Saturday, September 30, 2006

Rita is $10,000 richer


There's this group Rita that that just scored $10,000 from the city for some piece of art that 'symbolizes the merger of two sectors - business and the arts - which, together, make Montreal a unique and exceptional city.' Boy Oh Boy! Sure as shootin' sounds like a real impressive piece of art to me!

[update October 3: My bad, the groupe Rita won the prize for designing the trophy that will go to the winner of Arts-Affaires prize, they did not win the prize itself.]

Pascale Ouellet is $20,000 richer Congrats


Cool idea. Apparently the town of Canmore in Alberta (population 11,500) takes $1 from every resident every year, and once every two years gives it to an artist. According to this article, former Montrealer Pascale Ouellet, a painter won it this year for a sculpture.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Hooray for Jeffrey Spaulding


I've been at this conference for a while now, and one presentation in particular reminded me of the Marx Brothers' film Animal Crackers. I was able to transcribe it for you...

(Crowd signing) The Halifax Curator

(Jeffrey Spaulding) Did someone say 'creator?'

(Crowd signing) Hooray hooray hooray!

(Jeffrey Spaulding) - Wacky Dance -

(Crowd Singing) He came from the Atlantic, where all the artists have guts.

(Jeffrey Spaulding) If I stay here I'll go nuts.

(Crowd signing) Hooray hooray hooray.

(Jeffrey Spaulding) - Wacky Dance -

(Crowd signing) He put all of his smarts, in beauty and the arts. And painted landcapes from the heart.

(Jeffrey Spaulding) Hey hey!

(A nameless female curator) He is the only painter, who covered every acre.

(Jeffrey Spaulding) I think I'll try and make her.

(Crowd signing) Hooray hooray hooray!

(Jeffrey Spaulding) - Extended Wacky Dance -

(Crowd signing) He put all of his smarts, In beauty and the arts. And painted landcapes from the heart.

(Jeffrey Spaulding) Hey hey!

(Crowd signing) Hooray for Jeffrey Spaulding, The Halifax Curator. He brought his name undying fame, And that is why we say: Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

(Jeffrey Spaulding spoken) My friends, I am highly gratified at this magnificent display of effusion. And I want you to know -

(Crowd signing) Hooray for Jeffrey Spaulding, The Halifax Curator. He brought his name undying fame, And that is why we say: Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

(Jeffrey Spaulding spoken) My friends, I am highly gratified at this magnificent display of effusion. And I want you to know -

(Crowd signing) Hooray for Jeffrey Spaulding, The Halifax Curator. He brought his name undying fame, And that is why we say: Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

(Jeffrey Spaulding spoken) My friends, I am highly gratified at this magnificent display of effusion. And I want you to know - (singing) Hooray for Jeffrey Spaulding, The Halifax Curator

(spoken) Well, somebody's gotta do it.

But in all seriousness, they made mention of how Marc Mayer, of the Musee des arts contemporain was busy and couldn't make it because of other commitments, but I was surprised that they weren't able to get one of the other curators to speak instead. And while I quite liked having the opportunity to hear Carl Johnson speak, I can't help but wonder what happened to the folk from the Glenbow museum, the Winnipeg Art Gallery or the Yukon Arts Centre.

I'm still trying to digest everything that I've heard, and also need to be back there for about 3 o'clock. So I will have more follow up later.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Jim Campbell YES! Eduardo Kac NO!


I was hanging out at the conference that is happening at teh MBAM when Stephane Aquin let drop that they are planning a show with the Daniel Langlois Foundation that is suppossed to inlcude art from Jim Campbell (yay!) and Eduardo Kac (boo!), and M. Aquin the name is pronounced 'cats.'

I wanna see Jennifer Baichwal's film


The film is called Manufactured Landscapes, and it won the Best Canadian Feature Film Award at the Toronto International Film Festival about two weeks ago. And is unlikely to be seen at the Montreal Festival of Films on Art because they do not accept digital films. All this to say that it is the subject of a rather long article (almost 1,200 words) by Katrina Onstad.

It's for the most part a nicely done article (a pleasant surprise from the CBC) but there are some small bits of weirdness within. Ms. Onstad has obviously never heard of Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, or Gregory Crewdson or else she never would have written the line 'While the landscape photograph, a hotel-art staple, is hardly in vogue...' because it is in Vogue (it also is in ArtForum, Flash Art, and a whack of museums - tee hee!).

And how does one have a 'wide handshake?' Does she really mean that Ed Burtynsky has ginormous hands? Or something else? And as Mr. Burtynsky is 'obsessed with this idea of where do all the computers go to die?' I would venture a guess that his next photo shoot takes him to the Philippines.

Finally! Kitty Scott is news...


Something ridiculous like three months and finally the news break that Kitty Scott no longer works at the National Gallery. A couple of points about the article, it appears that David Franklin & Pierre Theberge are the folk who stifled Ms. Scott (and before my time probably Diana Nemiroff as well) with regards to exhibiting contemporary art.

Mr. Franklin is way out in left-field if he thinks that 'themed exhibitions, rather than "kitchen-sink" biennials, are the way to go.' Oh baby! That Noah's Ark show in Shawinigan was a blockbuster, that everyone saw, eh? Blinded by Science, and Folk, Metal, Pop & Rock were Spectacular! I tell you - Spectacular!! [/sarcasm]

I also found this line interesting, 'Those works are displayed, often briefly, in the contemporary wing of the permanent exhibition space, not in the more prestigious spaces for temporary shows.' It is a freakin' museum! I respectfully disagree with Mr. Gessell (the author of the article) that there are more prestigious and less prestigious places within any museum, you got or you get a show in a museum and you get a show. That's it, that's all she wrote.

However, the most significant bit of information is "I'd be happy to help them if they wanted," Scott said in a recent interview from London. "But they don't. Nobody's requested that." Some bad blood, perhaps?

I assume that the article will be the subject of some talk today and tomorrow at the conference at the Musee des beaux arts. Where it will be possible to hear and see and speak to Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Ms. Scott's temporary replacement (although I will ask why the Museum here didn't just change Ms. Scott's title in the program. and pay slightly more for a plane ticket instead booting her as well?).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stuff Seen - Viens dans ma cour



Now this is one of the more obscure (and great) places to see art in the city, Atelier Circulaire, 5th floor of the building next door to Clark with a doorway that is not easy to find (reminds me of this place!). But each time I go I get more and more fascinated and entranced by it. Don't go and blame me if I suddenly start to become a printmaker!

This show was (as all shows there) a small show, no more than a dozen pieces, and what they had done was cobine two artists together and get them to create a print (or a series of prints). We got there before the vernissage (the show is still up until the 30th) and as a consequence they had not put the tags up. Because of that I think that the pieces made by the team of Annie Conceicao Rivet & Gilles Prince and also the piece Claire Lemay & Carlos Calado were particularly cool (all I have noted is the names and that Claire & Carlos 'did fish,' and that 'Annie and Gilles did the other cool.'

Stuff Seen - Weathervane


Paterson Ewen, Rain over Water, 1974, acrylic on panel, 244 x 336 cm, collection of Museum London


A couple of weeks ago we went to the Gallery at UQAM in order to see Weathervane, a group exhibit organized by Karen Love that had already gotten big play when it was in Oakville.

I had pretty much forgotten about it and had not made a connection when we walked in the door. And as a consequence was quite pleasantly surprised.

Rodney Graham, Weather Vane, 2002, stainless steel, black enamel, 69 x 63 cm, collection de Scott Livingstone. © Rodney Graham

Actually I am always pleasantly surprised when I see something by Rodney Graham that isn't a photograph. Weathervane is a nicely put together collection of art that had to do with the weather in some way or form. The only piece that I specifically did not like was Tania Kitchell's 'Fargo' as she flagrantly disregards current copyright law in appropriating images from the Coen Brother film. If she, Ms. Love or the UQAM gallery are going to do something like that I would prefer that they do so publicly, instead of letting everyone (including the gallery attendant when I was there) assume that they do have permission to reproduce stills from something that probably belongs to Working Title Films. Everything else was quite professionally done, some of it actually bordering on being really good.

Mark Lewis, Windfarm, 2001, 35 mm on DVD, 4 min, color, sound. © Mark Lewis

Beyond the Rodney Graham piece (seems like everywhere you turn in town these days, there's another one by him) Alan Storey’s Climatic Drawing Machine was particularly fascinating, the way that they have hung the show, it ends up looking like two separate pieces with the maquette potentially being part of Marlene Creates diptych - but don't let 'em fool you, it ain't. Why the Globe & Mail went wonky on Richard Rhodes' paintings I still don't understand.

The other pieces were sort of nice, nothing earthshattering or mind blowing, but like the weather today, good. It would be nice to see someone group Ms. Creates pictures with Maclean's work and do a show called 'Signs.' it could be the next blockbuster to come from Oakville. Even then, though, I don't know who in their right mind would want to spend $25 for a copy of the catalogue. The catalogue for ItuKiagâtta! an infinitely more important collection of Canadian art is $15. The show is up until October 7 and if you would like more details, click on this.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Montreal Arts Council is technically right, but...


I just got an email from the Conseil des Arts de Montréal, announcing Les Femmeuses Pratt & Whitney Canada Prize (pdf alert) and while I don't know the exact and precise meaning of 'bourse' in French, it gets translated into 'bursary' in the English press release.

A bursary is (for the most part) 'A scholarship granted to a university student in need.' So there you have it, the Montreal arts council gets a new president who happens to be a woman, and the first concrete move that they do is to announce that are no women artists who are professional and that all women artists are poor.

As I said in the headline, technically right, but not terribly forward looking. After a little research (10 seconds) 'bourse' in French means 'purse.' As in prize money received - looks like they need to get a better translator.

And it seems as good a place as any to link to the latest wake up call for women in visual arts. According to Jerry Saltz, in this article,
125 well-known New York galleries—42 percent of which are owned or co-owned by women—of 297 one-person shows by living artists taking place between now and December 31, just 23 percent are solos by women...On the fourth and fifth floors of the Museum of Modern Art, in the galleries devoted to the permanent collection of art from 1879 to 1969, there are currently 399 objects. Only 19, or 5 percent, of those objects are by women.



The Market-O-Matic (1.0) [fine arts version] is a great tool! Useful to artists of all ages. I recomend it highly.

Stuff Seen - Mike Hoolbloom



Apparently he is big in Toronto, but that didn't impress me much. Last week we went to go see his show at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery of Concordia University (incidentally, I don't like the new website, it requires too many clicks and doesn't have enough information clearly marked).

They've got five videos for you to stand in front of, for a total of 50 minutes and 29 seconds. All of the videos clearly have a beginning a middle and an end. All of them, unfortunately are looped so that you invariably come in during the middle, and see the end and then see the beginning. As I've said before and will say again, I do not like this in the least bit. The only thing that saves the show from a worse grade is that by showing 'In my car' and 'Rain' back to back, at least one video gets seen the way it was intended.

The other thing that I liked was that it got me thinking about how completely clueless and stupid SODRAC is. They are trying to enforce copyright in the visual arts. Before they do that, I would like them to enforce copyright in the works.

Mr. Hoolbloom's videos are complete and utter in their disregard for Canadian copyright law. For that matter, so is the piece by Tania Kitchell currently at UQAM, and I don't know how many gazillion others pieces of art I've seen that are illegal. Until such time as SODRAC has figured out how to make artists comply with Canadian Copyright law, I do not think they should try an enforce it on consumers. -Rant Off.

That all being said, Mr. Hoolbloom uses way too much text in his pieces, what should be evident with his use of visual and audio means does not need to be rammed down my throat by the text. The text also enforces a break between images that I found very distracting. The three pieces in the column of TVs ('Male walk,' 'Last thoughts,' and 'Tracks') were impossible for me to watch, as they initially and consistently come accross as one three channel video, and there really isn't any connection that I could find between them no matter how hard I tried.

And finally, to elaborate on my crack about the new Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery of Concordia University website, I quite like this page, but why does it have a title as banal and meaningless as 'Ways of Thinking?' And why isn't it in or linked to or from the page about the exhibit itself? And what happens once the exhibit moves, does the page disapear?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Stuff Seen - Molinari morceaux choisis



Now this is a show that just about blew my socks off. It is still up and running (surprise, surprise!) at the Maison de la culture Maisonneuve (4200 Ontario East) where they have an elevator that talks to you. A small (only 31 paintings) but very impressive retrospective organized by Gilles Daigneault (director of the Molinari Foundation) and Serge Marchetta (the person in charge of exhibits at the MdC Maisonneuve). It has it's own pamphlet, and appears to be pretty darn thorough, as the paintings span from 1947 to 1998.

Obviously I'm not going to repeat what has already been said about M. Molinari, nor can I really add anything. But it just felt nice, especially as the first painting you see is an award winning painting. I'd really like it if they could get this out and touring.

making kids more creative?


A very silly article in today's New York Times about buying art for your toddler. If it is about nurturing creativity, then why do they prominently mention the prices paid?

Stuff Seen - Treehouse


Tree House at the Saidye Bronfman Centre


It is getting out of hand, I think that there are something like two dozen exhibits that I've seen that I haven't had a chance to write about, between the new show here, and other things. However, it is a good thing I wrote myself some reminders. Way back in August we went to see Treehouse at the Liane and Danny Taran Gallery of the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts. It was a glorious late summer day, and from the little bit of information I had about the exhibit I was expecting the usual summer extravaganza, similar to the Oasis show in 2001, or the Ene-Liis Semper show in 2003 where they took full advantage of the fact that the gallery was right across the street from Mackenzie King Park, and exhibited art, had a BBQ, and a corn roast.

Maybe it was just because I missed the vernissage, but I was sorely disappointed that the entire show was indoors. How ironic can you get? Indoor tree houses. None the less, some of them were quite cool and kick ass. I specifically liked the ones by Jacques Bilodeau, and Michael Robinson. The show itself did not strike me as an 'interdisciplinary exhibition of conceptual tree house maquettes.' It appeared to me to be much more like a bunch of creative people using branches and the idea of trees to make something vaguely sculptural.

When the pieces weren't vaguely sculptural and were truly sculptural the results were spectacular, such as Jacques Bilodeau's Caprice. Which is a perfect example of why I don't trust artists to talk about their work. He writes 'As in the case of Les Transformables, the core notion is envelopment.' All fine and dandy if you ignore the chain, and the 10 foot branch that was suspended upside down by the chain. What M. Bilodeau was referring to pretty much looked like a hornet's nest, but what entranced me was that he had flipped the notion of a tree on its head, and spun it around backwards. It could have been slightly better if it had been moved about three feet in the direction of the Decarie boulevard, so that it could have twisted in a complete circle instead of running into the wall that separated it from Axel Morgenthaler's piece.

I remember the feeling induced by M. Morgenthaler's piece more than I can remember the piece (which ain't a good thing) - I have here in my notes, 'cool dark.' And as he is a theater lighting designer by day, I can easily understand how using light would make his piece stand out from the crowd.

Michael Carroll's (full disclosure: he is a friend) piece called 'I am a bird now' was a full blown interdisciplinary conceptual tree house maquette. Using a fan, streamers and all sorts of other doo-hickeys he was successful in making me think, briefly what it was like to be a winged creature.

Naomi London's wasn't as successful. A combo of dots, wheels, seats and branches, I could not for the life of me figure out how or what she was trying to do with her 'climb-up seating situation.' it had no connection to any sense of any sort of shelter, and looked more like some Flinstone's amusement park ride in 3-D. Now that I've read the booklet that accompanies the exhibit I understand what she was trying to do - although I'm still confused as to how 'hugging someone dear that you haven't seen in a long time' relates to a tree house.

NIPpaysage and AMMA had pieces that not only had me shaking my head, apparently I shook it so hard that all memory of what they did is gone. Never a good thing, if I can't remember what the art looked like, I'm fairly certain that it wasn't a great piece of art.

Michael A. Robinson, Oh! Pen Drawing Darwin Doe / Oeuvre Rire La Feu Naitre, detail

Michael A. Robinson also made a full blown interdisciplinary conceptual tree house maquette. Called 'Oh! Pen Drawing Darwin Doe / Oeuvre Rire La Feu Naitre' (Open the window / Open the window - in French) complete with a Breezy Singer and a piece of art he stole from himself.

Then Lastly, Rachel Echenberg & Sébastien Worsnip stuck a model of rowboat in the crook of a branch. How original.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Louise Roy and I still don't see eye to eye


Last week the new president of Montreal Arts Council spoke with La Presse, and I wasn't particularly fond of the idea that she floated. This week she spoke with the Gazette, and I'm even less enamoured of her ideas. The current infatuation with prizes is ridiculous and foolhardy. Praising Pratt & Whitney for turning Les Femmeuses into a $5,000 prize is just bad, Instead of her closing quote being 'The challenge is to get (the private sector) to put culture on the agenda as a priority.' I would prefer that she concentrate on getting everyone to put culture on the agenda as a priority. Businesses are only going to prioritize culture if they can make money. If everyone does culture, then it is much more likely that there will be money to be made, and then businesses will invest in it.

The National Gallery of Australia


A wicked cool article about what it takes to run a National Gallery. I would imagine that despite it being in Australia, that there are a bunch of similarities all over the place.

Guelph ain't a Capital Culture of Canada


Guelph has been trying real hard to score some money from the Federal government for a bunch of years now. This article in the Guelph Tribune, gives some details of their failures, and what they are proposing this time. It appears that they want to copy, Barnaby Evans of Providence Rhode Island, D Kimm from here in Montreal, and then just for good measure toos in some 'public art.' Unfortunately, no one in Guelph bothered to read the Cambridge Times from two weeks ago (for those of you who are out-of-towners Cambridge is 20 minutes from Guelph, where some elected officials said 'we don't want no stinkin' public art!'

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The RBC Canadian Painting Competition - a test


Well, I'm certain you heard the news that Dil Hildbrand just won $25,000. I'm also equally certain that if you've been reading this blog for more than a year that you know how pathetic I think the RBC Painting Competition is. Well it just so happens that earlier this week, there was a Canadian prize of $20,000 (20% less than the RBC) handed out for best album. It was won by Owen Pallett.

According to Google News there are 48 articles about the winner of the Polaris Music Prize.
According to Google News there are seven articles about the winner of the RBC Canadian Painting Competition.

I hope that whoever the person responsible for publicity is gets a new job doing something different, really soon.

1992 Academy Award Winner in Animation


And wicked cool to boot!

Quoting from her website
"Joan C. Gratz is known among animators around the world for her unique animation technique, clay-painting. Working with bits of clay as if they were oil paints, she blends colors and etches fine lines to create a seamless flow of images. She has created a number of films, including Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase, winner of the 1992 Academy Award (Best Animated Short).
Found on YouTube via Cyberday Blog

9,000 members?!


In this article about an old watercolor Paul Gessell lets slip that the National Gallery only has 9,000 members. Yes, they are in Ottawa, and Ottawa is a tiny town - but they are the National Gallery.

Paul Werner getting good press


Mr. Werner is obviously doing the grassroots thing 21st century style. If you remember back in July, I reviewed his book. Now another blog refers to it favorably after being prodded by this opinion piece in the Boston Globe. Cool fodder for my discussion with Guy Cogeval next week.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Brooklyn vs Milan


Only tangentially related to Canadian Art but I find it amusing that last year the Brooklyn Museum wrote that their Basquiat retrospective was 'the most comprhensive since 1992.' And the Milan Triennale says that their Basquiat retrospective 'qualifica come una delle più vaste retrospettive.' [qualification as one of the immensest retrospettive]

Brooklyn: "more than one hundred of Jean-Michel Basquiat's finest works, including many that have never been shown in the United States."
Milan: "mai realizzata in Europa...ottanta dipinti e quaranta disegni." [never realized in Europe...eighty paintings and forty designs]

Personally, I'm going to stand on the sidelines and withold judgement until I've seen how large the Asian Basquiat retrospective is.

Congrats to Dil Hildebrand


He is $25,000 richer. Now if the PR machine of RBC could only raise his profile slightly more than they did last year for Etienne Zack, or the year before for Dionne Simpson.

Funny, I don't feel old!


I quite like how the discussion I'm having with Guy Cogeval has been classified by the Museum of Fine Arts as an activity for seniors!

All Iegor Saint Hippolyte Auctions All the time...


Last night I was at the Iegor - Hôtel des Encans Auction, and a fun time was had by all. Iegor represents all of what is good and bad about the Quebec Art world. Everybody recognizes what is 'important' but nobody wants to pay for it. The hot Chinese and Russian art markets were in evidence even in Saint Henri (check out the prices below - I have never seen M. Saint Hippolyte get so excited, and believe it or not the painting by Yang Shaobin which went for almost $125,000 (including commission and taxes) did not even merit a "on applaudit!" from him). Personally I am waiting for the day that a Tousignant or a Beaulieu cracks $100K

Jan Anthonisz Van Ravesteyn (1570-1657) Portrait of a noble woman at the age of 43, Oil on wood panel, 1625, 26.75x21
Van Ravesteyn - $3,276.06

Less than $5,000 for a painting from 1625. Someone must think that it is a fake.

Joan Miro (1893-1983) A tout Epreuve, a book with 79 illustrations, numbered 75/106
Miro - $131.04

This to me was the bargain of the night. It was bought by Eric Devlin, who was working the room throughout the entire night - the man is like an energizer bunny! One of the things though that annoyed me was that someone he knew, this pig in an un-tucked pink shirt, insisted on sticking his nose three inches from anything going up for auction, while it was up for auction so that it appeared like his butt was the thing being auctioned. Then when he wasn't doing that, he was grabbing items that he had not bought from the trays they were being carried on.

In my estimation, as long as M. Saint Hippolyte accepts this sort of uncouth and really lousy behavior from his clients, he ain't likely to get prices from the audience that are much higher than what he is already getting. Even I know how to behave in public!

Yang Shaobin, (1963-) Circumstances No. 4, Oil on canvas, 71x82.5
Shaobin - $124,490.38

The biggest painting of the evening.

Claude Tousignant, untitled, Oil on canvas, 23x21
Tousignant - $17,035.53

Started off with a bang, and then quickly died - after seeing the other stuff go, I was wishing and hoping that it would crack $35K, then $25K, then $20K. I was disappointed.

[update: I was informed that in fact it did not sell. If you happen to have a spare $12,500 however it can be yours. Weird, that the reserve is $12.5K as I distinctly heard a bid of $13,000.]

Léon Bellefleur (1910-) Exotique, Oil on canvas, 31x26
Bellefleur - $6,552.13

Jun Ying Wang, Young noble, Oil on canvas, 31.5x23.5
Wang - $15,725.10

Really pretty. By the time this one went, pretty much everyone was or seemed tired. Even the guys handling the art began to get sloppy. I saw one of them grab a handful of cheese doodles, stuff them into his mouth, and then grab a painting. Another time I saw another handler grab one of the Chmaroff's through the piece of paper he was using as a guide for which one went next. Not exactly something that is likely to warm a mother's heart, especially when she is paying those sort of prices.

Paul Chmaroff, Women with turban, Oil on canvas, 18.25x25.5
Chmaroff - $36,691.90

One of thge earlier lots, served as a warning shot that the night was not going to be your standard issue Iegor Saint Hippolyte auction.

Hong Chao (1964-) 22,861,518, Digital photograph, 46.5x82.5
Chao - $23,587.65

Charles Daudelin (1920-2001), 2 Geometrical Compositions and an Asymetrical Expansion, metal sculptures, various dimensions
Daudelin - $1,441.47, $1,310.43 & $3,931.28

Cai Guo-Qiang, Project for the extraterrestrials No. 8, Gunpowder on paper, 20x26
Guo-Qiang - $20,966.80

Somehow I don't think this one makes up for not getting to Shawinigan.

Zinaïda Evguenievna Serebriakova (1884-1967) Nude, Pastel on Ingres paper, 19x22
Serebriakova - $340,710.50

Paul-Vanier Beaulieu, (1910-1996) Provence 40-615, Oil on canvas, 1961, Provenance: P.V. Beaulieu Estate, 32x39.5
Beaulieu - $9,172.98

Zinaïda Evguenievna Serebriakova (1884-1967) Nude, Pastel on Ingres paper, 22x17
Serebriakova - $511,065.75

13 phone bidders for all of these. No I had never heard of them either, but apparently there are a bunch of horny rich guys in Russia.

Zinaïda Evguenievna Serebriakova (1884-1967) Nude, Pastel on Ingres paper, 25x19
Serebriakova - $314,502.00

Zinaïda Evguenievna Serebriakova (1884-1967) Nude, Pastel on Ingres paper, 19x25
Serebriakova - $537,274.25

For this one M. Saint Hippolyte got more excited than I had ever seen him. After the auction he took what looked to be his entire staff out for dinner at L'Express.

William Goodridge Roberts, Still life, Oil on masonite, 30x25
Roberts - $22,277.23

But for me the best part of the evening was actually the ride home. On the metro I saw this guy carrying what was obviously a painting. I asked him if he was happy with his purchase, and he said "YES!" The reason being, as he told me, was that he had been adopted as a child, and had found out who his father was after his father died. Turns out his father had been a Quebecois painter. So what this guy was doing was going around and at every opportunity he had buying up his father's paintings. If I remember correctly, he had tracked down about 30, spoken with all the owners - who all had stories about his dad - and succeeded in purchasing five. He was beaming from ear to ear, and as I left him, I overheard the woman at the deppaneur ask him 'So did you get it?' It made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Oh yeah, it appeared like there were about 120 people to start and I was pleasantly surprised to count 40 people who stayed to the end.

Marc Mayer getting around


I knew that the director of the Musee d'art contemporain was giving a talks on contemporary art at the Anglophone libraries here in Montreal (Westmout Library tonight - 7:00 pm, 4575 Sherbrooke W; October 26th - 7:00 pm the Eleanor London Library, 5851 Cavendish blvd; November 15th - 7:00 pm, Stewart Hall, 176 Lakeshore; and November 29th - 7:00 pm, the DDO Library, 12,001 de Salaberry) but I discovered that the man is going to be waking up rather early next Friday. If anyone has an extra ticket, I'd love to join you for breakfast, no matter how much a appreciate and like what he is doing I can't quite rationalize a $55 breakfast ($62.67 w/taxes).

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Me 'n Michael Kimmelman think alike


Who would've thunk?

I'm looking forward to meeting Sylvain Bellenger


It ain't everyday that a curator from Cleveland gets a feature in the International Herald Tribune especially in advance of his appearance here in Montreal. Personally, I got a humongous kick out of some of the quotes: "The directeur des musées de France said it was the first time he had seen people eating and drinking in front of a painting." And, "There is a Cleveland style that is hard to define but a Cleveland object in a traveling show is always something special." And "Once you have acquired a work of art, you give something like 10 talks to all the groups - the women's council, the education department, the black community - and for each group you say different things." And the best one, "Girodet proved to be exactly the right artist at the right time - major but neglected, not excessively productive and definitely in tune with the zeitgeist, being, as Bellenger says, transgressive and weird."

The show got rave reviews in New York (New York Times, New York Magazine, Village Voice) and the Wikipedia entry for him is here (psst it could use some work) needless to say I'm getting excited about it showing up here.

Nice company


A really stupid article from the Times of London about why (or maybe how) contemporary art is so expensive. The only reason it is worthwhile is the one, the only, Rodney Graham is mentioned as being a worthy artist.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Marissa Larouche-Smart writes about The Old Brewery Mission Gallery


A very nice article in today's Gazette about the art gallery at the Old Brewery Mission. I wonder how many of the artists from the St-James Drop-In Centre are exhibiting at the Old Brewery?

And while I am all for the concept and think it is a great idea, I'm not entirely certain how many homeless artists are going to be able to write a 250 word artist biography or get at least three samples of their work.

Louise Roy and I don't see eye to eye


Who would have thunk? According to this article from Saturday's La Presse, the new president of the Montreal Arts Council wants to start accepting private donations for culture and redistribute them in a similar manner to Centraide.

Great! just what we need, a new set of gatekeepers deciding what's art and what's not. Second, no matter how cheap the administrative costs of running an organization like that, it will be too much. Third of all the hoops that will need to be jumped through in order to get the money are not likely to be easy. Fourth how is any arts organization going to be able compete in raising money against the city?

And lastly, the picture in the article was supplied by Communication Papineau Couture, why does Ms. Roy need a PR firm?

20% of Sun Microsystem's CEO


According to this article Sun Microsystems Inc. CEO Jonathan Schwartz's blog gets 50,000 viewers every month. Well it appears that Contemporary Canadian Art, and the Montreal Art World are about 20% as popular as he is.

The Hudson Studio Tour


I've been meaning to post this for about a month or so. Next weekend the Hudson Studio Tour is taking place. I wish I was able to participate, as it has been something like 20 years since I was in Hudson, and there are a bunch of other reasons to go as well.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

$746,686,700 is an awful lot of money


According to the Québec government that's how much money they spent on Culture last year. My first comment is that it gives an easy example of how things in Quebec are different. In the rest of North America there is this thing called the NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) vaguely like ISO stuff, it attempts to give numbers to things so that people can keep track of stuff.

Well, here in Quebec NAICS ain't good enough, we have instead the QCCACS (Quebec Culture and Communications Activity Classification System). Betcha dollars to doughnuts, the couple of hundred thousand bucks spent reinventing the classification system was itself classified as money spent on culture.

Then as far as actually classifying stuff, if you are an illustrator you are not a visual artist, nor if you are a photographer in the field of communication. Then the definition of a visual artist is,
"This group comprises professional artists primarily engaged in creating, on an independent basis, original art works that fall within the visual arts: painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, textile art, installation art, performance art, art video, or any other form of expression of the same nature...."
However, if you are a media artist the definition is,
"...artists primarily engaged in creating original art works related to media arts, i.e. expressive art works, of experimental nature or research-based, that involve the use of filming, video, audio recording, or multimedia..."
So, if I understand this correctly, visual arts includes "installation art, performance art, art video or any other form of expression of the same nature." While a media arts would also use "filming, video, audio recording, or multimedia" except that a media artist is "experimental nature or research-based." Maybe that's why so many freakin' media artist only produce crap! If they are only researching or experimenting with stuff, that's sorta like playing in a sandbox isn't it? But you gotta love Quebec being different, only here can you be a professional sandbox player.

And my last comment, because I do have to get back to work. There is this 140 page pdf file where they lay out in precise detail all the definitions (hence my snarky comments) but in the very first table that they present, where I got the three-quarters of a billion dollars figure, they separate stuff into Dépenses internes and Dépenses externes. Does this mean inside of Quebec and outside of Quebec? Or internally within the government (ie advertising some government program, or making a sculpture for the National Assembly), and externally by the government (ie advertising coke, or making a sculpture that is not for a government office)? Or is it something else?

And I can't imagine that there are too many people who are going to look all that closely at it, pity. 'Cuz I'm certain that the money they spent on a brand spanking new classification system would have been better used by some of the media artists so that they wouldn't have to experiment and that they could make good art.

Kitty Scott all over the place!


Apologies for being slow, but it was a hectic week. Last week, Kitty Scott's name came came up in conversation not once, but twice. A friend of mine whom I had not seen for about 20 years dropped in, and in passing mentioned that Kitty Scott, he and myself had all taken the same English literature course at Concordia in 1983 or 84. Then on Thursday or so, andother friend stopped by and as I was telling her how I had been in the same class as Kitty Scott, she told me that Kitty Scott no longer worked at the National Gallery, but someplace in England. For those of you scratching your heard, Kitty Scott is, or used to be curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada.

I said 'strange' as I had not heard the news, but my guess would be that Kitty Scott is going to be announced as the new curator of the Barbican Art Gallery. Let's see if my sources and hunch is correct.

[update Sept 18: I was wrong. It ain't the Barbican, but it is the Serpentine Gallery, not quite as prestigious as the Barbican, but a mighty cool place and position none the less, conrgats and good luck to Ms. Scott - and I wonder who is going to fill her shoes?]

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Stuff Seen - Maxwell Kalman


Maxwell Kalman


Way back in something like June, there was this really nice little exhibit over at the McGill School of Architecture that had been organized by Susan Bronson about the Architectural practice of Maxwell Kalman. It had been set up to coincide with his 100th birthday. Basically, Mr. Kalman had over the course of his career built a bunch of buildings here in Montreal. Nothing terribly earth shattering (unless of course you count the first strip mall in Canada). But that was what made the show so wonderful.

Basically, there was a map with some pins in it, pointing out where all the buildings Mr. Kalman had designed were. Then there were a whack of pictures (both before and after) of the buildings built, a short video, and some photocopies of his books. If you want some more details, click here.

Or in easier terms a very nicely designed quick glance at someone who was extremely important to some very specific people previously but who has now sort of faded out of consciousness. Sorta like your Dad's mom. Grandma was a wonderful person, but once I'm dead there aren't going to be an awful lot of people around who will even have so much as a forgotten memory of her. I quite like it when forgotten memories reappear.

As I told Ms. Bronson, it should be put on line, and it is a real pity that this here blog is the number one result for Maxwell Kalman, but then, unfortunately, like my grandmother, once I'm dead there aren't going to be an awful lot of people around who will even have so much as a forgotten memory of Maxwell Kalman. I'm happy that I actually got a chance to know what he did.

Stuff Seen - Mireille Dufour


Consume As Needed by Mireille Dufour


I'm not a big fan of graphic designers' portfolios masquerading as fine art. If Mireille Dufour is trying to make a statement about consumer society, a) try something original, b) Adbusters or Carrie at Stay Free Magazine probably could use some help, c) Go large, ain't but about a couple of hundred people who will see the show at Wilder & Davis, how many have already seen Stare? (one, two and three) d) Buy a GenPet or take some Panexa

Friday, September 15, 2006

So if Kelly Mark does Montreal A-Z does it mean I get to talk to her?


I like using Ms. Mark as an example of some of the things that are wrong in the promotion and general awareness of Contemporary Canadian art. However, I am pleased as punch when one of her projects goes international! as there is a Montreal biennale triennale happening next year, and if she is in it, I can only wonder if I will be the lucky "Z" person who gets to talk to Ms. Mark, if she happens to be doing the same sort of piece for it. I'm all a-twitter! Giddy, too!

The Shayne Gallery is hiring


The title says it all. The Shayne Gallery and the ad for the job.

Controversy brewing in Cambridge


If you have the time, could you click on this link to email Cambridge city councillor Rick Cowsill to inform him that $200,000 for art is a great thing. According to this article in the Cambridge Times he doesn't want to spend any money on art.

Go Melissa Shiff! Go!!


According to this article in the Prague Post Melissa Shiff (who hails from Toronto) is getting a wicked cool show at the Jewish Museum there. What I find a tad weird though is normally when people get married a second time as a reafirmation of their vows it normally falls on a round-ish number anniversary, two years and eleven months? I don't get it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

voicedance invasion wooden sculptures by tyson howard


[Update December 16, 2006: More information here]

This is the text of the email that tyson sent out about what is happening here this weekend.

voicedance invasion
Zeke's Gallery 3599 3955 St. Laurent
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Friday, September 15th 2006

a beginning
a moment in time where introductions occur

has landed
and there's a group of beings that have come to welcome you
their arrival is the beginning of a journey.
a journey to accumulate and activate color and vibrations

Frank aka the traveler, originally uploaded by voicedance.

is a reason to come forward
speak to others that you have not spoken to

voicedance is a moment for movement

a brief history
beginnings started in London, England in 2000
6months of research and reactions
to the beauty of the local music and street art
inspired by dancers
there was a need to show my gratitude
to the purity of the music
and share my expression with others

was taken to the streets of Calgary in 2001
in the form of small pieces of illustrated and collaged wood
wooden expressions, nailed to telephone poles, fences,
and architecture
for others to view, walk by, appreciate, duplicate, make their own.

egypt, originally uploaded by voicedance.

appeared in Montreal in the winter of 2004
evolved into the form of wooden characters
five of them appearing on the famous Overdale street

then appeared in the spring of 2005
6 more appear underneath the Ville-Marie near Greene avenue.

now Fall 2006
September 15th
has gathered 25+ characters
at Zeke's Gallery 3599 3955 St. Laurent

to share with you
I hope you can greet them,
share your expressions with them.


This is the text of the email that I sent out about what is happening here this weekend.


For immediate release
Pictures available upon request

I hope that you had a great summer, and that your return back to fall wasn't too hard. Or that your fall is even batter than your summer was. Apologies for the mass BCC, I really would like to write to you personally, but I'm under the gun here...

New Art Exhibit: voicedance invasion wooden sculptures by tyson howard from September 15, 2006 until October 29, 2006

The Vernissages (openings) at Zeke's Gallery
Thursday September 14 - voicedance invasion Members Preview, 5pm
Friday September 15- voicedance invasion Official Opening Vernissage, 8pm
Saturday September 16 - voicedance invasion Pet Friendly Vernissage, 5pm
Sunday September 17 - voicedance invasion Kid Friendly Vernissage, 11am
Monday September 18 - voicedance invasion Museum Professionals and Press
Preview, 5pm

katfish, originally uploaded by voicedance.

Yes siree bob! tyson's sculptures made it into the gallery in one piece, the personable hunks of wood are extremely friendly and make for very nice companions. Vaguely robot-like, but at the same time analog, they present an interesting means to look into how mr. howard's brain ticks.

You are most cordially invited to come by and check out these wonderful and stupendous humanoid pieces of chairs and desks. tyson (yes, the lowercase 't' is deliberate) has used an awful lot of found wood (hence the pieces of chairs and desks) to make these cute and cuddly creatures that just make you wanna go up and hug 'em. Not exactly as soft and furry as a Cabbage Patch Kid, nor are they likely to be confused with any tickle me Elmo's, but the emotions that they evoke are as real and as lifelike as those evoked by Harvey.

Sneaker aka AA Small, originally uploaded by voicedance.

For those of you from out of town who are wondering why the heck you're getting this, tyson howard was born and bred in Calgary, he only moved here to Montreal three years ago.

If you happen to be in the neighborhood, and want to come to one of the vernissages you are most welcome to come to which ever one is most convenient for you. The schedule is as follows:

If you have children, please come to the kid-friendly vernissage on Sunday the 17th at 11 am. We will be serving chocolate milk, cookies instead of the beer and cigarettes normally associated with an art opening.

If you have a four legged friend, pets are welcome on Saturday the 16th at 5 pm. There will be kibbles and bits (or the equivalent for the feathered and scaled crowd).

If you happen to work at a museum, an art gallery, consider yourself an art professional or are a working (or non-working) member of the press, we have a special vernissage just for you on Monday the 18th at 5 pm.

If you don't have any children or pets and work someplace where there is not an awful lot of art, the OFFICIAL OPENING VERNISSAGE for voicedance invasions is on Friday the 15th at 8pm. Come one, come all and most definitely bring your friends. And in case you were wondering, all of the vernissages are free!

Your friends and family next door neighbors and the people you meet on the street are as welcome as you are.

I look forward to seeing you at at least one of them. In case you forgot, the address here is:

Zeke's Gallery
3955 Saint Laurent Montreal, Quebec H2W 1Y4

Zeke's Gallery is a fiercely independent art gallery here in Montreal. Who has its mandate; First Solo Shows. Zeke's Gallery only exhibits artists who have never previously had a solo exhibition before. Besides the visual arts I also program musical events, literary events, and other less intimidating cultural things in order to get people in the door. All of the events (including the visual arts) are recorded, and I have recently started to videotape them as well.

If you'd like to hear (or see) any of them, click here:

The gallery itself has been voted "Best Gallery in Montreal" by readers of the Montreal Mirror for the past five consecutive years. Annual attendance is at about 8,000, and continues to grow steadily.

I also write a blog that is dedicated to Contemporary Canadian Visual Arts, it is the most read media outlet for the visual arts in Canada. It gets read by about 150,000 people/year (Canadian Art Magazine has a total circulation of 80,000/year). This is about the same amount of people that go to any of the museum websites in Canada.

<- Zeke's Gallery vs Montreal Museums http://tinyurl.com/kkfdp <- Zeke's Gallery vs other Canadian Museums tyson howard's voicedance invasion is the 48th exhibit in an ongoing series of first solo shows. If you are interested here is some outside opinion and background on Zeke's Gallery: http://tinyurl.com/l24a4 <-An 8 minute film http://www.canadianart.ca/articles/Articles_Details.cfm?Ref_num=81

And if you were wondering, I've changed the official opening hours of the gallery. It is now open every day except Friday from 3pm until 7pm.
If this is not convenient for you, please don't hesitate to call me and make an appointment for a time that is convenient for you.

For more information please contact Chris Hand at (514) 288-2233 or info@zeke.com

Zeke's Gallery

SODRAC is wrong


I read this article about SODRAC trying to extort folk who publish pretty pictures when it came out last week. I've been meaning to comment on it since then, but I've been busy setting up the new show.

So the longer version is going to have to wait. In the meantime repeat after me, "SODRAC is wrong."

C'mon guys make a law, get some lawyers involved


Why do all the Nazi looted art hunters get to have all the fun? Some of those Indian tribes should have enough money to grease the rails so things like this don't have to happen.

Copy Cats


Can someone expalain to me how this is different from this? Except for the obvious differences of the one in Ontario only takes place in one city, and the one in Quebec is more than ten years old.

Send me a postcard, please


Nice article in the Chronicle about Scott MacLeod going to Berlin. No not earth shattering news by any stretch, but local artist makes good always pleases me.

Big Changes from AGAC


Back in the day, when they were started or so, the Pierre-Ayot Award and the Louis-Comtois Award were only available to artists who were represented or had had a show at one of the galleries in Association des Galeries d'Art Contemporain de Montreal. Well, late last night, I received a very large email from AGAC.

Initially I was going to call Mark Lanctot, the person responsible for pressing the 'send' button. No one should be sending an unsolicited 4 MB email for any reason whatsoever. But then I realized, because of our past history, he wouldn't be sending me anything willy-nily. So I read to my great surprise

Anyone and everyone who has had an art exhibit in Montreal since October 2004 is now eligible for the Pierre-Ayot Awards and the Louis-Comtois Awards. Cool! I like this new inclusiveness.

[update 2:45 pm: I just got an email from M. Lanctot. I have been mispelling his name from day one, it is with a "K." Just like my good friend Mark Lepage - apologies and mea culpa, I have corrected it here, and will attempt to make sure that I never make the mistake again. He also states that the prizes have always been open to anyone. I would still dispute that until I see the aplication form from 2001.]

[update 4:00 pm: M. Lanctot insists that my memory is incorrect, so I'm going to have to go with him on this one, as I will be the first person to admit that my memory is never very good to begin with. If I can find time I will research it further to see where this phantom memory came from.]

Go Louis Lavoie! Go!!


Tomorrow night (or more precisely afternoon on this side of the Atlantic) M. Lavoie will be competing in a chainsaw art competition at the Palais du Tokyo in Paris. What I want to know is why is there only one Canadian artist? It ain't like we're suffering from a lack of trees! What about Gerald Guenkel, Lee from Gold River, Ken Sheen, Paul Frenette, Robbin Wenzoski, and Bobbi Switzer or any of the other of thousands of chainsaw artists in Canada?

Happy happy Joy joy mad props and shout outs to Pierre and Nimette Habib & Lois and Stanley Tucker


Between the two couples this company called Healing Art Environments projects received $40,000 to make three murals at the children's hospital here in Montreal. This article in Monday's Gazette gives all the details. And while I find it all nice and hunky dory - smiles and giggles that the gravely ill children at the hospital are going to be able to have their lives brightened by putting some colored paint on the walls - I find it thoroughly and totally irresponsible that Nina Favata herself will be pocketing most (if not all) of the cash.

From a quick search, I would guess that she is the owner of Nina Favata Creations.
Has made this poster, and is the person referred to in this article, and this article.

But the one that describes it best is this article, the applicable quote:
MCH nurse Della Rous talks about painted murals on the 10D Parent Waiting Room with modesty. She explains, "I took a painting course and came in on my days off complete the mural. It took about 2 months to finish, but I really wanted it to appeal to the parents. I'm willing to continue on this work, but I hope others are encouraged to do the same."
So, if I understand this correctly, a nurse pays for art courses out of her own pocket and then on her days off paints a mural for the sick children, while Nina Favata collects $40,000 to do the same? Those better be some pretty gosh darn big murals, because you can buy a whole heck of a lot of paint for $40,000.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Exactly what is wrong with the Art World


A supposedly informative article about Art Advisors. The key quote:
"Art advisors use a variety of fee structures," said Sharon Burton, the founder of Authentic Art Consulting in Washington, D.C. "Some charge by the hour for a consultation and research regarding the art, and others take a percentage of the commission from the final sale of the art. I do a little of both."
Umm, sorta like asking the salesman at the Volkswagen dealership if you should buy a Chrysler, or more realistically sorta like asking the Rolls Royce dealer if you should buy a Maybach.

Absolutely Hilarious


There's this conference called the Museum Computer Network taking place in November. The website has a two column design, but they haven't quite figured out how to make the text stay inside one of the columns in a Firefox Browser (version Sorta like being told that the guy at the garage can't figure out how to open the door of your car, it doesn't make you feel secure about the quality of the work they are going to do, does it?

Focal Points

Henry Lehmann's memory and research skills are lacking


I, too like the fact that there is a new gallery in town. Actually, to be completely honest I adore the fact that there are something like a dozen new galleries in town. However that does not excuse Mr. Lehmann from completely and untterly disrespecting Galerie Vox, Dazibao, and while I'm at it Mois de La Photo? Or to be explicit, in this article Mr. Lehmann writes 'Montreal was without a gallery specializing in photography.' And I'm certain that the fine folk who ran the BloWup Photo Gallery from approximately 2003 until 2005 would have loved to have received such a glowing review from Mr. Lehmann. Despite what he writes about photo-based installations, Dazibao's mandate states 'Dazibao is an artist-run centre dedicated to the dissemination of contemporary photography.' Galerie Vox's states 'The questions VOX is concerned with emerge from photography and extend into the culture of the image today.' If he is shaving things that finely, then how about a nice soliloquy on the lack of a watercolor painting gallery here in Montreal? Or perhaps Montreal desperately needs an abstract stainless steel sculpture gallery?

What exactly is Inuit art?


Interesting article from The Edmonton Sun about a couple who 'has a deep love for the Far North after spending 35 years on Baffin Island' and is now attempting to become 'wholesale Inuit art dealers for Western Canada.' No problem there, I particularly like it when people have very specific goals. Where I find a problem is that the art that they are wholesaling is art that they make. Now, if they were Inuit, I don't think that Jerold LeBlanc would have described them as 'loving Baffin Island.' I think he would have written something more like 'they are Inuit who moved to Edmonton.' I also have a problem with a four- to six-inch stone figure being called an Inukshuk, and I have a major problem with someone using 'construction-grade adhesive' to create anything that comes with 18 yards of the word Inukshuk.

If they love Baffin Island so gosh darn much, I think they should move back there and not try to make money off of gullible people who don't know enough to ask questions about rock figures for their lawns.

Absolutely phenomenal article by Sacha Pfeiffer about Nazi Looted Art


I'm been following to a certain extent the whole business of 'returning' Nazi looted art to rich people vaguely related to the people it was stolen from, and been following closely how it makes them filthy rich. In Sunday's Boston Globe there is a wonderful and amazing article by Sacha Pfeiffer about the fight between Maria-Louise Bissonnette and the lawyers for McGill University, Concordia University, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel along with the Max Stern Foundation.

I never knew that Mr. Stern had been paid in the 1960's when 'a German restitution court recognized that it had been forcibly sold and awarded Stern damages for his lost profit.' Nor did I know lots of the other details mentioned in the article. Major props and shout outs to Mr. Pfeiffer.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Art Institute of Seattle is expensive


I know a blogger in Seattle, specifically Carolyn Zick of dangerouschunky fame. Combine that with a simple case of procrastination, and I want to know why The Art Institute of Seattle is paying something ridiculous, like more than $30 for each click to their website? Are they the best art school in Seattle? Or merely the best art institute?

Nice article


In the Art Newspaper about an All Rembrandt! All the Time!! show in Amsterdam.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

21+ views every day


Given the tiny amount of people who I would think are interested in what is happening here at Zeke's Gallery. I am quite pleased that since I started posting the videos there have been an average of 21.13 views per day for more than 100 days. Or in slightly less tortured language, 2.261 views.
  1. Ben Hammond Live at Zeke's Gallery - 6.57/day or 151 total
  2. The Missive, a film by Jarred Coxford - 5.77/day or 410
  3. Publicity Stunt a film by Scott Lutes - 5.08/day or 183
  4. The Exchange Project by Scott Lutes - 4.66/day or 205
  5. GorePuter Live at Zeke's Gallery - 4.27/day or 337
  6. Michael V. Smith reading at Zeke's Gallery - 2.82/day or 302
  7. Jennica Harper reading at Zeke's Gallery - 2.26/day or 242
  8. Tricia McDaid, A Heart Full of Buckshot, the interviews - 2.16/day or 201
  9. Elizabeth Bachinsky reading at Zeke's Gallery - 1.62/day or 173
  10. Chris Hand interviewing Nancy Nesbit - 1.3/day or 57

Friday, September 08, 2006

September 4, 1972 was it 17 or 18 or 50?


I'm starting to research the theft of some paintings from the Montreal Musee des beaux arts, and according to this website, 17 paintings were stolen, and they list them. This website says 18 but doesn't list them, and the Guide to the Collection of The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts says 'about fifty' with no list either. Obviously I'm going to have to get up from my computer at some point.

Oh, and this article in Forbes is wrong. If the Rembrandt that was stolen was in fact worth over $1,000,000 in 1972. There is absolutely no way that in 2003 it was worth $2,000,000. Even if it only appreciated a mere 5% per year (about the rate of bonds and very conservative) it would have been worth $4.5 million in 2003. Art is not a conservative investment, and Rembrandt's do not only appreciate at 5% annually.

Darrell Petit, Montreal Artist makes it big


I read this article about Darrell Petit, a sculptor born in Montreal, who now lives in Branford, Connecticut, and uses granite from the Stony Creek Quarry to make things like this:

Torosaurus Block by Darrell Petit

That are sold by the Akira Ikeda Gallery to the Peabody Museum.

Will Jennifer Baichwal make it back to Montreal?


Since Ms. Baichwal was born in Montreal, it would be nice to see her film about Ed Burtynsky play here during the 25th International Festival of Films on Art. Since they missed 'Who Gets To Call It Art?' I'm not convinced that they will.

And now that I have done some research, I bet you dollars to doughnuts it does not. The only films that they accept are films that have analog versions. Weird, in 2006 they still want Betacam SP.

Diane Borsato & the National Bank


Obviously I'm in a crotchety mood this morning. otherwise why would I ask how this 'performance' by Diane Borsato difers from this advertising campaign by the National Bank (no cracks about tennis being different from the tango). Then on top of that, those pictures of Ms. Borsato and some other guy dancing sure as shootin' do not look like they are doing the tango, and if it is already being planned, there is absolutely no freakin' way that they could be 'dancing spontaneously.' And finally, since I have a bee in my bonnet about curating, what exactly is Kim Simon doing that he (or she) can call herself a 'curator' of the event?

Oops, just one more. No matter how hard Ms. Borsato and Mr. or Ms. Simon try, they will never be as good as ImprovEverywhere. Just to be clear. I absolutely hate it when visual artists do something sloppy and amateur in a profession that they have no training. If Ms. Borsato had gone to the National Theatre School (or even had a small part in some play in High School) I would bet you dollars to doughnuts that How to respond to an emergency would be 63% better.

David vs The Brown Sisters vs the Goldberg family vs. Oxford, Iowa vs Noah


10 months ago, I wrote
about how Micah Lexier was doing similar stuff as Nicholas Nixon. Then in April I discovered that there were a bunch of people out there who were doing the same thing and not calling it art, such as Diego Golberg, Raj Nair, The Rubenstein children, and Peter Feldstein. Now there's a guy named Noah who can be added to the list.

What is especially fufilling is that due to the rapid advance of technology, it is possible to watch Noah's work right here!

Now the question becomes, with the 1.5 million times people have viewed Noah's sequence of pictures so far, does it mean that he is a better artist than Mr. Lexier or Mr. Nixon? Or is it because of his popularity he is a 'pop artist' no different than Peter Max or Norman Rockwell? Or is it because Noah is on YouTube he isn't an artist and because Mr. Lexier and Mr. Nixon are in galleries they are.

Arctic Quest 2006 sounds wicked cool!


While still playing catch up I came across this article in Tuesday's Toronto Star about Arctic Quest 2006. Basically, a bunch of artists chartered a big boat to go through the Northwest Passage so that they could paint.

I only wish that I had heard about it before it happened, instead of afterwards. There is an exhibition of the art created at something called the Win Henstock Gallery as of tomorrow. (But not this Win Henstock Gallery - who would have thunk, Laguna Beach & Oakville, two guys into landscapes named Win?)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

World Press Photo 2006 Exhibit reviewed over at Metroblogging Montreal


Over at the local Metblog Justin Knotzke writes a pointed and very very specific review of the World Press Photo 2006 show going on now down the street from here. Personally, what I don't like is that they are charging $5 to get in. No matter what anyone says, good or bad, I can't believe that the show would be 63% as good as a visit to the Musee d'Art Contemporain, or if you prefer not to judge the quality of the visits, 63% of the amount of time of a visit to the Musee d'Art Contemporain (I'd need to spend 1 hour, 52 minutes and 30 seconds at the World Press Photo show in order to get my money's worth...).

Why are the Canada Council & the department of Canadian Heritage funding Hill Strategies?


Kelly Hill, owner/operator of Hill Strategies (who I have bashed before and more than once) and something called the Arts Research Monitor obviously does not know the definition of the word 'Monitor.' On August 29, 2006 they released ARM 5.2 which had as its lead item, this report byAnn Markusen, and Amanda Johnson with Christina Connelly, Andrea Martinez, Paul Singh, and Galen Treuer which was released in February, 2006.

Remind me, if I ever have to go to the hospital with a heart condition I do not want Kelly Hill monitoring my EKG. Six months later, I'd be dead!