works by the 11 artists selected for this year’s Bay Area Currents
Exhibition at Pro Arts reveal remarkable similarities in subject matter
and the visual and structural elements governing their compositions.
Many of the pieces are derived from detritus and trash, amply presented in the images, including Palingenesis: Cherynobyl’s Rebirth
(2008) by Adam Friedman, which presents an hourglass shape with the
chaos of the ruins of Chernobyl at the bottom funneling upwards to
become an ordered pseudo-paradise with palm trees at the top, and Elegy to Trash! Confidence Wanes, by Daniel Healey. Two
large pastel works by Donna Anderson Kam depict young contemporary
street smart women struggling against political oppression in the midst
of gutter garbage and trash.
Although the curator of this
exhibit, Kevin Chen, Program Director at Intersection for the Arts,
states that these works illustrate a movement away from written text,
in truth many of the pieces rely heavily on verbal text and symbols,
for example South East Asia (2008) by John Patrick McKenzie, who covers old maps with repetitive graffiti-like tags, and Creamed Chicken and Olives
by Anne Vought, a wall piece of colorful cutouts of words and phrases
arranged vertically, like “last of,” “teeth,” “sweet,” and “pleas have”
Other works on view include felted wool
sculptures by Stephanie Metz, photographs by Joan Osato and Elizabeth
Pedinotti, and an impressive sound sculpture, Resonance, that actually works, by Alex Potts.
Exhibition at Pro Arts at Oakland Arts Gallery
150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Show runs from June 23 – July 24
Frank Cebulski is an Examiner from San Francisco.