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Andy Ritchie

20100831034230-and_they_battle_under_a_hidden_lord_m A Slave to Style   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Skinner at White Walls Gallery August 14th, 2010 - September 4th, 2010
Posted 8/31/10

I squeezed the rusted accordion gate till it sung, then rapped on the glass door. After an exchange of cartoon gestures with the ladder-perched technician, I was waved inside. White Walls was yet a day from the opening of This Fear You May Know. The “technician” turned out to be Skinner--an apt nickname actually, if you know his work. He descended his triangular mount to generously drop some knowledge on me. Skinner’s last task was to securely mount security cameras to the mezzanin... [more]

Tax-image Why I Write "Artist" On My Taxes   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 4/27/10

When the IRS yearly barks Occupation:Vacancy domes my bubble eyes. I think of the three semi-regular and semi-semi jobs I tend. The tightrope that occasionally slips slack. Only one word can contract My fractious fractal path. I think of the one gig I did: Paid in wine was my flint and steel. I think about the applications I've sent. A day late. A day early. The wrong day. This young year: F-f-five? (I save 'em all, with their slight variations, as if my refined, singular expertise on a singl... [more]

Rattke_frisco_freeze Rattke's Kaleidopsychescopedelic Collages   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Gwenaël Rattke at Romer Young Gallery April 16th, 2010 - May 14th, 2010
Posted 4/27/10

  Going into Ping Pong Gallery on a full stomach, and leaving with a full head too, I must've looked like Mr. Peanut walking around Potrero Hill last week. Gwenael Rattke's superfine collage cutlets did me in. Partially served as a kaleidopsychescopedelic ode to San Francisco, Rattke's work presents SF as a lightbulb. An engine.Like I said, that's part of the story. I can't attribute the cascades of web-patterned contact paper, reflective mylar, anonymous comic clips, William Blake book... [more]

Bohm_email Böhm at Ratio 3   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Miriam Böhm at Ratio 3 March 12th, 2010 - April 24th, 2010
Posted 3/29/10

      From paintings of paintings to photos of photos, I'm again a step removed. But a different behavior is at play at Ratio 3, one unconcerned with depiction...and more concerned with manipulating observation. Miriam Böhm is the sole controller in crafting each source photograph and its skew. These pictures, nineteen in all, are each easy to describe superficially. A black wooden frame traces the edges of a photo of a very similar unframed photo. Inside that unframed source photo is a medley... [more]

Eureka_night_ii_web_m Cyr and Hess at White Walls   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Kevin Cyr, Jessica Hess at White Walls Gallery March 6th, 2010 - March 27th, 2010
Posted 3/29/10

  White Walls' walls are whiter than usual lately. Temporal Surfaces was retired last weekend--you might say prophetically--so as the art commanded a once-removed affect, so will my post-mortem. Once-removed? These are paintings of the already-painted, an update to a long tradition dating back to the salon and beyond. Kevin Cyr and Jessica Hess are the two vandals-by-proxy, and they evince their appreciation for urban decay contrastingly. Their one binding agent is the strict avoida... [more]

Mobyposter Andy Ritchie: A Year in Art-cum-Movie Poster Quotes   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 1/5/10

  “It's a love-punch to Jasper Johns and The Count, but I like it.” Ross Campbell + Jeremiah Jenkins Hatch Gallery December 4, 2009 - January 29, 2010   “no small feat…. plenty of the vulgar romance of the sailor…. It puts the misadventure in adventure…” Moby Dick, curated by Jens Hoffman CCA Wattis Institute Kent and Vicki Logan Galleries, 1111 Eighth St., San Francisco, CA 94107 September 22, 2009 - December 12, 2009   “Simply put, these are pictures. Are the jazz angles funkay? Or just layzay? After t... [more]

Gransix1 Le Gran Six: Curtis Street at West Grand Avenue, Oakland   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 12/21/09

    Le Gran Six--Gran, of course, being French for Condo--would stand out in its neighborhood for simply being clean. Now pile on quantities of ornament usually reserved for welfare bankers. Now sticker them so the mildly rich can settle in West Oakland. What? And more importantly, How did THAT get here? Yeah, the ghost of Elias Kingston couldn't have said it better. Architect and project prognosticator, Jon Havrilesko, seems more verbose about his design philosophy ("strings") than his particular... [more]

Jenkins Meet Me At The Letter "G"   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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ross campbell, Jeremiah Jenkins at Hatch Gallery December 4th, 2009 - January 29th, 2010
Posted 12/21/09

Hatch Gallery these days is a matrix of systems revealed to the atom, with symbols cymbal-crashing and reassembling as contemporary objects. Numbers, letters, and words are everywhere, and when you look closer, they're lining the cracks too. Jeremiah Jenkins floods the front space of this two-artist show, making do with little (in one case turning the Declaration of Independence into a rhythmic, full-page strikethrough). Common US coins go from metal to medal of honor. Then, beguilingly, this low-tec... [more]

Repetition Repetition  
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Posted 11/16/09

  Without repetition, things cannot organize.     Factory or site, casting, stacking, welding, mortaring, in rhythm and in line. Organization and redistribution of information comprise art--well, comprise many things. Organization is the broadest level (the widest plinth) of creative thinking.                                Some machines were designed to further organize and smoothen out variability in the human touch, to preserve and replicate the original human inspiration... [more]

Redwood_left-right_no-border Redwood on 8th St.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Nathan Redwood at Electric Works September 11th, 2009 - November 7th, 2009
Posted 10/12/09

David v. Goliath. Ahab v. Moby. Twins v. Yankees (sigh). Compared to the faceted, sprawling Wattis show, Nathan Redwood's Pez-head paintings seem small, but not minor, and out-muscled, but not out-hustled. They breeze with simplicity, and in Redwood's world of portraits, simplicity is a neck. It's the feeble part that demarcates the blocky bust and exploding Scanners head. (I won't link to this in deference to the squeamish, but seriously google it!) Redwood's tridactyl approach to crafting portr... [more]

Mobydick The Salty Atmosphere of Moby Dick   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Kenneth Anger, Matthew Benedict, Mark Bradford, Marcel Broodthaers, Angela Bulloch, Tom Burr, Tacita Dean, Marcel Dzama, Edgar Cleijne and Ellen Gallagher, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rodney Graham, John Gutmann, Susan Hiller, Evan Holloway, Peter Hutton, Colter Jacobsen, Brian Jungen, Buster Keaton, Rockwell Kent, Mateo Lopez, Jorge Macchi, Kris Martin, Henrik Olesen, Paulina Olowska, Damián Ortega, Jean Painlevé, Kirsten Pieroth, Adrián Villar Rojas, Richard Serra, Andreas Slominski, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Orson Welles at CCA Wattis Institute September 22nd, 2009 - December 12th, 2009
Posted 10/12/09

With Moby-Dick, the Wattis presents the second of three shows rousting the spirits of great American literature. Although painted like a Nautica bedroom set with navy walls and white text, each room conjures the salty atmosphere of a heaving ship with alternately droning and ranting snippets from Orson Welles's recitation of Moby Dick. These elements (whale, walls, and Welles) attempt to interlace work from thirty-three international artists—no small feat. Of course, I don't envy the cu... [more]

19-hey Moki's World   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Moki at Jack Fischer Gallery August 6th, 2009 - September 19th, 2009
Posted 8/24/09

    Moki's canvas-wrapped boards don't exactly activate the fourth wall like Ottinger's work, but they inhabit a pervasive, transcendent world that equally eludes easy description. Simply put, these are pictures. Each piece bleeds the edge of the canvas, not like Ottinger's players in space. Roughly 30 smallish paintings, differently sized, are hung at alternating height—why? Are the jazz angles funkay? Or just layzay? After the previous show...well, it's lazy. Let's move on. A verdant, pasto... [more]

3653396392_2b2a2db83b_o Jennie Ottinger   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Johansson Projects August 7th, 2009 - September 18th, 2009
Posted 8/23/09

    I bid you welcome to Ibid, a solo show by Jennie Ottinger that packs more red dots than the secret service. To stave off any phantom limb syndrome caused by *gasp* selling work, Jennie redraws, on a 1/16 scale, each painting in pencil. (You can find them in her personal rolodex on the gallery's main desk.) Documentation is integral to her work, straight up and down. Each painting or drawing begins with a photographic source image (pulled from newspapers, magazines, and photo archives largely... [more]

Ns-streetdate10__0498695681 3rd Street, Market Street to Cesar Chavez   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 6/30/09

            Pull out a map of San Francisco. I can wait. 3rd Street is one of the longest single streets in the city, and you probably didn’t know it. (I didn’t.) It’s easy to overlook, due to its occasional ungainliness and the multiple personalities along its expanse, but this is a pretty good sampler pack of San Francisco. (I walked from Financial SOMA to South Beach through various basins to Dog Patch and some yet-unnamed enclaves till I hit Caesar Chavez.) Skip the T MUNI and run/wa... [more]

Gal_artist_53_3617_med_12_small Face, Deface   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Greg Gossel at Shooting Gallery June 13th, 2009 - July 7th, 2009
Posted 6/30/09

Happy Endings? Sure, you’ll probably leave this Shooting Gallery show happy, assuming you went in the same way. Greg Gossel’s zero-sum game is blunted, ironically, by the competence and goodness of the painting, the accessibility and familiarity of its referents. It yields good work and simultaneously prevents it from being great. Enlarged beyond the point of photographic clarity, mugs of Princess Di, JFK, Kate Moss, and Mike Tyson tear through Jack Kirby-era comic faces collaged with... [more]

Red_shirt72 And Then The Pond Ripples   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Daniel Rozin at The Exploratorium June 19th, 2009 - September 20th, 2009
Posted 6/30/09

  The Exploratorium is not a place for focus. It’s a haven of manic, hyperventilating interactions on par with my old arcade, circa 1993. Childhood admonitions (“Keep your hands in the bus!”) and acquired knowledge (“No sex in the champagne room!”) kept my creeping hands at bay. Never the paragon of self-restraint, I sternly strode to the rear of Exploratorium to greet myself in Reflections, a large science exhibit housing a small art exhibit—a very blurry line here, but it gets blurr... [more]

Conley_cowboy Schwartz und Weiss   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Seamus Conley at Andrea Schwartz Gallery April 1st, 2009 - May 15th, 2009
Posted 4/14/09

  I didn't clutch this week's common theme of painting-without-painting until days after I'd left Seamus Conley's Flash/Dissolve. The pitch had already been set by Michael David's daffily deft paint wiping techniques (reviewed below), a kind of scratchboard-in-paint. Conversely, Conley's work is all positive marks...without the marks. His paintings and drawings are essentially transmogrified digital prints. His technique, call it Photoshoprealism. To see his scenes as photographic prints requires a three-... [more]

David5 Blowin' in the Wind   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Michael David at George Lawson Gallery March 19th, 2009 - April 18th, 2009
Posted 4/14/09

    Compared to Conley's work, Michael David's field paintings are geological, or at least botanical, in pace. But the fixed views of wild grasses belie the small-scale activity that Conley's paintings lack. The evident flurry of surface attacks reminds me of high-speed street art spectacles I saw ten years ago in tourist-choked Mazatlan, Mexico, where first-come, first-served assemblages of stencils, sprays, and scrubbings evolved over a matter of minutes and sold just as quickly. Likewise, I wo... [more]

Mirror_mirror Waterworld   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Jessica Skloven at Togonon Gallery March 5th, 2009 - March 28th, 2009
Posted 3/9/09

    The thrill of Jessica Skloven’s photography is in the dissolution of elements. Driving the scale far from the everyday human, she finds her haven in “the immediacy of the land and the simultaneous distance of the horizon dematerializing far away.”* It’s no surprise, therefore, that interpretation becomes salient in viewing her work. Skloven carries a metaphysician’s understanding of photography and a reverence for the transformative alchemy of silver in the traditional film craft. She gives... [more]

Watchmen-smile-1800-1 Enough of the Weathermen. What of the Watchmen?   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 3/8/09

As a recent (2008) reader of the book (1985), I carried a confident recall into the Metreon last Thursday night. Of course, my scrutiny could never match the fanboys. Watchmen books in white-knuckle hands, they were cramming, you might say, for this midnight premiere. The more casual opinion? Aside from inevitably snipped storytelling elements (the pirate comic sub-story, for example), it’s amazingly thorough in both detail and tone. I’ve since read reviews criticizing length (too much) and content (t... [more]

Cufley_untitled_dumpster_ Crossroads   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Tyler Cufley at Eli Ridgway Gallery February 21st, 2009 - March 28th, 2009
Posted 3/8/09

  Through the serpentine entrance and beyond the reach of daylight, a strong lavender-magenta washes the room's walls, a sort of antechamber within Baer Ridgway Exhibitions. This portentous hum (as visual as auditory) beams from the room's central piece, Dumpster, and solely lights the room's three resident paintings-as well as my path. BRE, a gallery just four months new, has an enviable Minna Street sprawl (up, down, and all around), and the freedom here to isolate work makes a solo show like t... [more]

Interview with Christine Lee  
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1/23/09

Jan. 2009:  At Ben & Nicks in Oakland’s Rockridge, our heroic interviewer fiddles with the recording device attached to his iPod and casually tries to assuage the trepidations of a cooperative Christine Lee. Andy Ritchie: So, actually, all the questions I drew up are somewhat inspired by your idea of the shim, your use of the shim—the idea of a short side, a long side, and a long side with an angle. So I’m going to ask you some short questions, some long questions, and some long questions wi... [more]

Paulurich Fecal Face Dot Drug Bust   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Paul Urich at Fecal Face Dot Gallery January 8th, 2009 - February 15th, 2009
Posted 1/12/09

        I went to Fecal Face with D.U.I. on my mind, and the criminal ante was instantly upped by the spectacle outside. (An open door and a glass wall tell all.) Of course, FF staff narrated the entire thing, starting with the Celica pulled over on Gough Street, the suspect’s mouth searched, the copious bags of drugs and cash hoisted from the vehicle, and the German shepherd invited in to play—you know how dogs love cars. Excuse me; I’m trying to focus here! Of course, I can’t fault the fasc... [more]

3020155408_0b1225f5a9 MUA   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 1/12/09

  MUA 2442a Webster StreetOakland, 94612 (510) 238-1100 http://www.muaoakland.com/   There’s a new mutant in town. MUA is altogether a bar, restaurant, and lounge with an occasional dance floor, and it’s currently the toast of Oakland nightlife to these eyes. (It’s also my local, so sprinkle salt at your leisure.) Now, I can’t tell you about the food: I haven’t plucked from the restaurant menu, aside from some cold mac & cheese dashed to me by the fair bartendress Erica (generosity and pity... [more]

2008-3 A Breathalyzer of Fresh Air   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Erin Allen, Lauren Barcelon, Nightmare City, Serena Cole, Kara Joslyn, Sean Monaghan at MANIAC December 12th, 2008 - January 18th, 2009
Posted 1/12/09

      Another elegant product of 20th century office architecture. I couldn’t fight the sarcasm after tripping over stairs just a step inside the buzzing security door. This unlikely art domicile boasts old wood paneling, humming fluorescents overhead, metallic crucifixes and, as anywhere else, Obama stickers. I half-expected to leave with a bail bond. But it’s exactly this shantytown-like intersect of interests that gives Maniac Gallery an unstable, guerrilla context. This fringe lawlessn... [more]

Isjwtbam_sicdgtahp_ I STILL JUST WANT TO BE A MILLIONAIRE (SO I CAN DO GOOD THINGS AND HELP PEOPLE)   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Jeff Dodson at B-763 March 1st, 2008 - March 1st, 2017
Posted 12/15/08

  http://istilljustwant.wordpress.com Now here is a holiday sale! Jeff Dodson, from his Novato storage space, hawks 47+ boxes of art and miscellanea (I assume it’s growing) in exchange for a small fortune. I like the title; it embodies an intrepid lemonade-stand energy tempered by an aging artist’s pathos—the impatient still. ISJWTBAM(SICDGTAHP), as the artist cheekily refers to the work, can be bought for one million dollars (naturally), but Dodson also takes donations to the (currently at ze... [more]

Timthompson2 Gotcha!   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Tim Thompson at Artists' Television Access December 6th, 2008 - January 3rd, 2009
Posted 12/15/08

Captured Accidents captures intentions too: Tim Thompson, god, stages the existential epic battle between control v. chaos, commanding -wares both soft and hard to play out on-screen events. A video game controller mod translates human controls while custom software plays dice. It sounds dramatic, a techno retelling of Gladiator, but the effect palls instantly to the viewer/subject. A visible dimension of disorder plays out before the camera, as you mug, dance, or ignorantly walk by. Stock edits and e... [more]

Melissajujuel_dorado1 Reactionary!   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Joe Bansuelo, Ed Cassel, Dan Fontes, Jem Gruber, Michael Schiess, Kevin Tiel at Lucky Ju Ju Pinball December 5th, 2008 - February 4th, 2009
Posted 12/15/08

Huh. So I overestimated Lucky Ju Ju and ATA for content; maybe nobody will charge me with prolix prose this go-round. Swatting away the depressing HOLIDAY ART SALE! spectacle, both shows were an easy sell—no pun intended. And yeah, I admit that a pinball show plus a videogame show would seem to make, besides a natural pair, a good time. I receive both exhibitions—par for their scant sizes—with reactions more than reviews. My first reaction to Lucky Ju Ju: What’s the password? I found the speakeas... [more]

2679269059_7fdb18c01e Vernissage TV   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 11/17/08

    http://vernissage.tv/blog As the Bay Area Now curators conceded, local identity in the arts is mischievously hard to define. If that’s the excuse I need to go global with this suggestion, so be it. Vernissage is an unrivaled video resource, based in Switzerland, that smartly and briskly documents art exhibits and performances around the world. It’s a bit anemic in its representation of the American art frontier—y’know, anywhere west of New York—but its high quality, minimalist production, and voyeuri... [more]

As0804detail4_hirez The Solitary Orange   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Alexandre Singh at Jack Hanley Gallery - SF November 1st, 2008 - November 29th, 2008
Posted 11/17/08

Sigh. MUNI, I suffer your maze only to find another warren forged at Jack Hanley Gallery. Consider this one entirely more gratifying. Initially daunting (as MUNI to an Oaklander), Alexandre Singh’s Assembly Instructions exhibit makes mind maps with servings of both resolutions and loose ends, like a good poker game. What appears to be first a hundred or so individual works, then one single work, eventually reveals four distinct networks, or maybe functions. Their diagrammatic nature had me dra... [more]

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