Posts archive: February 2004

has not shown in San Francisco for several years, so her recent exhibition at 455 Market Street was a welcome chance to catch up with her work. Curator Bonnie Earles-Solari paired a substantial sampling of oil on canvas works with a group of gouache-on-digital-print drawings. Brooke titled the show Natural Language, emphasizing the floral and faunal forms in her work, but it could conceivably have been called “Flood” to draw attention to the aqueous spaces in which they float. Shown below: Kauai 9 (2003), oil on canvas,  39” x 48”

- Meredith Tromble [Saturday, February 28th, 2004]

New York magazine has already weighed in on their favorites. No Californians in their top ten, but the Berkeley Art Museum is opening a Matrix exhibition of fave Julie Mehretu’s work April 18.

- Meredith Tromble [Thursday, February 26th, 2004]

Only a few more days to see amazing Asian erotica at Greg Kucera Gallery.
Sonic Absorption, the 2004 College Art Association members’ exhibition at the truly multidisciplinary Consolidated Works.
Delightfully light and airy collages by Claire Cowie at former Bay Areaite James Harris Gallery.
Howard House moving to new digs.
And finally, the final days of one of the best exhibitions I have seen in a long time, International Abstraction: Making Painting Real at the Seattle Art Museum.

- amy berk [Thursday, February 26th, 2004]

Couldn’t make the College Art Association meeting in Seattle? Regina Hackett’s frothy report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer may leave you in the dark on intellectual trends, but you can catch up with painter Gregory Amenoff’s take on Andy Goldsworthy: “Martha Stewart is a better artist.” Next best thing to being there…

- Meredith Tromble [Tuesday, February 24th, 2004]

Lineaments of Gratified Desire, curated by Marcia Tanner for the Catharine Clark Gallery, features art that flirts while withholding gratification. But the show as a whole delivers. From Charles Gute’s sexy golden script piece to Philip Ross’s desktop hydroponics, it’s thoroughly intelligent. It practically makes frustration fun.

- Meredith Tromble [Tuesday, February 24th, 2004]

The retrospective at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt includes more than 50 monumental works and focuses on Julian Schnabel’s oeuvre as a painter.

“Painting is about not losing the point”, says Julian “Mr. Big” Schnabel. Next stops are Reina Sofia in Madrid and Naples and probably big art biz. He is trying to get his career to take off again with a very comprehensive exhibition. Aim of the operation: Art market, back to the future, back to the Eighties, back to one million for one painting. Maybe this is the reason the opening in Frankfurt was so fashionable: famous German actors, artists dressed up as artists - and Julian`s old buddy Lou Reed with a hood.

And the paintings? Some of them are so perfect that you can forgive Julian Schnabel`s exercises with painted porcelain shards. He plays superbly with monumental highly evocative paintings in the difficult architecture of the Schirn. The series “La voz de Antonio Molina” or “Los Patos del Buen Retiro”, 1991 and the recent work reflect aspects of European traditions but remains strictly American in the content. Julian Schnabel has no need for curatorial wall text: all you need to do is admire it.

—Walter Kratner, Weitz, Austria

- Cheryl Meeker [Friday, February 20th, 2004]

Ramette gives Photoshop a bad name: he does his photographic manipulation the old fashioned way, long before the click of the shutter, with out of sight engineering and photo styling that DW Griffiths would be in awe over. Here he presents 12 gorgeous, saturated color prints as well as the hidden sculptures that have allowed him to pose himself in defiance of gravity. By presenting a few of these elaborately constructed metal prostheses in tandem with the finished photographs, we are made privy to his apparent ability to levitate for the camera. Kind of like Magritte meets Klein and Wurm while walking on water. The last image of the show - next to a video showing us how this was all achieved is hung upside down and depicts the artist in his usual black suit, bolted down to a lawn with his tie pointing to the heavens - an earth-bound Icarus who must think his way back into the sky to free himself from earth’s constraints.

through March 6

- Charles Linder [Monday, February 16th, 2004]


The combination of scale, color, and context make this a stunning show. It’s everything real art is supposed to be: big, colorful, expensive and hard to move around. As far as the show’s title, the work itself suffers little from an inability to back up away from itself. In this cavernous space, Ruyters pantone paintings of forest scenes pulled me in off the street and drew me to within inches of their surfaces, pleasing me constantly. If I only had a few dozen thousand extra euros, I’d send some of these back home to enjoy in San Francisco.">

through 28 February

- Charles Linder [Sunday, February 15th, 2004]

This year’s edition of Transmediale seemed slightly smaller than previous rounds and focused more on ideas than technology. Entitled “Fly Utopia!,” it allowed all sorts of takes on the topic, and proved to be much more enriching on the subject than last summer’s similarly focused Utopia Station project at the Venice Bienalle. The highlights included Norman Klein’s “Bleeding Through: Layers of Los Angeles,” a DVD essay that is rich in content and elegant in design (Klein’s discussion on possible designs for utopias with John Thackara was just as enlightening and wide-ranging). David Crawford’s “Stop Motion Studies” proved an oddly compelling work built from simple animations of public transit riders. Bernard Gigounon’s Starship turned the simple passage of boats into something both humorous and unworldly. And the charms of Jeroen Offerman’s Stairway at St. Paul’s eight minute one-liner only grow as the piece unfolds.

But the big winner, both in terms of prize money and popular response was Zhou Hongxiang’s “The Red Flag Flies,” a video examining the changing status of a communist utopia in contemporary China. People in a variety of highly staged scenes recite Maoist slogans while holding tiny Chinese flags. The words seem at once meaningful and meaningless, and the actors appear to know this even as their performances reveal a deep ambiguity around just how inhabit them.

- Ed Osborn [Thursday, February 12th, 2004]

a “restructuring” at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts has moved the top directors of the departments right off the organizational chart. YBCA’s Chief Curator Renny Pritikin, who has been involved with the YBCA since its inception, is among the staff whose lives are opening to new opportunities. Pritikin, a respected writer and poet, came to the YBCA after many years at New Langton Arts. He led the creation of an eclectic visual arts program that has, in the past couple of years, gelled into a consistently provocative groove and charged up a new generation about visual art. No word yet on what’s next for Pritikin, but we hope something very, very good.

- Meredith Tromble [Wednesday, February 11th, 2004]

I find it hard to believe Robert Arneson, who was one hell of an artist, would have approved of “his” new public work on the Embarcadero. Maybe on an off day he did come up with the two mask-like items, but he surely would have made better use of the opportunity if he had been consulted. The Embarcadero is becoming a dumping ground for lousy work by big-name artists—the only thing one can say in favor of the Arneson is that it’s no worse than the Oldenburg. Sheesh, San Francisco, get a grip.

- Meredith Tromble [Wednesday, February 11th, 2004]

Just a few more days to feel up Ernesto Neto’s squishy white sculpture-space and bounce Andy Warhol’s Mylar pillows around the room. Thin Skin:The Fickle Nature of Bubbles, Spheres, and Inflatable Structures, at the Bedford Art Gallery in Walnut Creek, also brings two works by the hot-hot installation artist Olafur Eliasson to the Bay Area. It’s a fun show, and a good one.

- Meredith Tromble [Monday, February 9th, 2004]

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has announced the 14 artists nominated for the museum’s 2004 Lucelia Artist Award: Matthew Barney, Uta Barth, Sam Durant, Robert Gober, Rachel Harrison, Roni Horn, Charles LeDray, Glenn Ligon, Vik Muniz, Matthew Ritchie, Paul Sietsema, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker and Lisa Yuskavage. The Lucelia Artist Award, established in 2001, annually recognizes an American artist under the age of 50. Sidra Stich, the Lucelia Artist Award executive director, says:“The Lucelia Artist Award honors a contemporary American artist who has demonstrated a sustained commitment to distinctive, often daring pursuits that challenge expectations and thinking about the nature of art.” The $25,000 award is intended to encourage the artist’s future development and experimentation. Previous winners were Jorge Pardo (2001), Liz Larner (2002) and Rirkrit Tiravanija (2003).

- Meredith Tromble [Monday, February 9th, 2004]

When Horace Greeley went to heaven, he must have gotten turned around. At least when California artists hear his spirit prompting them to go in search of opportunity, that’s what he tells them. Susan Magnus is the latest Bay Area artist to decamp for New York, and she’s made getting there from here the subject of her show at the Mills Museum. One highlight: a wall-size print of the U.S. map, displayed with a full pencil cup so that viewers can tell her where to go on her journey east. Through February 15.

- Meredith Tromble [Friday, February 6th, 2004] reports that the Pentagon has evidently cancelled it’s “Lifelog” project, the goal of which as DARPA itself says is to “...turn the notebook computers or personal digital assistants used today into much more powerful tools for the warfighter.”

- Cheryl Meeker [Thursday, February 5th, 2004]

And just what is Inside of Inside?

Find out Thursday, February 5 at 7 p.m. as some of the 70 artists (and the seven curators) participating in this all-women extravaganza on home, community and much more talk about this ambitious and visually arresting project.  Free. 

At The Lab, located at 2948 16th Street in the Mission District of San Francisco.

- amy berk [Wednesday, February 4th, 2004]

Artist Griff Williams, who developed the pioneering fine art digital printmaking workshop Urban Digital Color and and its companion Gallery 16, will speak tonight on the history of digital art at 7:30 in the San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall.

- Meredith Tromble [Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004]

This year was supposed to see the opening of a new museum in Philadelphia, devoted to the works of Alexander Calder. But the Press Enterprise reports that not only will the museum not be opening, “not a dime has been raised toward the estimated $70 million price tag.”

- Meredith Tromble [Sunday, February 1st, 2004]

From the editors