Filmmaker, cyclist, and all-around inspiration George Kuchar passed away last night at the age of 69. This obituary from indieWIRE suggests the scope of his achievements. His ideas will continue to influence the film world through the work of his many students.
R.I.P. Lucian Freud
The opening party for Bay Area Now 6 (BAN6), at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, was approaching lift-off as we left the building. The line to get in stood four deep and wrapped around the corner of Mission and Third. People in the queue could start their exhibition viewing with a green neon marijuana leaf mounted by the main entrance, a component of Tony Labat's conceptual work on medical marijuana. Once inside, persistent (and, given the thickening of the crowd, maybe pushy) viewers would find a precisely curated show with work by 18 artists--a small number compared to previous versions of the triennial survey. Change is good; although we missed the daring juxtapositions that characterized BAN5, curators Betti-Sue Hertz, Julio César Morales, and Thien Lam present a clear thesis about what matters in Bay Area art now. The emphasis is on work that seamlessly incorporates both "technology" and "handiwork;" as in Suzanne Husky's Sleeper Cell Hotel, charming cocoons of scavenged wood circling a video viewing area. Every work is well-crafted although several use raw materials to make a point. Nothing is dizzy, chancy, or even particularly playful; what the show loses in energy it makes up in focus. Perhaps this direction is just what the Bay Area needs now; one thing is certain—arguing the point will be the art world's summer sport. The exhibition continues through September 25.
This is by far my favorite blog site, Princess Sparkle Pony, which is largely a searing political site but is also written anonymously by a fellow who works in some capacity for the National Gallery so there are many Art World insights. To wit, this entry about a grammatical bugaboo that has always irked me, too.
There could still be time, if you are receiving this via Stretcher’s RSS feed, to make it over to the Merchants of Reality benefit at 285 Folsom in San Francisco. You’ll know you’re in the right place if you see a man leaning on a parking meter, banging a tambourine, and a violist waiting to serenade your progress up the stairs to the old Climate Theatre space. The party, with eats from Food Not Bombs, music by Three Landlords, and a performance by The Unreal, was just kicking into gear at 7:00 and goes to 11:00 pm. Tonight’s event in the new “24hr creative work space,” slated to have a gallery, artist studios, recording and screen printing studios, multi-media theater, rehearsal space, and darkroom, is a sneak preview of things to come when the space opens officially this summer. Tonight, it’s raw, it’s grubby, and it’s energetic and full of promise. A suggested donation of $10 supports renovations in the gallery and studios. It’s so new, there’s no Web site yet — for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
An entertaining piece-about-a-piece from artist and Stretcher contributor Tucker Nichols, from his current residency in Denmark, is posted here on the Gallery 16 blog.