Archive for May, 2009

On Art Schools

How relevant are art schools today? Do artists really require education beyond basic technical training? Do art institutions hinder, rather than help the creative expression of artists today? Bruce Nauman, The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (Window or Wall Sign), 1967. Image: truthinart.wordpress.com And what does Bruce Nauman think? Read my opinion piece on the brand
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The Museum: A Doc on the ROM

“This is a story of a man’s ambition: for a museum, for a city, and ultimately, for himself…” Thus begins The Museum, Kenton Vaughn’s insider glimpse into Daniel Libeskind’s controversial extension to Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum. The documentary, which is released on dvd this weekend, is a revealing look at the process of building the ROM crystal, from the hubris
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Surrealist Films: Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dali, Germaine Dulac and more

In conjunction with the Art Gallery of Ontario’s excellent exhibition Surreal Things – which we reviewed HERE, Cinematheque Ontario is screening an impressive series of Surrealist films. A still from Un Chien Andalou, 1929. Image: midnightcafe.com The films include Un Chien Andalou (1929), Surrealism’s most famous film, by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel. Billed as “a staggering assault on beauty
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Montreal: Kalup Linzy, Michal Rovner, The Wrong Corpse, Icelandic Love Corp.

Kalup Linzy: Recessed Depressed… Child Just Tell Me… May 8 – June 13, 2009 Parisian Laundry Kalup Linzy. Image: artnews.org One of the hottest names in video art, Linzy’s best known work is a series of video art pieces satirizing the tone and narrative approach of television soap opera. Linzy performs most of the characters himself, and was once described
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VoCA Loves…Kerri Reid

We were struck by Toronto artist Kerri Reid’s dust drawings when we saw them at Red Bull gallery, as part of the excellent exhibition What It Really Is, curated by the hot young curator Nick Brown, in Toronto back in January. We’ve seen artwork in this vein before, but we’re always impressed by work that is so well produced and
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The Recession: Best or Worst for Art?

In the current issue of VoCA’s favorite magazine, Art + Auction, Jori Finkel tries – without success – to present an opposing argument to what we have been saying for months (along with other critics, including the fabulous New Yorkers Holland Cotter and Jerry Saltz): That the economic shakedown is the best thing that could have happened to the art
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Surreal Things: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

Surreal Things May 9 – August 30, 2009 Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto This is an excellent show, well worth seeing. Salvador Dali, Ruby Lips brooch, 1949. Image: ago.net It comes from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, and is filled with marvelous objects that demonstrate the creative cross-fertilization between surrealist artists and designers. There are stunningly modern Schiaparelli dresses, ceramics,
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Loved: Renzo Martens, Enjoy Poverty

Last night we saw Enjoy Poverty at Hot Docs, the documentary film festival currently on in Toronto. The neon sign. Image: fadwebsite.com Seeing as how it was sponsored by the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, we were surprised to recognize only two artists – Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak – in the audience. The film sees Dutch artist Renzo Martens
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Two Exhibitions – Highly Recommended: Toronto, Vancouver

Here are two exhibitions worth checking out on either side of the country this month: 1. Toronto South Asian Visual Arts Centre at the University of Toronto Arts Centre The One Year Drawing Project: May 2005 – October 2007: A Sri Lankan artists’ collaboration 25 May – 1 August 2009 Image: savac.net In May 2005, four artists simultaneously created four
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On Art and Patronage: Miuccia Prada

“Money and art: it’s a difficult question,” (says Miuccia Prada.) “But art has always been about very rich people – think of the great popes and princes of the Renaissance.” The Prada Transformer, Rem Koolhaas’s incredible re-think of what architecture is. Image: gadget.ca We think Ms. Prada is on to something here. Today, we were at a talk sponsored by
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