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News / August 1, 2019

News Roundup: Canada’s First Major Diane Arbus Show in 30 Years Is Coming

Plus: A Canadian cleans up at the world’s biggest vintage-sneaker auction, there’s a Markham artist featured at Hermès Shanghai and a Vancouver collector has donated 2,500 photos to UBC
Diane Arbus, <em>Two girls on the beach, Coney Island, N.Y., 1958</em>, 1958. Gelatin silver print; printed later. Sheet: 27.9 x 35.6 cm. Gift of Robin and David Young, 2016. Copyright Estate of Diane Arbus 2016/956. Diane Arbus, Two girls on the beach, Coney Island, N.Y., 1958, 1958. Gelatin silver print; printed later. Sheet: 27.9 x 35.6 cm. Gift of Robin and David Young, 2016. Copyright Estate of Diane Arbus 2016/956.

This week in our news coverage, artist films were slated for TIFF, an Indigenous VR lab talked about being matriarchy-forward and Nova Scotia Masterworks finalists were announced. Here’s more to consider.

Big Shows

The first major Canadian Diane Arbus show in nearly three decades is coming. “In 2016, thanks to the generosity of a small group of donors, the Art Gallery of Ontario acquired the world’s second largest collection of Arbus photographs,” says a release. This winter, 150 of those photos will go on view in “Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956–1971,” curated by Sophie Hackett. It will open February 22, 2020. (press release)

A Chantal Akerman screen retrospective is coming to Toronto. “News from Home: The Films of Chantal Akerman,” curated by TIFF senior programmer Andréa Picard and Chantal Akerman’s longtime friend and editor Claire Atherton, arrives soon after the Akerman exhibition that Picard initiated at Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art. The largest-ever North American retrospective of Akerman’s work to date, “News from Home: The Films of Chantal Akerman” includes her most famous films as well as lesser-known work. It runs November 1 to December 14 at TIFF. (press release)

Canada’s class-action settlement with LGBTQ victims of a decades-long purge from federal government includes a museum exhibition and national monument. “Under policies that took root in the 1950s and continued into the early ’90s, federal agencies investigated, sanctioned and sometimes fired lesbian and gay members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and the public service because they were deemed unsuitable,” the National Post reports. “The settlement includes millions of dollars for reconciliation and remembrance measures, including a national monument to be built in Ottawa, a Canadian Museum for Human Rights exhibition in Winnipeg and declassification of archival records documenting the dark chapter.” (National Post)

A national tour of “Kenojuak Ashevak: Life and Legacy” is on the way. The show organized by Kinngait Arts Foundation will travel to six regional centres across Canada beginning early 2020. This project was the inaugural exhibition at the Kenojuak Cultural Centre in Cape Dorset, and is the first exhibition produced in the Canadian Arctic for circulation nationally, according to a release. The tour is supported by a $464,000 Canadian Heritage grant. (press release)

Photo Finishes

An art collector has donated 2,500 photos to UBC archives. “Five years ago, Vancouver art collector Uno Langmann donated 18,000 historical photos of B.C. to the University of British Columbia library archives, and now he’s added 2,500 more to the collection,” CBC reports. “Langmann gathered the B.C. photos—taken by different photographers over the years—in part to keep a photographic history of the province, which grew rapidly in the late 19th and early 20th century.” Langmann wants all the photos digitized for public access: “I insisted on the photographs being readily available to every British Columbian,” he told the CBC. (CBC British Columbia)

When a legal license to photograph is needed. “A photographer from Inuvik, N.W.T., got an unexpected phone call soon after recently using his drone to make a video of a grizzly bear and cubs near the community.” CBC reports. “After posting the video online, Kristian Binder said he got a call from the N.W.T. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and it came with a warning…. Under regulations established in the territory’s Wildlife Act in 2014, anyone who wants to take photos of wildlife for commercial use in the N.W.T. must apply for a wildlife observation permit.” (CBC North)

International Connections

Canadian artist and musician Peaches is getting her first institutional solo show at the Kunstverein in Hamburg. Titled “Whose Jizz Is This?” the show combines live performance, musical intervention, visual art and historical reflection. Peaches calls it “a deconstructed musical with 14 scenes.” (e-flux)

Markham artist Xiaojing Yan has opened an installation at the Hermès Maison in Shanghai. “Dreamland,” running July 12 to August 4, includes “immersive installations, dialogues between different materials, and interaction between multiple mediums.” Among the works included is Lingzhi Girl, previously exhibited at the Varley Art Gallery in Markham. (artist website, Hermès China)

Ikon will present the first UK solo exhibition of work by Ottawa-based artist Meryl McMaster. The show will run December 4, 2019, to February 23, 2020. “I want to bring specific awareness to the broad consequences of colonization and how the mentality of greed and/or lack of foresight is still impacting us today. Each of us has a complicated relationship with the past with gaps and biases, and it is important to me to expose and explore these gaps so that we may encounter our next moments better prepared,” says Meryl McMaster in a release. (press release)

Commercial Considerations

A Toronto financier and philanthropist is now the person to have spent the most—ever—for sneakers at auction. “A pair of 1972 running shoes, one of the first pairs made by Nike Inc, sold for $437,500 [USD this month], shattering the record for a pair of sneakers at public auction,” says Global News. The show was the “top lot in the first-ever auction dedicated to sneakers at Sotheby’s auction house in New York”—and it went to Toronto’s Miles Nadal. Nadal also bought all the 99 other lots in the auction for $1 million (USD$850,000). “I think sneaker culture and collecting is on the verge of a breakout moment, and I hope Sotheby’s and Stadium Goods will continue to lead the way in this exciting new future,” Nadal said in a Sotheby’s statement quoted by Radio Canada International. (Global News, Radio Canada International, Sotheby’s)

Some augmented-reality art experiences are coming to Canadian Apple stores. A recent press announcement indicates that visitors to Apple stores anywhere will be able to experience Chicago artist Nick Cave’s AR artwork Amass through the Apple Store app. Select stores in Canada will also be hosting AR-related art experiences and workshops developed by Brooklyn artist Sarah Rothberg in August 2019. (press release)

Residencies and Institutes

Plug In ICA in Winnipeg is hosting a summer institute on Indigenous architectures. Led by Joar Nango, the institute runs August 6 to 16. Participants include Lorraine Albert, Carrie Allison, Albyn Carias, Julie Gendron, Alicia Marie Lawrence, David Peters and Evan Taylor. Most of the events are private, but there will be public lectures and panels on August 8 and 13. (press release)

Two new residencies have begun at the Vancouver Biennale. Cuban artist Carlos Martiel and Chinese artist Tao Hui are both in the city now participating in six-week residencies that will eventually lead up to installation of artworks for the biennale. (Vancouver Biennale Twitter)

A date has been set and artists selected for the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency in Vancouver. Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, grunt gallery and Creative Cultural Collaborations have said the cabin will launch August 25 at the Plaza of Nations in False Creek. The first year will focus on Coast Salish weaving practices, including three research and residency periods by Angela George (Squamish/Tsleil-Waututh), Janice George and Buddy Joseph (Squamish) and Debra Sparrow (Musqueam). Australian Indigenous artist and activist Vicki Couzens (Gunditjmara) will be the first international artist-in-residence from September 15 to October 31, presented in partnership with Australia Council for the Arts. (press release)

A new residency for emerging artists has launched in Calgary.Lisa Hodgkinson is the first emerging artist in residence at the Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre in Calgary,” reports Galleries West. Hodgkinson has “used a corner of an auto body shop in Calgary as her studio for the last eight years.” During the residency, she will work with sculptor Katie Ohe. (Galleries West)

Staffing and Appointments

A Kingston curator is headed to the Art Institute of Chicago. Jacquelyn N. Coutré, curator/researcher of European art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, will be leaving September 20 to join the Art Institute of Chicago, where she has accepted the post of associate curator of European painting and sculpture before 1750. Coutré has worked at the Agnes for four years. (press announcement)

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has appointed members to a new Art and Togetherness Committee. The group’s role is to “assist the museum in fulfilling its mission of becoming a universally accessible gathering place for dialogue and cultural exchange.” Members include Michel de la Chenelière, Nathalie Bondil, Moridja Kitenge Banza, Marie Houzeau, Mohammed Makhfi, Cécile Rousseau, Moussa Sène, Bob W. White and Cathy Wong. Said MMFA director Bondil in a release, “Following the creation of the Education Committee in 2010 and the Art and Health Committee in 2017, this Art and Togetherness Committee completes the foundation for the MMFA’s humanist vision. We believe that museums are a tool for cultural diplomacy, a place for dialogue among cultures.” (press release)