Wednesday, May 31, 2006

$800,000 for Media arts in the regions? Yeah right!


Andre Bouthillier needs to learn how to write a better press release. While I'm neither here, nor there about this hexagram thing (I feel that money could be better spent on other things...) I'm not going to come right out and say it is bad. However, according to Sthis press release the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec has made a non-refundable contribution of $880,592 to Hexagram.

One problem; there are 69 researchers at Hexagram, not a single one of them works in 'the regions of Quebec.'

Keep your eyes open


Over the weekend Karen Bailey, Kevin Bertram, Gail Bourgeois, Lynda Cronin, Katsumi Idogawa, Jean Jewer, Cynthia O' Brien, Karina Kraenzle, Tami Galili-Ellis, Ron Whate, Deb Moriarty, Erin Robertson, and Jeff Stellick had a whole whack of their art stolen from the Blink Gallery in Ottawa.

According to this story in the Ottawa Citizen, it sounds like someone should make a movie out of it, after all The Thomas Crowne Affair has already been redone. If I can be so bold as to suggest to the artists that you post pictures of the missing artwork (all 40 pieces) on the website, your own websites, flikr, Google Base, Craigslist and every other darn place you can think of.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Looks like a good gig


Off the top of my head, I could probably come up with a list of about a dozen people in town who should apply for this job. The Project Arts Centre, looks like a mighty cool place, and at current exchange rates they are offering a salary of $45,000/year, plus I've heard that Dublin is a mighty fine town. Not bad for a curating gig, eh?

Duplication? Or something I'm missing?


Back at the beginning of the month, The Art Newspaper reported on a settlement between the National Gallery in Washington DC and the Beaulieus in France. Now at the end of the month, they report the same darn thing, if someone sees a difference between the two articles, please let me know, ok?

The reason that this is important locally is that the director of the Musée des beaux arts is quoted in both articles as saying through a lawyer: "Mr. Cogeval does not contemplate to settle with Mr Beaulieu and Ms Leduc since the proceedings have been suspended for the moment because it has been found that the lawsuit was based on misleading and fraudulent elements, the gravity of which prompted Guy Cogeval and others to file a legal complaint against Mr Beaulieu and Ms Leduc for forgery and use of forged documents, attempted fraud and breach of trust."

I agree with M. Cogeval entirely, but find it very suspicious when every single media outlet in the entire country ignores this.

Vera Danyluk & Melpa Kamateros are doing good, but need to get their facts straight


Saw this article in L'Express de Mont-Royal and while I quite like the idea of TMR starting a fund so that they can get Public Art, I don't quite agree that there is no public art there already. Despite what the Montreal website says, Artexte's database of public art in Montreal shows one piece by Catherine Savaria, located right here, and as you know one is not "none."

Brian Jungen gets interviewed abroad but not here


Somehow this seems to have escaped the notice of just about every Candian arts reporter. As a consequence, there is this really kick-ass interview with Mr. Jungen.

Monday, May 29, 2006

It looks like Jana Sterbak ain't dead!


For long time readers of this blog, you will be happy to hear that one of my favorite artists (and surely yours too!) has a new exhibition opening in Brussels. It appears from the purple prose on Bozar's website that this is the very same thing she showed in Venice in 2003. This can't be a good thing, three years to get it exhibited again? Then again, I betcha the Belgians didn't know that they were getting work that was originally conceived by George Bush's dog.

On the other hand, I haven't heard a single word about Ms. Sterbak since the Venice fiasco. So, I would in all earnestness say this is a good thing (death is not good, no matter how much I make jokes). I wonder if they have figured out when her Musée d'art contemporain show will be rescheduled.

Hey! Paul ain't it supposed to be about the Paintings?


Paul Gessell, the art critic for the Ottawa Citizen, writes a book review about the latest show that will be going up at the National Gallery. What I don't understand, is why he's complaining, if as he writes; "At least four books this year alone are being published." Personally, I prefer to read 'new' things, rather than rehash the same old, same old. I find it quite telling that he doesn't say a single word about the paintings, given the Canadian habit of not mentioning things which aren't considered good, I'd like to read what he thinks of Ms. Carr's work, especially since I wasn't reading his column 16 years ago when the last Emily Carr show rolled into Ottawa. For those with short attention spans, the Carr Roadshow will be rolling into Montreal next summer.

From Pointe Claire to Pittsburgh


Last we heard from Reinhard Reitzenstein, he was participating in Nature Wanted - Dead of Alive at Stewart Hall, last March. Now he's down in Pittsburgh taking part in the Three Rivers Arts Festival. You can read about his latest project in yesterday's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, or you can read the purple prose at the TRAF's website. Oh, and if you're interested the three rivers are the Allegheny, the Monongahela, and the Ohio.

The second catalogue - and third exhibit here


The cover of the catalogue for Kelly Backs' exhibition, Objects; useful and not.

Way back when, there was a lot less to do to keep Zeke's Gallery running. As a consequence, I could even get catalogues published before the exhibit opened! Man, those were the days!

Anyhows, at the time, I got into a fierce battle with Lori Waxman about the layout of the catalogue. She won, and I'm glad. If you'd like to see, and read the whole thing, click here [pdf alert, 4.1MB].

If you missed it the first time around, the first catalogue, for Bertrand Lavoie's exhibit is available here.

Anybody want to go to Miami?


I got invited to participate in the Bridge Art Fair next year. I don't know if I should blush, or punch someone. I've heard that The Catalina Hotel and Beach Club offers affordable luxury and great value in a stylish and sophisticated environment. Hey! That sounds exactly like what I want.

After spending $3,076.65 ($2,700 plus taxes) for a booth here in Montreal for the International Expo Art Montreal 2006 Festival, I can't think of anything I'd rather spend $6,000 (US) on than a hotel room in Miami for three days. Whoopee!!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Top Ten Downloads for the month of May


Between Feeds, and direct downloads there have been a total of 26,294 Zeke's Gallery podcasts downloaded since June 12, 2005. During the month of May, almost 3,000 (2,993 to be exact). The top 10 for the month of May are:
  1. Revised Edition - 179
  2. Sakamoto Hiromiti - 129
  3. Zac Schnier - 121
  4. Geoffrey Nutter - 92
  5. Catherine Paquette - 55
  6. Basia Bulat and the Poche Orchestra - 45
  7. Mise au jeu, the public debate in French between myself and Marc Mayer - 39
  8. Jan Conn - 39
  9. Mark Harris - 36
  10. Lisa Hoffman - 33
If you want to compare, the top ten for April is here, the top ten for March, and the top ten for February.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Holy Smokes!!!


What got into the water?!? Serious props and shout outs and good vibes all around, the Montreal Gazette published a very well written and kick ass article focusing on contemporary art. I'm in shock. Hold on a second while I pick my jaw up off the floor...

Not only does Cameron Skene talk to and quote Barry Allikas, Francine Savard, Stephane La Rue and Paul Bureau, but they also promise that this is the first in a series that will be showing up every six weeks.

I, for one, can't wait until July 8.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I'd like to welcome The Ottawa Art Gallery to the 21st Century


The Ottawa Art Gallery's got a blog on! Congrats, and on top of that, they are podcasting their audio tours. Then it is with sadness that I report that the Port Moody Station Museum blog appears to be dead. The two of them nicely sum up the state of museum blogs here in Canada.

Coming soon to Montreal


Yet another well researched and written article, this time by Julia Dault. On Nancy Nisbet's Exchange Project. Not mentioned in the article is that it will be coming to Montreal in between June 9 and 12.

Coming soon to a museum near you


The Musée des beaux arts next show gets a barnburner of a review (ie so favorable it is hot!) on its stop in New York. Note to the promoters, it is probably not too late to stick a postcard of the "Sleep of Endymion" into whatever promo packages the Outgames are distributing.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Elizabeth Bachinsky reading at Zeke's Gallery


If you'd like to watch the first Zeke's Gallery videopodcasts, click here. [16:25 minutes, 91 MB] Last week we hosted the Vancouver Invasion poetry reading. Third to perform was Elizabeth Bachinsky.

I'm also uploading it to Google Video, iFilm, YouTube, MetaCafe, Current TV, ebaumsworld, MySpace, Zed, Heavy.com, AtomFilms, ManiaTV, and AOL. If you know of any others, please don't hesitate to let me know.

And if you like the video, Elizabeth Bachinsky was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1976, and grew up in northern British Columbia, the Yukon, and BC's Fraser Valley. She is the author of Home of Sudden Service (Nightwood editions), and Curio: Grotesques and Satires From the Electronic Age (BookThug, 2005) and her work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies including Matrix, Geist, The Malahat Review, and In Fine Form: The Book Of Canadian Form Poetry (Polestar, 2005). In 2004, her work received an honourable mention for the Bronwen Wallace Award for Poetry. She is the poetry editor for Event magazine.

Michael V. Smith reading at Zeke's Gallery


If you'd like to watch the first Zeke's Gallery videopodcasts, click here. [15:12 minutes, 75.5 MB] Last week we hosted the Vancouver Invasion poetry reading. Second to perform was Michael V. Smith.

I'm also uploading it to Google Video, iFilm, YouTube, MetaCafe, Current TV, ebaumsworld, MySpace, Zed, Heavy.com, AtomFilms, ManiaTV, and AOL. If you know of any others, please don't hesitate to let me know.

And if you like the video, Michael V. Smith’s novel, Cumberland (Cormorant Books), was nominated for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Recently, Smith won a Western Magazine Award for Fiction, scooped both short film categories at Toronto's Inside Out festival, and was nominated for the Journey Prize. He curates the Robson Reading Series with Matt Rader and is a past organizer for Crash the Indie Writers Fest. Also a comedian, filmmaker, zinester, performance artist and occasional clown, Smith is an MFA grad from UBC’s Creative Writing program.

Jennica Harper reading at Zeke's Gallery


If you'd like to watch the first Zeke's Gallery videopodcasts, click here. [9:14 minutes, 47 MB] Last week we hosted the Vancouver Invasion poetry reading. First to perform was Jennica Harper.

I'm also uploading it to Google Video, iFilm, YouTube, MetaCafe, Current TV, ebaumsworld, MySpace, Zed, Heavy.com, AtomFilms, ManiaTV, and AOL. If you know of any others, please don't hesitate to let me know.

And if you like the video, Jennica Harper was born in North Bay, Ontario and grew up in Brampton. Her poetry has been widely published in Canadian literary journals, including Grain, The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Descant, Prairie Fire, The Malahat Review, and PRISM International. Her work also appeared in Larger than Life: An Anthology of Celebrity (Black Moss Press, 2002). In 2003, her long poem, The Octopus, was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Jennica also works as a screenwriter and story editor in the Canadian film industry. She currently lives in BC, where she teaches screenwriting at Vancouver Film School. Jennica holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and a BA in English from the University of Toronto.

Auction Results


Last night I went to the Iegor auction of Gaby Photographs. There are a couple of ways of looking at it.

I estimate that Iegor sold about $50,000 worth of photographs last night. I wasn't there for all the lots (I saw 206 out of 261), and what I saw realized a total of $35,212, so it isn't a far reach for the other $15,000.

The most expensive items of the evening that I saw were photographs of Guido Molinari, and Jean Cocteau

Jean Cocteau

Guido Molinari
Guido Molinari

Both of which were reprints from 1990, which surprised the heck out of me. I, personally think that the bargain of the evening was the portrait of Mistinguette, because not only was it signed, but it was one of the few photographs that were actually numbered, and it was a relatively low number as well (5/50).

Or it is possible to look at the auction like this:

Of the 206 lots that I saw sell, only 20 went for as much as the low estimate (less than 10%). Only 11 matched or beat the high estimate (Jean Marais, lot #57; Hans Hartung, lot #65; Guido Molinari, lot #84; Josh White, lot #104; Glenn Gould, lot #107; Eric Hawkins, lot #125; Robert Openheimer, lot #145; Felix Leclerc, lot #161; Maurice Richard, lot #165; Pierre Mendes France, lot #186; Prince Albert and Paula of Belgium, lot #193; and Princess Grace, lot #205) so I'm not certain where the high and low estimates that were published came from. And I would guess that Iegor's 15% was about $5,000 - not bad until you consider that at most he does 20 auctions each year. Auction houses are notoriously difficult to run on gross revenues of $100,000. I can only hope that this was an anomaly, and not the norm.

I don't know if there was a reserve on any of the photographs, and as I was hastily jotting down the numbers I heard, there are numerous places where I could be wrong, very wrong, these are not to be confused in any way with the official auction results.

For Future Reference


147 boxes (probably about 30 years) of Leonard Cohen's archives are worth more than a $1 million US Charitable reciept.
20 years of Blue Rodeo's archives are worth more than an $800,000 Canadian charitable reciept.
20 years of Maureen Forrester's archives are worth $50,000 Canadian in cash.

Absofuckinglutely Brilliant


Just to point out good where good is, Isa Tousignant's article on local art this week is wonderful.

Heffel's needs to get a better publicist


On Tuesday, I wrote about the 807 word article in the Globe & Mail previewing the upcoming Heffel Auction of Canadian Art. I must've spaced, when writing the headline, because I should have realized that Ritchies was going to have their time in the sun as well. As it turns out patience is a good thing. The Ritchies article is a full 70% longer, comes with a picture, and is better written, too (although I am not fond of using David Milne's art as the main focus).

A good idea


I'm not certain how to bid, but Carlo Cosentino is auctioning a painting of his to raise funds for the art school at the Centre Jeunesse de Montreal, where he teaches. As I've been busting on newspaper writers recently, I should mention that the article about Mr. Cosentino by Alycia Ambroziak is particularly well written. If you figure out how, remember to bid early, and bid often.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Compare and Contrast


Premier Jean Charest and Mme Michèle Dionne, 2005 by Heidi Hollinger
Premier Jean Charest and Mme Michèle Dionne, 2005 by Heidi Hollinger, selling for $2,000 as part of her "Distinct Society" exhibit on now, at her gallery. $400 of that goes to a Cystic Fibrosis charity.

Robert Bourassa, 1971 by Gaby
A silver print photograph mounted on wood taken and signed by Gaby in 1971 of Robert Bourassa, 18" x 22". Sold for $105.82 last night at the Iegor Auction. Not a single cent went to any charity.

Dan Bigras by Heidi Hollinger
Dan Bigras by Heidi Hollinger, selling for $2,000 as part of her "Distinct Society" exhibit on now, at her gallery. $400 of that goes to a Cystic Fibrosis charity.

Felix Leclerc by Gaby
A silver print photograph taken and stamped by Gaby in 1951 of Felix Leclerc, 10" x 8". Sold for $410.06 last night at the Iegor Auction. Not a single cent went to any charity.

Alexandre Despatie, 2006 by Heidi Hollinger
Alexandre Despatie by Heidi Hollinger, selling for $2,000 as part of her "Distinct Society" exhibit on now, at her gallery. $400 of that goes to a Cystic Fibrosis charity.

Maurice Richard by Gaby
A silver print photograph taken in 1956 and printed in 1990, stamped by Gaby of Maurice Richard, 10" x 8". Sold for $264.56 last night at the Iegor Auction. Not a single cent went to any charity.

(Auction prices include the 15% buyer's premium and taxes.)

Who designed these tours?


I don't know about you, but if I was designing a tour, I would try and keep the tour focused, wouldn't you? So if I were to offer you a tour that included the following exhibits: A history of electricity in Montreal, A Bird Festival, Postcards: on the trail or at the beach, 20th Century Czechoslovakian Film Posters, Brian Jungen, The 100 greatest comics, A century of medicine in Montreal, and The Gay Body would you be interested in going along? Well, that's the Blue route for Museum's day.

Cool Blog!


If you search for cool blog, this here blog is #10. Cool!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

One really large number


$432,080,560 spent by buyers on Contemporary Art at auction in between May 9 and 12 in New York City. Source here.

Tonight there's an auction here where Jori Smith's work is going to be featured, my guess is that if it does 1/10,000th the amount of sales there will be some very ecstatic people.

On Thursday and next Monday there are slightly more significant auctions of Canadian art that will do about 1/100th the amount of sales. However, about 1/100th of the lots could be called contemporary. Or in other words, not an awful lot. Is it any wonder why Canadian artists don't get any respect?

Heck! The RCAAQ (the Regroupement des centres d'artistes autogérés du Québec) even ignored Andre Durand in favor of Damian Hirst today, obviously there is a certain allure to a really large number attached to a dollar sign. C'mon people lets make that a Canadian dollar sign, ok?

Ritchies needs to get a new publicist


There's a very nice article today in the Globe & Mail about the upcoming Heffels auction of Canadian Art. While I'm not certain I would agree with calling David and Robert Heffel "the bad boys of the Canadian art auction world," and I definitely would have given it more prominence than this article, The folk at Ritchies have got to be steaming mad at their publicist, because there ain't a single mention of the Sotheby's in Association with Ritchies Important Canadian Art Auction that's going to be taking place next Monday. Unless of course, there's an article someplace that I missed.

Alan Hustak impersonating Henry Lehmann? I don't think so.


I got a list, right here, of over 800 places in Montreal that show contemporary art on a regular basis. And I'm always happy to see contemporary art written about in mainstream publications, like the Gazette. But today's article by Alan Hustak is pretty much useless claptrap and nonsense that is only going to anger and enrage the people involved in running the other 799 places in Montreal that show contemporary art on a regular basis, and succeed in proving to most of the other readers of the Gazette how unprofessional the writing at the newspaper has become.

A) The Avmor collection was written about (if I remember correctly) by Mr. Hustak less than a year and a half ago in the Gazette. What about the other private art collections in Montreal, do they get written up once every 18 months?
B) If it is an article about contemporary art, then why is it not in the Arts & Life section of the newspaper? If it is not about contemporary art, then why the focus on objects in frames?
C) Why does Mr. Hustak ask Mr. Morrow if the objects made by Mr. Morrow are art? Remind me next time I see him, to ask Mr. Hustak for a detailed analysis of the migratory patterns of the Monarch butterfly. Mr. Morrow manufactures soap, Mr. Morrow collects art. He'd get a better answer from Mr. Morrow is he had asked "But, is it soap?"
D) Today is Tuesday, the exhibit opens next Sunday, normally the Gazette runs previews of show the day before they open, why the rush this time?
E) Normally the exhibits that the Gazette previews, get reviewed by Henry Lehmann (their art critic) the first Saturday after the show has opened. I'm keeping an eye on what Mr. Lehmann writes the 3rd of June.

And when you have a chance, please go see the Avmor collection - it rocks!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Pictures from Tricia McDaid's vernissage


If you haven't read this here blog for a while, we had a vernissage here over the weekend.

I like saying that it ain't a good idea to see art while at a vernissage, and for the most part it is true. There are usually too many people, too many conversations, too many drinks, just too many.

We got 169 people, in total, a good time was had by all (or at least that's what they told me). You can judge for yourself, that's Tricia grinning from ear to ear to ear in the photo above.

But, I realized halfway into Tricia's that if the art is hung on the ceiling it can serve as a work around to the not seeing art at the vernie, which is especially useful when there are lots of out-of-towners like we had.

The show is up until the 18th of June, if you want to see it in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Moving your art


A fun article by David Segal on moving expensive art. Obviously it was a slow news day on Saturday in Washington DC as well.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The New Yorker tries some stuff


They have a discussion between David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker and Simon Schama, a Professor in history and art history at Columbia University available on line.

It uses Flash, has no transcript, and I can't see a feed for the life of me. Maybe they really don't want anybody to listen to it.

Go Andre Durand

Lousy news, lousier reporting


Back when I was a young boy, I was told about the 5 w's if I was going to be a reprorter; Who What When Where and Why. This article by Megan Hurley about a theft from the Life is Intoxicating Gallery only gets three, and if I stop squinting, maybe 3½.

Who: Michael Godard, Emanuel Mattini, David Wight (artists), Vaughn Warrington (Gallery Owner).
What: Eight paintings, three glass sculptures, all stolen.
When: The article doesn't mention it, and no one seems to think it is important.
Where: The Life is Intoxicating Gallery
Why: Ms. Hurley doesn't have a clue, and she makes no bones about it. She swallows hook, line and sinker, Mr. Warrington's statement that the paintings and sculptures are worth $50,000 (which I'm not so certain I believe).

On this website you can see that Michael Goddard's Original Paintings sell for $2,995. Ms. Hurley writes "One original and five limited-edition paintings" were the ones stolen. Again on this website you can see that Michael Goddard's "limited edition" paintings go for about $500. So, five time $500 equals $2,500, plus $3,000 equals $5,500 worth of Michael Goddard paintings, assuming that his prices in California are similar to his prices in Toronto, which means that the paintings by Emanuel Mattini and the sculptures by Dave Wight must be worth $44,500, or on average $8,900 each. A little voice inside my head, says "I'm not so certain."

The just to make matters worse, Ms. Hurley swallows whole and complete, Mr Goddard's assertion that he is the "top seller internationally of giclee limited-edition paintings." That statement is as useful as me writing that Ms. Hurley is the only person on the staff of the Toronto Star who has a name that is similar to a Gaelic sport (I don't think that there is anyone named Caber Toss working there...) I also have heard Eric Waugh (a much more modest man) state in an interview he did here, that while he isn't certain, he is fairly confident that he is the best selling artist of all time.

Normally I prefer it when real reporters cover art - but not this case.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Galore!


There are the websites I know about, which have an insteresting set (Joyce Yahouda is looking for a sales manager and a gallery coordinator (or is is one position?)). There are the websites I was vaguely aquainted with (the Société immobilière Trans-Québec is looking for tour guides, and the McCord Museum is looking for some Cultural Action). And then there are websites I figured existed, but had never seen. The Museums Association of Saskatchewan is looking for an executive director ($45,000/yr!). The Reynolds Alberta Museum is looking for a Senior Curator ($72,324!!). The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies is looking for a Curator of Art ($57,800!). And the Prairie Art Gallery is looking for a Director/Curator ($????)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vernissage Alert - and invitation, too!


I've got about a third of the show hung (and I haven't even broken my neck, yet...) and it is looking good - although I'm getting a tad stressed...

If you are interested in seeing Ms. McDaid's work, please swing by the gallery for the opening on Saturday the 20th at 8pm. If you have children or pets, you are most welcome to come to the alternative vernissages as well as or instead of. The kid-friendly vernissage starts at noon on Sunday the 21st, and will have cookies, juice and chocolate milk for the short squirts. The pet-friendly vernissage starts at about 3pm and will feature kibbles, bits and water dishes for the four-legged crowd.

The address here is 3955 Saint Laurent, if you had forgotten.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More mistakes


I'm not entirely certain that I like that the Telegraph thinks that Richard Prince is Canadian. Unless of course, this Richard Prince made this piece of art in which case I am the one that is wrong.

Chris March meet Jana Sterbak


I read this article, this morning, about this guy Chris March. It made me realize that women can now wear a full, complete and well-rounded meal. It is nice to know that Mr. March doesn't consider himself a visual artist.

Other new gallery spaces


Since I wrote about Yellowfish Art, I have also discovered PowerHaus, who are having an exhibition starting this weekend, and One Eye Five Studios who appear to be doing the same.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bargains of the week


I just got back from the Musée des beaux arts where I purchased the catalogues for the Geneviève Cadieux exhibition for $9.95 (marked down from $35) and the Frank Gehry exhibit called 'New Bentwood Furniture Designs' from 1992 for 99¢.

As you can see they are significantly more expensive elsewhere.

Gehry at Abebooks,

Cadieux at Abebooks.

Oops! Maybe I should have bought the Cadieux catalogue through Amazon.

Good and Great ideas using contemporary art


These two have been hanging out for a while, but good deeds deserve to be noted. Apologies for the delay.

1. Awareness through A.R.T. (Artists Rallying Together) and the article about it that caught my attention. In doing some background research, it appears that the program cost Ontario taxpayers $37,700/year. For that money, they got five exhibitions and four workshops, or roughly $8,000/event. A little bit high, but given the feel goodness level of each event, and the sheer numbers of participants, I'd be willing to cut it some slack.

2. And this one that rocks likes nobody's business; the Artreach Nova Scotia press release, and the Artreach Nova Scotia Web Site. I actually spoke with Willie Reid, who is the coordinator, and she told me that each exhibit cost about $3,000. Now you can't beat that anywhere, anyhow, at anytime. For those too lazy to click, a touring exhibition of contemporary Canadian art going to schools in the nether reaches of Nova Scotia for less money than what I imagine Pierre Theberge makes in a week.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Less than 3 weeks


If you'd like to submit an article for publication in ESPACE magazine. The deadline is June 5.

Interesting series of events


Three shows, Number One, Number Two and Number Three. Which one succeeded in getting all the (ok, most of) the contemporary Canadian photographers together for the opening?

OK, I realize it is unfair because one of the exhibits hasn't even taken place yet. But...

Save the Long Haul


I'm number 173 on the list. I'm never a big fan of petitions, but as it is what Vanessa & John have started, I figure I should follow their desires.

In a nutshell, it states:
"We the undersigned wish to express our most heartfelt dismay to plans by you, the owners of 450-454 Beaumont Avenue in Montreal to effect construction that will cripple or kill The Long Haul artists’ organization located therein. The Long Haul serves as an important locus of art production in the Montreal community for artists who depend on a quality affordable space to produce in. Additionally, the physical spaces of the Long Haul have hosted many cultural events ranging from group and solo shows (at no cost to the artist) to puppet shows, activist meetings, cultural lectures, and fundraising events for other organizations. The loss of the Long Haul would displace many worthy artists, and rob our community of yet another means to help us help each other.

We respectfully ask the landowners to consider the work and cultural identity that artists in The Long Haul painstakingly forge every day, and the role The Long Haul has played for the last five years in the world at large. Please, join us for the long haul!
If you agree with them, you can sign it here.

Where Paul? Where?


Yesterday Paul Gessell wrote an article in the Ottawa Citizen about the Peter Winkworth Collection at the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. A nice enough article, at the end he writes "See additional works from the Winkworth collection at www.ottawacitizen.com." I went to www.ottawacitizen.com and did not see a darn thing that made mention of the Peter Winkworth Collection. Does anybody out there know where it is?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Which side are you on?

Jerome Delgado can't get it right even when it is handed to him on a silver platter


Mr. Delgado, I'd like to point out that contrary to what you wrote in your article today, Cai Guo-Qiang has an exhibition currently at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, not MoMA, and it is not on the roof of the museum, it is on The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. What makes it so difficult for you to get your facts straight?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Best of Montreal 2006


Five years running! Thanks tons to everyone who voted. Serious shout-outs and props to all the other galleries

2. VAV (2nd in 2005)
3. Galerie Clark (10th in 2005)
4. Galerie Gora (Ø in 2005)
5. Art Mûr (7th in 2005)
6. Foufounes Électriques (Ø in 2005)
7. Galerie Lamoureux Ritzenhoff (5th in 2005)
8. Madame Edgar (Ø in 2005)
9. Canvas Gallery (3rd in 2005)
10. La Centrale (Ø in 2005)

I'd also like to congratulate all the all other bloggers who made it this year as well.

1. Montreal City Weblog (#2 in 2005)
2. why was daddy kissing that man in the park? (#1 in 2005)
4. Adrian’s Lemon Juice blog (Ø in 2005)
5. The Hugger Busker’s Journal (Ø in 2005)
6. The mass is secretly obsessed with nipple dream (Ø in 2005)
7. Rappaz.net aka «Letters to Memphis» (#5 in 2005)
8. La ville s’endormait (Ø in 2005)
9. Patrick Lagacé (Ø in 2005)
10. Not good looking enough (To Live in Montreal) (Ø in 2005)

For 2005 results and earlier try these two previous posts; one and two.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Still such a good idea?


I've written a couple of times, that I'm not a big fan of the way the Musée d'art contemporain's plans for Silo No. 5 are structured. Now I read that the Montreal condo market is poised to tank particularly the luxury condo market. Ummm, not to state the obvious, but what happens to the museum's permanent collection if the proposed project ends up like SLEB (which also happens to be designed by Groupe Cardinal Hardy)?

Nicolas Mavrikakis sees the light? Praise the lord!!


Yellowfish Art is a new gallery here in town, Yellowfish Art is having their first exhibition (full disclosure, I helped Alessandro get the show installed, he's a friend and a real nice guy - if you talk to him, tell him I say "Howdy!"). Yellowfish Art got written up in Voir today.

Back when I started Zeke's Gallery, it took 20 exhibitions before Voir would regularly just list things happening here.

This bodes well for Galerie Montagne, The Green Room, 100 Sided Die, and the bazillion other new places showing art.

A waste of $5,000


I have no idea who David Buchbinder, Liz Chappel, Pamila Matharu, Delice Mugabo, or Kevin Shaganash, are, nor do I have anything against them personally, but it seems that they gave Ella Cooper $5,000 to create this. If you would like the paper trail click on this, and then click on this.

I am not a statistican, nor do I write surveys for a living, but I can state categorically that any decisions made that are based on information from this survey are seriously flawed, will be wrong, and are entirely and 100% useless. I don't think it is the fault of Ms. Cooper (as from what I understand, she's an artist) but why would David Buchbinder, Liz Chappel, Pamila Matharu, Delice Mugabo, and Kevin Shaganash think, for a second, that an artist could create a useful survey? Would they give $5,000 to a bus driver so that they could work as a dental hygenist? Am I to assume that the 21 grant applications they turned down were even worse? Or that they can't identify a good idea if they all walked around already with clouds containing lightbulbs over their heads 24/7.

On the bright side, it seems that Ms. Cooper would not consider me 'emerging,' if you get to questions 6 and 7, I'm at the top end of the scale. Cool!

I don't know what the pay scale is, but..


Galerie Mazarine is hiring. As I don't think they will be paying all that much, you might want to inquire as to if there is an employee discount at their hotel, you might be able to swing a real nice vacation.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The very first catalogue and show here


For reasons best left unsaid I needed to go through the archives. While a tedious task at best, there are certain things that make it all seem worthwhile. Such as coming across an electronic version of the catalogue for Bertrand Lavoie's exhibit here. It was called Ratures & Repentirs, and I can't believe how freakin' ugly it is.

On the positive side, the text is (was) written by Lori Waxman, who has since gone on to some pretty big and impressive things in the art world, in New York. Because Bert is French, I convinced Ms. Waxman to write in French. Jeez! was I an asshole, if it is any consolation - I'm sorry.

If you'd like to download it, click on this [2MB pdf file].

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I'm shocked! There is lying in the art world


On the Gora Gallery's website they state that they are the largest gallery in Montreal. Obviously, they have never seen Art Mur or SAT.

Good bad or indifferent?


Yesterday, I wrote about the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award. Today I got an email and then spoke with Barbara Janes on the phone. She called my views "cynical and disheartening." I agreed with her. She also stated quite categorically that she did not want to get involved in a long online discussion about the awards, so I'll keep this short.

Other than my post, her press release only got picked up by the Ottawa Citizen and CBC Arts Online. G, B or I?

According to Ms. Janes the Hnatyshyn Foundation is getting its office space rent free, thanks to what I assume is a very generous Rick Dearden, who is on the Board of Directors of the foundation. Most definitely - Good.

According to Ms. Janes they are also going to be sending stuff on "disk" to the curators, and then having a conference call to discuss stuff. While it is most definitely going to be cheaper, it is nice to know that there are curators who will make a $25,000 judgment about an artist's career without seeing any of the art that artist has created. G, B or I?

According to Ms. Janes they aren't going to be using the services of a PR company, and there are no plans to hold a "big gala party." Yes, cost saving for sure, but as the Governor General Awards for the Visual Arts ($15,000 x 6), the RBC Canadian Painting award ($25,000 x 1), the Prix du Quebec Paul-Émile-Borduas ($30,000 x 1), the Sobey Art Award ($50,000 x 1) show, (and there are other awards as well, here, and here, and I'm obviously missing a bunch) all of which come with a PR company and a "big gala party," is anybody going to pay attention to the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award without? G, B or I? (Although, now that I look at that list - Ms. Janes might actually be doing a very good thing, as the PR and party doesn't seem to do diddly).

Then, one thing that did not occur to me until today, does anybody know what the definition of "mid-career artistic achievement" is? As I mentioned before, it seems a little loose.

And if you're interested in other art prizes, check this out - from my perspective the only ones worth winning are the Turner Prize, Artes Mundi, the Lucelia Artist Award, and obviously the MacArthur Fellows Program. Those all will put you on the map internationally.

Stephen Shearer has some very good points, Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni & Ali Subotnick don't.


Following up on this post, it was in fact an email from Steven Shearer, because I got another, longer and slightly more detailed one from him the next day.

First off, I gotta say that I have nothing against Mr. Shearer personally. I've seen one piece of his live and in the flesh, and seen electronic reproductions of an awful lot of his stuff, and while the more conceptual pieces (like and including Poem) aren't my cup of tea, his drawings appear to be quite nice.

One of the reasons I don't like Poem is that to me it ain't visual art. It is something literary, and should be judged as such. However, that being said, I got some things just flat out wrong.

A) It was not Mr. Shearer who wrote the text that accompanies his piece. He attributes it to the curators, and then because he didn't read what the curators wrote, beforehand, it got out there uncorrected.

B) Beyond the Canada Council travel grant, no Canadian taxpayer money was spent. And in fact Mr. Shearer spent some serious coin out of his own pocket to get the piece done the way he wanted.

I understand (or at least think I do) where he's coming from about feeling marginalized, and wanting to use that feeling in his art. That all being said, as I mentioned previously, if the curators of the exhibit, Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick can't get Mr. Shearer's art straight, then why should I believe a single other word that they write?

At my earliest opportunity, I'm going to see as much of Mr. Shearer's art as I can (just cause it ain't my cup of tea, doesn't mean I won't look at it) and then attempt to write a longer and more detailed article on his work.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Need a job, too?


Galerie d'art Le Bourget is hiring as well. It doesn't sound as sleazy as the Concorde's.

Need a job?


From what I've heard Galerie Concorde is hiring. It's nice to know that there's telemarketing work in art, too.

Why is this news?


The CBC is giving space to a Georges Delfosse painting sold at auction. What about this Georges Delfosse painting being sold at auction? Or what about this Georges Delfosse painting being sold at auction?

Why does the CBC think that the guy who runs the Revenue Quebec auctions is a credible source for how much the painting is worth, when before the auction they were touting it as worth about $20,000?

Basically, from my perspective an old painting sold at auction for roughtly what it was worth. Why again is this news?

And let me remind you that there is still no Canadian news outlet that has picked up on this story.

Stéphane Baillargeon gets it wrong


In the first sentence of this article about Guy Laliberté's foundation, he writes "the one and only cultural billionaire in Canada." [My translation.] Umm, sorry to disapoint you M. Baillargeon, but he ain't even the one and only in Quebec. Otherwise how would you classify the funders/founders of this? They sure as shootin' are billionaires, and that sure as shootin' looks like culture.

Or maybe M. Laliberté is the one and only environmental billionaire in Canada, as his foundation is now funding projects about water in the third world.

How to spend money


I got an email announcement about The Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award of $25,000 which is just being started. My first reaction was "cool!" although it was quickly followed by "what's $25K gonna do for Canadian visual art?" And then by a little research.

These are all guesses and estimations on my part - and I'd love to get some hard figures - but...

The Hnatyshyn Foundation has two employees, let's say that they ain't getting rich, but they are getting by. One administrative assistant at $20,000/year, one director at $25,000. Let's say rent is $1,000/month, after all 160 Elgin is a swanky address. That's all fine and dandy, sorta fixed costs, not terribly expensive (assuming my guesses are close). Since they are giving out nine awards in 2006, let's say the visual arts award is 11% of the fixed costs, or slightly more than $6,000.

What then gets me is this; they are going to choose "an expert jury of six regional curators" who are going to make up the initial list of nominees. They then hash it out amongst themselves to come up with a short list of 10. (All of this is detailed here.) I would guess that that means the "regional curators" are going to be recieving some sort of honorarium. Let's be cheap, give 'em $500 flat fee, each. But as they are regional curators, and they are going to have to discuss and decide amongst themselves who gets short listed, the foundation is going to have to pay for travel, hotel and a per diem too, right? Assuming all the regional curators are from Montreal that plane flight is going to be $208+taxes - let's call it $250. Hotel for a couple of nights $200, pre diem of say $50. So were up to a total of $6,600 or so, just to get a short list. And that's if everybody flies from Montreal...

Then in September, the adjudicators kick in to make a "final" decision. Same process, slightly cheaper, because in the past they've only used three adjudicators. So we're up to a total of $10,000 so as to figure out what artist is going to get $25,000. Then there's the added cost of a PR company to get the word out, and the big gala party to celebrate the winner. Call it $5,000. If you add in the fixed costs, the grand total is $21K to give away $25K. Not a good ratio any way you look at it.

Personally, since Rene Blouin is on the Board of Directors, why doesn't Ms. Barbara Janes (the director) take Mr. Blouin out for a really really swanky dinner (say for the two of them, $1,500 including tax and tip - is there a restaurant in Ottawa that is that expensive?) spend another $500 getting him to and from Ottawa and putting him up at a fancy hotel for the night. Then, they can announce that one of the artists represented by M. Blouin is the recipient of a $44,000 prize. I'm certain whoever got it would appreciate the extra cash (despite what you think, none of them are rich) and the reaction in Canada and the rest of the world would be just about the same.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Stuff Seen - Claude Caron



Again from a while long time ago. This was an extremely pleasant surprise. We'd been out galavanting around looking at all sorts of stuff, both good and not so good. And we were plumb tuckered out, so we decided to hightail it over to Le Boudoir (850 Mont-Royal Est) and lo and behold we saw the best stuff we had seen all day. I don't know if the glee upon finding it was due to just the complete surprise, or us being tired, but even if you take that away Ms. (or Mr.) Caron's art rocks.

Unfortunately I don't know anything more about the artist. However, the stuff that gets shown at Le Boudoir is generally quite good - and from what I've heard they also treat the artists very well, and stuff sells when it is hung there.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Breaking News!


Guy Cogeval ain't a happy camper. The Art Newspaper reports that the National Gallery in Washington DC has paid $37,500 to Annette Leduc Beaulieu and Brooks Beaulieu. The article refers to a press release from the Musée des beaux arts that states "the museum and its director 'completely exonerated'. Lawyers for the MMFA state: 'Mr Cogeval is not part of the [US] settlement and, as such, neither himself nor the MMFA have admitted any type of liability.'" Unfortunately the Museum's website doesn't have a copy of said press release.

This is not good news.

Why is it, that Sarah Milroy, Peter Goddard, Jerome Delgado, Stephane Baillargeon, Henry Lehmann, either of the Dault's, and Joe Cummings (all people who work for daily NEWS organizations) missed this?

It is all the rage!


Nicolas Baier has already met Kara Walker, as you read a couple of weeks ago , but now there's another one! Nicolas Baier may I introduce Louise Bourgeois? She is doing it at the Walters. I wonder how many other museums are doing it?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Stuff Seen - Vous êtes ici by Dominique Blain


Ungraded because Dominique Blain is a friend.

Again, back in March we saw some of the 1% for art thing that the Bibliotheque Nationale had procured. Why is it that the 1% art is always hidden in the back?

I've interviewed Dominique Blain before and for the most part quite like her work. If you go to the library you should go looking for her piece, it is quite witty, and very nicely done.

Stuff Seen - L'Abécédaire des insectes


Ungraded because it ain't an Art exhibit.

Back in March we went to the Bibliotheque Nationale, I already wrote about the exhibit they had on the history of Galerie Graff. But they also had two other exhibits, including this one, that nobody was able to find for us (honest, we asked four people, one of them twice, and not a single person knew where we could find the Jacques-Ferron stuff.

However, we were able to find the ABC's of the insects, and they were fun. As with any exhibit done with government money, I always wonder who got what money. But they (for some reason that I can't understand) always prefer to keep things secret.

Some pictures from Il Modo Italiano


I'll have more to say when I've had a little bit of time to digest it. In the meantime, check these out - and then get your fanny on down to the Museum of Fine Arts and see the freakin' show.

A Bugatti chair

Bonazza's story of Orpheus

A wicked cool lectern

Wildt's portrait of a guy who was cuckholded

Imagine this on your window

The beginning

Albini's swinging armchair

The first room

Where stuff starts to get very interesting

The other side of the room

I don't know if I could get any work done if this was my desk

More cool stuff

Keeping an eye on what you eat

Sort of what I expected

I had one of these when I was growing up

The legend continues

What's the square root of -1?

More wicked cool stuff

The beginning of the end of civilization as we know it

Who needs flowers

It ain't as stable as you think

No comment

Gaetano Pesce's chair

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Stuff Seen - Jeanie Riddle


Ungraded, because Jeanie is my friend.

Yet another artist who had a show almost a year to the day after the Concordia thingy at Parisian Laundry last year. I much prefer Ms. Riddle's work this year in comparison to last year's. It might have to do with them being larger, or there being less stuff on each surface, or something else, I'm not certain.

Click here if you'd like to see some of last year's work.

The pastels were very pretty colors, and the high contrast of the stuff stuck on the islands (for lack of a better term) made for a very happy space. I have some other pictures of the dollar store objects Ms. Riddle placed on the islands.

Now, upon thinking a little about it, I do believe that's the reason that I think this one is way better than last year's. Those doo-hickeys bring back some sort of memories of some sort of childhood (in my case the dollar store was called a five and dime). Not quite minimalist, not quite pop, not quite sculpture, it falls between the cracks of any easy definition sort of like when you're taking a nap on a train and you can understand the conversation taking place in the seat's behind you, but you don't want to open your eyes and participate, so you incorporate it into your dream.

I think the bestest part of the exhibit (and remember that Ms. Riddle's shows despite being made up of individual and separate parts are always stronger than the sum of those parts) were the Wiffle Ball wannabes. For the most part Ms. Riddle just places the objects, and in certain cases doesn't even place 'em, just sorta lets them land where they might.

But when she starts using her imagination to combine dollar store objects into "new" things, that's pretty much what I'm looking for in art. "Found Art" is all fine and dandy, and if it is presented well, then so much the better. But there is a limit to how much I can take or stand at one time.