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20120816182752-the_fence Meet Trevor Paglen: Under the Radar   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 8/16/12

There's at once more and less than meets the eye. On the face of it, an atmospheric wash darkens from plasma to clotted blood. In between, the colors roil with a complexity suggesting vastness, calling to mind the Romantic sublime and a few of its heirs, from J. M. W. Turner's paintings of the night sky and Alfred Stieglitz's photographs of clouds to Mark Rothko's brooding color fields. Underneath, however, Trevor Paglen's The Fence (Lake Kickapoo, Texas), 2010, is pure Enlightenment. Electromagne... [more]

20120810090032-smithson Par Infinity: Earth Putt // Putt Works at Will Brown Gallery   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Water de Maria, Ant Farm, Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Long, Isamu Noguchi, Robert Smithson, James Turrell at Will Brown July 1st, 2012 - August 12th, 2012
Posted 8/10/12

“The par is three for every hole,” we were told matter-of-factly, “except number two, which is par seventeen, and number seven, which is par infinity.” I didn’t like the sound of that, but the potential embarrassment of swinging into the night was outweighed by the shame of giving up. We’ll deal with it when we deal with it. Land art is not an exclusively American phenomenon, and neither is miniature golf, but we have muscled ourselves into being primarily associated with them. Land art (or Robert Sm... [more]

20120726204434-cindysherman Identity Outfitters   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Cindy Sherman at SFMOMA - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art July 14th, 2012 - October 8th, 2012
Posted 7/26/12

Snaking through the rooms of SFMOMA’s recently opened Cindy Sherman retrospective, I felt disturbingly underwhelmed by portrait after portrait of the artist acting as her own costumer, make-up artist, hairdresser, and photographer, becoming in each photograph, a different woman. Whispering into their recorders and to each other, the critics sound-byte thesis statements echoed off the walls like sage axioms: “pictures are misleading,” “identity is a social construction,” “photography is implicit in the fabr... [more]

20120725213936-eric_staller__citroen_lores__1977 Street Art: Ephemera, Erasure, and Reality of Territory   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Evan Bissell, Ana Teresa Fernandez, Ana Teresa Fernández, Ricardo Richey, Favianna Rodriguez, Eric Staller at Intersection for the Arts/ Intersection 5M June 13th, 2012 - August 25th, 2012
Posted 7/25/12

Balmy Alley and Clarion Alley in San Francisco’s Mission District are well-known for their high concentration of murals, for the diversity of color contained in one-block stretches of fences and residences with bustling commercial streets astride. Swoon, Andrew Schoultz, Sirron Norris, among many others, have added their signature styles, commissioned or not, to the famed narrow alleys. But it’s thanks to Intersection for the Arts in the Mid-Market for their exhibition programming that consiste... [more]

20120717060758-screen_shot_2012-07-16_at_11 Conceptual Consumption   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Michael Delucia, Liam Everett, Ruth Laskey, Arik Levy, Sam Orlando Miller, Clare Rojas, Hugh Scott-Douglas, Anna Sew Hoy, Sara VanDerBeek at Hedge Gallery June 21st, 2012 - September 1st, 2012
Posted 7/15/12

Usually, exhibitions organized around a technique or medium rather than a concept tend to come off as crafty rather than curated—the whole enterprise tends to knock ideas a notch (or two, or three) below form. But fetish craft revivalism and the weird, zeitgeisty impulse to BRAND BRAND BRAND make the consumption of technique and material a somewhat reluctant political activity, imbued with any and as much concept as you like. Some people relish this. They think of thrift-store shopping as a for... [more]

20120626114235-carner_dutch_hand Long Live Cinephelia   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Deric Carner at Romer Young Gallery June 15th, 2012 - July 21st, 2012
Posted 6/26/12

Upon entering Romer Young Gallery, it's quiet and cool, the way you want a gallery to be on the hottest day in San Francisco. About six minutes later, you hear baboon-like noises and jungle-nature sounds coming from the corner of the gallery and it is a relief because the absence of sound was already starting to get to the city girl inside of me. The first tangible association I felt when glancing around Deric Carner’s exhibition, The Light that Failed, was: Hollywood. The pulp cinema kind of... [more]

20120612103146-z Where I’m From…beta pictoris gallery at ArtPadSF   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 6/12/12

Friday night at ArtPadSF, one of the raft of fairs floated out these years to swell art commerce here in San Francisco. Trafficked, but sparser then remembered, the fair hosted a heavy load of California galleries, especially from the Bay Area, far outnumbering those from less local climes. Some switches and changes, neighborhood gossip and shifting allegiances: Eleanor Harwood Gallery previous exhibitor at fair rival ArtMRKT now at ArtPad, a change of scene… Weaving through the rooms I caught a... [more]

20120521093034-r3mp387-lores A Gust of Glitter, a Resolute Fragility   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Mitzi Pederson at Ratio 3 April 27th, 2012 - June 16th, 2012
Posted 5/21/12

I sauntered in unaware. A faint glimmer on the wall caught my eye after I crossed the threshold of the gallery. There wasn’t much to it, really. A sliver of fabric and a few tiny pieces of wood glossy with silver glitter. I hesitated on the sparkle for a moment—there was a strangely familiar quality to this tiny fragment of wood suspended between the fabric and the wall. Mitzi Pederson’s materials shift, evolve, challenge, but remain recognizable, true. Her language is visible in these strikingly mi... [more]

20120505092820-sunlt2 Drawing a Line   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Tom Marioni, Pat Steir at Crown Point Press April 5th, 2012 - May 19th, 2012
Posted 5/5/12

I don’t know why I felt so driven to point this out, but I think it’s funny that Pat Steir is in a show with Tom Marioni at Crown Point Press. It’s an exhibition with beautiful, if unlikely balance. Tom Marioni’s most recent color drypoint prints are minimal yet expressive. The movement of Marioni’s marks accentuates the expressive aquatint colorscapes of Pat Steir. Together, you can tell the works are full of intention and I can find forms within the conceptual formlessness. Comparing Marioni’s Drawing... [more]

20120425110314-wilke_stanleylandsman1966 Lady Business   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Hannah Wilke at Gallery Paule Anglim April 4th, 2012 - April 28th, 2012
Posted 4/25/12

First, an etymological complaint: We have yet to designate a word for female genitalia that falls squarely between the crass (pussy) and the clinical (vagina, “female genitalia”). We’ve got the upper part covered. Somewhere between tits and breasts, you have your casual, everyday boob (oh shoot, I spilled mustard on my boob [or “bewb” if typing through social media]). Hannah Wilke’s sculptures of abstracted forms resembling a cootch oscillate visually between those two poles. They have gestural, almost happenstance quality... [more]

20120416175507-bk11 How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Magazines   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 4/16/12

I think I hate book culture. I was having coffee with a friend the other day, like you do, when our talk turned to magazines; what we’re reading, which ones we’d like to read, why that one goddamn glossy from the UK costs $15, etc. At some point, I absentmindedly wiped my chocolate-scone smeared hand on the copy of San Francisco Arts Quarterly that lay on the table between us. Sacrilege, I know, but I had a few backup copies under my arm. Since SFAQ is free, I usually pick up several at a time to... [more]

20120408090856-29_ Open Studio   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 4/8/12

The idea of the artist’s studio still smolders with mystery and allure. In reality—and often the harsh lights of a fluorescent panel—most artists' studios splay out on kitchen tables or better resemble banged-up versions of the crisp white cubes that will later (maybe) showcase their labors. Owing in part to the long-standing mythology that surrounds the idea of “the artist,” and the re-orientation of the conceptual turn in post-War art that concentrated on the process of art and not its end prod... [more]

20120331173707-rineke_dijkstra_olivier Six Twelve-Year-Olds   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Rineke Dijkstra at SFMOMA - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art February 18th, 2012 - May 28th, 2012
Posted 3/31/12

Six twelve-year-olds walk into a Rineke Dijkstra retrospective. They stood in each room, looking closely at each photograph, waiting for someone to share their observations. Again and again appeared the photograph of a young French man, Olivier, from the day he joined the military and over the next couple years. The pictures are big, almost life-size. The twelve-year-olds eyeball Olivier, he mutely stares back. They spend a lot of time on the first two pictures of Olivier: one from the chest up a... [more]

20120322103729-99_-3_v2 Enigmatic Signposts That Bear an Eerie Resemblance to Words   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Alice Tippit at Important Projects March 2nd, 2012 - April 1st, 2012
Posted 3/22/12

I’ve heard tell of a really great trick for blocked art writers called “The Throwing Up of the Notes,” which entails carefully transcribing ones’ hurried, handwritten chicken-scratches onto the computer screen. I’m not sure what’s so special about this technique other than neglecting to edit grammar and punctuation. Being an overgrown undergrad, I’m well aware of the importance of transcribing notes. Some jargon about hands and ideas and memory and jogging. Writing something down once won’t make you... [more]

20120228205919-x Invaluable Objects   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Jeremy Blake, Nayland Blake, Mathew Brady, Chuck Close, Mary Ellen Mark, Kate Gilmore, Chris Johanson, Martin Kippenberger, Harmony Korine, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, Catherine Opie, Andres Serrano, Roman Signer, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems at Will Brown January 27th, 2012 - March 4th, 2012
Posted 2/28/12

An honest-to-god list of works of art that I have touched when no one was looking: Mary Cassatt's The BathVan Gogh's Room at ArlesandSkull with Burning CigaretteRoy Lichtenstein's Meatassorted Picassosmaybe a Rothko or twoa very old bust of Nefertiti We all have ways of giving release to our sense of anomie. As a child—young, eager, completely overwhelmed by the systems of power that sanction value among inanimate objects—I exercised a feeble sense of power by touching anything that I was to... [more]

20120219181451-494 Notes on Style, Violence   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 2/19/12

“Style is the answer to everything... To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it “ --Bukowski “Style is violent, and I am not violent”--G.R. With Gerhard Richter’s retrospective currently meandering across Europe, I’m reminded of the above quote, one of his more quotable quotes. When repeated at me, it’s done so in response to some aesthetic gesture on my part, the quoter delicately embellishing it with a tone of reproach, like a slap on the wrist with b... [more]

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