Saturday, December 3, 2011

Courtney Johnson at Park Life and Zughaus by Sarah Hotchkiss

Park Life, San Francisco
The other day I visited my good friend, Courtney Johnson, as she gave me a tour of her first solo show, "See You Next Tuesday", (slang for C.U.N.T. if you didn't know- it took me a while!), at Park Life in the Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco.  You might remember from my studio visit with Courtney in 2010, her acrylic paintings of wild and feral women.  She has taken the work she was doing in school during our thesis exhibition and taken the crazy to another level.  We also used the photo session as an excuse to get some coffee and chat together after a summer apart since graduating from CCA's MFA program.  I was so happy for her and so excited to see the new work!

The neighborhood is quiet and homey.  The handle-shaped thing sticking out of the building is a piece by Andrew Schoultz.
Here's Courtney outside of Park Life, which doubles as an store full of art books and paraphernalia, including the infamous Jeff Koons balloon sculpture knock-off bookends, (which made the news when Koons sued Park Life for selling them, even though they are made by a company in Canada).
The store full of goodies
In the back room is a wide open gallery space where Courtney's show was hung.  Unfortunately, I brought a super-fancy camera from school and I didn't notice that the only picture I took of her was with her eyes closed.

Love the reflection mirroring!
Zughaus, Berkeley
Later that evening Courtney and I met up again in Berkeley to see the opening of a show curated by our friend, Sarah Hotchkiss, and featuring work by our buddy Maysha Mohamedi at Zughaus Gallery.  What they didn't tell us was that Zughaus, a gallery-in-the-house dealie, was located on a tiny strip of street located directly next to the train tracks.  It was lovely inside once we found our way, and one more adventure to add to the art quest list.
Courtney and I walking in the dark on a gravel path next to the train tracks trying to find our way to the destination with our phones.
We found it!
Inside, it was a lovely, architect-designed gallery within a home, where they dedicate the space next to the kitchen to an art space.
A Masha Mohamedi painting.  You might remember her from the CCA thesis exhibition, too.
Masha and Sarah in the cute little kitchen.
Unfortunately, I didn't take enough photos of either show.  Courtney's show ends tomorrow, Dec. 4, and I'm not quite sure when the show Sarah curated ends (it's not on their website).
What may or may not come across in the photos I did post is the warm fuzzy feeling of continuing to see my MFA friends and their work now that we have been out in the world outside of school for about six months.  It's ever the more sweet to continue an art dialog as we were so used to having on a daily basis last year.  Here's to the community we created, even if it takes a little more work getting out the calendar instead of walking down the hall through the studios.

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