery booth; Iris Haussler‘s work in the curated Platform section; and  Luanne Martineau‘s work at the Downs & Ross booth. (various releases)

Canada’s first permanent Infinity Mirror Room will open to the public on May 25. Yayoi Kusama‘s LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER was acquired by the Art Gallery of Ontario following a crowdfunding campaign. (press release)

Missy LeBlanc has won the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators. LeBlanc is based in Calgary and is a member of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective. The prize is awarded annually to a curator under 30. LeBlanc’s proposed exhibition, to be manifested soon with the help of the prize win, is about “telling the story of an Indigenous family that became displaced when the government built a road through a corner of her reserve.” (CBC Metro Morning)

Upcoming renovations at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal will take longer than expected. Writing in La Presse, Eric Clément reveals that the renovations will likely not be done until 2023. He also discusses why with museum director John Zeppetelli. (La Presse)

Two Maritime artists are reconsidering the myths of Maud Lewis. “Nova Scotia artists Steven Rhude, a Wolfville-based painter, and Laura Kenney, a Truro-based rug hooker, have been working since 2016 to bring some of the darker aspects of Lewis’s biography to light,” Laura Kenins reports at CBC Arts. “They’re critical of how a story that’s been so closely intertwined with provincial tourism, an institution (the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia) and a corporate sponsor (Scotiabank, which helped fund the restoration and relocation of the Lewis house) has been sanitized.” (CBC Arts)

The McMaster Museum of Art is closing for renovations. The museum will be closed March 19 to August 23. “The shutdown is necessary to ensure the highest standard of care and preservation for the more than 6,000 objects in the University’s significant art collection,” says a release. “In the meantime, Museum staff will be taking programming ‘to the streets’ with a series of free education programs, including In-School Art Programs (Fully Booked), Mini-University activities, public art projects, and much more.” (press release)

Mashal Khan is the new communications and outreach coordinator at Hamilton Artists Inc. “Mashal is an emerging documentary filmmaker and photographer living and practicing on Turtle Island, specifically within the Hamilton/Toronto area, the traditional and unceded territories of the Mississauga, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee nations, lands protected by the Dish With One Spoon wampum agreement,” says a gallery release. (press release)