Sarah Delaney, Rubeena Ratcliffe and Brit Gill are among the initial group of artists on offer
It’s not uncommon for Vancouver-based artist Sarah Delaney‘s collections to sell out in minutes.
The original artworks, which have garnered Delaney an ever-growing online following, are coveted by art lovers, locally and beyond, which means getting ones’ hands on one of her unique creations can be tricky.
Rachel Harrison and Jennifer Scott, the duo behind the new Vancouver-based company Duende, are looking to ease the struggle of snagging one of Delaney’s — as well as a handful of other creatives including fine artists and photographers — pieces by offering limited-edition fine art prints of varying prices and sizes.
Their aim, they say, is to, “mingle impactful art with the public, allowing the everyday collector to build their gallery based on a connection with each piece.” We caught up with Harrison and Scott to learn more.
Q. For those who aren’t familiar, what is Duende?
A. Duende is a curated online gallery founded on the belief that choosing art should be based on the connection we feel to it and the power of certain pieces to really resonate with us.
Our vision is to define a place where an entire space can be curated with meaningful art of mixed mediums, created by a variety of artists, while establishing a cohesive relationship between the pieces. By offering limited-edition collections, our customers are gaining the value and exclusivity that comes with small runs, yet working with prints allows flexibility for making art more approachable.
Q. Is there a story behind the name?
A. Duende is a Spanish word with a wide variety of definitions; the meaning we identify with for our business is “the mysterious power of art to deeply move a person.”
Q. Who is the target customer?
A. We were inspired to create this type of boutique-style online gallery platform from the perspective of designers, as both of us have established our careers as interior designers and stylists within Vancouver; we feel that we will see much of our traffic come from other designers, decorators, developers and commercial art buyers who face the same challenges we did of sourcing impactful, exclusive art at an approachable level. However, Duende really is for the everyday collector. For the people that have a love for art, want pieces to tell a story within their home and want to know that even a collection of mixed mediums and artists can create a cohesive, personal gallery.
Q. And how did you choose the artists to collaborate with?
A. Our initial gathering of art and artists was curated to work together as a full collection; we have such a strong passion for art, so the process of narrowing down who we wanted to collaborate with for this first season was hard. Ultimately, we identified what we wanted the vibe of this premier collection to feel like, and reached out to some of our favourite artists — both local and from around the world — to create this current roster. We definitely have a growing group of incredible talent that we have our eye on for the next season, which will take on a tone of its own. For us, it’s all about curating what we see as relevant in the moment and how each piece interacts with the next within the entire collection … each piece within any given season has been carefully selected to work beautifully with any other piece in the same season.
Q. How often will the artist selection change?
A. Our gathering of artists and chosen works are featured for a season of six months, after which time a new season of art and artists is introduced; by rotating our offerings after each season, we are able to continuously bring fresh content and talent to our community.
Q. What’s one thing you wish more people knew about fine art prints?
A. Working with limited-edition fine art prints is such a ‘sweet spot’ for building your own art collection. Many people aren’t in a position to jump into the realm of purchasing original works, but likewise don’t want to fall back into mass-produced art as an alternative; with limited edition prints comes the ability to purchase high-impact art that offers exclusivity and large format options, without the financial commitment of original art.
Q. What is the price for Duende pieces?
A. Duende is based on a universal pricing platform. What that means is, each piece is offered at three set sizes — determined by the aspect ratio of the original work — and every piece in our gallery at that same size is offered at the same price. Essentially, there are three set sizes and three correlating set prices for every piece.
Q. Lastly, where can people check them out?
A. To check out our incredible roster of artists and each of their full collaborative collections with us, people can visit our online gallery at duendecuration.com. We also use Instagram (@duendecuration) to share our artists pieces, alongside some of the inspirations behind the works, as well as giveaways and other behind-the-scene fun.
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Hot air balloons, drive-in concerts and highway art: What's on this weekend in Calgary – CBC.ca
Organizations are continuing to come out with fresh and creative ways to entertain Calgarians, and this weekend is no different.
There’s good eats, concerts and multiple art shows that highlight local talent.
Ellis Choe from The Homestretch on CBC Radio has compiled some of those offerings, so check out the events below!
There’s a pop-up marketplace celebrating prairie food this weekend that also ensures gathering people safely.
The Prairie Grid Market will have over 50 local food and drink vendors at the Carter Cadillac car dealership on Heritage Drive in southeast Calgary.
Dan Clapsen, the organizer of the event, says a majority of the stalls are operated by local restaurant and bar owners.
“There’s a really interesting build-your-own-cocktail kit booth setup by Cannibale, which is a popular cocktail bar in Bridgeland. Bridgette Bar has made a line of dried pastas,” he said.
On Saturday and Sunday, there will be music and art for patrons to enjoy.
It’s recommend you pre-book your visit online, given the limited capacity and physical distancing required.
The 8th Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival is underway in High River, but due to COVID-19, only Canadian balloons are participating.
The festival was scheduled to take place from Wednesday through Sunday, although high winds have forced cancellations. As of 2 p.m. on Friday, it was unclear whether they’d be able to take off at 5 p.m. Friday. If not, there are three more chances depending on the weather: Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. Check the festival’s Facebook feed to see if it’s a go.
The committee says that while no passengers or spectators will be allowed at the launch site, you can volunteer to be part of the field crew and get a front row seat.
Karen Williamson, the committee vice-chair, says that while there’s no guarantee, the pilot may let you be a passenger on board as well.
And for those who don’t volunteer, head to the northwest corner of High River to see them launch.
If you like road trips and art, you can catch the Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta, which is a part of Alberta Culture Days.
Along Highway 22 and Highway 2A, otherwise known as “Cowboy Trail,” there is a community of artists opening their studios and galleries to the public.
Catch artwork in Millarville, Turner Valley, Black Diamond and Okotoks to learn more about the diverse group of artists working outside of Calgary.
The open studio events will be on from Friday to Sunday, but each gallery has different operating hours.
And if you like your art paired with a movie, the Indefinite Arts Centre is holding an open house/movie night.
You can check out the artwork of artists with disabilities, as well as the screening of Infinity — a documentary about the world-renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, famous for her polka dot installations.
The free event is on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., but make sure to reserve a spot.
And finally, some concerts in the Calgary area! Grab your social circle and attend the drive-in concert at Telus Spark.
“Rise Up Weekend” is brought to you by local organizations, including Calgary ReggaeFest, Folk Fest and Stampede.
Patti Pon, one of the organizers as well as president of Calgary Arts Development, says the event is all about the coming together of six organizations presenting six concerts.
“We wanted to find a way to create some amazing art experiences, albeit smaller settings with fewer people,” she said.
Tickets are $25 per car for up to four guests.
The first show is Friday at 6:15 p.m., when Calgary Folk Fest presents Sargeant X Comrade and the Blake Read Band.
For something more contemporary, the National Music Centre is continuing its hybrid live music and virtual concert series, RBC Live, from the King Eddy.
You can attend the free event in-person or stream from the comfort of your home.
The first show is Friday at 8:30 p.m. and features Lucette, an alt-pop artist from Edmonton.
And then for another virtual concert experience, you can stream Early Music Voices, a local group that presents music from the medieval, Renaissance and baroque periods.
The group is kicking off its season with a virtual concert featuring Calgary musician Benjamin Narvey, who plays the lute.
Enjoy the music this Sunday at 7:30 p.m., and listen to a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.
With files from The Homestretch
Delay of Philip Guston Retrospective Divides the Art World – The New York Times
The decision by four major museums to delay until 2024 a much-awaited retrospective of the modernist painter Philip Guston, which was announced earlier this week, is roiling the art world, with some calling the decision a necessary step back during a period of surging racial justice protests and others deeming it a cowardly avoidance of challenging works of art.
The decision came after museums organizing the exhibition decided that Guston’s familiar motif of cartoonish, haggard white-hooded Ku Klux Klansmen needed to be better contextualized for the current political moment.
The Guston retrospective, the first in more than 15 years, was supposed to open in June at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. It would then move to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, then to Tate Modern in London, and finally, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Titled “Philip Guston Now,” it contained 24 images with imagery that evokes the Klan, a spokeswoman for the National Gallery said, and two more where the imagery is less obvious. In total, there would be a selection of roughly 125 paintings and 70 drawings, though the final selection would have been different at each museum because of budgetary concerns and logistics.
This week, the directors of those museums released a joint statement saying that they were “postponing the exhibition until a time at which we think that the powerful message of social and racial justice that is at the center of Philip Guston’s work can be more clearly interpreted.”
When the news of the cancellation spread on Thursday evening, it prompted a deluge of criticism from inside the art world.
Guston’s daughter, Musa Mayer, who wrote a memoir of her father, said she was saddened by the decision and said that his work “dared to hold up a mirror to white America.”
Darby English, a professor of art history at the University of Chicago and a former adjunct curator at the Museum of Modern Art, called the decision “cowardly” and “an insult to art and the public alike.”
And Mark Godfrey, a curator at Tate Modern in London who co-organized the exhibition, posted a searing statement on Instagram saying that the decision was “extremely patronizing” to audiences because it assumes that they are not able to understand and appreciate the nuance of Guston’s works.
But the National Gallery had the support of its board of trustees, including Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, the philanthropic giant. Mr. Walker said in an email that if the museums had not taken a step back to rethink the exhibition, it would have appeared “tone deaf.” He added that the National Gallery’s director, Kaywin Feldman, had surveyed the trustees, and said that there was unanimous support for the postponement.
“What those who criticize this decision do not understand,” Mr. Walker said, “is that in the past few months the context in the U.S. has fundamentally, profoundly changed on issues of incendiary and toxic racist imagery in art, regardless of the virtue or intention of the artist who created it.”
A spokeswoman for the National Gallery, Anabeth Guthrie, said the directors consulted a range of employees at the four museums, including staff in interpretation, education, and community partnerships.
In their joint statement, the directors of the four museums said that “additional perspectives and voices” would be necessary before the show could go on, and that such a process would “take time.” Yet the curators — Harry Cooper at the National Gallery, Alison de Lima Greene at the M.F.A. in Houston, Mr. Godfrey at Tate Modern, and Kate Nesin at the M.F.A. in Boston — had already brought together a wide range of contributors for the show’s authoritative catalog, which is already in the shops.
The curators, as well as artists such as Trenton Doyle Hancock and Glenn Ligon, who are Black, and the cartoonist Art Spiegelman, who is Jewish, all offered perspectives on Guston’s personal experiences of confronting the Klan in his youth, and on the formal and political innovations of his cartoonish Klansmen. In mid-June, following the killing of George Floyd and intense debates over racial inequities in art, curators worked together to revise and broaden the exhibition’s wall panels and educational materials. Of particular concern was the debut of his Klan paintings in 1970. They reached out to artists, critics and others who had seen the show then, in order to reconstruct how Black viewers reacted to that initial display.
The exhibition was to include many of Guston’s paintings from 1968 through 1972, a period in which he was “developing his new vocabulary of hoods, books, bricks, and shoes.” Some of the figures in Guston’s works included caricaturish white-hooded figures smoking cigars, riding in a car, or, in one of Guston’s most well-known works, painting a self portrait at an easel.
Mr. Godfrey, the Tate curator, and author of “Abstraction and the Holocaust,” a 2007 study of art after the genocide of European Jewry, was left to ask why “the institutions are proud to put their name to a catalog where Klan paintings are reproduced on 26 different pages, but not confident to show them on their walls.”
Ms. Mayer noted in her statement on Thursday that her father’s family members were Jewish immigrants who fled Ukraine to escape persecution and that he “understood what hatred was.”
“This should be a time of reckoning, of dialogue,” she wrote. “These paintings meet the moment we are in today. The danger is not in looking at Philip Guston’s work, but in looking away.”
Guston, who died in 1980, at 66, was a leading Abstract Expressionist until he made an artistic about-face during the Vietnam War, influenced by civil unrest and social dissent. Calling American abstract art “a lie” and “a sham,” he pivoted to making paintings in a dark, figurative style, including satirical drawings of Richard Nixon.
Mr. Hancock, who wrote an essay for the catalog analyzing one of Guston’s works that included Klansmen, said in an interview that he saw the artist’s use of the white-hooded figures as a way of “implicating America, the New York art world and himself in a system that celebrates the horrors of white supremacy.”
The work that Mr. Hancock was examining, called “Drawing for Conspirators,” is one of the more graphic and disturbing images drawn by the artist. The 1930 work, which Guston drew when he was 17 years old, depicts a lynching — or what Mr. Hancock calls in his essay the “aftermath of a successful Klan business meeting.”
Art museums have in the last three years increasingly found themselves on the defensive for showing works that depict polarizing subjects and racial violence. Some observers have protested the showing of work considered traumatizing to communities scarred by that violence; others have objected that institutions put that pain on display gratuitously. Recently, some work has been removed from major exhibitions.
In 2017, the Whitney Museum of American Art faced a backlash for its display of the painting “Open Casket,” which depicted the mutilated body of Emmett Till, a Black teenager who was lynched by two white men in Mississippi in 1955; the key point of controversy was that the artist, Dana Schutz, is white.
That same year, in Minneapolis, the Walker Art Center removed a work by the white artist Sam Durant, called “Scaffold,” a gallows-like sculpture intended to memorialize several executions, including the hanging of 38 Dakota men in Minnesota after the United States-Dakota war in 1862, after local Native American communities objected to it.
Just this summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland canceled an exhibition of the artist Shaun Leonardo’s drawings of police killings of Black and Latino boys and men after several Black activists and some of the museum’s staff members objected to it. The artist called the move censorship; the museum’s director, Jill Snyder, later apologized to Mr. Leonardo for canceling the show, saying “we breached his trust, and we failed ourselves.”
Nearly two weeks later, she resigned.
The decision to postpone the Guston show for four years — when the organizing museums still had ample time for education, outreach and dialogue — struck many artists and curators as an act of self-censorship. “Museums have become scared of displaying and recontextualizing the work they had committed to for their programs,” Mr. Godfrey, the Tate curator, argued in his statement.
Hovering over the postponement or cancellation is a larger dilemma facing museums: how to account for growing demands for equity and representation on the gallery walls when the Covid crisis has shrunk budgets substantially. The M.F.A. in Boston has eliminated more than 100 staff positions since the pandemic began, while the Tate saw protests after cutting more than 300 jobs. The Guston exhibition, which would have eaten a substantial percentage of any museum’s budget before 2020, now weighs more heavily.
Novelist Ali Smith Finds Art for All Seasons – The Wall Street Journal
Visual art has long played an important role in the novels of Ali Smith, 58, one of Britain’s leading writers and a four-time Booker Prize finalist. Her 2014 novel “How to Be Both” is jointly narrated by the 15th-century Italian artist Francesco Del Cossa and a British teenager in the 21st century, who becomes obsessed with one of his paintings in London’s National Gallery. She has collaborated on projects with her longtime partner Sarah Wood, an artist, curator and filmmaker.
But when Ms. Smith began her tetralogy of novels named after the seasons—whose final installment, “Summer,” was published in the U.S. last month—she didn’t know how important art and artists would become. In the four years covered by the books, a large cast of characters—among them a centenarian songwriter, a young art lecturer, a nature blogger, a brilliant near-juvenile-delinquent and a movie director—fall in and out of love, form de facto families and debate the political issues of the day, particularly immigration and Brexit. In each volume, fictional characters mingle with real-life artists, who play significant roles in the plot.
In 2015, when she was planning the first volume, “Autumn,” Ms. Smith happened to see a magazine reproduction of “Colour Her Gone,” a 1962 picture by the British Pop artist Pauline Boty. The painting is divided into three vertical sections: In the middle Boty depicts Marilyn Monroe at her most seductive, surrounded by flowers, while the flanking panels feature austere, abstract designs. The disconcerting effect is heightened by the way the Monroe panel is placed off center.
Boty, who died in 1966 at the age of just 28, struggled to be taken seriously as a female Pop artist. Her work addressed social and political issues head on, just as Ms. Smith does in “Autumn,” which she was writing at the height of the U.K.’s Brexit debate. Ms. Smith decided to make Boty a character in the novel, giving the artist a monologue-like chapter to herself. “A great many men don’t understand a woman full of joy, even more don’t understand paintings full of joy by a woman,” the character says. “Boty’s spirit—it’s the spine of that book,” Ms. Smith says now. “I’m thankful for it.”
Each volume in the series features a different 20th-century British artist, though in different ways. The second book, “Winter,” discusses the sculptor Barbara Hepworth, whose pierced stone abstract sculptures recall the work of Henry Moore. Ms. Smith says that Hepworth “knows how the physical universe and the human world come together and come apart.” In “Spring,” has-been director Richard Lease is inspired by the contemporary artist Tacita Dean, especially her 2017 work “The Montafon Letter,” an enormous picture of a mountain and avalanche: “As he stood there, what he was looking at stopped being chalk on slate, stopped being a picture of mountain. It became something terrible, seen,” Ms. Smith writes.
Finally, in “Summer,” Ms. Smith introduces two German artists who fled Nazism and took refuge in the U.K.: Fred Uhlman, known for his vivid landscapes and surrealistic drawings, and Kurt Schwitters, best known for his collages. In 2020, the 104-year-old Daniel, one of Ms. Smith’s fictional characters, recalls being interned as an enemy alien on the Isle of Man during World War II alongside the two artists.
Daniel recounts that Uhlman spent his time making drawings in which a little girl with a balloon moves unscathed through wartime horrors: piles of skulls, ruined buildings, hangings. In real life, children were on Uhlman’s mind at the time: The internment had prevented him from finding out any information about his pregnant wife. After the war, Uhlman published 24 of these drawings under the title “Captivity” (1946).
The antic Schwitters, by contrast, barks like a dog, sleeps in a basket and, for lack of better material, makes sculptures out of porridge that then molder and turn green. “These sculptures are alive…there is no higher accolade,” Daniel diplomatically assures Schwitters. In real life, Schwitters left the camp in 1941 for London, where he met with little success, though his work was later recognized as a forerunner of Pop art.
For Ms. Smith, the purpose of making art and artists so central to these novels is that the arts “ask response. They ask for our thinking, feeling presence. The visual arts do it with an immediacy we think we’re used to…but we’re never used to art, which will always shake us out of ourselves and into new, renewed selves.”
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