Wednesday, March 4, 5:30 to 7:30pm– Crown Point Press in the 80’s: Conversation and Reception at Crown Point Press: The exhibition on view, Crown Point in the 80’s, includes 39 etchings and woodblock prints by 38 artists, including Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, Pat Stier, Joan Jonas, and Al Held. In conjunction with the exhibition, The Crown Point gallery will host a conversation among Crown Point Press founding director Kathan Brown, conceptual artist Tom Marioni, and Berkeley Art Museum adjunct curator Connie Lewallen, all of whom were actively engaged with Crown Point in the 1980s. Crown Point Press is located at 20 Hawthorne Street.
March 12 to April 4– Art Kala 2020 Exhibition, Auction and Gala at Kala Art Gallery: Celebrating Kala’s 46th year, Art Kala 2020 brings together Kala’s creative community and features the inventive and meaningful art being made in the Bay Area and beyond. Kota Ezawa, Jet Martinez and Kelly Ording will be awarded as the 2020 recipients of the Kala Master Artists Award. A three week-long exhibition in the Kala Gallery will culminate in an auction and gala benefit for Kala. All proceeds from this event support educational and cultural programs that directly serve artists, children, and the community-at-large. Kala Art Gallery is located at 2990 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley.
Preview Party: Thursday, March 12, 6-9pm
Auction Gala: Saturday, April 4, 6-9:30pm
Buy tickets here.
March 12 to May 2– Georg Baselitz: What if… at Gagosian: A pioneer of Neo-Expressionism, Baselitz conjures new formal developments from art historical lineages. Although his paintings focus on the human figure, his raw, vigorous mark making creates new and emotionally charged routes within abstraction. The works in the show are oil on canvas compositions that were created with a transfer method in which he paints on a piece of unstretched canvas and then presses a second canvas onto the first to make an impression in oils. Through this technique, Baselitz continues to expand his own practice of painting and mark making, finding new ways to treat established subjects. Gagosian is located at 657 Howard Street.
March 13 to April 10– Leeza Doreian: In Time and Repetition and Charlene Tan: Researching and Remembering at Ampersand International Arts: Two shows are opening at Ampersand International Arts this month. Both shows explore the dedication and labor-intensive love that goes into honoring details and pattern making inspired by textiles. In Time and Repetition focuses on four second-hand items discovered in different parts of the United States: a polyester shirt, a polyester skirt, a woven skirt, and a tablecloth. Doreian carefully reproduces the patterns and shapes of these mass-produced fabrics using gouache and oil paints. Her works recast shadows and angles that are often overlooked and transforms them into singular poetic experiences.
Researching and Remembering is a mixed media collection inspired by patterns and textiles found in tribal weavings from the Philippines and made using materials connected to the Filipino food and culture. Combining digital prints of ancient symbolic and ritualistic patterns with surprising textures and colors, Tan beautifully binds her art practice to her extensive research of her personal Filipina-American heritage to investigate culture, ancestry and embodied memory. Ampersand International Arts is located at 1001 Tennessee Street.
Opening Receptions: Friday, March 13th, 6-9pm
March 13 to April 25– Issac Julien’s America at Jessica Silverman Gallery: Isaac Julien’s America will feature photographs from three of his series including Baltimore (2003), True North (2004), and Lessons of the Hour (2019). Julien creates work that references racial and sexual identity, voyages, and cultural displacement. Baltimore is rich in urban imagery and uses museums as a key location and theme. The series unites three Baltimore institutions including the Walters Art Museum, the Contemporary Museum and the Great Blacks in Wax Museum. Baltimore is ironic and funky, nostalgic and futuristic, rough and fine. True North comprises reflective images of the sublime, while again using the landscape as a key location and theme. The work is loosely inspired by the story of the black American explorer, Matthew Henson who accompanied Robert Peary and was one of the first people to reach the North Pole. Lessons of the Hour is a poetic meditation on the life and times of Frederick Douglass. The work proposes a contemplative journey into Douglass’ zeitgeist and its relationship to contemporaneity. Jessica Silverman Gallery is located at 488 Ellis Street.
Ongoing to March 27– Jason Jägel: La Machine Molle, Johanna St. Clair: The Upsurge, Kyle Austin Dunn: Captive Reflex at Gallery 16: There are 3 shows on view at Gallery 16. A key subject of interest in Kyle Austin Dunn’s practice is paradoxical reasoning. His paintings showcase a curiosity about the way people organize thoughts and actions, the cyclical nature of problem solving, and how unconscious stimuli can affect and guide both judgement and decision-making. His works utilize looped and close ended forms in disguise, exploring ideas of inevitability and predetermination buried under chaotic compositions.
The Upsurge includes work from Johanna St. Clair’s long investigation using Sumi ink and brush on paper into the pattern-structure of the trees, the ocean, and the sky just outside her door. St. Clair distills the gestures down to the essence of the subject, creating images that draw you in with their understated yet expressive beauty. The lack of color is not tethered to what the artist sees. It is the artist’s internal logic rather than a literal transcription that is being recorded.
In his own unique and poetic way, Jason Jägel’s work cultivates a strong improvisational component, born out of a form of autobiographical fiction, his love of music, comics, and literary fiction. His compositions often appear as fragments where experiences, dreams, people, places, individual narratives and past experiences intersect and intertwine to create open-ended, conversational stories full of rhythm and flow. Gallery 16 is located at 501 Third Street.
March 20 to April 25– Ajit Chauhan: 20 castanets at El al. Gallery: The title 20 castanets is taken from Barbara Guest’s poem Sleep is 20, a poem about counting sheep or moving from a half-consciousness to full. The idea of trying to see the extraordinary in the ordinary appeals to the artist. This work, painted on record sleeves, resembles symmetrical inkblots. In a time of brashness and severity, Chauhan’s work is quiet, elegant and poetic. Et al. Gallery is located at 620 Kearny Street.
March 21 to May 16– Arboreal at Slash Art: The show, curated by Juana Berrio, will feature works by Bill Fontana, Helen Mirra, Delcy Morelos, and Abel & Wilson Rodríguez. Bill Fontana creates installations that use sound as a sculptural medium to interact with and transform our perceptions of visual and architectural settings. These “sound sculptures” use the human and/or natural environment as a living source of musical information. Helen Mirra’s work is meditative. Through the activities of an uncomplicated form of weaving and solo daylong walking, Mirra is engaged in the overlapping realms of ecology, conceptual experimentation, and somatic experience. While resisting the limits of a fixed identity, foundational Buddhist ideas concerning ethics and insight shape her subtle art practice. For Delcy Morelos color is not abstract information or an aesthetic ingredient in the making of an art piece. Color is constructed by race, by culture, by religion; color is the tone of skin, of soil in each and every place on earth. Father and son collaborators, Abel & Wilson Rodríguez paint the rain forest by memory. The artist’s practice is distinguished by the use of plants as a means of expanding perception and forging connections with the ancestral world. Slash Art is located at 1150 25th Street.
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 21, 4-6pm
March 28 to May 23– Experiments in the Field: Creative Collaboration in the Age of Ecological Concern at the Berkeley Art Center: This exhibition, curated by Svea Lin Soll, seeks to celebrate art’s social potential, bringing together Bay Area artists to lead and inspire critical discourse around climate action. Artists included in the exhibition are Adriane Colburn, Alicia Escott, Stacey Goodman, Chanell Stone, Keith Secola, Livien Yin, and Minoosh Zomorodinia. The show is premised on the idea that artists play an important role in humanizing the global climate crisis. Many of us have come to know about our environment and the magnitude of the climate challenges we face through visual modes such as satellite imagery, documentary photographs or simulation models. While scientific objectivity is crucial to our formal understanding, art offers a range of discursive, visual and sensual strategies to connect with these complex issues. The Berkeley Art Center is located at 1275 Walnut Street, Berkeley.
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 28, 6-8pm