Collection Rotation: Timothy Buckwalter

Our regular feature, Collection Rotation!  Every month I invite a local guest to organize a mini-exhibition or grouping from our collection works online. This month’s guest DJ? Timothy Buckwalter, painter, writer, critic, crank. I think that’s okay to say, Tim? As always, fine guest blogging, just below. Images link to collection pages. xo, SS

Feeling Yourself Disintegrate

LINER NOTES:  In 1992, shortly after moving to San Francisco, I stumbled into SFMOMA, just in time to view the Richard Prince retrospective. It was love at first sight. My twenty-something self, fresh from the East Coast, loved the smart-assness of Prince the hipster, but was smitten, at a much deeper level, with the museum itself. The permanent collection ran back only a hundred or so years in time. Everything seemed so young, the ideas so new-ish. It was like I was walking around inside myself.

Don’t get me wrong— it’s not that I hadn’t been in a serious relationship with a museum before.

As a matter of fact, I had just quit a three-year gig in the public relations department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and knew that illustrious collection inside and out. It was just that here in San Francisco, I was surrounded by work that talked the same talk as me, not the King’s English or Latin or some other long lost language.

I mean, yeah, it’s really great to be able to connect with people from a long time ago and to know that art, having been passed down through the centuries like language, is one of humanity’s great achievements. But when I’m feeling like a loser, or I’m feeling triumphant or I’m feeling lonely, it’s super to know that I can walk through a collection in my own town that offers me the chance to be around others who are trying to explain what it means to be human right now. A chance at “feeling yourself disintegrate.”


Agnes Martin, Falling Blue, 1963; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Moses Lasky; © Estate of Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin, Falling Blue, 1963; © Estate of Agnes Martin and Sodastream with Ms John Soda: Something That We All Find, “You Can´t Always Listen To Hausmusik – But…” (Hausmusik / Morr Music GBR)

Vija Celmins, Suspended Plane, 1966; Purchase, by exchange, through bequest of Elise S. Haas; © Vija Celmins

Vija Celmins, Suspended Plane, 1966; © Vija Celmins and Marianne Faithfull: The Mystery of Love, “Before The Poison” (Naïve, under license to Anti, Inc.)

Beth Yarnelle Edwards, Erin, Age 11, 1997; Gift of Cathy and Raul Nicho; © Beth Yarnelle Edwards

Beth Yarnelle Edwards, Erin, Age 11, 1997; © Beth Yarnelle Edwards and Siouxsie & the Banshees: Dear Prudence (Live At The Royal Albert Hall), “Nocturne” (Geffen Records)

Julia Margaret Cameron, My Grandchild, Archie Cameron, Aged Two Years, Three Months, 1865; Purchased through a gift of Lise Jeantet and the Accessions Committee Fund

Julia Margaret Cameron, My Grandchild, Archie Cameron, Aged Two Years, Three Months, 1865 and Wendy Lewis with The Bad Plus: Feeling Yourself Disintegrate, “For All I Care” (do the math records)

Judith Scott, Untitled, 2000; Gift of Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland; © Creative Growth Art Center

Judith Scott, Untitled, 2000; © Creative Growth Art Center and X-Ray Specs: Oh! Bondage, Up Yours!, “The Anthology” (Castle Music, a Division of Sanctuary Records Group)

Judith Joy Ross, Untitled, 1983-1984; printed 1989; Accessions Committee Fund; © Judith Joy Ross

Judith Joy Ross, Untitled, 1983-1984; printed 1989; © Judith Joy Ross and Tom Tom Club: Genius of Love (Long Version), “Tom Tom Club” (Sire Records Company)

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #16, 1978; Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Doris and Donald Fisher, Susan and Robert Green, Mimi and Peter Haas, and Elaine McKeon; © Cindy Sherman, courtesy Metro Pictures

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #16, 1978; © Cindy Sherman, courtesy Metro Pictures and Laurie Anderson: New York Social Life, “United States Live” (Warner Bros. Records)

Melissa Pokorny, In the Garden (Grotto), 1995; Gift of the artist; © Melissa Pokorny

Melissa Pokorny, In the Garden (Grotto), 1995; © Melissa Pokorny and Northern State: iluvitwhenya, “Can I Keep This Pen?” (IPECAC RECORDINGS)

Rosana Castrillo Díaz, Untitled, 2006; Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art Fund purchase; © Rosana Castrillo Díaz

Rosana Castrillo Díaz, Untitled, 2006; © Rosana Castrillo Díaz and Dengue Fever: Seeing Hands, “Venus On Earth” (M80)

Jo Baer, Untitled, 1964-1972; Gift of Rena Bransten; © Jo Baer

Jo Baer, Untitled, 1964-1972; © Jo Baer and Blondie: Call Me (Spanish Version), “Blondie and Beyond” (Capitol Records, Inc.)

Originally from Pennsylvania, Timothy Buckwalter (born 1966) now lives in the Bay Area. Buckwalter’s paintings have been exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland. He has written about art for The East Bay Monthly, KQED FM, and San Francisco Chronicle. Over the last five years, Buckwalter helped pioneer the curating of online exhibitions, including his own yearlong weekly drawing shows. Recently he guest curated a show, based on Echo & The Bunnymen’s pop classic “Killing Moon,”  for The Beholder. In July, he will be guest curating a show for Eyebeam’s Add-Art project. My Certain Fate—currently on view at Pharmaka in Los Angeles—is his first curatorial venture in the physical world.

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