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  • SAN FRANCISCO ART GALLERIES OPENINGS

    FIRST THURSDAY - 04.01.10 Part I

    (with assistance from Kathryn Arnold, GETBIZI, Anneliese Vobis and RWM)

    Comment by AB: Hello once again intrepid artsters. Did you know that there's practically seven years of continuous San Francisco art gallery openings and events coverage archived here on this site-- well over 40,000 images and well over 5,000 show reviews? Each and every one of them posted as a complimentary give-back to Ess Eff's remarkably vibrant visual arts community? Many thousands of you are regulars here. You come, you read, you leave; you come, you read, you leave... over and over and over again. Ever think about supporting the cause? Giving for a change instead of take, take, take? I must tell you that demonstrating this level of commitment for so many years, and in return, receiving so little in the way of tangible support from the community this little corner of the Internet serves really kind of amazes me. I've pretty much kept this to myself for some time, but if the status quo continues to retain it's current status, cutbacks will likely ensue. Why? 'Cuz my workload's verging on absurd.

    Now I'm not looking for much-- mainly people to photoshop images and plug the appropriate information into gallery show review templates. Anyone so inclined, please email me either about that or with any other thoughts or suggestions you might have regarding my continuing conundrum and dedicated desire to keep this stagecoach rolling.

    While you're ruminating on that, you think perhaps we should see a little art? Oh. That's what you're here for? Right. I almost forgot. Silly me. Didn't mean to keep you waiting...

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    Caldwell Snyder Gallery: James Wolanin - Recent Paintings; Rusty Wolfe.

    Review by Kathryn Arnold: James Wolanin at Caldwell Snyder uses images which borrow from 1960's advertising. Colorful dresses point in the direction where women wear lemon yellow and pastel lime shifts, puffy hair and various other coordinated outfits. The stylization combines with the slick shiny surfaces of resins. Is Wolanin pointing out the superficial nature of this time and place where suburbs created a separation seemingly sheltered from the Vietnam War or the drug culture? Or is he developing a sense of nostalgia for a particular time and place? Weaving in elements from the culture of the time, the 45 record player, the soft drink bottles, games and cars, and images of the newly developing airline industry with all of its early glamour, James creates period style works. Cropped figures, bright plastic hues and name brands are key features of the ethos.

    Review by RWM: Vintage lifestyle and romance at its high-gloss finest. Nice to see everyone happy, and depicted here with style and glamour. Girlfriends gather for fun and excitement, and we vicarously tag along, bathed in their smiles.

    Comment by AB: In the rear gallery, circular sojourns by Rusty Wolfe.

    James Wolanin artist art

    Art by James Wolanin.

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    James Wolanin art.

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    James Wolanin art in above image closer (photo c/0 Kathryn Arnold).

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    Art by James Wolanin.

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    James Wolanin art in above image closer (photo c/0 Kathryn Arnold).

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    Art by Rusty Wolfe.

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    John Berggruen Gallery: Helen Frankenthaler - Paintings 1961-1973.

    Review Kathryn Arnold: Amazing to see this rare collection of large scale Helen Frankenthaler paintings (from 60s and early 70s) all in one place. A big thank you to the gallery for this presentation of works. Felt I was walking into a Modernist dreamworld-- by a Modernist master. Huge colorfields greet upon entrance to the space-- this is Modernism at its best with relating of form to form, color to form, all one with support. The formal elements are mesmerizing and visually absorbing. You can't find this work in museums. In some the landscape/seascape inspirations are very evident. In others-- if that inspiration exists, one cannot find it-- as she delved into pure abstract forms. These are works from the purely Modernist era-- one sees many influences, but in the end, one sees only Frankenthaler. Amazing. Oops, I suppose already said that. Brilliant work!

    Helen Frankenthaler artist art

    Art by Helen Frankenthaler.

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    Helen Frankenthaler paintings.

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    Art by Helen Frankenthaler in above image closer (photo c/o Kathryn Arnold).
    (Uh oh... looks like the oil's leached into the unpainted canvas. Erk.)

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    Helen Frankenthaler art.

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    Art by Helen Frankenthaler.

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    Art by Helen Frankenthaler in above image closer (photo c/o Kathryn Arnold).

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    Really big painting by Helen Frankenthaler (like it).

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    John Berggruen & acquaintance in front of art by Helen Frankenthaler.

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    Art by Helen Frankenthaler overview (photo c/o Kathryn Arnold).

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    Art by Helen Frankenthaler in above image closer (photo c/o Kathryn Arnold).

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    Gallery Paule Anglim: Rigo 23 - AchivhÝrak (Place of the Birds); Brian D. Tripp.

    Review by Anneliese Vobis: Rigo 23 recounts the story of a lost parrot in various media. At second glance, we get the real message-- he uses the birds to reflect on airplanes used by the US in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Brian Tripp's powerful work includes ceremonial objects fashioned from paint, foil, glass, found objects and natural materials to reflect on his Native American heritage.

    Comment by RWM: It is easier to be a warplane than a bird usually, even if you are exotic.

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    Found "lost bird" notice art by Rigo 23.

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    Found "lost bird" notice art by Rigo 23 closer.

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    Found "lost bird" notice art by Rigo 23 closer (image c/o Anneliese Vobis).

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    Art by Rigo 23 (image c/o Anneliese Vobis).

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    Rigo 23 and his art.

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    Art by Rigo 23.

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    Art by Brian D. Tripp (image c/o Anneliese Vobis).

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    Art by Brian D. Tripp.

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    Art by Brian D. Tripp.

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    Art by Brian D. Tripp.

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    Robert Koch Gallery: Elliott Erwitt - New York.

    Comment by AB: Elliott Erwitt criss-crosses The Big Big City, documenting it's myriad scenarios of atmosphere, energy and romance. His career spans fifty years including stints in journalism, fashion, and print advertising.

    Elliott Erwitt artist art

    Photography by Elliott Erwitt.

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    Elliott Erwitt photographs.

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    Photos by Elliott Erwitt.

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    Elliott Erwitt literature available at Koch Gallery.

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    Gregory Lind Gallery: Thomas Campbell.

    Comment by AB: Paintings, prints, sculpture and mixed media thread works convey Bonny Doon artist Thomas Campbell's home grown perspective on pop culture and they way we all are. Judging from the overflow turnout which spills out into the hall, the dude's got a substantial and supportive fan club.

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    Sculpture by Thomas Campbell.

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    Limited edition prints by Thomas Campbell.

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    Painted dried gourd art by Thomas Campbell.

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    Thomas Campbell shows off a selection of his latest prints.

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    Thomas Campbell art.

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    Prints and stitched sewn artworks by Thomas Campbell.

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    Altman Siegel Gallery: Emily Wardill.

    Comment by AB: Altman Siegel Gallery presents "Gamekeepers Without Game," a full-length film by British artist Emily Wordill-- the story of a girl put up for adoption by her family at a young age. Stills from the film are intermittently positioned on the gallery walls including one of a dude lying face down in a pool of blood with an axe in his head. Art death. Hmmm.

    Emily Wardill artist art

    I need this like an axe in the head. Art by Emily Wardill.

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    Emily Wardill art.

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    Art by Emily Wardill.

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    Still from Emily Wardill film "Gamekeepers Without Game."

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    Toomey Tourell Gallery: Claire Burbridge and Matthew Picton - Absence and Presence.

    Review by GETBIZI: "Wow, cool!" is what I'm thinking as I enter the gallery and am immediately confronted with Claire Burbridge's shrouded figures lying motionless on the floor atop Matthew Picton's nameless white cityscape. Burbridge's bronze wrapped figures and figures floating in acrylic blocks that line the walls represent "human presence lying in a state of suspension far beyond the absent lives and ruined structures of the civilizations that contain them."

    From a distance, Matthew Picton's complicated framed paper works give the viewer a sense of miniature cityscapes... like partial maps. As you move closer to each piece, you see what appear to be the remains of cities left standing after serious armed conflicts... some of the paper cubes survive while others hit by fire arms or bombs are pocked with burn marks and holes. Each piece is visually intriguing from across the room and even when you stand a few inches away, examining the details.

    The collaboration between the two artists makes for a mind-tickling exhibition. Matthew Picton and Claire Burbridge combine their distinctive approaches in a presentation that illuminates the changes in relationships between civilizations.

    Comment by AB: Deliciously forebodingly intense-- particularly the collaborative floor installation by Picton and Burbridge. Co-pick of First Thursday.

    Update, April 21-- for those of you keeping score at home, Chronicle crit Kenneth Baker has now reviewed 7 of Toomey Tourell's last 11 shows.

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    Collaborative installation art by Claire Burbridge and Matthew Picton (like it).

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    Cartographic art by Matthew Picton.

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    Art by Matthew Picton in above image closer.

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    Art by Matthew Picton in above image closer (photo c/o GETBIZI).

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    Matthew Picton art.

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    Art by Matthew Picton (left) - Claire Burbridge (right).

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    Acrylic art by Claire Burbridge in above image closer (photo c/o GETBIZI).

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    Art by Claire Burbridge.

    ***

    Stephen Wirtz Gallery: Raymond Saunders - Beauty As Empathy.

    Review by GETBIZI: Powerful reds... I gravitate to Raymond Saunders' powerful red pieces; they jump off the wall at me as I walk into each of the gallery rooms. This collection screams of grit and beauty... the textures of the paint splats with gritty chalk marks & raw masking tape, each perfectly placed and sized to beautifully balance each piece.

    You can sense Raymond Saunders' soul as you stand in front of the red piece with a semi-anonymous dark figure, which could be interpreted to be the artist himself or a general representation of the African American people. No matter how you interpret that figure, the overall piece gives you a sense of struggle, intense pain and forgotten power; it is an amazing experience.

    Raymond Saunders artist art

    Art by Raymond Saunders.

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    Art by Raymond Saunders in above image closer (photo c/o GETBIZI).

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    Art by Raymond Saunders in to image closer (photo c/o GETBIZI).

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    Raymond Saunders (center) and affiliates.

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    Raymond Saunders art.

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    Art by Raymond Saunders.

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    Art by Raymond Saunders in above image closer (photo c/o GETBIZI).

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    Art by Raymond Saunders.

    ***

    Bekris Gallery: Recovered Energies - Nnenna Okore.

    Review by GETBIZI: By bringing everyday waste and natural objects to life, Nnenna Okore challenges the way we see all the things we throw away each day. Each piece is elegant and unique, but to imagine that they were crafted from waste makes them more impressive. Newspaper, rope, wax, plastic, burlap, yarn & clay are some of the reclaimed materials she employs for her sophisticated creations.

    Review by Anneliese Vobis: Nnemma Okore recycles newspaper, rope, wax and plastic and transforms these materials into highly sophisticated sculptures. Labor-intense techniques like weaving, sewing, dying reflect on natural, repetitive processes which express a hidden evolutionary beauty in nature.

    Comment by AB: Usually you can tell it's recycled, repurposed, reused; here you can't. As fresh as fresh can be. And that's what makes this show Co-pick of First Thursday.

    Nnenna Okore artist art

    What it is - art by Nnenna Okore (photo c/o Anneliese Vobis).

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    Recycled materials art by Nnenna Okore.

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    Detail of art by Nnenna Okore in above image (photo c/o GETBIZI).

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    Detail of art two images up by Nnenna Okore (photo c/o GETBIZI).

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    Art by Nnenna Okore.

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    Art by Nnenna Okore in above image closer (like it).

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    Art by Nnenna Okore (like it).

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    Art by Nnenna Okore.

    Nnenna Okore artist art

    Art by Nnenna Okore in above image closer (photo c/o Anneliese Vobis).

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    Addendum:

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    John McCormick portraits at Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery.

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    John McCormick landscape paintings at Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery.

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    Here's a thought.... support the cause.

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    First Thursday - March 4, 2009

    First Thursday - February 4, 2009

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