There have been a lot of articles about the rise of education debt accrued by students in the United States, especially where arts-focused degrees are concerned. Few degrees these days can guarantee employment, regardless of the field, and it is becoming increasingly hard to justify the value of an art degree that has the least hope of creating jobs for its future graduates. Yet grad school admissions skyrocketed shortly after the 2007/08 economic crash, when the stakes for getting a new job shifted from... [more]
Sabine Reckewell and Samantha Bittman are two artists that are each working with textiles in the contemporary moment. Using rigorous systems that require a tremendous amount of planning before making and building can begin, both artists have an acute respect for order that enables their work to conjure awe bordering on the inconceivable.
Each studied textiles in undergrad, though several generations apart; Reckewell received a BS at UC Davis in 1976, and Bittman a BFA from RISD in 2004. Reckewell... [more]
Collecting art as a narcissist hobby is the most virulent kind of collecting, whereas collecting as a means of humble support seems to be the approved model—at least in San Francisco. A recent art panel in the city attempted to discern a difference between San Francisco and Los Angeles collectors. Moderated by LA gallerist Mieke Marple (Night Gallery), the panelists were Sofya Polyakov of Noun Project (LA), Sabrina Buell of Zlot Buell art advisors (SF), Jessica Silverman of Jessica Silverman Gallery (S... [more]
Do artists need MFAs? Must one obtain a higher degree to make it as an artist? Or are there too many MFAs in the art world already? What if you could get an MFA for free, and all in under an hour?
Bay Area artist Jeremiah Jenkins, the dean, MFA department chair, and sole instructor of the newly minted Tenderloin Institute of Art, will be giving out bona fide non-accredited MFA degrees to anyone who wants one over two weekends starting April 17.
The new institute (whose logo may be rather recogn... [more]
From the Gold Rush to the Psychedelic era, through the tech boom and bust of the 1990s, San Francisco has been a mecca for prospectors, freaks and geeks, and mainstream challengers. But the city's hold on such monikers has been challenged lately, with populations touted as the “best and brightest” flooding in to work for major tech corporations and affecting the cultural landscape. San Francisco is currently in a heightened state of what the Situationists, particularly Guy Debord, referre... [more]
Arriving at the magic hour before dusk, light poured in from the skylights, casting rectangular shapes with shadow lines on the back wall of the gallery, near an assortment of three stoic yet surprisingly dynamic sculptures on pedestals. The sculpture series—titled Mutual—is an exciting new direction for Miriam Böhm, whose work has always incorporated multiple planes or three dimensional elements; until now the end result has always been a photograph. There are a total of five... [more]
At the heart of the works in No Can Handle is the ethos of endurance. Entering the exhibition is not unlike entering an interpretation of a physical training facility. Equipment-like inventions dangle from the ceiling and perch amidst the gallery space; there is even a painted panel squatting in the crease of a gym mat on the floor. Many of the works, like Bow 4 (2014) have a suggestive tenacity. Bow 4 is a delicately curved wooden pole bending like a “C” around an entire wall, held in plac... [more]
Here, the process and patterning of quiltmaking multifariously inspires. The repetitive tattoo of the sewing machine, the lush and rough textures of fabrics, and the echoing generational symbols of the tradition thread their way through varied works. Each artist concentrates upon, refines, or abstracts individual facets of the rich history of the quilt-as-medium, using it as a launching point for experimental explorations in the present.
At its simplest, the mathematical construction of the qu... [more]
Place, to each of us, means many things. Often times being physically located in a place is very different than feeling a sense of place. Place is as simple as a well-worn wooden stool and a pint of Smithwicks inside a small pub on the west coast of Ireland and as complicated as our universal existence at any moment in the tangled web of time and possibility.
Descend the stairs of Et Al., a small space in the basement of a dry cleaner business in Chinatown, and immediately noticeable is an abstract formation, cons... [more]
sinne [Swedish] n.
spegel [Swedish] n.
a mirror; a smooth reflecting surface
something flat and smooth, resembling a mirror (e.g. the surface of a lake)
a (moral) guideline, used for correcting errors, similar to a mirror
My creative practice, or lack thereof rather, exists in my head. I take other people’s ideas and make them my own and find them wildly successful in there.
The layers of identity laid bare in Anne McGuire and Karla M... [more]
I lingered in front of Rex Ray’s Prednisporata (2013). Polychromatic shapes shimmer against a black sky. A firework-like flower bursts above that skyline of plump perfume bottles. Simultaneously hard-edged and fluid, the layers of colorful forms luminesce from the canvas, awaiting adoration, unflinching. I’m mesmerized more by the detail than the subject. Each filigree and wash of color hand-painted, each curving form cut out by hand. I move in very close to notice all the circular shreds of... [more]
On a large circular rug in the yawning atrium of the brutalist Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, they are playing a game. A sign welcomes you on the carpet though it requests you take off your shoes.
It’s not too hard to figure out, but the MC pads across the carpet with bare feet and whispers to you the rules. Most but all wear white sleeveless sheets belted over their clothes, but not all. Echoing sounds of a couple playing music on a laptop and synths, they stand and lay and bend, all statue st... [more]
Beginning with its titular linguistic play, Jonah Suskind’s SEEMless inquires into the realm of the handmade and the transformative possibilities of the tangible. Rendering unassuming everyday objects from unassuming everyday materials, Susskind conflates the basic makeup of the urban world and presents an almost chilling, alchemic mastery of materialistic potential. Susskind’s work is a fitting point of entry to examine questions surrounding modes of production in daily life.
2013, that futuristic date, has already been replaced by another and so far it appears that no apocalypse accompanied it. (Thirteen years after Y2K do survivalists and world-enders still clutch their rifles and check their supplies every December 31st? Probably.) Though the world is not over, the year certainly is. To properly bury 2013, we need an epitaph, a eulogy, a blurb.
So we’ve plucked a few of our favorite words from our two favorite Bay Area writers, Christina Catherine Martinez and Kara... [more]
Material Ascension by Kara Q. Smith Randy Colosky, Chris Fraser, Sandra Ono, Dean Smith at Incline Gallery
October 11th, 2013 - November 22nd, 2013
The best part about science fiction: seeing how far folks can un-imagine the familiar. In the future, the curious life of humans after Earth, what will phones look like? forks? mops? How can artists reenvision the mundane and embrace the unknown? Should they re-invent the mop?
Simply ascend the first ramp…
In a gallery weirdly made up mostly of ramps, four artists have installed work grouped together under Space: 1999, the title nabbed from a short-lived science fiction show in which e... [more]
Alexis Courtney - Honorable Mention, ArtSlant Prize 2013
Working across media, Alexis Courtney delicately exposes vulnerable sensitivities in both the artist and the viewer. Be it pleasure and frustration, or intimacy and rupture, Courtney’s pieces oscillate between affectabilities with an effortless honesty.
Untitled, a series of photographs created over the last couple years, most prominently features the artist herself as subject. In Shorts (2013), Courtney sits topless, in a pair of cut-... [more]