SAN FRANCISCO ART GALLERIES - OPENINGS
GONZALEZ & LEIGH LLP - SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE (SFAI)
ARTWORKSF - NEW LANGTON ARTS - LEVY ART & ARCHITECTURE
JOHN PENCE GALLERY - SPACE 743 - FABRIC8
DECOUPAGE PRODUCTIONS - BACKSTAGE SALON - STUDIO GALLERY
GIANT ROBOT SF - NEEDLES & PENS; SUTTON STUDIOS & GALLERY - ARTSF
01.25-28.06


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  • ARTworkSF: Feature Attraction.

    Artists: Annekarin Glass, Barbara Elliot, Carmen Wolf, Jeff Codori, Jeung Kang, Jo Farrell, Katalina McGinley, Lisa Feather Knee, Lynn R. Friedman, Michael V. Childs, Nick Wightman, Thomas Hyman, William Ulrich.

    Comment: ARTworkSF, a pay-to-play option for artists, consistently holds a variety of shows at a variety of venues around San Francisco. Run by Johnny Davis, dedicated lifetime lover of art, the roving galleryship has been around for years, and in addition to getting its artists exposure for their art, offers options for buyers including rent-to-own, rotating exhibits, custom framing, and commissions (portraits and more). If you're an artist who's ready to show and can use a hand getting your art out there, ARTworkSF may be able to help.

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    Art.

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    Art (KGO-TV entertainment reporter Don Sanchez, left).

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    Johnny Davis (center).

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    Art.

    ***

    San Francisco Art Institute: William Kentridge.

    Comment: Two films produced by photographing and animating sequences of progressively altered black and white charcoal drawings, the content rooted in apartheid and advanced to larger social issues. I think one of my main beefs about so-called high art with political and/or social agendas is that the artfulness desensitizes viewers, in extreme instances disabling them from experiencing any emotion at all, which then blunts the message, to culminate in inaction. I mean I'm watching one of these Kentridge animations, technically excellent by the way, where this persecuted dude gets successively diced and sliced and blown up and minced and shredded into crumbs, and thinking to myself, "Nicely done." It's like watching Hollywood movie killings-- "art death"-- the beauty of atrocity from the comfort of our loge seats. Then it's over and we're sate, cleansed, rapt in cartharsis. Cocktail time!

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    Art.

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    Watching art.

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    William Kentridge.

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    Art.

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    Meanwhile, over at the Diego Rivera Gallery...

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    Gonzalez & Leigh LLP: Tom Schultz, Felix Macnee.

    Comment: Matt Gonzalez continues to show artists, now with law partner G. Whitney Leigh at their newly opened law offices downtown. As an aside, we all know that getting involved with art and making a decent living tend to be mutually exclusive, so right off the top, you gotta commend any business that invites people to its offices purely to see art and to meet artists. $$$ profits may be modest, but respecting and honoring creative expression is essential, plus we all get reminded how much San Francisco's artistic community contributes to making this city great. And don't you forget it!

    Tonight, Tom Schultz shares over forty years of his artful abstract adventures while Felix Macnee professes to have little or no idea why his paintings look the way they do. He points to isolated elements in his most recent stream-of-consciousness compositions (able, unconventional, exuberant, and engaging) and sort of tells how what ends up where, and I suppose that's something, but I want more (or maybe he intends to leave the inquisitors wanting). Regardless, the terminally curious will always ask. Maybe he'll structure something up one of these days; maybe he'll linger enigmatic.

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    Art (Tom Schultz).

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    Art (Felix Macnee).

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    Tom Schultz talks about his art.

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    Felix Macnee thinks about how to to talk about his art.

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    Matt Gonzalez - Catherine Rauschuber (art, Tom Schultz).

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    Felix Macnee - most recent art.

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    Tom Schultz - art.

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    Art (Felix Macnee).

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    Art (Felix Macnee, foreground - Tom Schultz background).

    ***

    New Langton Arts: the backroom.

    Artists: Akasegawa Genpei (compiled by Reiko Tomii), Anthony Auerbach, Dodie Bellamy, Walead Beshty, Jennifer Bornstein, Anne Collier, Dennis Crompton (Archigram), Vaginal Davis, Olivier Debroise, Jeremy Deller, Kota Ezawa, Vince Fecteau, Mario Garcia Torres, Sam Green, David Hatcher, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Jess, Paul Ramírez Jonas, William Jones, Adria Julia, Stephen Kaltenbach, Allan Kaprow, Kevin Killian, Thomas Lawson, Jesse Lerner, Lu Jie, Marko Lulic, Erlea Maneros, Ari Marcopoulos, Euan MacDonald, John Menick, Julian Myers, Michelle O'Marah, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Raqs Media Collective, Tercerunquinto, Jeffrey Vallance, Miguel Ventura, Mark Verabioff, and Bruce Yonemoto.

    Comment: There's no art (at least not from the participating artists), but rather "source materials," personal possessions that influence and inspire these artists, consciously or otherwise, that they have around their homes and studios-- objects, audio, video, books, magazines, photos, ephemera, data, writings, and more. It's an archival rather than an art event, a contribution to understanding how an artists' surroundings and belongings impact the form and content of their art. It takes courage, by the way, to trot out aspects of one's personal life for public inspection and comment. Plenty to see and more to think about here. My kinda show.

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    Of or relating to art.

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    Of or relating to art.

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    Of or relating to art.

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    Of or relating to art.

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    Of or relating to art.

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    Of or relating to art.

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    Of or relating to art.

    ***

    Levy Art & Architecture: Details by Michelle Peckham.

    Comment: Direct readable agreeable affordable abstracts; some on scrap wood incorporate the grain into the compositions. Prices mostly low hundreds $$. Levy could use that front space for offices and put blinds over the windows, but they don't. They use it to show art instead. Nice.

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    Art.

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    Art.

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    Art.

    ***

    John Pence Gallery: Interiors.

    Artists: Douglas Flynt, Steven Levin, Edward Minoff, Kate Lehman, David Larned, Jim McVicker, Jason Gaillard, Anthony Waiculis, Tony Curanaj, Leah Waiculis, Shawn Fields, Peter Van Dyck, Michael Grimaldi, Richard Maury, William Bartlett, Jacob Collins, Darren Kingsley, Dean Larson, John Patrick Campbell, Christopher Pierce, John Morra, Sarah Lamb, Will Wilson, Carl Dobsky, Michael Bergt, Jacob Pfeiffer, Adam Forfang, Steven Levin, Travis Schlaht, Nicholas Raynolds, Noah Buchanan, Hugh Shurley, Dan Thompson, John DeMartin, Gregory Hull, Robert Liberace, Juliette Aristides, Mikel Glass.

    Comment: Paintings of interiors ranging from competent to outstanding (all competent, several outstanding). You've got typical perspectives, atypical perspectives, elaborate still lifes (the most impressive one in the style of the Old Masters), figural works, complex multi-figural works, self-portraits, artist studio scenes, odd outcomes, curious mixtures, and more. If you like realism (when the things in the art look exactly like they do in real life), John Pence is where you go in San Francisco to see the best.

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    Art (pick - left).

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    Art.

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    John Pence - art (nice).

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    Art.

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    Art.

    ***

    Fabric8: Store Opening and 10-Year Anniversary.

    Artists: Brian Barneclo, Ezra Li Eismont, Nomzee (Norm Maxwell), Sirron Norris, Ferris Plock, Romanowski, Ian Scalzo.

    Comment: Fabric8's been in biz ten years, mainly online. Now they've got a storefront on 22nd just above Valencia selling fashion, music, doodads, dealie-bobs, etceteras, and art-- some pretty decent pretty affordable (most only $100) art by some pretty well-known local creatives. It's all good, but my favorites are Romanowski's assemblage and shelf displays-- hire this dude to do up a wall in your house-- natty design sense. Plus the store's a work of art in itself with floor, wall, and ceiling murals on wood painted entirely in different shades of wood stain by Brian Barneclo, Norm Maxwell, Sirron Norris, and Ursula Young. The floor just inside the front door is by Ferris Plock. Stop on by. Fun.

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    Art.

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    Art (Sirron Norris, small - Brian Barneclo, large).

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    Romanowski - art (like it).

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    Wood stain floor mural.

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    Art ($80-$100).

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    Innie.

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    Outie.

    ***

    Space 743: SOM 3 - Catalan Artists in San Francisco - Maria Andrews, Pep Ventosa, Josep Maria Vericat.

    Comment: Did you know that Catalonia is California's sister state? That's what it says in the brochure. See how smart art makes you? Anyway, these three artists are from Catalonia (California's sister state) and now they live here in The Bay Area. Good show all the way around, but I gotta go with the Pep Ventosa digitally photocollaged cityscapes-- fresh, bright, modern, pleasingly skewed, and upbeat. Maria Andrews also reworks photographs, but in a classical way, imparting an antique feel reminiscent of murals dating to Greek and Roman antiquity. Josep Maria Vericat rounds out the triumvirate with mixed media paintings on wood panels, and painted wrapped twine, ceramic, and pylonic wood sculptures.

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    Photography (Pep Ventosa, like 'em).

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    Photography (Maria Andrews).

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    Art (Josep Maria Vericat).

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    Pep Ventosa - photos.

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    Sculpture (Josep Maria Vericat).

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    Photography (Maria Andrews).

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    Photography (Pep Ventosa).

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    Sculpture (Josep Maria Vericat).

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    Photography (Pep Ventosa).

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    Sculpture (Josep Maria Vericat).

    ***

    Decoupage Productions: Salon de la Californie.

    Artists: Sophia Amoruso, Brian Barneclo, Joesph Becker, Ariel Clute, Andrew Georgopoulos, Gerardo Gonzalez, Devin Harris, Nicki Ishmael, Stella Lochman, Simone Meltesen, Tahiti Pehrson, Lily Robert-Foley, Kadie Salfi, Collette Sanchez, Dominic Santos, Matt Sartain, Elisa Shea, Tyson Siddle, Erin Silva, Patrick Trefz, Merlin Zuni.

    Comment: Kind of a party with art. First there's an art opening-- that's free. Then they clear the joint out, everybody who wants to go to the party has to wait for an hour or so, then they pay $5 a head to get back in, as does everyone else who comes for the party. I'm there early, but one of the producers tells me they're expecting up to 500 people, and that Mollusk Surf Shop is one of the sponsors (don't remember the other two). Anyway, the art runs the gamut, the concept has merit. We'll see where it goes.

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    Art (kinda like it).

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    Art.

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    Not sure.

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    Art.

    ***

    Backstage Salon & Gallery: Urban Abstract.

    Artists: Rene Fressola, Mike Puccio, Pierre Guttier, Rob Racine, Phillip Hua, Nikolai Atanassov.

    Comment: Abstract paintings. I'm there early for the roomy sparsely populated mellow part; the windows steam up later.

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    Art.

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    Who's the fairest of them all?

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    Art.

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    Art.

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    STUDIO Gallery: Hot Wax - Encaustic Works.

    Artists: Brian Behnke, Mary Farmer, Eileen Goldenberg, Cari Hernandez, Catherine McCauley, Sandi Miot, Laurel Nathanson, Ginny Parsons, Kate Phillips, Adele Shaw, Alanna Spence, Thea Schrack, Gail Steinberg, Cathy Valentine, Tina Lauren Vietmeier, Daniella Woolf.

    Comment: The encaustic technique involves heating and fusing layers of pigmented wax to various surfaces. Non-wax elements may also be incorporated into the art. That's the deal; here's the show.

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    Art.

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    Giant Robot SF: Two-Year Anniversary Show.

    Artists: Andrew Schoultz, Brendan Monroe, Bwana Spoons, David Horvath, David Choe, David Magdaleno, Deth P. Sun, Ian Johnson, Jacob Magraw-Mikelson, Jeana Sohn, John Pham, Kelly Tunstall, Kozyndan, Martin Cendreda, PCP, Saelee Oh, Sun-Min Kim, David Horvath.

    Comment: Tight little show; good quality small-format works for the most part. I'm pickin' the hyper-accurate mini-abstract multi-color aesthetically gratifying organic forms by Jacob Magraw-Mikelson. They look like gouache on old book pages which probably, judging from the way the pages are yellowed, have significant acid content (not good for long life). So here's what you do, Jacob-- there's a product librarians and paper conservators use called "deacidification spray" (water-free) which neutralizes acid and prevents further degredation of whatever paper you spray it on. You may be able to use it on these gouaches, but very carefully, from the back, and only with a paper conservator's permission. Or maybe just wait 'til next time, spray the paper first, let it dry, then paint it up. The spray ain't cheap-- about $40 a can. It also eliminates stubborn underarm odor and it's delicious on toast (kidding).

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    Art.

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    Pick (Jacob Magraw-Mikelson).

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    Art.

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    Art.

    ***

    Needles + Pens: Failed Attempts at Space Travel.

    Artists: Cynthia Connolly, Julianna Bright, Daniel Higgs, Sam McPheeters, Chris Duncan, Ginger Brooks Takahashi.

    Comment: Needles & Pens shows are relatively unique in that they incorporate art, music, literature (mainly zine style), and sometimes even dinner. Tonight's selection's a trifle on the wide-ranging side, even though the jargon-juked handbill claims symbiosis, but I can't find the corroborating facts-- and I'm a fact junkie (facts=truth; no facts=alleged truth). That said, the art's good, the artist's are good, the venue's delightful, and I think Needles & Pens is one of the more overlooked galleries in SF. Favorite-- Chris Duncan splatter line special (but Chris-- it's not priced on the price list). Most art's under $225.

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    Art.

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    Julianna Bright - art (like it).

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    Art (Chris Duncan, like it).

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    Art.

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    Art.

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    New roof for the outdoor arena.

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    Jeremy David Sutton: Grand Opening Art Soiree - Sutton Studios & Gallery.

    Comment: Here's a refreshing idea-- throw your own opening. And if you're pop imagist Jeremy Sutton, you throw it pro. The event includes live onstage performances, digital artimations projected onto a large screen, copious food and drink, tunes, plenty of art, plenty of pretty people, and most importantly, Sutton himself, dressed to the twelves and workin' smooth. This dude's got a future in event planning.

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    Art.

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    Jeremy Sutton - art.

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    Art.

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    Turnout.

    ***

    ArtSF: Art Show Benefit.

    Artists: America Meredith, Ben Miller, Bill Allen, Cassandra Seeger, Cooper, Cuba, Daniel, Dennis Osborne, Donna Wood, Elizabeth Lee, Ema Sintamarian, Erik Foster, Jannette Lentini, Snow-Monkey, Larry Joe Turner, Joe Mama, K2, Karen, Mark Temple, Mario J. Giordano, Nate Orman, Peter Foucault, Pole Mist, Robert Silva, Smurf Suicide, Steven Leyba, Teresa Moore, Torrey Nommesen, Ugene Numen, Unkle Ritchie, Zore, more.

    Comment: Grass roots art organization ArtSF reemerges after a six month hiatus. You never know what you're gonna find here. Tonight, I find Larry Joe Turner, self-taught, who makes contorted unsettling fantasy figures from twist ties (never seen that one before), pipe cleaners, and whatever else he feels like using. His work is uncomfortably convincing, and unlike commercial fantasy and/or animation art which tediously endlessly coopts, modifies, and reworks yesterday's fare, Turner's work appears to originate 100% from deep deep within. We like that.

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    Art.

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    Art (Mark Temple, like it).

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    Spinny art on old 33 rpm records-- interesting.

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    Larry Joe Turner - art.

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    Larry Joe Turner - twist tie art.

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    Snow Monkey - art.

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    Art (America Meredith, left - Elizabeth Lee, right).

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    Art.

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    Art.

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    Art - refreshments.


    Articles and content copyright Alan Bamberger 1998-2008. All rights reserved.