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After sixteen years of publication, the granddaddy of online art magazines has decided to call it quits. Yesterday, Artnet magazine shut down with a message explaining that it had always been a money-loser and it was time to move on. Read Jerry Saltz's tribute here. We'll miss you Artnet.

- David Lawrence [Tuesday, June 26th, 2012]

You have just one more day to see SmARTspace: At the Intersection of Art and Technology, the exhibition conceived by and honoring artist/educator Steven Wilson. Wilson, the author of Information Arts and Art + Science Now!, began planning the exhibition, with work by Jim Campbell, Maggie Orth, Alan Rath, and Gail Wight, before his premature death from bone cancer in January, 2010. Beloved for his generous advocacy for hundreds of artists involved with new technologies, and for his own work, Wilson created a gem of show that deftly suggests the breadth of the field he helped to create. Through Thursday, March 15 at the San Francisco State University Fine Art Gallery.

Image: Installation view, work by Gail Wight (front) and Jim Campbell (back).

- Meredith Tromble [Wednesday, March 14th, 2012]

J.D. Beltran has been appointed by Mayor Ed Lee as the President of the San Francisco Arts Commission, and was sworn in yesterday, March 1, 2012, at City Hall.  Beltran has served on the Arts Commission since 2009, and also served as its Interim Director from July 2011-January 2012.  She has been appointed for a four-year term.

- Meredith Tromble [Friday, March 2nd, 2012]

Art subscriptions are a fun, easy, and relatively cheap way to build a collection while supporting artists and art organizations. In the Bay Area, The Present Group and The Thing Quarterly are two of the better known publications regularly delighting subscribers with well curated art delivered right to their doors (or mailboxes). Joining them now are our friends at Art Practical who are launching a new, limited edition Mail Art Subscription project.

The project features art from six artists, including Bay Area locals Anthony Discenza,  Alicia Escott, and Colter Jacobsen as well as artists from Sweden and Brooklyn. Starting in March, each month for six months subscribers get a letter from an artist containing something awesome. The project is in conjunction with AP's fiftieth(!) issue, Printed Matter, and supports future issues of Art Practical. Get art and support a great Bay Area art publication. Check it out!

- David Lawrence [Wednesday, February 1st, 2012]

David Ireland is in the air at Alley Cat Books in People Are a Light to Love, a pop-up exhibit curated by Veronica De Jesus... but only for one more week! Liz Walsh's piece Night Light seems from afar to be a treated scaffold, but from top to bottom there is a gradual dipping into the illusionary; when colored lights and textures subsume the lower part of the piece with a floor with footprints that seems to suggest a Muppet-sized football field. Ali Naschke-Messing's Light from Above, so from below is a space of an "invisible room" denoted by floor to ceiling wires interacting with the adjacent wall some four feet away, encrusted with gold leaf (also reminiscent of Tom Marioni). Pam Martin's Decomposing Display is literally organic, using live mushrooms colliding with print and pencil silhouettes, a little like lining a bird cage with issues of Audubon Magazine in some whacky semiotic experiment. It's displayed like a flat file in their habitat -- spaces in a pile of wooden palettes. Again, puns and a celebration of materials italicizes the spirit of Ireland... One Non-David jewel -- a hysterical sound/comedy installation by Regina Clarkinia Monopoly: The Too Big To Fail Edition gives us a scenario worthy of SNL on a good Saturday.
(Photo - Night Life (2012) Liz Wash, Installation view)

Alley Cat Books
3036 24th Street, San Francisco, CA until January 28th
Hours: 11 to 7 Mon-Sat, 11 to 5 Sunday

- Dale Hoyt [Sunday, January 22nd, 2012]


You have only two more weekends to see Krowswork's current exhibition – Monet Clark: California Girl - A Retrospective Debut; a remarkable show that indeed eschews the format of coming out party and survey. Representing 20 odd years - and I do mean odd, including an homage to stripper culture and the harrowing years suffering from a nearly fatal struggle with chronic Environmental Illness - it somehow seems like both those things.

The installation (Krowswork installations are ambitious as any museum) of the collection is meant to be visited from right to left, artfully chronicling the aforementioned bio and delivering the viewer in a final gallery displaying a prayer of gratitude. The medium is video, as shimmering and slick as a Union Square bus stop, but worlds more soulful and formal.

The center gallery houses a half dozen vertically-oriented flatscreens to accommodate Monet's lanky, leggy performance instrument. Collectively they tell a meta-narrative but each piece is also a free standing chapter that expertly practices a narrative minimalism worthy of Linda Montano or Cindy Sherman.

COUNTER finds Clark counting stacks of cash on a SOMA-inspired white patent leather chair against a white background. She plays with looking directly at the camera/viewer and yet not accusingly, as a lesser feminist artist might. It's more of a "better-not-tell" kind of look of collaboration. MUSE finds the artist being enveloped by winding misogynist text that she literally tries to shake and shimmy off, to no avail.

A solid show that will make you very glad you made the specific trek. That rare construct where the whole is significantly greater than the sum of its parts.

On View until December 17,  Fridays 3-6, Saturdays 1-5

Krowswork
480 23rd Street-side entrance
Oakland, California
510-229-7035
info@krowswork.com

- Natalie Welch [Thursday, December 1st, 2011]

From the editors