Julian Schnabel at the AGO

September 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Julian Schnabel:  Asia, 2007 oil on map mounted on linen

Julian Schnabel: Art and Film

September 1, 2010 – January 2, 2011
Art Gallery of Ontario

American art superstar Julian Schnabel has spent his life pushing the limits of painting and crossing artistic boundaries as an award-winning filmmaker. Now, for the first time, a major retrospective examines the connections between painting and film in Schnabel’s work, tracing how his paintings exist in dialogue with the cinema and revealing the rich interplay between the two media. Julian Schnabel: Art and Film surveys Schnabel’s work as a painter from the mid-1970s to the present and features more than 25 key works. The exhibition will occupy the entire fifth floor of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art.

Tha Canadian Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2010

August 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

Via designboom

‘Hhylozoic Ground‘, Canada’s official national pavilion for this year’s La Biennale di Venezia, is an experimental piece of architecture that explores the qualities of contemporary wilderness. Designed by Canadian architect and sculptor Philip Beesley, the installation is constructed out of an intricate system of transparent acrylic meshwork links, covered with a network of interactive mechanical fronds, filters, and whiskers. (read more)

Fall Fashion: Nick Cave’s Soundsuits

August 28, 2010 § 1 Comment

Hats off to this Vogue’s September issue. The magazine put together purses  and Nick Cave’s soundsuits in a great-looking fashion photo essay. Chicago-based artist Nick Cave (not to be confused with the Australian musician of the same name) is an Alvin Ailey-trained dancer and posed for the photos wearing some of his most theatrical and surreal sound sculptures.
Raised by a single mother, Nick inherited most of his clothes from the elder of his six brothers. Re-fashioning them with objects found around the house was the starting point for these pieces.

Unfortunately you can’t see the photos online – go buy the magazine and get some extra 790 pages of fashion.

Ah, I wonder what the Sartorialist would say about these suits…
Ceremonial dance costumes or playful stuffed animals?

David Hockney Paintings on iPhone and iPad

July 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

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After making hundreds of drawings on an iPhone (using the Brushes app) and sending by email to friends, David Hockney is now trying the iPad. One of the most influential British artists Hockney, who is 72, has explored the possibilities of art on faxes, polaroids and photocopies in the past. He now uses his fingers to draw straight on the monitor of his iPad. The possibility of replaying his final product and see himself drawing has fascinated him, as well as the bright colours of the lit screen.

“What makes the iPad better than the iPhone is its larger size. The iPhone was more about the relationship between the hand and the ear, whereas this is all about the hand and the eye and makes for far better co-ordination.
“What is also unique is that with the iPad you can actually watch a playback of your drawing. I have never watched myself actually drawing before.” said the artist to The Guardian.

The works are made mainly in the morning when he is still in bed and the subjects are sunrises and flower vases.

Rodney Graham is The Guardian’s Artist of The Week

July 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Rodney Graham's Good Hand Bad Hand (2010)

Shady dealing … Rodney Graham’s Good Hand Bad Hand (2010), courtesy of
the artist and Lisson Gallery. Photograph: Ken Adlard

Rodney Graham is artist of the week in the London’s Guardian. In Vancouver, his piece Dead Flowers in My Studio can be seen at the Contemporary Art Gallery until August 22nd, part of the group show Triumphant Carrot. The exhibition includes works by the likes of Jeff Wall (another Canadian legend) and Sam Taylor-Wood.
You may remember my comments on the Rodney Graham band at the Candahar during the Olympics.

From The Guardian:

Why we like him: For his film The Phonokinetoscope from 2001, Graham took acid and rode a bicycle backwards. While the soundtrack that accompanies this feat suggests 1970s-style delirium, the everyday footage suggests a chasm between inner states and outer reality.

Art rock: Graham formed new-wave band called UJ3RK5 (“you jerk” – the five is not pronounced) in his twenties with Jeff Wall, while his current ensemble, the Rodney Graham Band, morph between country rock, folk and psychedelia.

(read more)

Canada Goes Electric – Roots x Coupland

July 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

Roots had a good reason for giving the design of a clothing and accessories collection to an outside designer for the first time: they got renowned Canadian  writer and visual artist Douglas Coupland to do it. Coupland’s first novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, popularized the title term, which refers to Americans and Canadians who reached adulthood in the late 1980s. Coupland is a prolific artist and his work comments on Canada and pop culture.

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“For more than 10 years I’ve been intimately exploring what it means to be Canadian,” says Coupland. “This partnership with Roots is an amazing opportunity to keep that dialogue going with an even wider, more diverse audience.”

The collection, called Canada Goes Electric, hits selected stores July 8th. I bought a tote through the Facebook pre-sale page, and you can see that and other images in the slide show above. This alliance makes perfect sense to me, as Coupland’s blend of national inquiry and commercial instinct is in just the right balance here. The effect is playful, provocative, and most importantly, the clothes look terrific.

Dennis Hopper: actor and artist dies at 74

May 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

Actor Dennis Hopper, who appeared in some contemporary classics of the screen as Apocalypse Now and Easy Rider , has died.  Hopper was also a collector,  active artist, and visual arts champion . A retrospective of his artwork, curated by his friend, fellow film-maker and artist Julian Schnabel, is to open at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art July 7th.  The title of the show, Art is Life, gave me goosebumps.

Hopper amassed an impressive art collection during his lifetime. He reportedly bought one of Andy Warhol’s first soup can paintings for $75. He later lost the Warhol and bog part of his collection in a costly divorce.

His seven-year battle against prostate cancer was revealed in October, 2009.

Art Forum 1964 (Blue), 1988, silkscreen, 36 x 36 inches

The Audain Prize and Mayor Gregor Robertson

May 12, 2010 § 1 Comment

British Columbia’s most prestigious annual award for the visual arts, the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts, and VIVA Awards was presented tonight at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The Audain Prize, awarded by the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts, honoured Haida artist Robert Davidson. The 2010 VIVA Awards, granted annually by The Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation, was given to artists Germaine Koh and Marina Roy. All artists showed their appreciation in heartfelt speeches.

The VAG, for the second time in a week, provided me with the opportunity to meet someone I admire. Last week was Kerry James Marshall and tonight the mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson (photo below).  We had a quick chat about politics in Brazil and Latin American and the importance of awards like tonight’s to express recognition to artists. And yes, he is a very handsome guy with a certain Clark Kent vibe.


photo by me

The new Audain Gallery

February 12, 2010 § 1 Comment

curator - Audain Gallery, VancouverSabine Bitter: Curator, Audain Gallery – photo by me

Saturday, February 6th, saw the opening of a new and exciting space for visual arts in Vancouver: the beautiful and spacious Audain Gallery at SFU’s Woodward’s.The inaugural exhibition  is First Nations / Second Nature, curated by Candice Hopkins.

With a mandate that wants to explore contemporary projects in Vancouver and internationally, the new gallery will encourage conceptual and experimental projects. Sabine Bitter, curator of Audain Gallery, is an internationally recognized multi-media artist.

The location of the gallery, on the ground level at West Hastings Street, changes the view in the neighbourhood. Art is visible to pedestrians and transit-users through its large windows (see bellow).

photo by me

Vectorial Elevation

February 3, 2010 § 1 Comment

From anywhere in the world you can be an active part of Vancouver’s Cultural Olympiad. Starting tomorrow, 20 searchlights over English Bay will be controlled by whoever wants to program a light pattern in the sky on this interactive art work called Vectorial Elevation. More than 2 million people are expected to view the installation in person and online.
Rafael Lozzano-Hemmer is the artist behind the project.

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