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20121019100409-nightca1920 The Optometrist and the Wallpaper Designer.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Charles Burchfield, Ralph Eugene Meatyard at Fraenkel Gallery September 6th, 2012 - October 27th, 2012
Posted 10/19/12

I like that Fraenkel Gallery doesn’t present the pairing of the two artists featured in their latest exhibition with an overwrought thesis. Burchfield / Meatyard is its own kind of poetry. The painter and the photographer do have a “shared sensibility” of nature that’s maybe summed up by a shared preference for peace and quiet, a place to go and think about looking. Burchfield said that an artist “must paint not what he sees in nature, but what is there.” I dig deep to try and reconcile this q... [more]

20120929185835-campbells-soup-limited-edition-cans Let Them Eat Pop   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 9/29/12

I wanted to paint nothing. I was looking for something that was the essence of nothing, and that was it. —Andy Warhol on why he chose to paint soup cans If these musings prove nothing more than the paranoid ramblings of someone who finds poetry in grocery lists and weeps at the sight of octogenarians in matching hats, then so be it, but... something is off about this soup. There are consumer choices enough without worrying if one’s groceries are accurately reflecting some elevated cultural sensib... [more]

20121127191822-2-barry_mcgee-bampfa_8-2012 McGee and Me   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Barry McGee at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive August 24th, 2012 - December 9th, 2012
Posted 9/13/12

The end of summer is a strange moment. The energy of back-to-school jitters permeates everything. Fashion releases its flimsiest glossies in preparation for the cinder-block September issues. Galleries shutter, giving their artists and proprietors a chance to check in with the Midwest and assure their families that they’re getting enough to eat and thus return to September a few pounds thicker for the fall previews. New York and Paris turn into sweaty metropolitan ghost-towns, those with means hav... [more]

20120905013055-shrigley_1 Flipping the Switch   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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David Shrigley at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts June 22nd, 2012 - September 23rd, 2012
Posted 9/5/12

Next to a taxidermy rat lying on the floor of the gallery is David Shrigley’s animation, Switch, 2007. Projected onto the wall in roughly a single square foot. In it, a finger, composed simply with black lines in the artist's emblematically elemental linework, pushes a light switch repeatedly, on-off, on-off, on-off. Click-click, click-click. Each time “off” comes into the rotation, the projection disappears, it clicks off.  After a series of on-off’s the finger pulls back for a second. Will it go... [more]

20120816182752-the_fence Meet Trevor Paglen: Under the Radar   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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]


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