Sunday, February 27, 2011

CCA Wattis Shows: "Undisclosed Destination" and "Hammarby!"

The other night I was so excited to celebrate my good friend, Rachel Foster's, inclusion in a show at the Wattis Institute for the Arts at CCA.  Wattis shows are generally touted as a big deal in our smallish city, bringing in artists who are well-known and often unseen beyond in museum exhibitions in the Bay Area.  Last semester boasted the "Huckleberry Finn" exhibition curated by Wattis Director Jens Hoffman, (formerly of the London Institute of Contemporary Arts),  with a commissioned installation by Kara Walker and pieces by two of my favorites, Hank Willis Thomas and Yinka Shonibare.  This semester's exhibition on the bottom floor of the Wattis is called 101 Collection: Route 2 Undisclosed Destination and was curated by Sharon Lerner as a "collection show", meaning that annually a local collector's "101 Collection" is curated by different guests.  Rachel happens to be part of the 101 Collection, and was shown along side some pretty fancy names, including John Baldessari and Todd Hido.

Rachel showing the announcement

Any time there is an opening at school there is food and a swarm of students around the food

Elisheva Biernoff's large landscape panel combining park, beach, volcanos, and basically environmental trouble

Elisheva's hand-painted double-sided imagined postcards from lost explorers
Two of Rachel's (hard-to-photograph) prints
Two more prints from Rachel
A stack of John Baldessari
Upside-down tree photo print- artist unknown

Upstairs was a sort of pre-exhibition of Belgian artist, (and one of the "Magnificent Seven artists scheduled to exhibit solo shows at the Wattis), Kris Martin's, show, Hammarby! in which he asked his project class made up of several of my friends to create work to be exhibited in the space which adds up to his own exhibition.  This is what the Wattis says about it:
"Over the course of this semester, Martin is living in San Francisco and serving as a guest faculty member at CCA. He is leading a class of 13 graduate Fine Arts students in creating new works on the subject of time, a universal truth with which all artists—and of course all people—must contend. Graduate school is a period when art students are developing their own practices, their own career paths. And so, Martin finds it appropriate to transform the private space of the classroom into the public space of an art gallery, with the latter's new set of expectations around finished pieces and the status of the working, professional artist. The gallery is divided into 13 autonomous-but-public spaces, one per student, via a grid of red lines. Martin is working in a 14th space, the entire gallery, and has given himself the same task that he has given his students: to devise new works that investigate issues of time and duration."  There will be a closing reception for the exhibition on March 29.

Gold painting by Liam Everett

Installation of theater props by Elizabeth Dorbad
Collages by Bean Gilsdorf

Dramatically lit installation by Mark Benson, video piece in the background by Steph Halmos

Maysha playing around with Christine Elfman's dress piece

Buddies: Steph, Me, Natasha, Marcella, and Maysha
More on the blog about Rachel Foster, Elisheva Biernoff,  Mark Benson, and Elizabeth Dorbad

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