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News / May 2, 2019

News Roundup: Canadians at Frieze New York, and More

A rundown of some of the artworks, dealers and artists from north of the 49th at New York’s big fair this weekend. Plus: The Quebec government grants heritage status to the Jacques-Louis David painting at the heart of a National Gallery scandal last year. And: Pamela Edmonds is the new senior curator at McMaster Museum of Art
Virtual reality is one of the features at Frieze New York this year. But less virtually, there are Canadian artworks, dealers and artists on the scene too. Photo: Mark Blower / Frieze. Virtual reality is one of the features at Frieze New York this year. But less virtually, there are Canadian artworks, dealers and artists on the scene too. Photo: Mark Blower / Frieze.

Canadians at Frieze New York. This year’s Frieze New York art fair features Vancouver gallery Unit 17, Toronto gallery Georgia Scherman Projects and Montreal’s Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran. All are doing solo booths: Unit 17’s focuses on Leslie Thornton, Georgia Scherman’s on Suzy Lake and Antoine Ertaskiran’s on Ambera Wellmann. ECUAD alum Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa is also featured in a solo booth from Proyectos Ultravioleta of Guatemala City. And as usual there are a variety of artworks by Canadians at other booths, notably work by General Idea at the Maureen Paley booth and by Rodney Graham at the 303 Gallery booth.

A painting at the heart of last year’s National Gallery of Canada scandal has seen some developments. In 2018, the National Gallery attempted a quick sell-off of a Chagall painting in order to acquire a mystery work, which was eventually identified as Jacques-Louis David’s Saint Jérôme painting, which had been in a Quebec City parish collection for decades. This week, the Quebec government made good on naming the painting a provincial heritage asset, increasing the chances that it will be acquired instead by museums in the province. The two Quebec museums and the parish should meet by the end of the spring, says the Ottawa Citizen, for next steps. (Ottawa Citizen)

Newfoundland has been promised a $1 million arts-funding boost.ArtsNL will see its funding rise from $1.9 million to $2.9 million, its first significant increase in more than a decade. The extra money comes through the province’s new proposed budget, as requests for funding are at an all-time high,” reports the CBC. The boost is dependent on the budget being passed. (CBC)

Meditations on the “trauma clown” bias pushed on some marginalized artists. Vivek Shraya has written a compelling essay about how various arts institutions have pushed for trauma-centric work—even when that’s not what Shraya wants to make. “When I reflect on my career, it’s hard not to notice the ways interest and institutional support (in the form of art contracts, funding, awards, invitations) have increased as I’ve shared more of my traumatic experiences. While my ability to survive as a working artist depends in part on interest and institutional support, the correlation between trauma and ‘success’ is disturbing. Have I unknowingly been typecast as a trauma clown?” (Now Toronto)

Pamela Edmonds has been appointed senior curator of the McMaster Museum of Art. Over 20 years, her practice has explored the impact of African diasporic cultures on the evolving geography of global contemporary art. Originally from Montreal, Edmonds holds a BFA in studio art/art history and an MA in art history from Concordia University. She began her curatorial career in Halifax beginning in the late 1990s, holding programming positions at the Anna Leonowens Gallery, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Mount Saint Vincent University and the Centre for Arts Tapes. Most recently she was curator/director at the Thames Art Gallery. She begins her new position on May 13. (press release)

Aamna Muzaffar is the new Exhibitions and Programs Assistant at Mercer Union. Previously she has worked at Art Gallery of York University, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Blackwood Gallery, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and Ryerson Image Centre. (press release)

The Ottawa Art Gallery has had to postpone some anniversary events due to area flooding. The gallery is not directly affected, but transportation is challenging with bridges closed and highways narrowed. Many authorities have asked that people work from home where possible. A May 3 anniversary panel has been put off to a future date. (press announcement)

Otto Rogers has died. This abstract painter, born November 19, 1935, died April 28, 2019. Rogers’s paintings had been praised by Clement Greenberg, among others. He had been raised in Saskatchewan but lived for many decades in Prince Edward County, Ontario. He work is in many collections, including that of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. (Legacy)

In case you missed it: A Toronto artist and a Montreal artist in the next Whitney Biennial have both spoken out against Whitney Museum board member Warren Kanders. Montreal’s McCord Museum got $15 million for a new expansion project that will grow the institution up to 10 storeys tall and include the collections of two other museums. And some artists and arts organizations still have questions about the Canada Council‘s new procedures and guidelines.