Archive for January, 2012
This is called an architectural drawing, but is it really? To look at it, the architecture seems almost spectral, while the landscape pulses with vitality. We are used to thinking of architectural drawings as prospective — putting to paper a structure that does not yet exist, detailing precise instructions for its realization. There is, of course, a long tradition of visionary drawings whose features will never be actualized in three dimensions. But Solomon’s work is something else again: studies of existing buildings where the primary ... More
Last week, when Art in America compared an Occupy Wall Street speaker to the Khmer Rouge, I thought maybe they just lost some of their credibility. Come on. One day Occupy Wall Street is all filthy, dirty, homeless hippies, and the next day they are a cult of genocidal maniacs? You can do better, Art in America. For your information, here’s h... More
More than a repository of objects or texts, the archive is the process of selecting, ordering, and preserving the past — in short, making history. Artists, scholars, and activists have been rethinking the politics of what archives preserve (thus, what constitutes cultural memory). A growing list of exhibitions, conferences, panels, seminars, and publications give play to archival practices. The most interesting initiatives, I think, depart from the premise that archives constitute that which they purport to document (that archives are, in a w... More
Once upon a time artists mostly produced art. These days, however, artists are supposed to put on shows; curate shows; deal with media, with marketing, with galleries (and with gallerists!), with designing their own websites, with photographing their work, with not dressing like a slob, with paying rent for both their apartment and their studio; bu... More
Tomorrow night sculptor David Best (1977 SECA Art Award), well-known for his fantastic art cars and immense temporary temple constructions at Burning Man, kicks off a new iteration of our One on One talks with an in-gallery chat about Joan Brown’s Noel in the Kitchen. It’s going to be awesome.
In conjunction with Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: The SECA Awards, we’ve temporarily restyled our weekly curator talks with a superb lineup of past SECA Art Awardees, who will give us their particular takes on something on view. Mark cale... More
The institution formerly known as the Judah L. Magnes Museum reopened last Sunday in a new format. The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life invited the community to view its splendid new quarters in downtown Berkeley, a site once used by the university as a printing plant.
The 25,000-square-foot building is three times the size of the Magnes’s former home, a charming clinker brick house built at the turn of the last century on Russell Street. The old Magnes, although a scene of exceptional cultural vitality, was much harder to acce... More
“The only thing you have to hold on to is your own natural savagery, and your ability to recognize your own natural savagery has been given to you by this art, which in turn is the cause of your anxiety about not being able to recognize anything but yourself. And that is the last thing one wishes to recognize.”
There were... More
When I was 22 I couldn’t imagine life going on any longer. It wasn’t because I was sad or depressed, though I probably was. It was because I could not see beyond that year, at the end of which I would graduate from college. That event — my graduation — had loomed for so long as a destination, I could not fathom that it could also be a starting point.
The summer before my final fall semester I had a conversation in a bar on Cape Cod with a boy who woke up every morning that August and drank vodka with cranberry juice, refilling his glass... More
The Joffrey Ballet in Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)
Choreography : Vaslav Nijinsky
Music: Igor Stravinsky
There are days that I need to remember that patience is a virtue. Times when I stay still and listen, giving the world a chance to wash over me with a pandora’s box of beauty. Today I was reminded by the volatile 1913 premier... More
Terry Berlier is an inveterate recycler and a committed anti-consumerist. Her sculptures repurpose and recombine outmoded technologies and salvaged materials to generate new patterns of perception. She is a perfect fit for Recology, where an unusual artist-in-residence program offers unrestricted access to the dump. (more…)More
Gay Outlaw constructed Nest (1999) out of colored pencils, glued together and then belt sanded into the shape of a wasp nest. It is one of a series of pencil pieces the artist created in the 1990s.
Critics relate Outlaw’s work to minimalism. Fair enough. Outlaw acknowledges the influence. Her sculptures explore materiality, form, and space... More
Our regular feature, Collection Rotation. Each month someone special organizes a mini “exhibition” from our collection works online. Today, please welcome writer and editor Anne Ray.
For a variety of reasons — the holiday season, the state of the world, the recent arrival of my third child — I currently find myself drawn to works th... More
Queer communities disproportionately produce, curate, teach, and subsidize art. Yet the profile of this constituency in major museums has long been disproportionately low.
Non-normative gender and sexuality are not widely recognized as significant factors in either the creation or the analysis of art. I can think of only one significant exception: none would deny the relevance of same-sex love to the creation and understanding of the “political art” produced by Gran Fury, Group Material, and other collectives responding to the AIDS e... More
Occasionally, I find myself paying more attention to the visitors in a museum than to the works on view. Does this make me a voyeur? Maybe, but I doubt I’m alone. I don’t think there is any other art form that offers as much face-time with other people’s experiences — with the possible exception of the mosh pit at a rock concert. In the lat... More
Do you collect anything?
One of the things that I collect was actually inspired by an exhibition that we had here at SFMOMA about 10 years ago called California Pottery; that’s where I learned to love Bauer ringware pottery. I have several small bowls and a butter plate. I prefer the black ringware because it’s the rarest. When I got married four or five years ago I happily found out that my husband collected Bauer flowerpots, so between the two of us we have quite a nice collection.More
Happy New Year! (I think Jan. 11 still counts for that?) I’m thrilled to announce our stellar new lineup of columnists for the season. We had a fantastic time at a kickoff dinner last night, and I’m delighted I get to spend the next few months in their warm and intelligent company.
Please welcome writer, curator, and educator Tirza True Latimer; artist Tucker Nichols; writer, editor, and U.K. transplant Tess Thackara; multidisciplinary artist Charlene Tan; and the illustrious Steven Wolf, former newspaper reporter and the founder of... More
Before making this artwork, which itself was originally a text piece for a wall, John Baldessari had the epiphany that his art was horrible, or that he had not been making what he wanted to be making. So after 13 years living a lie as a painter — he was fed up at not getting anywhere with his work — he did what any self-respecting artist shoul... More
from Jessica Brier:
It is unusual to think of an artist as contemporary, of our own moment, years after her death. Even more unusual is a museum exhibition that focuses on work made in art school and as the artist was just beginning to develop a practice. SFMOMA’s retrospective Francesca Woodman, organized by Corey Keller, does both. Woodman’s work seems to touch a nerve in almost everyone who looks at it; many viewers connect the strong emotional content of the work to her suicide at age 22. But to me this emotion is also (and maybe more i... More