Sunday, November 14, 2010

Two Solo Shows: Linda Geary and Stephen Beal

About a week ago I went to see the painting exhibitions of two of my professors at CCA, Linda Geary and Stephen Beal. It's nice to see what's behind the curtain of school sometimes; to see where your professors are coming from on a personal and visual level. Both shows are still up so go see them if you can!

Linda Geary "Inside/Out" at Rena Bransten Gallery, 77 Geary, San Francisco (ends December 4)
Linda has been on sabbatical, which sounds like the ultimate way to live and make work; taking a salary from school for a year while they allow you to spend your time regrouping, relaxing, and making (hopefully) a new body of work. This certainly happened with Linda's paintings. The show looked awesome and truly thought-out. Each piece had color and shape that referenced the paintings around it. As a color theory teacher, it's obvious that she has a strong relationship with her colors, but it was just as interesting to see all the media that went into the pieces. There were taped-off shapes, spray-painted sections, and loose, drippy windows next to clean, tight pools. It was one of the only shows I have seen in a long while which made me want to go back and see it again.

"Stephen Beal: Recent Paintings" at George Lawson Gallery, 49 Geary, San Francisco (ends December 4)
Stephen Beal just happens to be the most important guy at CCA. He's the president. But, he is also a painter, which settles some sort of score for me and the Fine Arts program I reside in, as rumors often fly about who's budget will be cut and who is more important. Knowing that he has our back as mere makers, versus the more financially stable industries like architecture, is comforting. He also teaches a painting class for seniors, of which I am the Teacher's Assistant, so it was even more intriguing to finally see first-hand what most interests him visually. The show seemed related to Linda's in how invested he was in color. It's clear even in these two images that he has a favorite mode of working, (the grid), but the fine details and repetition of gesture seemed to share a slight affinity with Linda, as well. The two should have had a show together!

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