Posts archive: October 2006

Scott MacLeod has posted an amusing show of his drawings of ships and boats from 1960-62, when by the looks of things, he was 8 or 9 years old. Previous exhibitions at MacLeod’s “North Oakland Temporary Museum” include “Bulldozers, Tractors and Autombiles” and “War: Ambushes, Melees and Disasters.

- Meredith Tromble [Monday, October 30th, 2006]

In a top heavy conceptual SF, it’s startling to see something so retinal. But that’s what Charles Linder’s handsome show at Gallery 16 was. The centerpeice of the show is of course Gimp My Ride, the white-ified, bullet-ridden, car frame which, if it could talk, would say say “hey stop shooting me!” Unlike other car/boy art like the venerable works of Chip Lord and Lewis Desoto, Linder’s jalopy is genially visual, something we don’t automatically expect from SF fare. What the heck does green mean? What the heck does white mean?

The Car Wash painting’s most fascinating aspect is that the canvases/surfaces are substantial abstracts but because of their sheen also function as virtual mirrors. If you’ve ever woken up looking like a Jackson Pollock you’ll relate.

But what really confirmed to me that this show is an accomplishment was the press release - lucid, informative and (thank God!) funny. If you’ve ever read a decent or deplorable document like this then you know it’s an art form unto itself.

- Dale Hoyt [Friday, October 27th, 2006]

Marcia Tucker, founder of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, died on October 17 at her home in Santa Barbara, California. She was 66 years old. As a Whitney Museum curator from 1969 to 1977, she curated ground-breaking exhibitions of works by Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Bruce Nauman, among others. She was also a co-organizer of a the influential 1969 exhibition “Anti-Illusion: Procedures/ Materials.” But her most famous exhibition was “Bad Painting,” mounted at the New Museum, an alternative space she started after disagreements with the Whitney led to her departure. In recent years, her wonderfully fractious spirit found another outlet in performing as a stand-up comic under the name Mabel McNeil, or “Miss Mannerist.”

- Meredith Tromble [Friday, October 20th, 2006]

In a surprising departure, Roy Tomlinson is showing narrative paintings at SFMOMA’s Artists Gallery at Fort Mason Center, San Francisco. In oil on large wood panels, he has taken the aftermath of winter fire as his symbolic motif. Loosely painted blacks are worked into a white field in calligraphic strokes. Viridian greens leak out from the blacks and orange-browns underlay and warm areas of the white field. Overall, the paintings have the values of a contrasty photographic print.

Tomlinson’s process begins with photographic projections onto the wood panels. Most of the paintings share high horizon lines and a perspective from below, yielding a flattened photographic space in which Tomlinson’s brush has free play. Because the painting space opens out radically to the viewer and because Tomlinson repeats motifs with slight variations in many of the paintings, there is a cinematic quality to the narrative moving along the gallery walls and projecting out into the viewers’ space. This recalls some of the principles of Suprematism and Constructivism.

In a prominent position in the gallery, Woods 2 is a painting of another kind of screen. In this case, not a cinematic screen but rather part of a traditional Chinese painting. In it, two trees frame a large, central, painterly white and atmospheric void. Painted in calligraphic strokes, the trees share the same spirit as trees in Chinese painting, generalized yet detailed, symbolic and evocative. Yet this painting, too, has the sense of cinematic mise-en-scene shared by the others in this timely exhibition.   

Although the emotional mood of the paintings is austere, the play of Tomlinson’s brush and the juiciness of the oil paint create a lushness that speaks of regeneration and hope.

The paintings at the Artists Gallery seem to have grown out of work Tomlinson exhibited at San Francisco Zen Center last year. These were small black and white photographs which emerged from a very elaborate process. Photographic images were printed, then painted and reprinted conflating painting, calligraphy and photography to poetic effect. It is invigorating to see a Bay Area artist taking so many conceptual risks.

Roy Tomlinson’s paintings remain on view at SFMOMA’s Artists Gallery through October 27.

- Gloria Tanchelev [Saturday, October 14th, 2006]

you’re going to spend the next eighteen point five minutes watching Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries’ new work for the Tate online: The Art of Sleep. Then you’re going to scroll down and click on The Art of Silence: An Interview with Jemima Rellie at Tate London. Another 13 minutes and 52 seconds of consciousness, blown. We promise, it’ll be worth your while.

- Jeannine McDonald [Thursday, October 12th, 2006]

To an overflow crowd at California College of Art/San Francisco Tuesday night, Michael Kimmelman complimented the Bay Area on its tradition of producing artists who “zagged” when the mainstream “zigged” and encouraged Bay Area artists to continue to do so.

- Gloria Tanchelev [Thursday, October 12th, 2006]

Shortly after Paul Zografakis arrived in the Czech town of Tabor for a six-week residency, a monument to a local hero was shrouded for restoration. This gave Zografakis ideas…check out the results at artzog.

- Meredith Tromble [Monday, October 9th, 2006]

“Every day there’s a new gallery: how the Tate and Frieze fuel London art boom”... a report on the London scene worth reading.

- Jeannine McDonald [Monday, October 9th, 2006]

Los Angeles artist Doug Aitken has been commissioned by MoMA and Creative Time to create the artist’s first large-scale public artwork in the U.S. Aitken is creating continuous sequences of film scenes to be projected onto seven facades of MoMA’s new Taneguchi building, a cinematic art experience intended to integrate with the architectural fabric of the city. It will be interesting to see Aitken’s film projections in the falling snow of New York in January. Will the film images be projected onto the snow and will this further amplify the spatial illusion? At MoMA January 16-February 12, 2007, 5:00-10:00 p.m.

Currently, a small piece by Aitken can be seen in Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, in the “Art’s Cosmic Wonder” exhibition running through November 5.

— Gloria Tanchelev

- Meredith Tromble [Monday, October 9th, 2006]

“WHO IS THE CRIMINAL?”-” GEORGE BUSH”- “WHO IS THE TERRORIST?” - “GEORGE BUSH” - “WHO IS THE KILLERMAN?” - “GEORGE BUSH.” Youth Speaks. Chanted call-and-response by thousands marching in the rain up Market Street, San Francisco, Thursday, Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m. Young and old, but mostly young and very diverse, they marched Market Street under the banners of The World Can’t Wait after hearing from Daniel Ellsberg and on their way to hearing from Medea Benjamin. Different than the 1960’s, not white college students, these were largely public high school students, whose friends, neighbors and family are fighting the American War in Iraq.  Many in the mostly young march were from Oakland public high schools who walked out to rally in San Francisco under the banners of The World Can’t Is their dissent and their activism the reason for State Education Superintendent Jack O’Connell’s and the San Francisco Chronicle’s constant critique of the Oakland public schools?

- Gloria Tanchelev [Thursday, October 5th, 2006]

Somewhat behind the curve, MOMA debuts a department of media.

- Meredith Tromble [Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006]

From the editors