Posts: Bay Area

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

480 23rd Street-side entrance
Oakland, California

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

Her dulcet Muzak still resonates in the Whitney elevators from her 1984 Whitney Biennial piece and her posts vigorously delight her vast Facebook fan club. Ann Magnuson's Thursday performance at SFMOMA promises to be a charming spectacle wrestling with "dreams, Jung, human sacrifice, Aztec shamanism, and all things dark, bloody, and beautiful". But I predict she will focus heavily on her longtime fascination with Jobriath, the first openly gay rock star(even David Bowie had a beard in the 70's... poor Angie). Also, another chance to see Ann Friday Oct. 28 at 7:00PM at The Roxie where she will introduce The Hunger.


SFMOMA, Thurs, 10/27, In the Atrium, 9pm



- Dale Hoyt [Monday, October 24th, 2011]

Sharon Lockhart Lunch Break

As I crested a flight of stairs, my eyes pulled my body into Sharon Lockhart's video installation Lunch Break. Visually, I entered a long, long tunnel, its further reaches vanishing deep in the bowels of a factory. Aesthetic, claustrophobic, magnetic, the tunnel was a space in between work areas in a shipyard. At intervals along the expanse, workers could be seen eating, reading, conversing, or just staring into space. At first I thought it was a still projection, but when my attention returned to the image after a brief chat with a friend, the worker who had been in the foreground had almost disappeared. The camera crept through the tunnel at a speed just on the threshold of perception.

As a veteran of 1970s video art, I've endured my share of works attempting to stretch time. This was something else. Lockhart's lingering pace offered a chance to inspect, to soak in the sights of an intimidating place. Her camera makes strange, accessible, and even beautiful a tough world of work, the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. The formal melding of workers and shipyard could have been dehumanizing, but the effect is quite the opposite: the workers, neither romanticized nor patronized, come through as individuals. 

Lunch Break, which dates to 2008, has been widely shown and discussed, but for the SFMOMA exhibition Lockhart also produced the free Lunch Break Times, a newspaper -- yes, news on newsprint -- with all kinds of stories about the Maine shipyard, labor, and lunch breaks. Contributors range from SFMOMA curator Rudolf Frieling, Lucy R. Lippard, and Yoko Ono to Jean R. Lockhart — Sharon Lockhart's mother. The exhibition also includes several still photographs, more pieces from what Frieling describes as "a long-term collaboration with the workers."  

At 7 pm tonight Lockhart will appear in person as SMOMA screens another work from the Bath Iron Works series, Double Tide, described as "a meditative portrait of a woman digging for clams." General admission is $10; museum members, students, and seniors get in for $7.

- Meredith Tromble [Thursday, October 20th, 2011]

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. 

- Meredith Tromble [Wednesday, September 7th, 2011]

From the editors