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Gallery Wendi Norris

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le ventre de feu

by Kara Q. Smith
Occupying the center, bellies hold babies, beer, guts (literal and proverbial), and intestines. They are a measure of our earthly life yet seem to take on a life of their own: ballooning, billowing, expanding, bloating, giving new shape to our bodies at any given time. In the work of Dorothea Tanning, the stomach is beautiful, sexual, and enchanting. Wandering around the exhibition of Tanning’s work at Gallery Wendi Norris, I came to a halt in front of Traffic Sign, 1970. But then, that seemed an intention implied by the title. An oddity, the flesh-colored hemisphere made of fabric stood in co... [more]
Posted by Kara Q. Smith on 1/15/13
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Mithila Painting

by E-Slant Team
At least since the 14th century, women in the Mithila region of the state of Bihar in northeast India have painted auspicious images on the walls of their homes. Traditionally, these paintings were done on ritual occasions, especially to celebrate marriages, and encourage fertility and prosperity. Over time several distinctive styles of Mithila painting have evolved. Then in the late 1960s the women began transferring these paintings to paper for sale. Today, woman in the region still adorn the walls of their homes with these paintings. But with the advent of newspapers, improved tran... [more]
Posted by E-Slant Team on 6/21/09
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Preview: An Arteaser Introduction to Dana Harel

by Dormain Geyer
Born in Tel Aviv, Dana Harel observed her father and grandparents paint in their leisure time. Pursuing art only as a hobby, her family members had developed meticulous technique, but did not attempt new content, which shaped her early experiences with art: "I took some art classes, but I was never pushed to think for myself. It was kind of about learning techniques or painting or looking at other art or landscapes and painting what you see" The practically-minded Harel studied architecture at university, eventually moving to the Bay Area with her husband and completing her degree at the Ca... [more]
Posted by Dormain Geyer on 3/17/09
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Metamorphosis

by Patricia Wakida
Dana Harel’s new graphite works on paper ask what kinship lies between man and other animals through a series of silvery black images that wrestle out the meaning to the riddle. Her drawings of hands poised in stages of metamorphosis are infused with a gorgeous, naked violence that reminds one of the feral necessity of being human, to use the hand to procure one’s food and substance. Yet the detail in which she demonstrates the difference between say thumb and claw reveals a certain vulnerability to our physiology. Is it really true then, that the dominant hand truly dominates... [more]
Posted by Patricia Wakida on 4/5/09
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We are all animals: Dana Harel at Frey Norris

by Dormain Geyer
(Author's note: This is an excerpt of a longer post on my blog, Arteaser)   For my last stop of the night, I went to Frey Norris Gallery, which was featuring Dana Harel's series, "Kin": For someone who has seen images of this series, it was great to see the life-size scale to which Ms. Harel draws her hand animals (below): What these pictures do not capture well is the fine detail of subtle textural mutations to the subject hand's skin, which are at once anatomically correct for the implied animal and incorrect for the human model: The show is up until May 3 in the downstairs of the g... [more]
Posted by Dormain Geyer on 4/7/09
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Ever Heard of a Ritual Killing?

by Jolene Torr
        It's not all blood, guts, and glory. Sometimes: it's just blood and guts. In Joshua Hagler's exhibit at Frey Norris, he explores the myth and fetishization of the unreal purity of the "virgin" through very graphic and sometimes obscene renderings of religious sin. The virgin in history has been the martyr. A human sacrifice to God. They give themselves unto another (in marriage, this other is the flesh and not the deity) and are constantly idolized as pure creatures. If this giving-unto-another (besides God) happens out of wedlock, it is dubbed as sin. We all know the story. And t... [more]
Posted by Jolene Torr on 2/9/09
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Questioning Purity: Joshua Hagler at Frey Norris

(Author's note: The following is an excerpt from a story published on my blog, Arteaser)   Finally, I made my way over to Frey Norris Gallery for the opening of Joshua Hagler's "72 Virgins to Die For": Hagler's powerful paintings and installations explore notions of purity and violence across various settings: His work suggests a darker truth to the pursuit of purity: Hagler draws on religious, historical, social and gastronomic references: The show is on display through February: --Dormain Geyer   [more]
Posted by Dormain Geyer on 2/10/09
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China is here, Mr. Burton

by Andy Ritchie
   Wendi Norris and Raman Frey pushed Manifest Destiny West till they hit East-now that's a lesson in perseverance. Their exhibition of Chinese artist Shen Shaomin densely merges familiarity with transcendence in a searing solo show, earning it standout status from the current environment of group shows panting from China Fever (Berkeley Art Museum and Elins Eagles, for example). Before I get archaeological on Shen's work, I'd like to offer a word of warning: there's more information radiating from this exhibition than I can possibly funnel to you in this format. Shen's fastidiously kept record... [more]
Posted by Andy Ritchie on 9/15/08
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Orthodoxy and its Discontents

by DeWitt Cheng
Leonora Carrington is a painter, sculptor, printmaker and writer of the fantastic who discovered her métier at age twenty among the Surrealists in 1937 Paris. Now ninety, and living in Mexico, she has sent a selection of over twenty oils, gouaches, watercolors and drawings to San Francisco’s Frey Norris Gallery. Five years in the making, “The Talismanic Lens” is the first Bay Area showing of her work in any quantity since her Mexican Museum solo show in 1991. The work on view, spanning some forty-five years, commingles alchemy, Tarot and the re-imagined mythol... [more]
Posted by DeWitt Cheng on 2/11/08
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Who's Afraid of San Francisco

"Who's Afraid of San Francisco?" While we're busy spearheading social change, San Franciscans are also (perhaps without realizing it) manufacturing national anxiety. This exhibition peers behind the city's liberal gestalt to explore how our support for gay marriage, the anti-war movement, and medical marijuana, as well as the supposedly looming "Big One" earthquake, inform the rest of the country's perceptions and fears about the Bay Area. The 20 featured artists include Enrique Chagoya, who weds pre-Columbian symbolism to American pop culture in massive works like Adventures of a Minimalist Cannibal... [more]
Posted by Frederick Loomis on 11/4/06