Thursday, November 30, 2006

Go! Francisco Garcia Go!


Francisco Garcia, a friend and awesome artist makes it into the Gazette today. I agree entirely with Vito 'Frank's the man. You tell him to keep doing this.'

And it is a very nicely done article by Christopher DeWolf as well. I particularly like the addresses given so that you can go find Francisco's portraits yourself.

20 months later


It appears as if the National Gallery is going to be able to finally fix their leaky roof. Initially the leaky rook was noted back in April 2005.

Concordia.ca vs. Zeke's Gallery dot Blogspot dot com


During the month of October, 18,228 unique visitors vs. 10,295 unique visitors. Man, imagine what could be done if Zeke's Gallery had 57% of the budget of the IT department at Concordia.

Compare and Contrast; Jeff Wall & Rodney Graham.

Who's going to win? Or more importantly what do you get for a $95 lunch?


In one hour, the Montreal Arts Council will announce the winners of the re-launched Prix Art Affaires at this Hot issues@lunch thing-y. Personally, I'd prefer to know what was served, for $108.25 I hope that it was delicious.

Andrew Zago is my new second favorite architect


And thank you very much Nicolai Ouroussoff, for writing this article

Save you the trouble of multiple clicks while trying to save the Canadian taxpayer some bucks


I first spaced, and then I got busy, so as a consequence I completely missed Mr. Kelly Hill's presentation on Individual Donors to Arts and Culture Organizations in Canada in 2004. So I went looking for some news item, and wasn't able to find any (surprise, surprise!). So I figured that I would read the presentation he made here yesterday. What I didn't expect was this:
Arts and culture donations in Quebec
In Quebec, there were about 95,000 donors to arts and culture organizations in 2004. This represents 1.5% of the Quebec population, the lowest such percentage of all the regions of Canada. The 95,000 donors contributed about $27 million to arts and culture organizations in 2004.
That's it, in the Quebec Summary of his report, those are the only words that do not appear on the summary reports of the other regions.

So in the interest of saving you time, I copy/pasted the 'summary paragraphs' by region for Mr. Hill's report, in order to save you the trouble of three clicks and two windows in order to read the same thing six different times:
Arts and culture donations in the Atlantic provinces
About 44,000 residents of the four Atlantic provinces donated money to arts and culture organizations in 2004, representing 2.2% of the total Atlantic population. These 44,000 people gave about $3 million to arts and culture organizations in 2004.

About 18,000 New Brunswickers and 19,000 Nova Scotians donated to the arts and culture in 2004. The estimates of the number of donors in Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador are not reliable. The estimates of the value of donations to the arts and culture are also not reliable for any of the individual Atlantic provinces.

Compared with the overall arts and culture donation rate in the region (2.2%), some groups of Atlantic residents have particularly high arts and culture donation rates: those with a university degree (4.4%) and those with household incomes of $50,000 or more (3.3%). Unlike the other jurisdictions with reliable data, Atlantic men have an arts and culture donation rate (2.4%) that is higher than women (2.1%).

Arts and culture donations in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut
About 1,600 residents of Canada’s three territories donated approximately $150,000 to arts and culture organizations in 2004. These 1,600 donors represent 2.2% of the overall population in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Arts and culture donations in Ontario
Approximately 335,000 Ontarians, or 3.3% of the province’s population, donated money to arts and culture organizations in 2004. These donors contributed about $110 million to arts and culture organizations in 2004.

Of all the regions of Canada, Ontario residents are behind only British Columbians in terms of the percentage of the population donating to arts and culture organizations (3.3% of Ontarians did so in 2004 compared with 3.5% of B.C. residents and a national average of 2.8%).

Compared with the overall arts and culture donation rate in the province (3.3%), some groups of Ontarians have particularly high arts and culture donation rates: those with a university degree (7.4%); those 55 or older (6.3%); and those with household incomes of $50,000 or more (4.0%). Unlike some other jurisdictions, women and men contribute to arts and culture organizations in roughly the same proportion in Ontario (3.4% of women and 3.3% of men).

Arts and culture donations on the Prairies
About 136,000 Prairie residents, including 86,000 Albertans, 20,000 Saskatchewanians and 29,000 Manitobans, donated money to arts and culture organizations in 2004.

These 136,000 people, 3.2% of all Prairie residents, gave about $16 million to arts and culture organizations in 2004. The estimates of the value of donations to the arts and culture are not reliable for any of the individual Prairie provinces.

Prairie residents donate to the arts and culture in greater numbers than the Canadian average (3.2% of Prairie residents did so in 2004 compared with a national average of 2.8%).

Compared with the overall arts and culture donation rate in the region (3.2%), some groups of Prairie residents have particularly high arts and culture donation rates: those with a university degree (8.7%); those with household incomes of $50,000 or more (4.4%); and those 55 or older (4.3%). Prairie women have an arts and culture donation rate (3.5%) that is higher than men (2.8%).

Arts and culture a more “popular” cause in B.C. than elsewhere
British Columbia’s 122,000 arts and culture donors contributed roughly $32 million to arts and culture organizations in 2004.

Of all the regions of Canada, British Columbians are most likely to donate to arts and culture organizations (3.5% of B.C. residents did so in 2004 compared with a national average of 2.8% of the population). Compared with the overall arts and culture donation rate in the province (3.5%), some groups of British Columbians have particularly high arts and culture donation rates: those with a university degree (7.8%); those 55 or older (4.9%); and those with household incomes of $50,000 or more (3.9%). British Columbia women have an arts and culture donation rate (3.7%) that is higher than men (3.2%).
Then, judging from this picture

It appears that of the 630 members of Culture Montreal, about 40 turned up, no wonder there is no article in any of today's newspapers. But now I want to know how much Mr. Hill charged the Canada Council, the department of Canadian Heritage, and the Ontario Arts Council in order to galavant all over the country in order to personally deliver this absolutely critical, significant, and previously unknown information.

Fun Gossip about getting rich from Nazi loot


Does anybody out there know Francis Gutmann? Does anybody know if he now does anything other than sell paintings and sketches by Klimt?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kirk Varnedoe rocks my world!!


Who would have thunk that what he wrote is almost exactly the same thing that George Michael sang 16 years ago? I quite like the idea of George Michael as an art critic/curator? Cool, eh?

New Canadian Art Blog Alert


I'm obviously getting slow as I age. I am extremely late in welcoming View on Canadian Art to the blogosphere. Apologies.

Co-ordinator, Travelling Exhibitions Program


Wanna live in Gatineau? The Canadian Museum of Civilization is hiring.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Innuendo and open ended questions about the Arthotheque's Auction


This month's journalist-out-of-favor is Stephane Baillargeon who today writes about the Artothèque's silent auction of 45 works that they have in their collection.

The first three sentences of his article are all questions:
Mais d'où viennent les quelque 5000 oeuvres accumulées avec 5,5 millions davantages fiscaux? Une institution muséale peut-elle recevoir une oeuvre en échange d'avantages fiscaux, l'intégrer à sa collection permanente, puis la revendre pour financer ses activités? Et d'ailleurs, comment un petit organisme sans but lucratif fonctionnant avec un budget annuel d'environ 300 000 $ peut-il se permettre d'accumuler en un peu plus d'une décennie une collection presque aussi volumineuse que celle du Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal?
Or if you prefer in English:
  1. But where did the 5,000 pieces worth $5.5 million dollars come from?
  2. If a museum gives a tax receipt for a piece of art, can they sell it?
  3. How can a non-profit organization with an operating budget of $300,000 get an art collection as large as that of the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal?
It is only at the very end of the article that the director of the Artotheque is quoted as saying "Revenue Canada has verified everything." Nothing like leading your reader to believe one thing for the majority of the article and then only slipping the answer in at the end, where they are most likely to miss and/or ignore it.

And while I'm at it, I would also question where he got his figures about the 34 most important museums in Quebec receiving 2,848 donations worth $13.7 million dollars in 04/05. Because a) I'd love to know how they decided which museums were important and which ones were not important? b) If the Musee des beaux arts last year received 500 works of art worth $8 million dollars, and the year before that (04/05) $7.3 million from about 500 pieces as well. (Annual Reports: 04/05 & 05/06) Which would leave 33 'important Quebecois museums' receiving 2,348 donations worth about $6.4 million, or about $370 per donation.

As Eric Devlin states it is «louche» but not as M. Baillargeon attributes; because the Artotheque is trying to turn a profit, but because the Artotheque has been put into this situation by forces larger than the Artotheque, and it is only trying to survive. Note to M. Devlin, comparing the Arthotheque to a library was dead bang-on balls accurate, last I heard the city is refusing to fund one library, and as a consequence it is closing. My guess is that this is what the Artotheque is trying to avoid having happen to it. Which would is worse? The Artotheque closing like the Fraser-Hickson Library, due to a lack of cash? Or them being able to continue loaning and renting 4,955 pieces of art to the community for the forseable future by selling 45 pieces?

Oh, and while we're at it M. Baillargeon, it you haven't noticed there's been a dramatic increase in the Art Market recently.

[Update: Catalogs available here: English version, and la version française, both pdf files, 1.2MB]

Learn Something New Every Day II


And then I discovered the Academie des Beaux-Arts du Quebec inc. I'm not quite certain I completely understand what it is that they do, but whatever it is that they do, if you are an art gallery and you want to do it with them, it costs $700/year. If you are an artist and you want to do it with them, it only costs $300/year (although you gotta toss them $50 more the first time).

Learn Something New Every Day


It appears that Akimbo, has some competition called Art Post. Always gald to see when that happens.

Monday, November 27, 2006

More museum jobs


From the oldest Art Blog in the world. infoTECmuseo

Expozine 06 - a photoset on Flickr taken by Jack Ruttan


An impressive set of photos, an almost complete collection of the Montreal Comic World.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Coolopolis: A visit to the Musee du Fier Monde on Amherst Street


OK, so I'm a little bit late to the party on this one. A month late in fact. But back at the end of October, Kristian Gravenor took his video camera on a visit to the Musee du Fier Monde on Amherst Street. He posted the ensuing footage on his blog Coolopolis.

If you'd like to watch it elsewhere, try here.

La Presse needs to learn about auctions


They say $1,450,000, and Heffel (the folks who sold it say $1,667,500, who are you going to believe?

Art History teachers wanted on the West Island

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Montreal Art Exhibition Calendar


I just started a public Google Calendar for all art exhibits in town.

Apparently, it is possible to subscribe, will be viewable in searches and all sorts of other cool things. If you know of an art exhibit that is not listed on it, please feel free to email me with the details. And don't forget to share it with your friends!

[update Monday: Be careful, I'm getting reports that some people can't see it, and that it crashes other people's browsers. If you haven't updated your browser recently, don't click it. It will likely only cause difficulties - apologies all around.]

Toronto is like Stamford, Connecticut


About a year ago, I wrote about what I thought was a cool idea happening in Toronto. Well apparently (surprise, surprise) it is not original, Stamford, Connecticut a hotbed of street art culture has been doing the same thing for four years. There's a video of the Toronto version here, and now that I'm going back and checking things out, in this collection of pictures from the Toronto version, I adore the fact that there are a bunch of 'before' pictures where the telephone utility box has absolutely no tags or marks and in fact looks like it is brand new.

Wicked Cool! Contemporary Canadian Art with ties to the Mafia


According to this article, a guy named Frank Martorana was in business with Pierre-Antoine Tremblay who tried to sell some fake paintings to Loto-Quebec. Because of him Frank Martorana, a bunch of different police forces here in Canada started to investigate the Mafia for something like five years, and resulted in them arresting a gazillion and a half people on Thursday.

This might even be a better story than Victor Pellerin.

[update April 17: I got sent a letter, and was asked if I could change the Objective Personal Pronoun to Mr. Martorana's name. So I did. Although it might have been fun to go to court over this.]

[update April 23: There is a second cease and desist letter.]

A tinge of disappointment


I expected more from the Heffel auction last night, not a lot more, just $250,000 more.

Although to be completely honest, I'd also like a complete list of results, and would prefer if they weren't so insecure that they had to tout 'a record price in a Canadian auction' or the online auction that they are holding or call themselves the 'only truly national fine art auction house.' Please, ditch the qualifiers and hold your heads high, ok?

[update 2 hours later: My bad, I'm blind, the complete results, along with fancy mouseover thumbnail pix of the paintings, using Tigra Hints is right here.]

Friday, November 24, 2006

Stuff Seen - 200m3 Architecture & Satellites



You gotta call me dense on this one, again back in September, I climed the stairs of Nota Bene and promptly got confused. Here in Quebec, the beginning of September is called La Rentrée ('the return' for the blokes in the house) and the sun must've been in my eyes or something, because I spent way too much time trying to figure out how a bunch of watercolors of awnings from apartment buildings had anything to do with going back to school.

Thankfully, I wasn't completely dense, and after flipping through a very nicely done collection of photographs of the entrances to buildings, I realized that in fact the exhibit was called l'Entrée (or 'the entrance' for the blokes reading this). Obviously some sort of architectural project for someone thinking about getting in to buildings, both large and small, I'm not certain how much the watercolors added to it, but I really got a kick out of the photographs.

Stuff Seen - Marc-Andre Drouin



Way back in September, it was a wonderful and glorious day when we hauled out collective butts to 2160-A Beaubien East. A place called Format L78 who appear to be some sort of designers, who also just happen to have a very cool art gallery. As we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere, we had no idea what to expect.

However, M. Drouin surprised us quite nicely and made me sit up and take notice. Basically, a whack of Kraft Paper with some pretty kick-ass drawings. Relatively simple, if I remember correctly dirt cheap, overall a show that left me with a large smile on my face. As it was in September, all I have left now are these sorta vague memories of feeling happy, hence the lack of wordage about M. Drouin's work.

More Bad News. Something called LoftArt.ca takes over from Galerie Baliz


It appears that Galerie Baliz in old Montreal is no longer in business, despite the website still being up.

Bruce McGaw Graphics appears to have taken over the space and is now calling it LoftArt.ca, in order to make really expensive posters for all the students and ex-students buying up the lofts in the neighborhood.

Even at $0.19/square inch (it does go up to $0.25/square inch) nothing that they sell there is, in my estimation, worth it. Better to buy a poster over the internet and get it laminated. And it ain't because I'm a snob. I would similarly suggest to someone that they save their money and not buy hardcover versions of Harlequin Romances, used paperbacks work just as well.

All Riopelle All the Time!!


Apparently this blog is more important to La Presse, than La Presse is to Zeke's Gallery. Last month I pointed out how the people who work in the IT department at La Presse are not terribly good at their job. Well, today someone who works at La Presse decided to email me to make sure that I read their special section devoted to the upcoming auction of 'Il était une fois une ville' by Riopelle. I can think of a number of reasons why they would want to make sure that I read it, but I figure it is best if you use your own imagination.

First off, I gotta give 'em props, as they are the only newspaper in town who bothered to do a preview. If the Canadiens lose tonight, and the Riopelle sets a new record, it will make the front page of the Journal de Montreal tomorrow, which would be pretty gosh darn cool (Go Buffalo!).

But as for the article, Martin Vallières (the writer) obviously hasn't been doing this art beat thing for a very long time, probably only since Tuesday or so. His first paragraph talk about 'uncertainty in the art market since the death of Ken Thompson.' If there is any uncertainty in the art market, then Zeke's Gallery is the most important art gallery in Canada. Ritchies auction on Monday showed without a doubt that there are numerous other people who are taking the place of Ken Thompson.

Second, while 'Il était une fois une ville' is in fact being sold tonight, there are three Riopelle paintings that are being sold. And the other two are nothing to sneeze at either.

There are a couple of other articles about art sales, the second one that I read which was written by Mario Cloutier is so ridiculous as to be beyond belief. He starts out by translating some stuff that has been published elsewhere about the auctions and sales of art in the United States. Somewhere about the ninth paragraph he decides to stick in some local content, and gets a quote from Jacques Germain, as he puts it 'a Quebecois art dealer,' although it also could be translated as a dealer in Quebecois art - but it isn't because Jacques Germain deals in African Art. If I were writing for La Presse about the upcoming Canadiens' hockey game, and I got a quote from the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes to explain the article, I would not be writing for La Presse much longer.

Then to make matters worse M. Germain apparently thinks that the exponential increase in prices of art this past year has nothing to do with speculators. Umm, if you have been hiding under a rock for the past year or so, all the fancy ass and incredibly expensive art has been bought by Hedge Fund Managers. The very definition of a Hedge Fund Manager is someone who speculates. How anyone who has even a passing interest in the economics of art could think that there was no speculation involved is just completely out to lunch. I see no need to read the rest of the article if the beginning was wrong.

The third one that I read was by Jocelyne Lepage, and she seems to have a head on her shoulders. She talks to Marc Mayer who touts Matthias Weischer and David Altmejd. And the fourth one is just a list of paintings and prices, I can only hope that the print version had pictures.

Then there is a fifth article on art, that explains how Annie Pootoogook won the Sobey Prize. Fine, but as she won the $50,000 on November 7, why is it only making the newspaper today?

I appreciate it when there is this much coverage of the visual arts in a daily newspaper, however if it stinks up the joint I can understand 100% why they don't do it more often. Perhaps they should hire some better arts reporters, or it might have something to do with the editorial staff not taking the visual arts very seriously. I do't know, but it doesn't make me happy at all.

Congratulations to Raphaëlle de Groot & Alexandre David


Now go read this post from 364 days ago. Absolutely nothing has changed.

Metro Borduas


I normally do not promote other exhibitions in advance of seeing them, however, if Metro Borduas does not live up to my expectations, then I am going to be mighty disappointed.

Better late than never


Nice round up on auction season in Les Affaires. Although it is obvious that the article was supposed to run last week and got bumped by something, because the Ritchies auction that they talk about as happening in a couple of days, in fact happened on Monday. Also, I'm on record as saying that 'Il était une fois une ville' will sell for $1.7 million plus buyer's premium ($1.96 million plus taxes, or $2.24 million if bought buy an Ontario resident).

A Great Idea


I never knew about fractional donations, but they sound pretty gosh darn cool.

Bad News Coming Fast & Furious


Ok, so maybe this isn't the same as the death of Alexander Litvinenko, or the Military Commissions Act of 2006, but it still sucks.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Comment Policy


There is someone who is trying to leave some comments here on a post. While I agree with the person who is leaving the comments, I unfortunately can't let them get published as they are anonymous.

Please, if you are going to leave a comment, good or bad, sign it.


The Zeke's Gallery Comment Policy

I'm Confused by Kelly Hill & Statistics Canada


Yesterday Hill Strategies Researchpublished a press release that got picked up by the Globe & Mail. It stated rather simply that '732,000 Canadians 15 years of age or older made financial donations worth a total of $188 million to arts and culture organizations in 2004.' Or if you prefer 'on average, a donation of $257 per arts and culture donor.'

Back at the beginning of the month, Statistcis Canada released figures that said 'Canadian households spent an average of $1,450 on culture goods and services in 2004.' Which if we do some quick and easy division would mean that there are 5.6 people over the age of 15 in every household. Or in plain English something doesn't compute.

Or maybe Kelly Hill just added the $233 that each household spent on admission to live performing arts in 2004 with the $121 spent by each household on admission to museums and other venues in 2004? That would then mean that there are 1.4 people over the age of 15 in every household.

Or maybe they took the median amount donated by Canadians to charity (after all an arts an culture organization is likely to be a charity) which is $240, a figure conveneniently released today - awww never mind.

-Break while I actually go and read the fine print on the methodology used by Kelly Hill.-

Oh, I see, said the blind man, they used figures released by Statistics Canada last July which state that the roughly 33 million Canadians spent $213 million on admission to heritage institutions, $15 million on memberships in heritage institutions, gave $114 million in private sector support to heritage institutions and somehow gave $189 million worth of other types of revenues to heritage institutions, for a total of $531 million. If that was the case then there are 16 people in every household...

Hmmm, is there anybody out there who can help me. Good thing they are coming to town on November 29, in a worst case scenario, I can ask them myself.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Silly Giggle Time


Google has a similar feature, where it shows results that it thinks are similar to whatever website or page you wish.

This is what Google thinks is similar to Zeke's Gallery.

Woo-Hoo! Canadian Art makes it into the 21st Century


I haven't had a chance to listen yet, but back at the beginning of the Month (sorry I am slow) Canadian Art Magazine editor Rick Rhodes interviewed Robert Hughes. What makes it special, amazing and wonderful, is that they recorded it, and have posted it up to the internet via Odeo. If you'd like to hear it, you can listen here, by playing the fancy Odeo player below:

powered by ODEO

Or you can listen on the Odeo site by clicking on this link. Also, for anyone interested it has been listened to 23 times so far, or about one time per day.

Serious props, shout outs and congrats to everyone at Canadian Art magazine for doing this. More please.

Note to Press Agents


It is always a very good idea to spell the name of the artists you are promoting correctly. In this press release touting the opening of Vernissages et cie. they spell the name of Emmanuelle and Pauline Bressan with a second 'e' replacing the 'a' in Bressan.

Fun article about the Ritchies Auction


I really like it when art makes it into the Toronto Sun. I particularly like the lines, 'The colour of money is apparently a soft hue of blue and sunset pink.' And 'Agents clutched cellphones and spoke in hushed tones to clients, while private art collectors gazed hungrily at the exhibits.'

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Stephane Baillargeon gets it wrong


In today's Le Devoir, there's an article about Parachute closing. His first sentence reads: 'Parachute, the most prestigious contemporary art magazine in Canada...' Unfortunately it is not true. Prestigious, loosely defined means 'esteemed: having an illustrious reputation; respected.' I assume that the definition in French is the same as in English. Calling Parachute prestigious now, is exactly like calling the Rolling Stones the most important Rock 'n' Roll band in the world today. Back in 1977 both statements might have been true, but it is 2006 now.

In his fifth paragraph he quotes Chantal Pontbriand as saying 'even Alain Simard of the Jazz Fest says that things are bad in Montreal.' What he fails to note, is that the reason things are 'bad' for M. Simard is because he completely and thorughly botched and screwed up when some people tried to hand him a Film Festival on a silver platter. If I remember correctly, last year's press release to conclude the Jazz Festival stated that 'the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal was particularly successful this year' and noted in bold that 33% of the shows sold out and that there were 2 million visitors. That doesn't sound 'bad' to me.

In his sixth paragraph he writes 'The radical decision also shows how there is no money in Montreal for contemporary art, even though it is booming elsewhere in the world.'

Wrong-O! Boy-O! Again. If Parachute is closing because of lack of government funding, how does it mean that there is no money in Montreal for contemporary art? It might mean that certain people are not willing to pay a CPM of more than $100 for an academic journal that is read by 1,200 people. If I remember correctly, the Musee d'art contemporain got more than 62,000 people to see their Brian Jungen exhibit, and more than 50,000 for Anselm Kiefer, and this is after they raised their prices by 33%. If you do good work, people will pay for it. Do not so good work, and you can't give it away for free.

And if there is no money in Montreal for contemporary art then obviously, none of these three paintings are going to sell, one, two three. And if there is no money in Montreal for contemporary art then obviously then there is no point for these five galleries to have opened in the past year or so, right? Parisian Laundry, Cru, Donald Browne, Dominique Bouffard, Anthracite Diffusion, and then there's also D'Este, SAT's new exhibition space, and Concordia's two new galleries. Obviously there is nobody who wants to invest in contemporary Quebecois art.

Again, I am very sad that Parachute is closing, but to use the occasion to further some mistruths about contemporary art in Montreal is just plain bad reporting.

Museums - A Wikia wiki


Now this is cool! Go Jonathan Bowen! Go!! If you'd like more information about Museums and Wikis, try Mr. Bowen's paper from this year's Museums and the Web Conference.

And while I'm at it, can I ask someone out there to create an entry for Zeke's Gallery in Wikipedia, please?

Another way of looking at Canadian Art Auctions


Can someone please explain to me why I would pay good money to Ritchies for an appraisal of any Canadian Art? Last night they held an auction, and of the 197 lots auctioned off, 75% were nowhere near the estimate Ritchies gave. 100 lots were over the estimate, 21 lots were under the estimate, and 26 did not sell.

And while some people might be raving about how 'hot' the Canadian Art market is right now, I find it much more entertaining to point out that there were five lots that sold for about the same price as this Beanie Baby is going to sell for. One, Two Three, Four, Five.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Not Good News for Parachute Magazine, period.


It looks like Parachute Magazine is going to stop publishing. Hopefully it will only be for a little bit and not a long time before they start publishing again, but I'm not going to hold my breath. Interesting, that it hasn't been noted on their website, yet. Despite what I have written in the past about Ms. Pontbriand and her magazine, I am very sad to hear the news - it is never a good thing when whatever little coverage of Canadian and Quebecois art gets even smaller.

If any former Parachute writers want a job, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm not certain that I can pay what Parachute paid, but... And I sincerely wish Ms. Pontbriand the best in her next endeavor, whatever it is, it has not been a good couple of years for her.

From the press release:
Montreal, 20 November 2006 — The contemporary art magazine PARACHUTE, founded in 1974, has taken the difficult decision to suspend its activities. Despite the success of its new format, introduced in 2000, and its international recognition, funding levels no longer make it possible to ensure a reasonable level of quality and stability.

Despite its determination and efforts to maintain the journal’s presence on the contemporary art scene and to continue operations, PARACHUTE’s board of directors was obliged to take this last-resort decision after examining all the economic and social factors which would have enabled the journal to extract itself from the impasse facing it. The journal had recently succeeded in increasing its sales by more than 200% while at the same time cutting expenses and trimming budgets. Major fundraising efforts over the last years have produced significant but insufficient results. As well, the repeated demands on government agencies have been unproductive. An overall drop in subsidies, in tandem with the current funding structure of the journal and the media environment today make the task that much more complex. Despite PARACHUTE’s exceptional longevity in a highly competitive milieu — a longevity owing to the enthusiasm of its contributors and readers and to the unflagging determination of its director — its suspension of activities at this time highlights the precariousness of cultural organizations in Quebec and the rest of Canada.

In a letter to the journal’s readers appearing in PARACHUTE 125 in January 2007, Chantal Pontbriand, director, writes:

“When the bell tolls, the adventure should come to a stop, at least in the way it has been led until now. The economic structure needed to pursue this passionate venture linking actors from around the world is gravely lacking at this point. The situation was never comfortable, but the continuing withdrawal of government funding for innovation in the arts and the need to cultivate ever-more private funding in a country where sponsorship of contemporary art is underdeveloped and where few private art galleries in the field exist, does not help our effort to raise funds and be self-sustaining. After huge efforts to cut costs and increase fundraising in the private sector in the hope of counteracting a too-fragile economic situation, our endeavour must come to a halt while we reconsider the situation and find other ways of doing what we do. Personally, I do not wish to stop myself, being convinced of the need for the magazine.”

PARACHUTE’s board of directors and director would like to extend their warm thanks to all those who contributed to the journal’s great success over the years: its founding members, its staff and board members over the years, its readers, authors, artists, editors, correspondents, graphic artists, copy editors, proofreaders, translators, printers, subscribers, advertisers, distributors, donors, collectors and federal, provincial, municipal and foreign funding agencies.

Not Good News if True


This article in the Suburban quotes a bunch of nameless people about the Saidye Bronfman Centre (and the Liane and Danny Taran Gallery and the art school) closing in May so that a larger theatre can be built.


Sarah Milroy has her priorities backwards


It occurred to me this morning, that the Globe & Mail had published 6 articles this year which had the words "Turner Prize" in the article vs. three articles this year which use the words "Sobey Art Award."

At current exchange rates the Turner Prize is only worth $4,373.50 more, Why does it get twice as many articles?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

$259,000 per town, $21,000 per artist


The Canada Council released its Annual Report on Friday. According to the press release, they gave away on average $259,000 per town, and $21,000 per artist.

Some questions: If there are only 92 communities with more than 50,000 residents, that's an awful lot of money to be sending to the other 418 communites. If there are 130,700 artists in Canada then the Canada Council is only supporting 4% of them.

And somewhere somehow someone dropped a decimal place, or divided when they should have added. Back at the beginning of the month, Statistcs Canada reported that 10% of all Canadians collected art. If all the numbers are correct, then that means there are roughly two collectors for every artist in Canada. If that truly were the case, then Canadian Art would not be in the doldrums.

(While I very often beat-up on Kelly Hill, I gotta thank him this time for being an easy source for the stats, because trying to navigate the Statistics Canada website is not easy.)

Corno makes it into the Journal de Montreal


As it happens so rarely, I always get a humongos kick when the Journal de Montreal covers art. On Friday there were two articles (one and two) about Corno, because he has opened a new gallery here in Montreal.

Good Stuff happening to Good People


It takes a while for the news to travel north but the Nunatsiaq News has a very nice article about Annie Pootoogook's win.

Following up on Patrick Duegaw and...


Almost two years ago I mentioned Patrick Duegaw in passing with regards to how little respect Montreal Artists get. I mention him again, because the Wichita Eagle, again, writes about his summer sojourn in Montreal. However, what I found most interesting was that in the post from two years ago, I also mention David Altmejd funny how things change in two years. If you'd like to know more on what Patrick Duegaw has been doing for the past two years, click here or here. If you'd like to know more on what David Altmejd has been doing, click here.

Then for what it is worth in the intervening two years, "Montreal Artists" has had a 133% increase when Google Newsed. "Boston Artists" only 47%, "London Artists" 78%, and "New York Artists" only 51%. In absolute numbers we still lag far behind, only 565 vs. 9,340 for New York.

Mira Lyn Lu & Immony Men can I introduce you to Danny Perreault?

Nice Synopsis in English

Will Carrie Walker invite Carrie Walker to Carrie Walker's show?


An interesting concept... the only reason I'm writing about it, is because Carrie Walker is from Vancouver. Basically, Ms. Walker drew (or copied depending on your point of view - SODRAC where are you?) pictures she found on the internet of other women named Carrie Walker. One of them happens to live in Los Angeles, which is where this particular exhibit is taking place. I wonder if they were able to get the Carries together?

Nice and easy job


According to this advertisement Galerie 1225 Art & Vin is looking to hire a gallery assistant. I'm not certain that I would agree with them calling themselves 'high profile.' But it probably isn't too tough. I also wonder what would lead them to write 'Not a socializing work environment.' Bad experiences with previous employees?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Glenda Rush live at Zeke's Gallery on Thursday.


Click here to listen, flac, ogg vobis, stream [82.9MB, 42:15 minutes]

On Thursday, Glenda Rush played here. As you can see from the photo below a wonderful and fabulous time was had by all.

If you would like to hear more of Ms. Rush's music, click on this.

Last week Gary Michael Dault, this week David Silcox


Last week, I mentioned how Mr. Dault asked a question I asked two years after I did. Today I come accross this article where Peter Goddard quotes Mr. Silcox (president of Sotheby's Canada) as saying the same thing as I did, 18 months ago.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More on SODRAC and copyright infringement


For a while now, SODRAC has been a personal whipping post of mine (one, two and three) and it looks like they are going to continue being one. Because this article from The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, just makes me see red, get spitting mad, and want to scream.

Basically according to the article, this artist down there, Eva Carter has had a bunch of her art copied and reproduced without her permission by Tony Pompa. His website ArttoCanvas.com basically promises to make some might-fine, fancy-ass, very expensive copies. For the most part it appears that the copies are more expensive than the originals.

Again according to the article, there is a quote from Mr. Pompa that goes as follows:
He sees nothing wrong with his products, even if they are made against the artist's wishes. He is not mass-producing duplicates; he's simply moving images he has paid for from one surface to another - a process allowed under Canadian law, he said.
So it would appear that SODRAC is content with the law as it is, and as far as I can tell is not doing anything to prevent Mr. Pompa from buying a poster and making a copy of it on canvas and then selling it for more than the original poster. However, they insist on telling people with auction houses and websites that they can't take a picture of a painting and put that in the catalogue or website.

It would appear to me then, that the appropriate thing for auction houses and websites in Canada to do in light of the bullying and attempts at extortion by SODRAC, is to sign and number each catalog that they print, and as Mr. Pompa puts it, state that they are not mass producing duplicates, simply moving images that they paid for from one surface to another - a process allowed under Canadian law.

Or perhaps the appropriate thing would be for Diane Lamarre (Manager of Visual Arts and Crafts Department) and Alain Lauzon (General Manager) of SODRAC to politely send one of their letters with an invoice to Mr. Pompa, I am assume that Ms. Carter would gladly accept to pay SODRAC 25% of what was owed her in order to get Mr. Pompa to stop copying her posters, because that is what SODRAC keeps from the fees that they collect on behalf of non-Canadian artists.

Whatever is the final result, I hope that there is a final result, because as it stands now, SODRAC does not appear to me to be anything more than a semi-governmental bunch of thugs trying to make as much money as possible through intimidation.

The Pat Lehman Band live at Zeke's Gallery Last Night


Click here to listen, flac, ogg vobis, stream [68.7MB, 36:25 minutes]

Last night the Pat Lehman band played here. Not only was it the 250th recording, but as you might notice, I have finally been able to fix the technical difficulties that had been happening, so that you can download and/or stream the shows again.

Patrick Lehman (vocals), Dee Perusse (bass, background vocals), Joel Ovadia (guitar), and Joe Irrera (percussion).
  1. Would You Love Me
  2. Once Upon a Time
  3. Feels So Right
  4. Pride
  5. I Can See it in Your Eyes
  6. Last Minute
  7. Lost
  8. Chance on You
  9. I Love My Baby
  10. Wake Up
(All songs written & composed by Patrick Lehman.)

Inuit and Shona sculptures


From a distance. This is a wicked cool idea, basically Eddie Masaya, a sculptor from Harare, and David Ruben Piqtoukun a sculptor from Toronto are getting together in Zimbabwe to carve together and play around with Shona culture and Inuit culture.

I would guess, that since funding to embassies for cultural stuff seems to have become toast, things like this will not happen in the future. Pity. Also, note to the AllAfrica.com people, Piqtoukun is not spelled with an 'i,'

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Watch as the walls come tumbling down


An awesome article in today's New York Times introducing the theories and ideas of David Galenson. He's got a new book called: Old Masters and Young Geniuses which sounds very interesting. It ain't his first and obviously I'm going to have to save up some pennies and some dimes, his other books (Artistic Capital and Painting outside the Lines) are not cheap either.

This Art and economics stuff can get pretty pricey pretty quickly. ArtNet is a minimum of $30/month, ArtFacts is $42/Month, you'd think that everyone was just rolling in the dough

And while I'm at it, does anyone have access to any of these other papers by Prof Galenson?

  • You Cannot be Serious: The Conceptual Innovator as Trickster
  • A Conceptual World: Why the Art of the Twentieth Century is So Different From the Art of All Earlier Centuries
  • Two Paths to Abstract Art: Kandinsky and Malevich
  • Analyzing Artistic Innovation: The Greatest Breakthroughs of the Twentieth Century
  • The Most Important Works of Art of the Twentieth Century
  • Do the Young British Artists Rule...?
  • Who Are the Greatest Living Artists? The View from the Auction Market
  • Anticipating Artistic Success (or, How to Beat the Art Market): Lessons from History
  • One Hit Wonders: Why Some of the Most Important Works of Modern Art are Not by Important Artists

  • Or any of his other NBER Working papers, I'd love to be able to read more than the abstracts, thanks in advance.

    The Art World...


    In this movie review by Stephen Holden there is a wonderful line describing people who work in the Art Industry. He calls them
    smooth-talking guardians of an insular world that enriches itself through a kind of legal insider trading [who] are deeply threatened by the intrusions of forensic science.
    I'm definitely going to have to go see the movie.

    Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    A most influential Art Historian


    After reading this obituary of S. Lane Faison Jr., I don't know if I should be impressed beyond belief, or angry as all get out. He convinced some bad guys to get in the art game, namely: Glenn D. Lowry, and Thomas Krens. But on the other hand, According to the obituary, the number of good guy he convinced is double that: Kirk T. Varnedoe, Michael Govan, John R. Lane, E. Roger Mandle. However, I would be remiss if I did not mention I have no opinion on these guys: Earl A. Powell III, James Wood who could bolster the bad guys side, very easily.

    However, I gotta question the New York Times, if Mr. Faison taught at Williams until 1976, then how in heck was he able to teach Michael Govan, who graduated from Williams in 1985? And while we're at it they also missed Robert Buck.

    After getting all my links in order, I've decided to be mighty impressed.

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    Stuff Seen - Mira-Lyn Lu & Immony Men



    Taking care of Business was the name of the show of theirs that I saw a while back. If I remember correctly, a week or two after the shooting there had happened, and I was quite impressed with the number of flowers that were hanging around the front door. But I digress. I was actually at Dawson because I wanted to leave a bunch of flyers around for a series of lectures that I was doing.

    Anyhows, the Warren G. Flowers Gallery is just about the most secret and unknown gallery in all of Montreal. Any time that I am in the neighborhood I make a very specific point of dropping in. For the most part, because they think that their only audience is Dawson College students, when I stop by there is precious little to explain what I'm seeing. But this afternoon I lucked out.

    When I barged in, Immony Men was hanging out eating chicken with someone who wasn't Mira-Lyn Lu, and quite graciously answered my rather aggressive questions (because at the beginning I could understand a gosh darn thing). Basically, he and Mira-Lyn had spent the better part of two weeks, sticking post-it notes on all the walls of the gallery. Once they were done, it looked like there had been some sort of cartoon/comix drawn on the post-it notes.

    In answer to my questions Immony told me that, unlike what I had imagined, the post-it notes had in fact been printed in advance, and then needed to be stuck in a very specific order. They in fact did show up at 9 AM every morning, and left at 5 PM every evening. It was business. I could also easily imagine them sticking post-it notes all day long being not a half bad performance, although the only performance I got was the wonderful smell of the chicken, it made me extremely hungry.

    The comic/cartoon that Mira-Lyn Lu & Immony Men ended up with was a fairly simple office-like drawing. But the dedication, and workman-like nature of the piece got me grinning from ear to ear as I walked further downtown looking for lunch.

    And if you have a MySpace account, go make friends with them. Otherwise click on this to see their website.

    Claude Tousignant @ macm.org


    Houston we have a problem. This should be the number one result when you type Claude Tousignant into Google, not this. Also if the Musee d'art contemporain is only keeping the exhibit on line until 2010, why has a direct link already been removed from their front page? And can anyone explain what the purpose of this page is? As there is still more than 1,200 days until it gets booted off of some server, I will wait to review it for a little while longer.

    Vernissages et cie...


    Vernissages et cie... is a store that just opened up down the street from Zeke's Gallery. I've been meaning to ask if anybody knows what they do? 'Arts Consulting Events' is just a little bit vague. 'A business, craft and artistic incubator' is also something that also makes me furrow my brow.

    The sign on the door said something about a Dean J. Brisson. It looks like he was (or is) involved with with a little Intuition Agency, which looks like a management company. Makes sense. But if I was a Canadian painter, I would not be wanting to have a career like Damien's.

    SODRAC just doesn't get it


    Last week I met with Diane Lamarre (Manager of Visual Arts and Crafts Department) and Alain Lauzon (General Manager) of SODRAC. They told me that they would email me a list of the 220 Canadian Artists that they represent. I still haven't received a gosh darn thing. As their website explicitly states that they themselves don't know who they represent, I gotta come to the conclusion that they are either extremely irresponsible, or just flat out dumb as dirt. Or perhaps they have something to hide and SODRAC really has no interest in furthering a discussion any of their policies.

    Pity. I'm almost done the piece I'm writing about our discussion.

    Guy Cogeval's replacement, part 2


    On Saturday I wrote about a couple of local people who might be able to replace M. Cogeval come this July. One thing that I did not focus on was the need and ability of the new person to raise money in order to get something built at the Erskine & American church. But I will be getting back to that later.

    Here are some of the people in the rest of Canada who I think could do the job rather well.

    Dave Liss, director of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. First and foremost I'd love to see him get the job, because he is a good friend, and I can't think of anything better than for him (and Nathalie and the kids) to come back to Montreal. But personal stuff aside, he successfully moved his museum, pulled it up from worse than dead and has given it a very seriously high profile within Canada. I don't think his strong suit is older and non-Canadian art, but what he lacks there he more than makes up for with his ability to handle deal and massage politicians.

    Kathleen Bartels, Director Vancouver Art Gallery. This past summer I remarked as to how Montreal had become over run by things artistic from Vancouver. There was a show in each of the three museums downtown from there. Ms. Bartels, I assume had an awful lot to do with that. On top of that she has specific experience in raising funds for a new building (although I am not entirely clear as to where they are in that project). And, can't forget, I always like having a babe run a museum.

    Beyond that, I'm drawing a blank. I tried really hard to think of one other museum administrator anywhere in Canada who was doing enough cool stuff that I'd want them running the Musee des beaux arts, and couldn't think of a single one. For the folk at the AGO it would be a sideways move. Since the current director of the National Gallery used to be director at the MBAM I don't think he'd be interested in coming back, and I have not really been terribly impressed with any of the curators working there.

    The Museum of Civilization? Who? University of Toronto? What? (Although it got me thinking about UQAM and Concordia here in town, both of which have been building like it is going out of style, I obviously need to do some research as to who are the people who did the grunt work.) Mendel? While Terry Graff is a really nice guy, Montreal is just slightly larger than Saskatoon. Glenbow? Nah!

    Although if I stop looking solely at museums and look at other cultural organizations, I probably could find some reasonable candidates, but I'd best leave that for another time.

    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    Jeff Wall in Paris


    His show at Marian Goodman's gallery in Paris gets a write up in Le Monde. Must be a slow art day there, the show opened on October 28, and closes in December (or perhaps, since I don't read Le Monde's art reviews as religiously as I do read those in Voir, maybe they only review shows once they are in the middle of their run).

    Quebec City, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Palm Beach, Wilmington, New Orleans, Memphis, San Juan, Colorado Springs and Sacremento


    It appears that Quebec City is getting giddy about an upcoming Fernando Botero exhibit. Unfortunately it was organized and is being toured by Art Services International hence the itinerary above (reads sorta like a cross between a semi-pro basketball team, and some weird vaudeville circuit, don'tcha think?). They are the same company which organized the exhibit at the Notre Dame Basillica here in town, which made money for Clear Channel Communications.

    Personally, I would like to know how much the exhibit is going to cost the Musee National des Beaux Arts du Quebec, and what other exhibits they might be planning on getting from ASI. And as an aside, if John Porter is relying on ASI to get 500,000 people in his museum, then I suddenly have much less interest in him running the Musee des beaux arts de Montreal. On the other hand, if he succeeds in scoring the Abu Ghraib paintings by Botero, then I will retract the previous sentence. But judging by description from the catalog, I doubt we will have the opportunity to see them live .

    Saturday, November 11, 2006

    Sarah Milroy vs. Terence Dick


    Apparently they don't quite see eye to eye over Annie Pootoogook's recent score. Ms. Milroy and Mr. Dick. And then if you really want to dive in, there's a good conversation about the Ms. Pootoogook's Sobey Award win over at Sally McKay's blog. Personally I like that Tom Moody seriously suggests that Chuck Anderson should be eligible for the Sobey Award (like he needs the money).

    Art Fairs?


    The Toronto Star preview article and the Globe and Mail preview article.

    Mr. Goddard writes some feel good, short fluff, where he writes that 'last year some 800 artworks were sold at the fair' as if this was a good thing.

    As was pointed out to me by the finer folk from Canadian Art Group.com in Mr. Enright's article ther eis a nice quote from Marc Mayer
    'For his part, Mayer sees TIAF as attracting two different art worlds: "There's the decorator market for the less sophisticated crowd and then the investment market for the more sophisticated crowd." Both kinds of collectors come to TIAF, though they rarely find themselves in the same booths buying from the same galleries.
    Although to my mind Mr. Mayer is being very kind.

    Local Favorites to run the Musee des beaux arts


    The big news here is that Guy Cogeval is not going to run the Musee des beaux arts as of July 1, 2007. The French version, and the English version despite what the article says, I can't find the press release for love or money.

    My best guess would be that he got offered something 18th Century back in France, when the Groupe Bizot was in town a month ago. But the big question to me, is who fits into his striped socks?

    I haven't had time to go over the international or the national candidates, and will attempt to deal with those sort of people in the near future, but locally, these are the folk I would think could do a good job (in no particular order):
    Louise Dery, currently runs the UQAM gallery. Used to be contemporary art curator at the Musee des beaux arts. Is responsible for next year's Canadian entry at the Venice Biennale. Unfortunately, I can't imagine that she's real strong in older art, and furniture design, but coming from a university she obviously has some serious bureaucratic skills. And on top of it, she's a babe.

    John Porter, currently at the Musee National des beaux arts du Quebec, all he would have to do is cross off two words from his current business card in order to make the switch. Quite probably the most informed person in the province about Quebecois culture, my guess is that as a consequence he isn't that strong on a broader, say international scale. But as you know, I have been wrong before, and I will be wrong again. More things in his favor; I can't imagine a more political and bureaucratic job than the one he already has, and the MBAM is a political and bureaucratic job. What he lacks in furniture design he more than makes up in local and older. Unfortunately for me, I can't imagine that he is much of a babe.

    Yolande Racine, currently runs the Cinematheque Quebecoise. And the thing that impresses me most about her is that a couple of years ago the cinematheque was on its last legs, just about to give up the ghost, and forced to close during the summer in order to save enough cash in order to pay its staff. If you haven't noticed the cinematheque is still around. Obviously Ms. Racine knows how to raise some cash (unless of course I misread the organigram, and it was due to someone else's work, in which case all of this applies to them). Since the Musee des beaux arts just signed up to buy and convert the Erskine & American Church they sure as shootin' are gonna need some serious fundraising. Obviously she can handle politics and bureaucrats like nobody's business, just due to the nature of the cinematheque, but on top of that she (like Ms. Dery) used to be a curator of contemporary art at the MBAM, and (like Ms. Dery) since she is a woman, she must be a babe (I haven't actually ever met her in person, so I gotta make assumptions.

    Paulette Gagnon, currently head curator at the Musee d'art contemporain, and from my perspective the power behind the throne there (note to certain readers: the current director does not use a throne in order to sit at his desk). Obviously, she can handle bureaucrats and politics, ignore what I wrote previously about running the cinematheque working at the MACM is the acme of politics and bureaucracy combining in a cultural industry here in town. However, the thing that made me think that she was most capable of doing the job, is that back when I met M. Cogeval, he in fact did wear striped socks on both days. The only time I ever met Ms. Gagnon, she wore striped tights. If you're still reading this far in, you must agree with me, that Ms. Gagnon is a babe. What I really like most about the idea of Ms. Gagnon taking over the 'other' museum is that it would enable Marc Mayer (the dude running MACM and not using a throne to run it either) to really make it over the way that he sees it. Both museums are then forced to deal with serious change and as a consequence forced to get better. Win-win-win-win all around, don'tcha think?

    Friday, November 10, 2006

    Gary Michael Dault is two years late


    Mr. Dault asks the same question that I did two years ago.

    Murals, Frescos, Burners, Pieces and cool things in Montreal


    La Presse has a series of articles about graffiti here in Montreal, along with some pictures, and other ephemera. The Main Article by Catherine Bachaalani, an article on one specific mural, fresco, burner, or piece depending on what language you speak. by Jean-Christophe Laurence who couldn't even be bothered to track down the artist. A list of ten murals, frescoes, burners, or pieces here in Montreal that Catherine Bachaalani likes. The picture of the advertisement across the street from here, which brings Ms. Bachaalani's knowledge, awareness and ideas about street art into question.

    Don't miss your chance to see teh ICAO art collection


    If you go to this concert you'll get to see some of this art collection. Plus the money is for a good cause.

    Sarah Anne Johnson makes it to Chicago


    And in the process, gets picked up by Gridskipper. Apparently she's got a show at this place called BucketRider. Upon reading a little bit closer, it appears that our fine friends to the south do not know the difference between Tree Planting, and camping, and judging by the comment about his favorite photo, I would guess that it has been a while since Joshua David Stein (the editor of Gridskipper) has been shagged and that is what is clouding his critical faculties.

    Also, it appears as if the gridskipper entry was as a result of her show being picked up by FlavorPill Chicago. You go girl.

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Two sides to every story


    Compare and contrast.

    And then read this one. If I were an auctioneer I would not be touting that my estimates were wrong. And if I were Robert Heffel, I would be pitching this painting as the painting to write about for the auction preview. Nothing like two more zeros in the estimate to grab everyone's attention - even if the person making the estimate admits that they know nothing.

    Angela Grauerholz - $30,000 richer


    Congrats, Shout Outs, and props are due to Ms. Grauerholz because she has won the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas. This one is obviously not going to make any ripple news-wise outside of the province. But if you check out the previous winners, you'll realize she is not in such bad company.

    Also, don't miss the video interview that was made.

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    Pathetic reporting


    It has been a hectic day, so I only just finished getting through all the local newspapers at 4 PM. There are four of them here in Montreal, there are also two 'national' newspapers, and while they are all going gaga over the Giller Prize (ok, not all of them, Le Devoir and Le Journal de Montreal don't - both for very different reasons) none of them have a single thing about the Sobey Art Award. (ok not none, the Globe & Mail has a 187 word bit that I had to search with a fine tooth comb in order to find.)

    I don't know if I should be complaining to the Sobey Art people, all who were extremely nice and gracious to a fault. Or the Scotiabank people, all who strike me as a tad incompetent. Or the entertainment editors at the newspapers, all whom have proven themselves over and over and over as being pathetic.

    Giller Prize: $40,000.
    Sobey Award: $50,000.

    Is there anyone, anywhere who can explain to me why there is such a lack of coverage?

    Woo-Hoo! Go! Annie Pootoogook Go!


    Last night I was invited to the Sobey Art Award fancy do. The one where they announce the winner. and as you might have heard Ms. Pootoogook is now $50,000 richer. It does not seem that it has been picked up by the French press, yet.

    At the do, (now here is the only time I wanna sound like I'm writing a social column) I saw Maurice Forget, Billy Mavreas, Isa Tousignant, Meredith Carruthers, Samuel Lallouz, Eric Devlin, Marc DeSerres, Bernard Lamarre, Marc Mayer, Dil Hildebrand, Jeffrey Spaulding, Guy Laliberte, Mireille Chery, Christine Redfern, Paul Litherland, and Katia Meir. That list however, probably tells you more about me, than it does about the award.

    I wanted to get the pamphlet that they published for the award autographed by all five artists,

    however, I was only successful in getting Ms. Pootoogook's. Maybe I'll have better luck next year.

    Some of the things that I found interesting were

    a) that Mathew Reichertz has now been shortlisted twice in two years for some pretty significant cash. I'm not certain what it says about the RBC Painting Competition or the Sobey Award or the state of the arts in the Atlantic provinces that he didn't win either one.

    b) according to Ray Cronin, it costs about $200,000 to give away $50,000.

    c) Whoever is running Scotiabank's promo and feel good about the community division not only got themselves double booked, but then stood up the artists. There was another prize being given away in Canada last night. It was worth 20% less than the Sobey Award, and it was also sponsored by Scotiabank. Guess which one does not get a press release on the Scotiabank website? No wonder why the guy from Hydro Quebec got to announce the winner. Although I am fairly certain that if I were to talk to someoen from Scotiabank, I might get a different response.

    d) And where was Jean-Pierre Gauthier?

    Then gazing into my crystal ball... next year's list of nominees will include David Altmejd, Julie Andree T. and Francine Lalonde among others.

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    How Much?


    OK, so Quebec City is celebrating its 400th anniversary. And it is pretty gosh darn cool that Le Louvre à Québec is going to be making to that fair city in 2008. But the nameless Radio-Canada reporter who wrote 'collaboration sans précédent' [a collaboration without precedent] obviously has not visited Atlanta recently. And as that cost the wonderful folk from Georgia something like $18 million dollars (US), I gotta ask so how much is this sucker costing?

    Sotheby's is wicked cool, too!

    A Beautiful Architectural Project


    OK, apologies all over the place as I am biased as all get go. But this blurb shows some pictures of the latest and greatest office design I have ever seen in my life, if there was such thing as an A+++ (A^ anyone?) it would get it right off from me. Go look, and click on the real pretty pictures, ok? Thanks

    Americans think like the Quebecois


    This article is from a couple of weeks ago, but I was struck by how Quebecois the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums are. Basically, nine museums, in not major metropolitan areas, rotating exhibitions. Or as they write in the article
    All of the museums are open to the public year round, free of charge. None are in the largest cities usually associated with museumgoing, like New York and Los Angeles. They stretch from Tacoma, Wash., to Newburgh, N.Y., and Jacksonville, Fla. Most are in architecturally significant buildings that have been restored as part of the Karpeles project. Each museum has permanent exhibits, and traveling exhibitions rotate about every three months, so there’s always something new to see.
    Sorta like the Maisons de la Culture here in town, or the regional museums spread out all over the province.

    Cool, eh?