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Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Venue  |  Exhibitions  |  Reviews
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Flipping the Switch

by Kara Q. Smith
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 back for more? It wiggles a bit and then, the animation loops again. Chuckle. In the broader sense o... [more]
Posted by Kara Q. Smith on 9/5/12
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So, This is Us...

by Liz Glass
People generally love to hate these kinds of shows. The periodic survey, named everything from biennial to triennial to quadrennial, often includes the word “Now” somewhere in the title (as this one does), but they're generally more contentious than beloved. There’s always something about these shows that reveal both the strengths and the weaknesses of a place and the art being made there (whether it's the Whitney Museum and its environs or Venice with its glut of national pavilions). This year’s incarnation of the Bay Area Now triennial brings together just eighteen artists and collectives—a... [more]
Posted by Liz Glass on 7/18/11
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Re-invent your life the easy way

Cynthia Tom has a way of getting you to see your world upside down, left and sideways and somehow it begins to make sense. Besides that you leave her workshops with a beautiful object you she helped you to rethink and at a minimum, some kind of hopeful resolution of the next step you want to take in your life.  Ambitious, but true. Don't miss this chance to visit with Cynthia, you can stay all afternoon. Bring little treasures, notions, scraps you've been saving as precious and let Cynthia take your through a journey are pairing you item with something  she has and Re-Pair your treasure into a... [more]
Posted by Cynthia Tom on 6/4/11
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Song Dong at YBCA

Last Saturday, I stopped by a garage sale in hopes of finding something special for my new place.  As I spoke to the seller about taking a small handpainted tray and maybe a rolltop desk away, I asked if she was doing some spring cleaning.  She explained to me that unfortunately, she was selling her mother's things.  It had been over a year since her passing, and now she was ready to let go of her mother's belongings.   Later in the afternoon, I stopped by YBCA, one of my favorites to see Lauren DiCioccio's work. To my surprise, I was far more intrigued by the work of Song Dong and its curious conn... [more]
Posted by cartyml on 3/19/11
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Koki Tanaka's Playhouse

Koki Tanaka’s recent exhibition at YBCA in San Francisco, “Nothing Related, but Something Could be Associated,” combines the artist’s video work and related drawings.  Japanese artist, Koki Tanaka has been working in the San Francisco Bay area for roughly one year curating and creating new works to include in the YBCA exhibition.  Tanaka’s work typically utilizes found objects in order to create alternative ways for the viewer to experience everyday life.  Tanaka plays with the viewer’s senses by repurposing everyday objects like toilet paper, beer bottles, curtains, and oranges in playful an... [more]
Posted by cartyml on 11/10/10
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With Fever, With Velocity

by Jolene Torr
Everything in Brazil's modern culture it seems is celebrated with an exclamation point. And the current show at YBCA promises just that: "originality of the culture of people who live in the tropics." Here, the Tropicaìlia art movement is loudly explored, portraying a uniquely Brazilian art culture. I was, however, left reeling not from the surprise of innovation but by the bold, dizzying colors and the overwhelming aroma of coconut and suntan oil (actual smells!). More cloying were the smells of different bowls in one exhibit, where the viewer is invited to sample the flavors of color... [more]
Posted by Jolene Torr on 11/13/09
Shows

The Shape of Things to Come

by Chris Fitzpatrick
Wallworks is just that. For her first exhibition as the new Director of Visual Arts at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Betti-Sue Hertz chose to highlight the architecture of the galleries by commissioning artists to create new works on its walls. Designed by Fumihiko Maki in 1993, the building was intended to facilitate social engagement and be some sort of community haven downtown. The artists were invited to create their works in response to Maki’s vision as well as to two thematic threads: “split landscapes,” and “culture color.” On one hand, by commissioning artists to create new wo... [more]
Posted by Chris Fitzpatrick on 9/8/09
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Through Future Eyes: Teens Curate

by E-Slant Team
Six teens from YBCA's Young Artists at Work (YAAW) program curated a dynamic exhibition of work from eleven renowned local and international artists. From the boldly iconic graphic art of Shepard Fairey to the haunting video art of Melissa Day, and the politically charged posters and silkscreens of Juan R. Fuentes to Claudia Bernardi's “frescoes on paper,” Through Future Eyes explores the universal and transcendental experience of endurance.The curators are part of YAAW, YBCA's innovative education program offering youth a hands-on experience in curating, art-making and art criticism. The... [more]
Posted by E-Slant Team on 5/11/09
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Delight in a Moment at the Center of the Earth

by Patricia Wakida
Some might say that Chicago artist Nick Cave’s “Soundsuits” are fashion costumes or perhaps dance properties relegated to the category of craft. But upon visiting the work currently on exhibit at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, I immediately recognized Cave's Soundsuits as vigorous objects of empowerment. The exhibition features mixed-media, wearable sculptures, named for the auditory effect of the sculptures when worn. Throughout the show, the eye is flooded by the complexity of Cave’s decorative glee: hundreds of colored buttons affixed with plastic retail tag stems, cascades of twine... [more]
Posted by Patricia Wakida on 4/5/09