To Do List: October

October 3rd – 13th, Art Gallery Week:  Art Gallery Week will feature 36 internationally prominent Bay Area galleries located in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland and will offer a full spectrum of solo and group exhibitions as well as one-time cultural events, click here for a full schedule.   Some highlights are:  Saturday 10/6,  3:30 – 5pm Tour of East Bay Galleries starting at Creative Growth Art Center with guide Dena Beard, assistant curator at the Berkeley Art Museum.  Saturday 10/13,  7 – 10pm Closing Party at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts featuring over 30 artists, performers and installations.

Maps featuring the galleries participating in Art Gallery Week.

 

October 6th & 27th, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art’s Annual Art Exhibition and Auction, 560 South First Street San Jose:  This is a great opportunity for art enthusiasts and collectors to view and purchase artwork by the Bay Area’s rising stars and celebrated artists.  With both a silent and live auction, there’s a wide variety of styles and interests.  View the exhibition of artworks up for auction September 29th – October 27th.  Then attend the Silent Auction event on Saturday, October 6th from 5-7pm, free admission.  The Live Auction Gala will be Saturday, October 27th starting at 7pm.  For tickets to the gala purchase online here.

Selections from the Live Auction – RR Jones, Lordy Rodriguez and Jim Campbell

 

October 10th, Mills College Art Lecture Series with John Chiara, 7pm:  Chiara photographs cityscapes in a process that is part photography, part event and part sculpture – an undertaking in apparatus and patience.  Many times this process involves composing pictures from the inside of a large hand-built camera mounted on a flatbed trailer to produce large scale, on-of-a-kind, positive exposures.  This lecture is free and open to the public, and held in the Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College, 500 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland.

Watch KQED’s Spark on John Chiara, originally aired May 2006.

 

John Chiara, “Goldmine: Diamond: Coral” 2012, dye construction process, two unique photographs. Image courtesy of Haines Gallery.

 

 

To Do List: December

For our December To Do List, we have something for everyone.  Are you looking to give the gift of art?  Both the Creativity Explored Holiday Art Sale and the SF Camerawork Benefit Auction are great opportunities.  If you need to escape the holiday bustle, take in the artist talk at Haines Gallery or see the More American Photographs show at the CCA Wattis Institute.  Finally, if you have out of town guests, make sure to stop at SFMOMA to dazzle them with Jim Campbell’s site specific piece Exploded Views.  Enjoy!

 

December 2-22nd – Holiday Art Sale at Creativity Explored, 3245 16th Street: Creativity Explored is a nonprofit visual arts center where over 130 artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art. For the sale the studio will be filled with original prints, paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures and textiles, as well as seasonal items like note-cards and artist made wrapping paper.  Opening weekend hours are Friday 12/2 6:00 – 9:00pm, Saturday-Sunday 12/3rd-4th 12noon – 5:00pm.

The studio at Creativity Explored

 

December 3rd – SF Camerawork Auction, 657 Mission Street, 2nd floor, Live Auction at 1pm:  If you’re looking for photography there are many pieces to choose from while supporting SF Camerawork.  SF Camerawork is a non-profit artists organization whose purpose is to stimulate dialogue, encourage inquiry and communicate ideas about contemporary photography.  SF Camerawork’s Benefit Auction of vintage and contemporary prints is on view now, culminating in a live auction at 1pm on December 3rd.  Doors open at 11 am.  View the auction catalog here.

Artists in the Auction: Anne Collier, Reid Yalom and Todd Hido

 

December 14th – 5:30 – 7:30, Haines Gallery, 49 Geary Street 5th Floor:  See Leslie Shows’ current exhibit Split Array at Haines Gallery and stay for the conversation between the artist and Lawrence Rinder, Director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.  Learn how she photo realistically constructs her mixed media paintings based on pyrite rocks – more commonly known as fool’s gold.  The results are beautifully luminous paintings on aluminum panels that use sheets of plexiglass, inks, mylar, crushed glass, metal dust and engraving.

Leslie Shows, Face M, ink, acrylic, paper, aluminum leaf, and engraving on aluminum

 

On view until December 17th –, More American Photographs, at CCA Wattis Institute, 1111 Eighth Street:  This exhibit features historical photographs from the Depression-era Farm Security Administration’s photography program, which commissioned photographers to document the rural poor of America.  Curators Jens Hoffmann and Jana Blankenship commissioned 12 contemporary artists to travel the U.S. for a year and document the impact of today’s “great recession”.   Installed together along with FSA photography program objects and documents, this project aims to update the FSA file, showing how some parts of America have floundered while others have flourished.  Special talk with photographer William E. Jones on Wednesday 12/7 at 7:00pm.

Photographs by: John Vachon, Sharon Lockhart, William E. Jones and Hank Willis Thomas

 

Ongoing at SFMOMA – Jim Campbell’s Exploded Views, 151 3rd Street:  “This new installation by acclaimed San Francisco-based artist Jim Campbell explodes the moving image into three dimensions, illuminating the Haas Atrium with a flickering grid of light that is part sculpture, part cinematic screen.  Thousands of computer-controlled LED sphere create the illusion of fleeting shadow like figures that dissolve and resolve as one moves around and beneath the suspended, chandelier like matrix.  Exploded Views investigates the nuances of perception through a series of four different films, changing every two months, the first of which is a collaboration with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet.” – SFMOMA

Watch the video of Jim Campbell describing the process of creating this piece by clicking here.

View of Exploded Views from SFMOMA's 2nd floor landing source: SFMOMA/Ayesha Ghosh

Thoughts about Innovation in Bay Area Art

 

Jody speaks to group at Marx & Zavattero featuring Yoon Lee

A private wealth advisor reached out to us as he was searching for a resource to bring to his select list of private clients.  Once a year, he plans an event that brings his clients knowledge and ideas on subjects that they might not have experience with.  He asked us to speak about Bay Area art in context with the larger world of art. Tessa and I talked about a lot of ideas but kept coming back to one: innovation.  While the Bay Area is not a major commercial hub like New York, we can claim a reputation for innovation and a dissemination of ideas.

The work of San Francisco artist, Yoon Lee at Marx & Zavattero was the perfect backdrop for this discussion.  Lee received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and has participated in some of the Bay Area’s renown non-profit arts programs that support emerging artists.  Marx & Zavattero is deeply supportive of Bay Area alternative art spaces and is dedicated to serious artists with singular voices.  Their roster speaks for itself.

The story of Eadweard Muybridge so eloquently told in Rebecca Solnit’s book, River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West begins this story of innovation.   At the turn of the century, Eadweard Muybridge was working in the Bay Area as a photographer.  This was a time of great technological development in the West…as Solnit describes; train travel literally changed how we experienced time.  Hired by Leland Stanford to decisively prove whether all four hooves of a race horse were airborne at once, Muybridge began an experimental body of work that ultimately became the foundation for motion graphics.

Selden Connor Gile, Boat and Yellow Hills, n.d., oil on canvas. Source: Oakland Museum of California

In the twenties, the Society of Six, a ground breaking group of Oakland painters is often referred to as “the most important modernist development that occurred in this country ” according to William Gerdts in this book American Impressionism. With their unified dedication to color focused work that emphasized light and the landscape they laid the ground work for another generation of innovators like Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud.

The California School of Fine Arts which in the 60′s became the San Francisco Art Institute, was a at the core of many new ideas in art in Northern California.  After World War II it became the nucleus for Abstract Expressionism with faculty such as Clyfford Still who is known for laying the groundwork for the movement, and Mark Rothko who is considered one of the most important American post-war painters.

Clyfford Still, Untitled (PH-118), 1947, oil on canvas. Source: clyffordstillmuseum.com

David Park and Elmer Bischoff – also faculty at that time – while initially devoted to Abstract Expressionism, abandoned it in favor of figuration which spawned a two generation movement – Bay Area Figurative Movement – with extraordinary influence on future artists, perhaps the most well known being Richard Diebenkorn.

Richard Diebenkorn, Cityscape I, (Landscape No. 1), 1963, Oil on canvas. Source: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

 

The 70′s, an era defined by socio-political unrest was heady time in the Bay Area. Paul Kos, David Ireland and Tom Marioni, artists whose innovative approaches to concept-driven work while uniquely their own, shared themes of time and space.  With a limited number of exhibition spaces for young work, and more students graduating from art schools, the 70′s marked a growth in non-profit and alternative spaces many of which thrive today.  A fundamental commitment to experimentation and support for emerging work continues to define the Bay Area.

The San Francisco Art Institute continued its influence in the 1990′s by spawning a group of artists who ultimately became known as the Mission School (a term coined by Glen Helfand in 2002).  Artists such as Barry McGee and Margaret Kilgallen whose expression was largely defined by the street culture of the Mission incorporated murals, graffiti, comic and cartoon art, folk art and even sign painting in their work.  This work ultimately opened doors for the legitimization of street art by the fine art world.

Barry McGee, Untitled, 1994-1998, The Luggage Store, SF, photograph by David M. Allen. source: Creative Work Fund

More than a century later, innovation in technology has a whole new identity.  In the early 1990′s Campbell and artist Alan Rath were the first artists create artwork with self-designed hardware.  M.I.T. electrical engineer turned artist, Jim Campbell pushes the boundaries of innovation in art by inventing his own medium.  For Campbell the technology isn’t a device, but rather the means for exploring ideas of perception, memory and time.

The list goes on. What is it that makes the Bay Area this breeding ground of innovation…the light, space, demographics, politics or is it just our reputation as the “Wild West” that ignites the spark of creativity and groundbreaking art?

 

Jim Campbell, Home Movies, video installation, custom electronics, 1248 LED’s., source: jimcampbell.tv

 

- JBK