Friday, December 29, 2006

Tim Gardner is not dead


It is just that up until this exhibit at the National Gallery in the UK he had not been heard from in a while. If you'd like some background information on what it is like to 'burst on to the New York art scene' and read a review from his first NY show or see his London dealer and/or NY Dealer, click on the appropriate links. Personally, I get a kick out the fact that after busting on to the New York art scene, Mr. Gardiner had to go to Indianapolis. So much for the jet set glamous life...

Stan Douglas is going to Omaha


Thanks to some 'late-capitalist phenomena' I was able to read Leslie Camhi's review of Stan Douglas' Inconsolable Memories almost the moment it was published, cool, eh.

Now I've never been a big fan of Mr. Douglas' art, but I got a chuckle out of Ms. Camhi's line 'The sometimes-blurry sound didn't help; it seemed both the result of a technical glitch and part of an artistic strategy to frustrate comprehension.' My guess would be that it also was caused by the 'use of two 16mm loops projected simultaneously onto one screen' which it appears Ms. Camhi overlooked.

And to explain one of the reasons I'm not a big fan of Mr. Douglas' work, is that I'd be you dollars to doughnuts the photographs that accompany Inconsolable Memories are the exact same photographs as were in the Sound + Vision exhibit that was here in Montreal this past summer ('Bank lobbies have become parking lots'). I can sorta kind of understand it when Disney turns an amusement park ride into a film, and when someone takes a movie and turns it into a Broadway musical. But reusing the exact same images in different installations just makes me think that Mr. Douglas has run out of ideas.

Canadian Artists make it big in Brooklyn


Thanks to the Public Art Fund, Chris Hanson & Hendrika Sonnenberg were able to install some things that look like crates made out of aluminum in Downtown Brooklyn between Jay Street and Flatbush Avenue at Myrtle Avenue.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

ARTSPOTS - Bill Anhang

Canadian Artist Steve Kenny makes it big in Bermuda


And given the current weather, I wouldn't mind being in Hamilton either.

For the 'records'

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Ydessa Hendeles


Mazel tov!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Stuff Seen - Jacques Rioux & Jocelyne Duchesne



Back in October I was invited to this swanky do that had been sponsored by the Aluminum Association of Canada. Fairly similar to a vernissge, except that you could tell that there was way more money involved, sort of like what I would imagine a vernissage in Los Angeles would be like.

Anyhow, as it was an industry do, there were politicians talking and displays and presentations on things that make the economy work, when lo and behold, I saw the work of Jacques Rioux and Jocelyne Duchesne.

I really like it when there are people in power who think that art is one of the things that makes the economy work.

Sorry about the bad scans, click on the links to see better images.

Stuff Seen - and then i sat down



It has been a while, but back in November I went to see the exhibit at FOFA on the Stern collection (more on that later) however, in front of the FOFA Gallery, there was this benefit exhibtion in order to get some theatre design students from Concordia Unviversity over to Prague in 2007.

It was arresting enough to stop us dead in our tracks (because neither of us was expecting to see it) and I noted the names of Jean Frederic Noel, Mike Czyla, Audrey Annr Bouchard, Anahita Dhbonehie, Jerome Jacquin, Lara Kaluza, Amy Keith, Marie Christine Meunier, and Katie Jean Wall.

I don't remember exactly why I wrote them down (some have '+'s, some of them have a checkmark, some have large dots, and some I just wrote down but I would imagine that I was looking to try to remember which were the one's I thought were good. (I'm not big on taking notes on bad art).

It is a pity that the FOFA Gallery website doesn't have any pictures, images or details, because it turns what was a very nice exhibit into something more akin to performance art of a very ephemeral nature. I hope that they raised enough money to get to Prague.

Then to explain why I completely and thoroughly was disgusted with the Auktion 392 exhibit in the FOFA Gallery itself, was that it was very prominently and in large letters, and very in my face sponsored by Christies and Sothebys.

Or more succinctly, two multi-billion dollar and multinational corporations that profit on the sale of art have decided to 'help' a university gallery that probably has an attendance of less than 5,000/year. My eye! The only thing I can see has Concordia getting from Christies and Sothebys is lighter in pocketbook, ie 'we'll give you a discount on our prices' if you put a logo up and thank us publically.'

I can understand (but still don't like too much) if Concordia University makes a deal with Pepsi that excludes Coca Cola from the campus. But if Pepsi signed a deal with Concordia Health Services to sponsor their clinic, I'm certain there would be other people besides myself raising a stink. Unfortunately this is art, so no one else cares but me.

And then if you want more details, start here, if you couldn't guess, I'm on the side of the ailing, elderly German baroness in Providence.

Frédéric Martel sounds like he's got a good head on his shoulders


I'm not certain if I can wait for an English translation of M. Martel's book, De la Culture en Amérique After this article anbody who points out "Americans defend cultural diversity at home and deny it abroad." And comes up with other lines like "We need thousands of people defining culture. Power should flow bottom-up, not top-down. That’s the debate I want to provoke in the new year." Is not bad in my book.

Dahesh Museum of Art: Welcome

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Genetic Prints - New York Times

Saturday, December 23, 2006

More proof that Art in Montreal, Art in Quebec and Art in Canada get No Respect


ArtForum made Rodney Graham a pick this week. Unfortunately it is some show in a commercial gallery in Zurch. All the pieces mentioned are still on display here at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, and then to add insult to injury, the exhibit that is closer to the offices of ArtForum opened two weeks earlier, and closes two weeks later.

It just makes me wanna spit.

Roadsworth in Minnesota?


Title says it all: Pac-Man hits the road.

Bombing the Cultural Sidewalk


Not Canadian Art, but kickass none the less. What is quite likely the first ever street art event in Tehran.

As they say, send 'em a sticker design, and 4 go up. More details here.

Ubu vs YouTube vs Google Video


Apologies for being late to the party, I just started reading the Mercer Union Hall blog (thanks Jennifer) and I just came across their post from last month about 37 Fluxus videos on UbuWeb, well I haven't watched every single one, but there appear to be 232 fluxus videos on YouTube and another 24 on Google Video as well.

Oscar Cahén the new Sam Borenstein


I read about Oscar Cahén who is having a show at Galerie Samuel Lallouz until the end of January.

I wonder if Michael Cahén knows Joyce Borenstein, or if he is planning on making a film about his dad.

Friday, December 22, 2006

tyson howard 1976 - 2006


It has not been a good time around here recently. The obituary for tyson howard was published in Saturday's Calgary Herald. The guest book is here. For those unaware, tyson howard had an exhibit here this past fall, and his work got a very nice review by Michel Hellman in Le Devoir on the 21st of October. I also should be able to come up with some more stuff in the near future.

Also, I apologize for turning comments off on this post, but I suggest that you leave any comments in the guestbook.

OK, maybe I don't have to join the ADQ


Back on Wednesday, the RCAAQ reported that the ADQ wanted in increase the amount of money given to artists. Well, yesterday the RCAAQ reported on some news from November 13 (yeah, I don't know why they got their dates backwards, either) on how the Liberals have already given CALQ an extra $1.8 million, and how SODEC and the MCC have received $1 million each in order to promote Art from Quebec and Artists from Quebec internationally. You can read the details of how CALQ is going to break Quebec Art internationally, here.

Can I remind those people holding the purse strings that this blog is read by about 80,000 people/year who are not in Canada?

Vancouver and Toronto - Sophisticated Cities


Back in 2004, the city of Vancouver had a manhole cover (or sewer design if you will) competition, and Daina Augaitus called it a mark of sophistication. Well, Toronto has released the short list from their manhole or sewer cover design competition.

This is Alex Currie's entry

And this one is by Piaras Chauvin

Don'tcha just love it when quotes can come back and bite you on the butt? Personally, I think they should have invited Chris Lloyd to be on the jury, his rubbings of manhole covers are spectacular, and as a consequence I would imagine that he has a rather comprehensive knowledge about these things.

Wanna Move to New York?


I know that it isn't Canadian Art. But still, this job that needs to be filled was too good to pass up.

Brilliant Timing by the Canada Council


I don't know what was in their coffee this morning, but someone thought it would be a great idea to announce that they are increasing the funding for artistic projects today. In future more people would have heard about it if you had waited to announce it on January 9, 2007.

Sad news travels slowly


I didn't know her, nor have I seen her art, but Le Devoir published a letter from Serge G. Morin about the death, last June of Maya Lightbody. If you would like to see examples of her work, One, two and saving the best for last, three.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Gallery Potemkin Collective - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

BBC - Arts - Simon Schama's Power of Art

Details on the death of the Liane and Danny Taran Art Gallery


Props and shout outs to Joel Goldberg, he broke the news about the Bronfman's getting out of the exhibition business and into the theater business. Now we get the details from Janice Arnold about how it went down.

It seems like someone decided to hire these expensive arts consultants who tout loudly that they 'create cultural capital.' These expensive arts consultants (who listen to their clients) apparently told their clients that in this case it was better to destroy cultural capital. And for those of you who are having difficulty following my parenthetical statements. If Lord Cultural Resources state that they listen to their clients, then I would imagine that the idea to close the Liane and Danny Taran Art Gallery did not originate with Lord Cultural Resources.

Ms. Arnold also points out that 'the SBC has been repeatedly unsuccessful in securing an operating grant from the Canada Council.' Although I, personally, find it strange that the Bronfman family would drop a cool $1 million on the Canada Council in order to secure the memory of one of the previous directors of the Canada Council, and then install Mr. John Hobday (aka that very same previous director of the Canada Council) as interim director of the Saidye Bronfman Centre, and then whine about not getting grants. Or in other words 'Give Me a Break.'

As I've pointed out before you can easily get $50,000/year from an investment/endowment of $1 million dollars. I also would figure that if they had been gracious enough to speak to Mr. and Mrs. Taran before the decision had been made, instead of after the decision had been made, Mr. and Mrs. Taran might have been able to pony up a little bit more cash for the endowment. I can't imagine that the operating budget of the Liane and Danny Taran Art Gallery was much more than $150,000 (3 employees at about $30K to $40K/ch plus incidentals. Exhibits get funded by specific grants, and instead of showing and stopping, you first show and then you tour the show that way you can at least cover your costs.) Or in other words the gallery could have been saved if they had wanted to save it.

Then finally laying any blame on the 'obscure nature of the exhibits' just ends up showing how dense, and unaware Peter Kalichman, and John Hobday actually are. Personally I would lay the blame squarely at the feet of whomever was in charge of not getting a replacement promptly after Sylvie Gilbert left. An art gallery without a director is sort like a person without a head.

I'd love to go on about the art school as well. But I have an art gallery to run.

Can someone show me where I can find details about Canadian Museum Status, please?


According to this article the Kelowna Art Gallery just got something called 'A Status.' Apparently it is granted by the Canadian Department of Heritage, but I can't find anything about it on their site. Apparently you need to pass some inspections by the Canadian Conservation Institute, but I can't find it anything on their site either. Apparently the Kelowna Art Gallery is the 41st such institution to receive this designation.

The article says somethng about it increasing the prestige of the Kelowna Art Gallery. Wrong-O! Boy-O! We've been down this road before with the very same adjective. How anything which includes 40 other museums in the country could be conceived as being prestigous is laughable. The Groupe Bizot is prestigious. I can't even name 40 museums in Canada, you can't either. How anyone could think that the Kelowna Art Gallery has the same status as the Art Gallery of Ontario (which I also assume has 'A' status) is beyond me. Yet another useless waste of taxpayers money in the name of 'culture.'

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award?


Last I heard it was suppossed to be announced this month. There isn't an awful lot of time let in this month. Does anyone know if they are still planning on handing out The Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award?

I might become a member of the ADQ


Thanks to the good folk over at the RCAAQ, I tracked down this pdf document from Mario Dumont's political party that is trying desperately to become mainstream.

What I find humorous, is that the lead line about funding the arts, clearly states in no uncertain terms that the ADQ promises to increase funding for culture (Page 7 of the document). But the fine folk at the RCAAQ get their knickers in a knot because further in the ADQ writes that they will fund creators directly in stead of funding a bureaucracy. And the RCAAQ get worried that it means there will no longer be a CALQ.

If someone says that they are going to increase funding for culture, I would think that this is a good thing. Getting rid of bureaucracy is also a good thing. I would be fairly confident that all the people who now currently work at CALQ would be better off, working in cubicles with flourescent lighting on the 15th floor of a Place d'Armes building can't be all that great, even if you scored the corner office.

My guess is though no matter how hard Mr. Dumont tries, he is not quite ready for prime time. Pity

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Kim Dorland vs Dana Schutz via DetroitArts


Kim Dorland gets bloggified over at Detroitarts, cool eh?

50 for 50 Arts Challenge? You must be kidding


The bright minds at the Canada Council have come up with something called the 50 for 50 Arts Challenge in order to celebrate the golden anniversary of the council. They want Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast to read a poem or sing in a choir, or attend a film festival or look at a painting and then email the council who will then publish some sort of notice on their website.

Personally, I would have prefered if they replaced 'poem' with 'book of poetry' and 'a painting' with 'an exhibition.' Along with something that elevated the whole concept above the level of your standard issue 3rd grade school homework. But what are you going to get from a bureaucracy attempting to celebrate?

Now that I think about it, if I had been in the shoes of the council, I would have asked one of my many administrative assistants to go back and find the couples who had gotten married on March 28, 1957 and then organized some sort cross Canada tour for them where they visited things that had been funded by the council. Way better press opportunities, don't you think?

$4.25 million for Cultural Capitals


Just in case you missed it, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women has signed off on the 2007 Cultural Capitals of Canada Prizes. Basically, Edmonton has won $2 million so that they can have a poetry festival, some sort of event that appears to have been inspired by the Trans Siberian Orchestra, and an art walk. Some place called Comox Valley has won $750,000 so that they can produce a play musical, stick some old stuff in amber, and install a sculpture or two. Moose Jaw has won a cool $500,000 so that they can have an art exhibit (maybe by Roadsworth), put on a play, and sing some songs. Baie-Saint-Paul has also won $500,000. It seems that they at least have some moxie. They are going to be commissioning a symphony, broadcasting documentaries in store windows, and collectively getting the citizens of Baie Saint Paul to write a book. And finally, Wendake has also won $500,000 to hold a pow wow, and do other fun things. What I find most telling is that Laval, Longueuil, Montréal, and Saguenay all applied and all did not win.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Congrats Matthieu Gauvin


He is the new director of AGAC. As a consequence, it would appear that the Musée des beaux-arts is looking for a new security supervisor and I'm not sure what's up with his gig at the Société des arts sur papier.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Interesting Article on Art Theft


In today's New York Times Magazine by some guy in Italy named Tom Mueller. Basically, a profile of Noah Charney who is doing a PhD at Cambridge on The History of Art Theft. It has what appears to me to be a mistake, in that it calls this conference that Mr. Charney organized, 'the first ever on the study of the history of art theft, and its application to contemporary law enforcement and defense of art collections.' Which pretty much sums up the topic of the Cultural Property Protection Conference that happened in Ottawa, six months earlier.

Looks like we'll get the second best museum director available


Thanks to the fine folk at E-Flux, I discovered that there is a job search on right now, not only for a curator of contemporary art at the Tate museum. But in fact they are looking for a new director as well. [pdf alrert]

Project Row Houses - kickass art in Houston


And a very nice article about them.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Kick-Ass Article by Peter Goddard


Read it here.

C'Mon Val Ross and the Globe & Mail, Canadian Art deserves better


There's this article in today's Globe & Mail that wraps up last week in art in Miami.

A) Mr. Headline writer (it has to be a guy, no woman would be that stupid) there were 12 art fairs in Miami last week. Twelve is more than one, you need to pluralize the word fair when there are more than one of them.
B) Ms. Ross, calling FIAC a top fair, is the equivalent of writing that the Blue Jays have a chance of winning the World Series.
C) Ms. Ross, quoting Bloomberg News on sales figures for Art Basel Miami, is the same as making them up out of thin air.
D) Ms. Ross, what fair was Miriam Shiell participating in? Or was she just there as an observer?
E) Ms. Ross, writing 'seen with a MoMA curator buying up a large mauve abstract for about $30,000' is something I would expect from the National Enquirer. If you can get the price and the color, why couldn't you get the name of the artist? Or is it that the color and price are more important? And what about the name of the anonymous curator? From where I sit, anonymity just doesn't cut it.
F) Ms. Ross, if it is not surprising for Canadian dealers to be handling Picassos then why can't Mr. Landau sell his? Or if he can't sell it, maybe it is surprising that Canadian dealers handle Picasssos. I don't understand how those sentences fit together.
G) Nine Canadian artists are mentioned by name, only three are mentioned as having any of their work sold, and the others have something called 'strong interest.' That does not jibe with the line, "Canadian art a hot seller." Especially when there are over 1,500 artists exhibited at just one of the twelve fairs.

And finally, H) if the Miami Herald can get sales figures from Landau Fine Art, why couldn't you have gotten them from Miriam Shiell and Jane Corkin? If I were to write the Toronto Stock Exchange is up, and then not listed any figures for any indices what would you think about my ability as a stock market reporter?

2007 is Nathalie Blondil's year


Apparently finding a new museum director is almost as difficult as finding a new conductor. Ms. Blondil (whom I have never met personally) has just been announced as interim director of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal for the 2007 calendar year.

Note to self: I am obviously personna non grata, I had to read about it in the newspaper, too.

Paying attention to what you buy at Gallery Gora


I just received this tout sheet from Gallery Gora which tries to impress with the following statement:
Grid Composition" by John Kingerlee sold for a record price of $156,000 in the Sotheby's Contemporary Art Sale New York. This newly established world record clearly demonstrates the growing demand for this leading world artist. Kingerlee's mixed media, drawings, ceramics and collage are all handled with immense skill, for he loves to experiment and push his materials to their limits, right to the very edge.His work literally fizzles with energy as if seen through the eyes of a child creating friendly innocent like beings, goblins and animals from a cosmic world.
If you click here to see the previous Sothebys results for John Kingerlee that three weeks earlier a larger Grid Composition sold for about one third (36%) of the price. And what really annoys me, is the use of a painting that is not a Grid Composition to illustrate the tout sheet, and the way it is written it is designed to give you the impression that Grid Composition is just one of many paintings by Mr. Kingerlee that are all increasing exponentially in value. When in fact there are many different paintings by him called Grid Composition and they have always gone for a much higher price than anything else he has done. And the other types are not increasing as fast or as much. A piece by Mr. Kingerlee much similar to what is illustrated sold for less than $2,700 at Sothebys on May 25 of this year.

And then finally compare what was written by Sothebys about the Grid Compositions of John Kingerlee with what Gallery Gora wrote.
The series of grid paintings John Kingerlee has been working on since the year 2000 represent the apex of his achievement, both as a superlative technician and as a visionary artist. Each of his grids may be comprised of up to 50 layers of paint and will literally take years to complete, allowing for the fact that each coat needs time to dry before the next one is applied. In the early stages he uses bright colours, but he progressively adds more white to his paints as he loves the subtlety of reduced colour. The process is one of endlessly hiding and revealing, as each layer responds differently to its neighbour, breaking through the surface perhaps or even blending with a new skin of pigment. The unhurried addition of so many layers can be likened to the laying down of geological strata, as seen for example in the rock-strewn landscape surrounding Kingerlee’s home on West Cork’s Beara peninsula.

The Grids ultimately pay tribute to the prismatic disintegration and reassembly of everyday objects by the Cubist masters, Picasso and Braque, at the end of the first decade of the twentieth century. Comparisons can also be drawn with the Harmonies of Paul Klee and the heavily impasted abstracts of Nicolas de Stael. But Kingerlee is far from being a mere follower. He uses colour and touch, whether wielding a palette knife or a brush, with great subtlety, and the intended effect is ultimately one of meditative calm. His grids evoke a serenity that belies, in an astonishing perceptive ‘leap’, the near three-dimensionality of their accreted surfaces.

Jonathan Benington
"Fizzles with an energy" vs. "meditative calm." Isn't that soort of like Black vs. White?

(If you need to sign in to see any of the Sothebys pages, use BugMeNot)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Details of why Parachute closed shop


In 04/05 there were seven magazines about the visual arts published in Quebec which got help from the Conseil des Arts et Lettres. Average operating revenue was $263,176. Average public aid received $163,764. Average operating expenses $264,379. Or an average loss of $1,203. My guess is that if you remove Parachute from the equation, the Vie des Arts, Esse, CV, Espace Sculpture, Inter Art Actuel, Art Le Sabord, and ETC Montreal all get to survive. And while I'm at it, there is also Parcours, and Magazin'Art, both of which receive no government funding.

Get all your statistics here

Go Bernard Mendelman! Go!!


He writes a a kick-ass article in The Suburban on, as he puts it, the Beaver Hall Gals.

David Drebin, Canadian Artist makes it big in Brussels


Although judging by these photographs it appears to me that he has not quite yet shed the fashion photographer style.

Chantal Pontbriand not so quick to give up her power


It appears that Ms. Pontbriand is in a death match (or something like that) with Johanne Lamoureux. First there was this. Second there was this. And now third there is this.

And then, because it was there, I went and looked at the responses that Ms. Pontbriand has been receiving as a consequence of her actions. As of now (Dec 15, 2006 about 10AM), there are 145 responses. I'd love to know how many of the responses were by people who had had something published in Parachute.

Although I think my absolute favorite has to be from Phyllis Lambert, of the Bronfman family, who wrote
Je suis toute a fait ahurie d'apprendre que Parachute disparaîtra. There goes Montréal. Comment pourrions-nous maintenir notre conscience de nous-mêmes en tant que métropole culturel ? Nous avons vécu en toute sécurité, sachant que Parachute était là, et que nous appartenions au monde international des penseurs et praticiens en art. Il faut ensemble garder et même augmenter ce statut dans une continuation de Parachute.

I am completely stunned to hear that Parachute will disappear. There goes Montreal. How can we continue to think of ourselves as a cultural metropolis? We lived comfortably, knowing that Parachute was there, and that we belonged to the international world of the thinkers and experts in art. Together we must protect and increase this position in honor of Parachute.
After which she closed down the Liane and Danny Taran Gallery. Obviously the LDT Gallery did not do anything to increase Montreal's position in the international art world and that is why it got turfed.

And I am making certain assumptions about the Bronfman family, their foundation, and who actually controls the direction that the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts takes. If any of my assumptions are wrong (and I seem to have been wrong a lot this week) please don't hesitate to let me know.

But as this is about Parachute, 145 responses in three weeks, in this age of the internet is bupkiss. That's 6/day, or if you prefer more than 10% of their subsciption base.

And my absolute favorite is how despite not publishing, the Parachute team is still going to participate in the "Documenta 12 Magazine Project as one of the eighty journals around the world which works to link artistic practices, theoretical discourse and the public. These journals are collaborating on the creation of a web site on the theoretical and artistic issues being raised by the next edition of Documenta in Kassel in the summer of 2007."

And I think Georg Schöllhammer, the guy organizing the Documenta Magazine Project nailed the definition of Parachute: It is a "specialist publications operating in minority discursive fields beyond the major art centres."

Details about Landau Fine Art in Miami

Thursday, December 14, 2006

artpod - A great idea badly executed


It is relatively simple to place any videos (art or otherwise) on line. artpod: Video Art in Your pocket! professes to have video for your iPod. Unfortunately, without any RSS feed there aren't going to be many people actually putting them on their iPods.

48 Hours/48 Rooms (or Wooster Collective is so 1999)


Apparently everybody is going ga-ga over the big 'art party' hosted by Wooster Collective to celebrate the imminent construction of new condominiums.

In a delightful bit of serendipity, last night I came across my CD-ROM of 48 Hours/48 Rooms, and I emailed Ingrid Bachmann to ask her if I could rip the videos and post them up here. This is the vernissage, and as time permits I will be posting videos of the individual artists and their work.

Ms. Bachmann graciously said 'yes.' And then I came across the New York Times article, and despite the 'no sponsors' and 'no commercialization' being touted, as it was by invitation only, I can only be my bitter-self and assume that everyone involved is smart enough to figure out other, less pedestrian means of scoring scads of cash from this project.

Basically, both 48 Hours/48 Rooms and Wooster on Spring are the same gosh darn thing, except that WoS is seven years behind the times. Yes, there are slight variations, but they only serve to emphasize the differences between the organizers.

48 Hours/48 Rooms was open call, WoS was by invite. 48/48 did not take over a building that already had a rich history of street art and completely ignore and erase the past by trumpeting the new.

And in what I think is the most glorious thing about 48/48 is that the the construction company involved actually put its money where its mouth was and afterwards financed the construction and now runs an art gallery, and has some major attachments to at least one other art gallery, as well as, my guess would be, this one.

Somehow I can't imagine Mr. Elias and Ms. Cummings owning an art gallery, despite this picture.

[Update Friday: My bad, somehow I confused this construction company with this construction company. As far as I know Aldo Construction has never been involved with any art gallery in Montreal.]

Raf Katigbak nails it.


I'm not certain I would call him a lucky stiff, but Mr. Katibak made it down to Miami for the Scope art fair and lived to tell about it. A kick-ass and wicked cool column, if I can say so myself.

Roxana Marcoci vs. Sylvie Gilbert


No comment from me.
Comic Craze explores the rich and vibrant intersection of contemporary art and narrative expressions found in comics. This large scale exhibition demonstrates the importance and specific characteristics found in Canadian independent comic books, mini-comics, ‘zines and graphic novels. Visitors to the exhibition will discover the best of French and English publications from across Canada. Capturing the different graphic and narrative styles that have made comic culture one of the most absorbing and experimental forms of expression today, the exhibition features over four hundred books from more than one hundred artists.
91 word introduction for an upcoming exhibit at the Liane and Danny Taran Gallery.
In recent years a number of artists have transmuted the lexicon of comic strips and films, cartoons, and animation into a new, representational mode of "comic abstraction" to address perplexing issues about war and global conflicts, the legacy of September 11, and ethnic and cultural stereotyping. From Julie Mehretu's intricately layered paintings—in which she uses cartoon explosions to portray the changing histories of civilizations as a result of warfare—to Arturo Herrera's psychological collages, made by slicing and reconfiguring the pages of Walt Disney coloring books, and from Ellen Gallagher's seductively Minimalist paintings permeated by "blackface" signs culled from minstrel performances to Rivane Neuenschwander's wiped-out cartoon characters in the series Zé Carioca, the world of comic abstraction reflects the intensely personal relationship that many contemporary artists maintain with the political makeup of the world. The image of popular culture is so imprinted in our consciousness that the partial or total erasure of its iconography always remains recognizable. Bridging the rift between abstract form and social consciousness in ways that are critical and playful in tandem, this exhibition presents the first investigation into the experimental outgrowths of comic abstraction.
190 word introduction for an upcoming exhibit in the Special Exhibitions Gallery, third floor

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Large Naked One

Kelly Hill, may I introduce you to l'Observatoire de la culture et des communications?


Back in November Mr. Hill stated quite emphatically that
In Quebec, there were about 95,000 donors to arts and culture organizations in 2004. This represents 1.5% of the Quebec population, the lowest such percentage of all the regions of Canada. The 95,000 donors contributed about $27 million to arts and culture organizations in 2004.
Well, yesterday the Observatoire de la culture et des communications (aka the Quebec Government) released figures that stated private financing of museums in Quebec (aka donations) totaled $36 million, A difference of 33%, aka a very big discrepancy. This article in La Presse also points out that less than one tenth of one percent of the Quebec population volunteer at a museum.

More not good news about the Montreal Triennale Biennale


When it rains, it pours. Maybe I just shouldn't have gotten out of bed this morning. Besides the bad news about the Liane and Danny Taran Gallery becoming official. There's this preview article about the Montreal Triennale Biennale, where Mario Cloutier spends most of the space discussing how it might become the Toronto Biennale.

Iegor's auction not quite as exciting as last time


Last night I went to the Iegor Hotel des Encans for their auction. Unlike the last time, it was not as exciting.

M. Saint Hippolyte was extrmely gracious, and quite kind. I asked him if it would be possible to get a list of the items that had a reserve, or if there was a final list of prices published, and while he told me that everything he auctions has a reserve price, he also did not want to publish a price list.

But what I discovered that was most interesting, was that he will only say "adjugé" when something sells. Or more precisely, he will always bang his hammer, after always sayin 'going once, going twice,' and always call out a price afterwards. But not everything sells.

This was the star of the show. As they put it, 'Paysage au désert, Huile et tempera sur toile, Reproduit dans le film d'Alfred Hitchcock: "Spellbound" Peinture en gris, blanc et noir, Circa 1945' by Salvador Dali. How it ended up in Montreal, I have no idea. But it did, and it sold for $289,000 (including 15% buyers premium).

"Nœuds et colonnes" Huile sur toile, Signée et datée en bas à droite : Borduas 58, 81x100cm – 32x39.25” by Paul-Émile Borduas sold for $115,000.

Tubes de peinture rouge, Composition sur toile, 150x200 cm - 59x78.75” by Armand Fernandez Arman also went for $115,000.

But that was pretty much it for the fancy and expensive things. I was paying fairly close attention, and there were an awful lot of lots where the hammer came down and I did not hear the word adjugé.

Oops, I almost forgot, this one did sell.

Table bleue, Plexiglas et pigment bleu, no: 97A120, 100x125x7cm - 39.5x49.25x2.75" by Yves Klein $41,400.

Maybe they should have held the auction at Galerie Clark.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bad news for the Liane and Danny Taran Gallery


One month later
, the news is getting more and more official. The Sidye Bronfman Centre is getting out of the culture business and is going whole hog into the theatre business, although maybe without the Bronfman Family Foundation. I'm glad to hear that the Bronfman kids are continuing to honor the memory of their grandmother/mother by making the centre a bigger and better place.

Does anyone know how I can arrange a meeting with Mr. & Mrs. Taran? Especially if they are planning on moving their gallery?

Picking on Stéphane Baillargeon, again


Back in October Le Devoir published this article complaining about the lack of 'Art Stars' from Quebec. I've been wanting to comment about it for a while (as you can see). Apologies for the delay, it has been a tad hectic here. The original article is in italics, and my commentary is dispersed throughout.
Art contemporain: le miracle de l'Ouest

Stéphane Baillargeon
Édition du mardi 03 octobre 2006

Les stars internationales de l'art canadien ne viennent pas de Montréal mais de Vancouver, véritable eldorado de l'art contemporain. Même Winnipeg commence à s'imposer à l'étranger. Comment? Pourquoi?
Instead of complaining, what about praising the idea of 'art everywhere?' There are 20 artist run centres in Montreal, and something like 80 in Quebec. There are less than 120 in the rest of Canada. What about the more than 30 Maisons de la Culture all around the city? When out of towners come to Zeke's Gallery, one of the more frequent questions is; 'Where is Montreal's Chelsea? Is there an equivalent to Queen West?' I answer 'No' because the governments have decided that it is better to get art to the people than bringing people to the art.

I have in the past stated that I have serious problems with this concept and way of thinking, because it by definition prevents and hinders 'Art Stars' from forming. But I gotta give props, kudos and shout outs, because it is something not done anywhere else in North America (although today, I read something about New Brunswick wanting to try to start something similar.)
Les Canadiens «mondialement connus» se classent en deux catégories, selon Mordecai Richler, roi de la formule-choc: les «world famous» et les «world famous... in Canada».
Cheap and easy bait. What this quote has to do with anything, I have no idea. On the otherhand, given what most francophones think of Mr. Richler, it makes for easy outrage.
Quelques artistes montréalais appartiennent au premier groupe. Céline Dion, bien sûr. Leonard Cohen, assurément. Le Cirque du Soleil, si on considère cette compagnie comme une personne morale.
Hey! M. Baillargeon, what about Nickleback? Arcade Fire? What the heck do people singing in English have to do with a comparison to visual artists? Why don't you mention any writers? Or any film directors? Actors?
En arts visuels, par contre, il faut remonter jusqu'à Riopelle pour dénicher un prétendant au cercle des happy few. Et encore, le peintre décédé en mars 2002 demeure surtout apprécié pour ses grandes toiles réalisées en France dans les années 1950 et rattachées à l'école de Paris. De plus, son aura a considérablement pâli à l'étranger depuis deux décennies.
If Riopelle's aura has paled considerably then why did a not-so-hot painting of his set a new record for price paid last month? If Riopelle's aura has paled considerably then why was there an exhibition mounted and shown at the Hermitage? If Riopelle's aura has paled considerably then why are his kids compailing a Catalog Raisone? If Riopelle's aura has paled considerably then I for one would like to have an aura that pale.
Toutes les autres stars des arts visuels de la ville appartiennent à la seconde catégorie, celle des «mondialement célèbres... au Canada». La situation semble d'autant plus désolante que Vancouver réussit très bien là où Montréal échoue. Cette ville compte une bonne poignée de vedettes (dont la mégastar Jeff Wall) appréciées des galeries de référence, des musées phares et des grandes collections privées du monde, de New York à Vladivostok.
Instead of comparing to Vancouver, what about all the hot! Art Stars from Toronto? What about all the hot! Art Stars from Cape Dorset?
Des preuves? Le milliardaire français François Pinault a rassemblé la crème de la crème de son exceptionnelle collection contemporaine dans l'exposition Where Are We Going?, qui s'est terminée dimanche au Palazzo Grassi à Venise. Jeff Wall est finalement le seul Canadien de ce lot prestigieux qui va de Dan Flavin à Richard Serra. Ses grandes photos se vendent plusieurs centaines de milliers de dollars et, comme toutes les vedettes, M. Wall choisit ses clients.
Mr. Wall chooses his clients? I'm certain, 100% convinced that he personally chose who was going to buy his photograph 'Outburst' on November 15th for $20,400 (US).
La programmation du Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MACM) fournit une autre confirmation de la force créative (et d'attraction) des artistes de la Colombie-Britannique. Cette institution, la plus importante de son secteur spécialisé au pays, vient d'attirer 62 000 visiteurs avec les oeuvres du jeune sculpteur Brian Jungen: des squelettes de cétacés en chaises de jardin, des masques simili aïdas découpés dans des chaussures de sport. Le MACM en remet une belle grosse couche cette semaine avec une exposition consacrée à une dizaines d'oeuvres récentes de Rodney Graham, aîné de Jungen, artiste multitalentueux, touche-à-tout, aussi profond et déstabilisant dans ses vidéos d'art que dans ses installations et ses photos.
If you're going to use the exhibition schedule of the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal as proof of anything, how do you explain the Neo Rauch exhibit, the Bruce Nauman exhibit that is coming up, the Vik Muniz exhibit that is coming up, or any of the numerous other exhibits that are not of artists from Vancouver. Or more succinctly, two exhibits out of 11 during the past year - 18% of the museum's exhibition schedule has been from Vancouver. During that same time period there have been exhibits by two Germans, three solo exhibits by Quebecois artists, and two separate shows of the permanent collection which is for the most part, you guessed it made up of Quebecois art.
Une école est née

«L'histoire de l'art canadien peut se diviser en trois grandes phases: Toronto dans les années 20 autour des peintres paysagistes du Groupe des Sept, Montréal dans l'après-guerre pour les peintres de l'abstraction et Vancouver depuis un quart de siècle», résume Marc Mayer, directeur du MACM. Il a prononcé la semaine dernière une conférence devant la Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain sur son projet d'occupation du Silo no 5 pour y déployer sa collection autour de cette tripartition topothématique, devenue un de ses dadas analytiques. La démonstration en 3D pourrait finalement rappeler comment Vancouver a chipé l'idée d'art contemporain aux deux autres grandes cités du pays...
I'm not quite certain I understand how the Group of Seven could be considered contemporary art? Does anyone know if I am missing something in my blokian translation?
L'école de Vancouver s'est développée par phases successives à partir des années 70. Outre Wall et Graham, elle rassemble Ian Wallace, Stan Douglas et Ken Lum, tous rattachés au «photoconceptualisme», une tendance concentrée au pur jus dans le travail du premier, dont on peut voir un exemplaire jusqu'au 22 octobre au Musée des beaux-arts dans l'exposition Son et vision. Ce corpus se distingue par de grands formats reproduisant souvent une mise en scène où les détails abondent. Les oeuvres photoconceptualistes remettent aussi constamment en question la nature même de la photographie, sans devenir une pure exploration d'elle-même, puisque les «Vancouver boys» sont reconnus pour leurs préoccupations sociopolitiques.
Hey M. Baillargeon the show Sound + Vision was thrown together in a rush, and consisted of mostly work from the National Gallery. Using it to show how there is a lack of Art Stars in Quebec is like using the Emily Carr exhibit that will be coming there next year to explain how the Group of Seven wasn't seven people.
«L'art est l'aspect autocritique d'une société libre, poursuit Marc Mayer. Comme la société québécoise mise sur sa singularité, les artistes québécois veulent être internationalistes. Ceux du Canada anglais, ceux de Vancouver notamment, cherchent plutôt à se démarquer des Américains en s'inscrivant dans leur coin du monde.»
As is often the case, I respectfully disagree with M. Mayer. If Quebecois artists want to become internationalists, then the Quebec government should stop funding so much infrastructure for local art, and start spending that money in order to get the art and the artists out of town. Yes, I'm certain that M. Mayer has spoken with artists who have said "I want to be an international art star." (Or words to that effect) but when there are something like 30,000 artists in Quebec some are going to want to get out of town. However, the large majority are quite comfortable here, thank you very much.
La professeure Johanne Lamoureux, de l'Université de Montréal, observe que la petite métropole de l'Ouest a réussi à s'imposer sur la scène internationale sans les instances habituelles de reconnaissance: la galerie, la revue, le critique, le musée ou le collectionneur. Dans le monde mondialisé de l'art contemporain, cette ville du bout de l'Occident donne des leçons et de l'espoir aux excentrés. «Vancouver a réussi en adoptant et en revendiquant une étiquette, celle du photoconceptualisme, qui s'est finalement révélée bien commode à l'étranger pour établir les réputations, dit Mme Lamoureux. À la même époque, les artistes de Montréal refusaient cette réduction pourtant bien utile pour le marketing. Ils misaient plutôt sur leur hétérogénéité.»
I don't know what it is about Mme. Lamoureux, but she seems to be the goto guy for the visual arts at Le Devoir, she has been quoted three times in three different articles about the business of contemporary art in the past two months and a little bit. I would have imagined that there are other people in the world of visual arts who give good quote, or maybe one quote every three weeks is the norm for Le Devoir? And then which is it? That all Vancouver artists who are famous are photoconceptualists? Or that all Vancouver artists want to compare (I'm sketchy on translating démarquer) themselves to Americans?
Avec les Geneviève Cadieux, Jana Sterback et autres Betty Goodwin, Montréal aurait par exemple pu miser sur la force de sa créativité féminine et l'opposer aux boys clubs de l'autre bout du pays. Mais les «filles» elles-mêmes voulaient-elles d'un tel réductionnisme? En tout cas, les artistes vancouvérois, eux, ont participé à leur propre branding. Diplômés universitaires, souvent professeurs eux-mêmes, ils ont écrit plusieurs textes marquants pour expliquer leur démarche artistique et asseoir encore plus solidement leur réputation.
One problem M. Baillargeon. If you're using Geneviève Cadieux, Jana Sterback and Betty Goodwin as representative of Montreal artists, it might help if all three artists you chose actually made good (or even half-decent) work, instead of just one. And wasn't there something at the top referring to artists from Winnipeg? Or did I miss something? And then while I'm here, if I translate everything after the word 'vancouvérois,' it comes out like this: ...have participated in their own branding. University degrees, frequently professors themselves, they have written lots of texts that explain the way and how their art is made and viewed which solidifies their reputation even more. That sentence could be about Los Angeles, New York, Boston, London, Milan, or heck I betcha even Toronto or Tokyo. So what exactly is different here? It must be that the professors at UQAM and Concordia are sitting on their hands.
Montréal, ville ouverte

Au fond, peu importe la cause de ce miracle de l'Ouest, il n'enlève rien au talent québécois. Montréal compte encore et toujours quelques grosses pointures tout à fait dignes de s'imposer hors frontières, en tout cas beaucoup plus «fortes» que ce que peut offrir Toronto, par exemple. Une installation de la star montante David Almedj représentera le Canada à la Biennale de Venise 2007. Le peintre Marc Séguin expose en ce moment chez Simon Blais. Nicolas Baier, assez proche du photoconceptualisme, vient de passer le printemps au Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal et chez René Blouin, encore le galeriste le plus prestigieux du pays, d'un océan à l'autre.
Another empty statement. How Marc Seguin exhibiting at Simon Blais fits in to anything here, is beyond my comprehension. Jana Sterbak, who M. Seguin mentioned a couple of paragraphs earlier represented Canada in Venice in 2001 - it did not do her much good. David Altmejd's name is spelled with a 'T' and the 'J' comes before the 'D.' And while I respect M. Blouin enormously, I'd like to see some hard proof on how prestigious his gallery is. It's the equivalent of Zeke's Gallery claiming to be the most environmentally friendly gallery in Canada (Hey! That's a good idea - Zeke's Gallery IS the most environmentally friendly gallery in Canada.)
La scène montréalaise demeure hyperactive. Viva! Art action, un événement de quatre jours consacré à la performance et aux installations, fruit d'une collaboration entre six centres d'artistes de l'île, se déroule en ce moment. Le majestueux hall du quartier général de la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec accueille depuis la semaine dernière une exposition autour des chefs-d'oeuvre des collections d'entreprises comme Power Corporation, la Banque Nationale ou le Cirque du Soleil et leurs Riopelle. Le Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal vient de tenir un colloque autour de cette question: «Quelle lecture de l'art contemporain canadien les musées canadiens proposent-ils?» Il y est évidemment question de Wall, Graham et compagnie.
Wow! I actually agree with M. Baillargeon. The Montreal art world is hyperactive. I'm not certain I would have chosen the same examples as he did to illustrate that point, but whatever.
N'empêche, la métropole québécoise a du pain sur la planche pour se repositionner. D'autant plus que la concurrence ne faiblit pas dans le reste du Canada. Une deuxième génération émerge de Vancouver avec encore beaucoup de force et de répercussions hors frontière. Outre Jungen, ce «Vancouver II» compte Myfanwy Macleod, Steven Shearer, Geoffrey Farmer, Damian Moppett et Alex Morrison.
No comment
Et ce n'est pas tout: Winnipeg est en train de s'affirmer de plus en plus et commence à jouer du coude dans la cour des grands. «Au moins cinq artistes de cette ville émergent sur la scène internationale», note Marc Mayer en nommant Marcel Dzama et John Polischuk.
And what? Sarah Anne Johnson is chopped liver?
Winnipeg, donc, qui pourrait aussi donner des leçons d'humilité aux orgueilleuses Montréal et Toronto, bardées de galeries, de collectionneurs et de musées. Tout ce qu'il faut pour créer des «world famous», sauf le succès... «Le MACM doit tenter de contrer la marginalité du pays dans le monde, conclut Marc Mayer. Mais le plus grand défi encore, c'est de corriger la perspective de Montréal sur l'art contemporain. Nous n'aboutirons pas à de grandes choses si les Montréalais nous boudent.»
If the biggest challenge of the Musee d'art contemporain is to correct Montrealer's perspective on contemporary art, then they sure as shooting aren't going to be helping in making any Quebecois artists International Art Stars. But they will, sure as shooting be showing some serious kick-ass stuff for us to see.

Monday, December 11, 2006

$500,000 for a warehouse


And I am 100% certain that these renovations are going to be counted as money for museums or culture or something like that. When I have no idea why a museum in the middle of what could be called nowhere needs that much storage space.

$30,000 to promote Renoir


This article isn't clear if this is over and above what they normally spend on promoting an exhibit, or if it just so happens to be newsworthy now, and is business as usual. I'm having difficulty getting to the National Gallery's website, so I don't know if this link to the exhibit will work.

Nice feel good story about the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum


According to this article somebody in Victoria gave $1,000 to this museum in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

Maybe the folk in Larouche should have tried this instead


The town of L'Ancienne-Lorette caused some controversy when they decided that they needed a cultural centre. But as far as I can tell no one is being acused of anything by Revenue Canada.

Zombies make it to Sudbury


First there was this, then there was this. What's next?

Joni Mitchell is now a photographer


And there is a gushing article in the Los Angeles Times about her new exhibit at the Lev Moross Gallery in Los Angeles.

Shirley Madill moves from Hamilton to Victoria


Montreal isn't the only place where a new museum director is needed. Ms. Madill is the new director of the Art Gallery of Victoria.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wicked Cool! - Judy Radul makes it into the New York Times


Congrats, shout outs and props. the exact quote from this article by Roberta Smith is 'Five Pieces of Relation, an elaborate yet tight multimedia sculpture installation. The work sets the mind to thinking about the souls of animals, employing a teleprompter, a live camera, several small monitors and music.'

More about Ms. Radul, here.

Big Mistake on my part, I am sorry, I apologize and I will be more careful in the future


I just was informed that the Louise Roy who is Chair of the Montreal Arts Council is not the same person as the Louise Roy who was president of the Outgames.

Nothing like having crow for lunch, after having a nice breakfast on my foot.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm not comfortable with the chair of the Montreal Arts Council


If in fact she was reimbursed for $149,000 in credit card charges and there are people who did as much work as she did for the Outgames, who have not received a thin dime. Last time I looked, credit cards are not used to pay rent, salaries, mortgages, or other important stuff like that.

[update Saturday: I was just informed that this entire post is based on ill-founded information and completely and entirely wrong. More details here. My sincerest apologies to Ms. Roy (the chair of the Montreal Arts Council)]

Adrienne DeAngelis' wonderful list of Fellowships and other Opportunities for Art History Graduate Students


Click here.

A Canadian Artist in Bayonne, New Jersey


A sweet article in The Hudson Reporter about a memorial created by Karl Ciesluk 18 years ago.

Why are there no Canadians in Germany?


I got this advertisement from E-Flux about this exhibit called New Ghost Entertainment-Entitled which is organized by the Or Gallery in Vancouver. But it doesn't look like there is a single Canadian artist involved, I don't understand.

[Ooops! My Bad, I looked a little bit closer, and apologies for completely missing and thoroughly overlooking the 5 minute film by Joyce Wieland, called Handtinting.]

[Update one hour later: I got an anonymous comment that cannot be published because it is anonymous that one of the artists is apparently Canadian. However, if you click on this link for the exhibit, they list the artists as having come from the United States, Germany, Hungary, Taiwan and Sweden. No Canada, not even standing on guard.]

Floy Zittin and Jean Prophet; Canadian Artists in California


Now exhibiting at Viewpoints Gallery in Los Altos, and the requisite article in the Inside Bay Area.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Stuff Seen - Permanente at Nota Bene



I lucked out, as the vernissage for this show is happening on Friday. First to get things out of the way, Jenna Wakani (one of the artists in the show) is a friend and has played music here at Zeke's. I really like what Russell, the guy in charge of Nota Bene is doing, and as a consequence can be accussed of being irrational when discussing art shows at his store. And I need to apologize to Deeana Wall, as I was unable to make her last exhibit there which she went way out of her way to invite me to see.

It just seems like today is an official 'get stuff off my chest' sort of day. I'm still a tad unclear on the concept (and I think there are people more involved with the show who are as well) as to how or what this constitutes as the Nota Bene permanent collection (although now that I furrow my brow, I think I might have it - Basically they always wanted to have art on hand, so that in a worst case scenario they would always be able to have some sort of exhibit. This is that stuff). I got confused, because I never really thought that anyone would sell off parts of a permanent collection piecemeal. Everything that is being shown is available for sale, and for the most part at extremely reasonable prices, too!

That all being said, it is a nice enough grouping of photographers (all of whom I assume are still fairly wet behind the ears) Nathalie Finkelstein Jenna Wakani, Doug Hollingsworth, Nicolas Cote, Daniel Finkelstein, Tod Brown and Marjolaine Michalone are their names.

Now lets get down to brass tacks. I really liked four of Tod Brown's photographs. He strikes me as having a fairly original eye. I also was particularly fond of Ms. Wakani's color pictures. As I discussed with her at the other show across the street, I really like how she uses color in her pix. The black and white stuff on the other hand left me sorta bleh. And I giggled out loud over Ms. Michalone's work. While it isn't mind blowing, it is fun and silly kid stuff.

Unfortunately, I wasn't as impressed with Ms. Finkelstein's heart things, and Mr. Finkelstein (husband & wife? brother & sister? unrelated fluke?) while quite adept at printing his pictures and getting a good image, was the one to put the idea in my head that original shots are to be treasured. As his work was not the most original I have ever seen. However, I always gotta remember that in order to be original there is a very long path of unoriginal stuff that must be learned, glomed, understood and sometimes seen beforehand by other folk. As this is not an exhibit at a museum, I am much more inclined to cut some folk some serious slack.

Which leaves me with Mr. Cote's work, which is the only one that I cannot remember. This is not a good thing. As I have stated elsewhere, if I can't remember it, it is extremely unlikely that it rocked me down to my bones. Yo! Nick I know you can do better, don't take it personally, ok?

The show continues until December 16th, and if there are any paper goods that you need, you should always think of Nota Bene first. Stores that support art, should be supported as well (now if I could only get some cash myself....)

Stuff Seen - On Stage at Galerie Gora



Last night I went to the opening of this show organized by Nightlife Magazine at Galerie Gora some of my disappointment in the show has to do with my understanding of how Galerie Gora does business. Basically it is my understanding that some of the artists pay in order to have an exhibit, and others do not. And then there are incidental costs, such as re-stretching of sent paintings, publication in the flyer called GAM and what I can only assume are other things involved in the normal operations of a gallery. I have asked Mr. Gora if I could interview him for this blog, he graciously said yes, and I am looking forward to clarifying things with him.

But I digress. I had assumed that the On Stage exhibit was going to be the only exhibit happening. I was wrong. There were two other things that were considered completely separate exhibitions happening at the same time. I couldn't figure out how or why things had been hung the way they were. There was no clear (or even murky) connection between the work of Colette Banaigs and the 'Rock Show' although they were all in the same space. The group show appeared to be a collection of artists thrown together because they all happened to have paintings in the same room of the gallery, and then there were some unlabeled and unknown paintings floating around elsewhere that really confused me even more.

But I seem to have digressed even more. I hope I have it all off my chest now. The 'Rock Show' was a nice enough collection of (as they state) 'Montreal's Music Scene.' Although I am not entirely certain when and how Oklahoma became part of Montreal, otherwise why would a picture of the Flaming Lips be included?

As I told pretty much anyone who cared to listen to me, I found the hanging of the show to be a little willy-nilly, more like a checklist of who is 'cool' than a means to see a variety of different photographers' work. I would have preferred to have seen the work grouped by photographer, and the photographer's name more prominently displayed than that of the band being photographed.

Then if it was being presented as a checklist of who is 'cool' I would have liked to have seen pictures of (on the Franco tip) Les Trois Accords, Les Cowboys Fringants and Eric Lapointe. And for the squareheads in the house how about some Patrick Watson, the Besnard Lakes and the Adam Brown (apologies if there actually were pictures of any of those bands there, I'm working off the list funished in the magazine).

Here's to hoping that when they show it elsewhere the kinks will have been worked out, 'cause overall, like any of the bands pictured, I really would like to see this exhibit succeed.

Keeping up to date with Armand Vaillancourt


One of my favorite Quebec artists Armand Vaillancourt gets a sweet profile in today's La Presse.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

For an affordable price you can own a piece of Canadian history!


This press release made me giggle.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Edward Burtynsky on YouTube!


I wasn't all that impressed with Jennifer Baichwal's film about Edward Burtynsky that apparently is going to Sundance. However I am pleased as punch to see Edward Burtynsky on YouTube!

Obviously chopped up from something that I would guess originally ran on TVOntario, there are eight other clips.
1. Progress and the Environment - 69 views as of now.
2. Beauty - 95 views
3. Man and Nature - 105 views
4. From Black and White to Color - 132 views
5. The Development of a Theme - 144 views
6. - 155 views
7. Working Method - 206 views
8. The Large Format Camera - 274 views

Each one is about one minute long, and I look forward to watching them. Despite Jennifer Baichwal, I still really really like Edward Burtynsky's pictures.

Thanks to Alec Soth for the head's up.

I wonder if Alain Lacoursière or Jean-François Talbot met Robert Volpe


It appears from this obituary that they all followed a very similar career path.

Good idea badly executed


Back in November, AA Bronson was at the Kunsthalle Zurich in Switzerland for the latest stop on the never ending tour for General Idea's retrospective. A thing called Vernissage.tv filmed the opening, it is a lot of shots of people's crotches and wrists.

What I find most interesting, is that when we went to film the Sound + Vision show here in Montreal, we were specifically told that we could not film the General Idea piece that was in the show. I wonder what made Mr. Bronson change his mind?

Le Devoir cutting edge as usual


This is news I like Le Devoir reports today about this blog post. I quite like it when blogs are accepted as primary news sources.

It is true Landau Fine Art gets press out of town easier than here in Montreal


Not only is this a good article, but it is in the number one newspaper in Miami, when everyone in Miami is thinking about art. It has been about a year or so, since I last visited Landau Fine Art, obviuosly I'm going to have to go back soon.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The CBC thinks that Wayne Baerwaldt and Thelma Golden do kitschy work


There's this article on CBC.ca about 'the kitschy fun of celebrity tourist attractions.' One that they particularly like is The Andy Warhol Museum which just so happens to be having an exhibit on Glenn Ligon's art that was organized by the Power Plant and shown there in 2005.

I'm glad to see that the CBC thinks that exhibits at the CPower Plant are on par with the convention at the Shania Twain Centre.

Keep an eye out for Albert Rousseau


I just got a bulletin from the Surete du Quebec, if you happen to see or hear about any of the following paintings:

Francisco Lacurto «Journées sur rochers»

Picher « Poire d’Anjou »

Roger Cantin « Route de campagne »

Albert Rousseau « Les Voiliers »

Give the police in Quebec City a shout, please. All four were stolen back in October from someone there. Mention file numbers 2006‐123944 and 2006‐123974. Unfortunately I do not know if there is a reward.

Canadians in Syracuse


A nice review of this show.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The New York Times like Art Basel: Miami


Five articles in today's paper!
  1. Ted Mineo, artist, (and the slide show)
  2. Iwan Wirth, dealer, (of Hauser & Wirth)
  3. Nancy Spector, curator (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum)
  4. Mera Rubell (and Don, Jennifer and Jason Rubell)
  5. Jake and Dinos Chapman, artists

Saturday, December 02, 2006

twentyseven likes other


Street art gets around, according to this article, 27 likes Other. Must be something about the cold, right?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Would the real Andy Warhol please stand up?


Andy Warhol on MySpace - 195 Friends

Andy Warhol on MySpace - 1,016 Friends

Andy Warhol on MySpace - 5,179 Friends

Andy Warhol on MySpace - 2,085 Friends

Andy Warhol on MySpace - 72 Friends

Andy Warhol on MySpace - 285 Friends

The Andy Warhol Museum on MySpace - 3877 Friends

Take that SODRAC


The Victoria & Albert Museum is dropping academic reproduction fees. What I really like, is that the news made Boing Boing, not usually a place I think of when looking for news on museums. And then just to show you how slow I am, I picked it up from Musematic.