Patricia Sweetow Gallery is pleased to welcome Bay Area artists, Michael Hall and Whitney Lynn in 2 solo exhibitions. Michael Hall presents Reclamation, paintings and installation. Whitney Lynn presents Doug, video, photography and sculpture. The exhibitions open Thursday, September 9 through October 16th, 2010. Reception for the artists is Saturday, September 11, 3:00 - 6:00pm.
Michael Hall received his MFA from Mills College in 2008. For his MFA exhibition Hall presented several large-scale oil paintings depicting animals in degrees of stress as metaphoric stand-ins for corporate malfeasance and social excess. The paintings were oil on canvas, deftly brushed, with a subdued palette. Fast forward to Reclamation, Hall's recent series of oil paintings. His focus turns to surveillance bunkers constructed during WWII, located on what is now known as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the area proved strategically important, providing the bunker/look-out posts a watch-guard to the East.
The buildings came to Michael's attention while he was a Graduate Fellow at the Headlands Center for the Arts, located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area since 1987. Michael Hall talks of his experience, "While a Graduate Fellow at the Headlands Center for the Arts, I became fascinated with the bunkers dotting the coastal landscape of the Marin Headlands. The coastal defense structures remain in a dilapidated form today - resting military monoliths in the now public land of the National Park Service. Facing the Pacific Ocean, the bunkers are slowly being reclaimed by the land, giving way to erosion".
The look-out posts happen to be located in some of the more spectacular natural landscape that California has to offer. Hall's paintings contrast that backdrop of WWII history with the spectacular environment in which these edifices exist. Michael further explains, "Reclamation is a painterly exploration of the coastal defense structures located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Based in the history of landscape painting, but injected with remains of the complicated military history in the region, the paintings imagine the bunker's further dissolution into the landscape and highlight thier isolated and largely forgotten past".
Michael Hall is a visiting artist/instructor at Mills College, Oakland, California. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Southern Exposure, San Francisco; Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Art Museum and Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco. He received an MFA Fellowship from Headlands Center for the Arts and a Herringer Foundation MFA Award. Recently his work was selected for inclusion in New American Paintings, Pacific Coast Edition, curated by Lawrence Rinder.