Archive for October, 2009

The Lanterns Along the Wall

10.31.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

When I paid a visit to “The Fountain Of Giant Teardrops,” Neil LeDoux’s solo show at Silverman Gallery last year, I had seen only a very rough reproduction of one of the paintings in a newspaper. Underneath it was a small story regarding the roots of these pieces.

“He recounted seeing a fountain in the thick Louisiana forests, the fountain’s beauty was so astonishing that he immediately wanted to share it with his friends and family but when he took them back to see it it was nowhere to be found.” This piqued... More

Oh, Canada!

10.30.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

In the mid-90s, on the block of South Van Ness bordered by 16th and 15th streets used to be a little art gallery called Bewegung. It was the brainchild of Heather Haynes, a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. Heather lived in the back and the gallery was in the front. Heather was my best friend for a bunch of that decade, when I was young and just moved to San Francisco. I would come over to the gallery and Heather would be giving the whole space a spiritual cleanse, mopping it with a solution of like cow’s milk and blue crumbly b... More

SFMOMA’s Evening of Curiosities Halloween Costume Contest

10.30.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Did you have your picture taken tonight at our Halloween party / Fall Members Opening? The full Flickr set is here!

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Visitor Flickr Photo of the Week

10.30.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Rita, a.k.a Seenyarita, snapped this picture at the entrance to the current Richard Avedon exhibition.  From time to time, the SFMOMA freight elevator is in use during public hours and the doors open, much to the surprise of visitors.  Rita explains her picture better than I could:

I’ve been to see the Avedon show 3 times now. Probably will go back at least one more time before it’s over.  I was intrigued by the way that the image on the elevator parts to reveal another world. I feel that Avedon was able to show worlds to us through portraits on a white background. There was no need to see anything in the background beyond the subject since the portraits themselves spoke volumes.

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1001 Words: 10.28.09

10.28.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

*an ongoing series of individual images presented for speculation and scrutiny, with only tags at the bottom to give context. Because sometimes words are never enough…

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Woody Allen’s Interiors

10.27.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

It’s been many years since I’ve called myself a Woody Allen fan. By the early 80s—when I began my hardcore cinephiliac tour of duty—the critical darling of the late 70s had begun churning out such lighter and slighter fare that I was tempted to write him off entirely. By the time he’d entered a run of serious mid-career revi... More

One on One: Michelle Barger on Robert Overby

10.27.2009  |  By

[Alongside our weekly in-gallery curator "One on One" talks, we post regular ‘one on one' bits from curators & staff on a particular work or exhibition they're interested in. Follow the series here. This week and next, Michelle Barger, SFMOMA deputy head of conservation, & Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, assistant curator of architecture and design, together take on Robert Overby's Hall painting, first floor.]

Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher: I was so excited to learn that Robert Overby’s large latex rubber cast of Hall painting, first floor from 19... More

At Home with Cristy Road

10.23.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Drinking the most anemic, milked-down coffee at a breakfast joint in Providence, Rhode Island, I so wish I was back in Cristy Road’s lightless, ornamented punk rock palace. The walls are covered, like totally covered, with Cristy’s illustrations, inky and graphic and punk and female, girls breaking down or falling in love or both at the... More

Five Questions: Andy and Kathy

10.23.2009  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA visitors, artists, staff, or guests.]

Name/Place of residence/Occupation/Hobby?

K: Katherine, Tampa, Florida. I am an elementary school media specialist. Hobby: reading! What a surprise.

A: My name is Andy, Tampa Florida is our town. I’m an environmental consultant and my hobby is politics.

K: Not the same politics,... More

One on One: Rudolf Frieling on Candice Breitz

10.21.2009  |  By
Filed under: One on One

[Alongside our weekly in-gallery curator "One on One" talks, we post regular ‘one on one' bits from curators & staff on a particular work or exhibition they're interested in. Follow the series here. Today's post is from curator of Media Arts, Rudolf Frieling.]

Do only fans truly understand pop culture? Anyone who has been a fan of one of our glob... More

Seeing with the Blackeyed Pea:The Art of Letitia Ntofon

10.20.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

My first encounter with Letitia Inyang Ntofon’s paintings was in The Black Dot Café located at 1195 Pine Street in deep West Oakland’s Black cultural district known as The Village Bottoms. I have known her for several years but mostly as a poet and writer. Her paintings, especially as they were arranged and installed on the wall in this location gave them an elusive narrative quality that grew the more that I looked at them. They felt like a story without a specific plot that contained many inscrutable details. Of the seven pieces at leas... More

Why Photography Now? 15 Artists / 1 Question

10.19.2009  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

(The first in a two-part series from assistant curator of photography Lisa Sutcliffe, who organized both of our current collection exhibitions of Asian photography: The Provoke Era and Photography Now. Lisa posed a single question to the artists whose works are included in Photography Now.)

Photography, with its ability to “mirror” reality, has a more direct connection to the visible world than most other media, including painting and sculpture. It can also alter our perception of reality, either through the artist’s unique perspective, o... More

Sara Seinberg in America

10.15.2009  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

Sara Seinberg sits in front of me in the Sister Spit van, wearing a red flannel, her leonine hair piled atop her head, putting together this evening’s opening slide show on her computer. Seinberg does this every day in the van – assembles what has become a sort of opening credit to our nightly show, brightly moving pictures we project onto a screen or a curtain or in the case of last night, the back of some signage from a realtor’s office. We were performing in what was essentially an unused hallway of the office, a narrow room fashioned ... More

Opening Salvo: Three Questions for the Futurist Moment

10.15.2009  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

This week sees the arrival at last of the SFMOMA LiveArt/Performa 09 collaboration, METAL+MACHINE+MANIFESTO. Events started Wednesday evening with a symposium at the Italian Cultural Institute and continue through the weekend here at SFMOMA and elsewhere. Open Space has already seen some significant discussion of the project a few weeks back. Here,... More

VVORK

10.15.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Of the dozen or so art blogs I know of, Vvork is the one I most frequently recommend and regularly visit. It has become a familiar resource, a routine stop for informal research. Vvork is curated/edited by a team of four (spread across three cities) who “think of the site as an exhibition space…updated daily.” It mimics a physical... More

“To be always beginning”

10.13.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

When I went to see Todd Bura’s show “Misfits” at Triple Base Gallery back in 2008 I was in the middle of writing a poem titled “Dream.” It was almost done, but there was a central line that I knew would eventually be crossed out in favor of something stronger, a proclamation. When I left the show I was impressed by the extreme stillness it brought about in me. I was trying to figure out how work so pared down could be so overwhelming. I had heard that Bura insisted that the gallery’s office door be kept close... More

Friezing in London (pt 1)

10.10.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes


Dear Open Space Diary, (from here on out to be referred to lovingly as “OSD”)

Well, here I am in jolly old London. Hal-lo!!! :) :) :) I touched down earlier this afternoon and the plane ride was pretty good because it was a direct flight from San Francisco to Heathrow. Wow, it makes such a difference to have no stopovers! But ... More

Five Questions: Raelle Myrick-Hodges

10.09.2009  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA visitors, artists, staff, or guests.]

Name / Place of residence / Occupation / Hobby?

My name is Raelle. I live in San Francisco in the SOMA district and I am the Artistic Director of Brava! For Women in the Arts in the Mission district in San Francisco. My biggest hobby is laughing, which I know sounds dumb but I like goin... More

Ali Liebegott’s Ducks Are In A Row.

10.08.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

It is 10:56am and we, Sister Spit, have been on the road since about 11pm last night. I made it as co-pilot and navigator until around 5am, drinking the very tallest, fattest cans of Red Bull, sugar free. I learned on past tours that sugar free Red Bulls do not crack one out as hard core as the sugared-up cans. So I got my sugar elsewhere – a six-pack of powdered sugar Donettes, a bag of almond Hershey’s Kisses, a sour apple Blow Pop and a thing of Ding Dongs. I tried to keep the driver alert and entertained by reading her Facebook statuses off my new Google phone, until a series of hallucinations (most disturbingly, seeing myself somehow sitting on the hood of the van like a gremlin on ... More

The Mantles

10.06.2009  |  By
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have been waiting all summer long for the Mantles’ debut album. They had the party/performance October 1st at the Eagle Tavern, sharing the bill with Grass Widow and Yellow Fever. It is a vinyl-only release with a download card tucked inside. I love this, as it seems that music has gone so far away from being something we can hold onto and consult (like a map). There is some music that I think of foremost as mystical object: the Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request, Pharoah Sanders’ Live At the East, and anything ... More

Jim Pomeroy – Viewing the Museum: The Tale Wagging the Dog

10.05.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Thirty years ago this fall the artist Jim Pomeroy and SFMOMA curator Suzanne Foley were corresponding about his proposal to include his text “Viewing the Museum: The Tale Wagging the Dog” in her survey of 1970s Bay Area conceptual and performance practices, Space/Time/Sound.  In light of recent discussions on Open Space about the New Langton Arts crisis and the role of nonprofit arts organizations, Tanya Zimbardo, Assistant Curator of Media Arts, here revisits Pomeroy’s analysis of modern art museums vs. artists’ spaces. Wonderfully, we ... More

Vaginal Tumor, Alien Snot

10.03.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

I keep being on tour with Sister Spit, and we keep rolling into these art spaces to do our show and the art spaces keep having these pieces on the wall that are really alive on the wall, coming off the wall, escaping, bursting through the plaster like the Kool-Aid man if the Kool-Aid man was maybe female, sort of lumpy and luscious and labial. Pillowy and tactile and pink. I guess right now I mean Liesa Lietzke’s Polypsis, currently straining through the wall at The Lab on 16th Street, a bulbous mass of conjoined fabrics, Red Hots, strawberry Nerds, and other sweet debris. Things swept the floor of a little girl’s bedroom, the sort of little girl who has a sugar problem and lives her life in tutus and maybe isn’t even all that little. But Polypsis is, like, a tumor, right? So now I wonder why I see something so totally vaginal when ... More

1001 Words: 10.02.09

10.02.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

*an ongoing series of individual images presented for speculation and scrutiny, with only tags at the bottom to give context. Because sometimes words are never enough…

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Visitor Flickr Photo of the Week

10.02.2009  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

Photo: Scott Owens

Not sure how this worked, but Scott Owens claims this it is a  self-portrait, taken while on a field trip with The San Francisco Foundation to visit the new Rooftop Garden.  Looks like he’s having a good time inside Barnett Newman’s Zim Zum I (1969).

Loves it!

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California Lacuna: Robert Kinmont

10.01.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

After an absence of almost three decades, conceptual sculptor and California native Robert Kinmont started making work again in 2005.  Marking his reemergence, yet inextricably linked to his early practice involving earthy materials and koan-like gestures, is Kinmont’s current solo exhibition at Alexander and Bonin in New York, surveying wor... More