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]
Rupturing the Familiar by Kara Q. Smith Michel Auder, Martin Boyce, Slater Bradley, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, John Menick, Enrique Metinides, Yelena Popova, Amie Siegel, Kelley Walker at CCA Wattis Institute
September 10th, 2013 - December 14th, 2013
Enter City of Disappearances slowly; it will take a moment, but your eyes will begin to adjust to the dimness of your new environment and you’ll likely find yourself quizzically wandering toward Martin Boyce’s sculptures. In Our Love Is Like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea, and the Hours, 2002, branching neons delicately tower over a bench one could not physically sit on, astride a misshapen trashcan through this park-like installation.
Or so those are the associations I immediately ma... [more]
Cool Media by Kara Q. Smith Michael Barrett, Keith Boadwee, Nick Cope, Chris Corrente, Dean Dempsey, Laura Hyunjhee Kim, Jasmine Moorhead, Chris Silva, Tim Sullivan at Krowswork
August 2nd, 2013 - August 31st, 2013
I wake up and mindlessly hold my iphone over my face and click through instagram, tumblr, facebook. I always feel so displeased. What am I searching for? Social media is now an extension of my brain – an involuntary impulse, a robotic motion. Each of us grapples with the push and pull of media in our lives: causing anxiety, soothing our worries, suspending us in space, critiquing our world, making us feel somehow productive. Artists negotiate new media landscapes with a power to conceptual... [more]
The meandering flute of Gioachino Rossini’s the Call to the Cows gently teases the sunrise out from behind the skyline. A few stray notes waft in through the bedroom window, followed by the tinny crow of a rooster, prompting the little door of the cuckoo clock over the bed to slowly creak open. A large mechanical arm wearing a white glove emerges, holding a mallet nearly twice as large as the clock itself. It pounds on the sleeping figure under the covers. Once, twice, thrice, until a trio of b... [more]
On any given Saturday, the perimeter of Oakland’s newly revived and landscaped Lake Merritt gushes leisure and its minions: weekend bohemians with shiny banjos, eager-eyed GreenPeace solicitors in stiff vests, joggers, bicyclists, casual tight-rope walkers (this is not a joke), girls selling vintage clothes out of a car, smoking barbeques, children squealing and zipping by on all manner of wheeled contraptions, couples on blankets in flagrante, and a farmer’s market covering the gamut from fair-tra... [more]