As an ever intrepid art explorer, I felt it was my duty as artist, CCA alum, and blogger to see the following San Francisco Art Openings. Most of my evening out was a CCA-a-thon, where faculty, alumni, and current students all had work displayed for us to pretend to see but where we mostly chatted it up with the rest of our CCA community. In addition to the shows at Patricia Sweetow, Haines, and Altman Siegel, I had the opportunity to see an SFAI affiliate (gasp!) and total art hero, Josephine Taylor, at Catherine Clark with my friend Libby and my little buddy Jasper.
David Huffman "Floating World", Patricia Sweetow Gallery
(January 5 through February 11)
My former professor, David Huffman, recently made a pretty significant shift with these mostly abstract paintings of color and glitter with appearances by one of his familiar representational narrative elements, the basketball. Huffman has included the deep space of water media and cloud-like formations in his previous, more politically explicit work for some time, and it looks like the space has taken over the narrative in a sort of tongue-in-cheek approach to abstraction. While the basketballs reference African American stereotypes, I missed more of the action and story-telling of his former work. With the repetition of this series, I didn't learn or think about anything past the first painting onto the next. They are pretty, though.
|Sweetow's space is a sort of in-between level in 77 Geary, with cement floors and lots of pillars.|
|The paintings appeared in different color schemes, like pastel and below, blacks and browns.|
|You know I like glitter and washes.|
Kota Ezawa, "The Curse of Dimensionality" and Taha Belal, "The Atmosphere from Before the Step Down Returns to the Square" Haines Gallery
(January 5 through February 18)
I thought this show from CCA Faculty Kota Ezawa was pretty great, but it was also so crowded that I didn't get a good look at the massive amounts of work shown inside the gallery. Kota's signature flattened cartoonish imagery was shown as animation, light screens, paintings, view boxes, and sculpture. It almost seemed like a retrospective with the inclusion of his work from as far back as the SECA show OJ Simpson series in 2005, but I found it really inspiring that he has been able to use so many different mediums to communicate a similar theme.
Taha Belal is a CCA MFA Alum from 2008 and a native of Egypt. I remember his work from a few years ago of meticulously cut out newspapers, and it looks like he still uses the same techniques, but has also applied stylized patterns that the cut outs create, reminiscent of Arabian designs. Right? I don't really know what I am talking about. The title of his show in the back room suggests a pretty clear message about Egypt and its political turmoil. Belal has been staying in his country of origin, but that's really all I know. I didn't do my homework very well and couldn't look closely at the images.
|This turd with the top-not behind the counter ignored me all three times I went to get a water. Get a grip, gallery intern, and get a new hairstyle too.|
|Some paintings by Ezawa, my favorite of all the mediums.|
|Some light boxes on the wall and the floor.|
|Belal's cut outs.|
Group Show with Jessica Dickinson, Liam Everett, Alex Olson, Josh Smith, and Garth Weiser
(January 5 through February 25)
I am getting to the point where I don't care who reads what I say. The people at Altman Siegel seem really stuck up. There, I said it. I hate going in there- they never look up and say hello, they serve beer at their openings, and then there was the incident last summer where the asinine artist Chris Johanson asked my friends and I to leave his show because we were talking amongst ourselves during his bad-on-purpose band performance to go with his bad-on-purpose art. All that being said, I do really like CCA grad student, Liam Everett's, artwork so I went to the stuck up palace anyway.
|The same crowd moving with me from gallery to gallery.|
|I kind of liked this piece by Alex Olson.|
|So, of course, my buddies David and Chrissie, and I had to mock what everyone else was doing.|
Josephine Taylor, Catherine Clark Gallery
(January 7 through February 11)
As I mentioned, I am a big fan of Josephine Taylor's work, and have been following her beautiful large-scale ink drawings since I saw her at both the 2005 SECA show at the SF MoMA and the Bay Area Now show at the YBCA the same year. Not many people, at least whom I have come across, make large, airy, realistic, psychological work on big expanses of white paper. What can I say, she had me at "white paper". In juxtaposition with her detailed and soft technique is the heavy imagery of very disturbing things. It's amazing to have met her and know she's a very well-adjusted and lovely person, who must get a lot of things out through her art. One more thing to like about art- it makes for great therapy.
|Her pieces were mostly very large images with figures battling each other.|
|I really liked her choices of filling in some colors and not all. It gave those areas more importance, and gave visual punctuations to the grotesque stories- like the balls and toenail.|
|The fight scene really made scary by the body language of the feet.|