Sunday, June 5, 2011

Places to Go, Art to See

Blog Readers (if you are out there):  I'm taking off for Bosnia for six weeks!  My internet life will be on hiatus, along with my gallery-going/blogging life.  I don't know how much art-viewing I will get done in the next seven days, so I thought I would arrange a semi-virtual local gallery tour.  Here are some things I should, would, and may check out before I go, and some that I will miss but would be worth the effort if you are around the Bay.  It's so easy to take for granted the amount of art we have in the city, but if you decide to go looking, it really is everywhere.  (Whether it's any good, however, remains up for debate).


"New Paintings" with work by Sarah Thibault, Rebekah Goldstein, Rema Ghuloum, Maysha Mohamedi, and Alice Warneke, Truesilver Gallery, 4391 24th Street, San Francisco 
Through June 24, Hours and Info: (415) 359-5692

Painting by Sarah Thibault

This all-female, all-CCA painter squad is a good reason to try visiting one of the many pop-up galleries around the city.  It looks like Truesilver is a gallery-in-the-house kind of deal, with no set hours or up-to-date website info, but it would be worth perusing if you are feeling adventurous.  My CCA buddies know how to use a paint brush in a playful, messy kind of way.

"Treasure Tones" by Victor Landweber and "Reject, Reject" by Daniel Tierney, Steven Wolf Fine Arts
2747 A 19th Street, San Francisco
Through July 2, Open Wed-Sat 10:30- 5:30
Four City Blocks laminated cardboard painting by Daniel Tierney
Steven Wolf's two concurrent exhibitions look like an exciting example of artists considering what a painting is.  Victor Landweber arranges paint samples to create taxonomies and narratives according to paint names, and Daniel Tierney creates stacked paintings which incorporate the "painting" and the "plinth/stand" in barely three-dimensional form.  Wolf's gallery space is a beautiful remodeled 100-year-old building in the sprawling new art locale on 19th street and totally worth checking out.

"being-with" Solo exhibition by Liam Everett, Romer Young Gallery, 1240 22nd Street, San Francisco
Through June 25, Open Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, hours variable

Installation shot, Liam Everett paintings
Another CCA painter, (we like to support each other), Liam Everett, is still in grad school but already has a strong beginning of a career, with an established resume in NY before coming to San Francisco.  I went to the opening of this show, but it was full of people and babies and I was with a painter-hater, so we left before I really checked out Liam's paintings.  From what I can tell, he uses a variety of methods to fold, spray-paint, dye, and otherwise manipulate the fabric of the piece before stretching it, or not in the case of the yellow one above.  I think they are worth a visit to Romer Young (formerly Ping Pong) in their quiet Dog Patch neighborhood space.

"God Only Knows Who the Audience Is", curated by the graduating CCA Curatorial Practice Class of 2011, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, 1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco 
Through July 2, Open Tue-Sat, 11-6 or 7

To Move a Body video still by Noah Krell

OK, I'll admit this blog is CCA-centric, but I can't help it!  The Wattis is CCA's museum-worthy arts institution within the school walls which has amazing exhibtions with world-renowned artists, and this show put on by the Curatorial Practice students is no exception.  The exhibition centers around performance-based works from artists such as Eleanor Antin and Chris Burden, (people I learned about in Contemporary Art History), but also includes one CCA grad student, Noah Krell.  Krell's video pieces continue the work proposed by his 60s-70s predecessors with just as much beauty and heart.  I would like to spend some more time with this show and highly recommend it.

"New Work" by Tucker Nichols, Gallery 16
501 Third Street, San Francisco
Through June 30, Open Mon-Sat 10 or 11-5

Painting by Tucker Nichols

Gallery 16 is a print shop/gallery which affords the artists it shows the benefit of creating large scale expensive prints to work with in a variety of ways.  I am no expert of Nichols, but he's an established local, and the show looks like it could be good.

"Dad and Mom, Don't Worry About Us, We are All Well" by Song Dong, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street, San Francisco
Through June 12, Open Thu-Sun 11-8 or 6

Song Dong installation at the YBCA

I saw this amazing installation by Chinese artist Song Dong at the Yerba Buena, but with a student ID priced ticket, I would go see it again.  In the main exhibition, Song Dong essentially artistically arranges his mother's belongings, who became a hoarder after the death of her husband.  Through the mourning process, the artist and his mother use the concept of the installation to reflect on life and death.  The exhibition leaves the viewer feeling  a sense of voyeurism, along with guilt over consumerism and reflections on politics, family, and space.  I went with someone who asked me if this was art.  The answer is, Yes, of course, but the conversation is a long and complicated one.  A piece which makes one feel anything is halfway to being art, and I feel the aesthetics of it also contribute to a powerful installation.  It's coming down soon- go see!

"Solo Exhibition of New Works: AMTK", Unspeakable Projects, 735 Tehama Street, San Francisco
Through June 30, Open Thu 3-6, Sat 1-4

 Painting by AMTK 

Unspeakable Projects is another one of those gallery-in-the-house dealies, but in today's economy, who can really blame them?  I am not that familiar with either the gallery nor the artist (is is a duo? man or woman?) but I have seen their paintings online and at the recent SF Artpad fair at Unspeakable Project's booth.  I like the weirdo style of the paintings, and I think Unspeakable has a good thing going so far.  

"Raiders" Solo Exhibition by Stephanie Syjuco, Catherine Clark Gallery, 150 Minna Street, San Francisco
Through July 16, Open Tue-Sat 11-6

Installation of objects by Stephanie Syjuco

Man, I was supposed to go to the opening of this show last night, but I was too tired and sick and otherwise opening-ed out.  Stephanie Syjuco is a really interesting artist and also a former professor of mine at CCA.  Her work focuses around ideas of appropriation and value- sometimes even "piracy" as she would call it.  This show is a full scale installation of an entire Asian art collection from a museum, in which she has taken free images of the collection online and reproduced them as 2-D versions printed on paper and mounted on wood.  I really like the idea of re-selling such things- what is a commodity worth and who decides?  What's the difference between the model and the original?  Surely they are crappy versions of the crafted things, but they are crafted by an artist and sold in a gallery... it gets nice and complicated.

"Castaneda/Reiman: Still Life Landscape", 
Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, 172 Minna Street, San Francisco
Through July 16, Open Tue-Sat 11-6


I am not sure if I think this show looks interesting or not, but Baer Ridgway generally has good taste which borders on high conceptualism without alienating its audience.  And, it's right next door to Catherine Clark, so why not go?

"Inarguably Uncertain: The 41st Annual University of California, Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition", Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley Through June 26, Open Wed-Sun 11-5 
(or Fri til 9 with cheaper tickets)

Rivals! Rivals!  Well, with only seven students they are hardly eclipsing my alma mater, CCA, and maybe it's worth seeing what the grads over in Berkeley are doing?  I saw the SFAI "Vernissage" show, by the way, and let's just say I'm glad I went to CCA.  These silly art wars run deep.

All photos from gallery websites, except Noah Krell and Sarah Thibault

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