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Only one more week left to see Larry Rinder’s exhibition Galaxy at the Berkeley Art Museum, a potent curatorial statement that brings together works from the collection with several well-articulated strands of aesthetic interest.

You have never seen the BAM permanent collection like this, and that is the magic of Rinder’s work here. As Director of the Berkeley Art Museum and the Pacific Film Archive, doing this exhibition surely gave him a chance to get to know the collection even better than he already does and to make if his own. Artworks lovingly and assiduously ornamented with detail include European old master prints and modernist drawings, like the well chosen new acquisition by Barry McGee inscribed with very fine ballpoint pen and a fluorescent pink DFW. Down for Whatever are works evincing a cosmic view of multiplicity as in the night sky or in a swarming beehive convening with pieces that celebrate blue and black, like those by John Zurier, Sam Francis, Jay DeFeo, and Ara Peterson. Eroticism makes itself felt, with romantic pastorals and modernist works including a small realistic relief of a breast by Duchamp, and with horizontally framed endurance performance videos by Bruce Nauman, closeted up by the ceiling & hiding in the stairwell.

The show is more deep and varied than even the love I felt for the pieces I’ve touched on above, and you can see some of this in a walk through video with Larry Rinder and with a piece by Johnny Ray Huston, another by Claudine Ise, and the piece on the Berkeleyan by Wendy Edelstein of Public Affairs, where I got the great photograph of Larry Rinder.

At the Berkeley Art Museum through August 30, 2009.

Lawrence Rinder poses a la Giovanni Caracciolo's The Young Saint John in the Wilderness (1610) one of the works featured in BAM/PFA's new exhibit, Galaxy: A Hundred or So Stars Visible to the Naked Eye. (Peg Skorpinski photo)

 

Barry McGee Untitled, (2008) acquired by the Berkeley Art Museum. (Image: Ratio 3)

 

- Cheryl Meeker [Monday, August 24th, 2009]

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