Filtering by Category: california
Umberto Eco,Travels in Hyperreality describing Heart Castle:
The striking aspect of the whole is not the quantity of antique pieces plundered from half of Europe, or the nonchalance with which the artificial tissue seamlessly connects fake and genuine, but rather the sense of fullness, the obsessive determination not to leave a single space that doesn’t suggest something, and hence the masterpiece of bricolage, haunted by horror vacui, that is here achieved. The insane abundance makes the place unlivable, just as it is hard to eat those dishes that many classy American restaurants, all darkness and wood paneling, dotted with soft red lights and invaded by nonstop music, offer the customer as evidence of his own situation of “affluence”: steaks four inches thick with lobster (and baked potato and sour cream and melted butter, and grilled tomato and horse radish sauce) so the customer will have “more and more” and can wish nothing further.
An incomparable collection of genuine pieces too, the Castle of Citizen Kane achieves a psychedelic effect and a kitsch result not because the Past is not distinguished from the Present (because after all this was how the great lords of the past amassed rare objects, and the same continuum of styles can be found in many Romanesque churches where the nave is now baroque and perhaps the campanile is eighteenth century), but because what offends is the voracity of the selection, and what distresses is the fear of being caught up by this jungle of venerable beauties, which unquestionably has its own wild flavor, its own pathetic sadness, barbarian grandeur, and sensual perversity, redolent of contamination, blasphemy, the Black Mass. It is like making love in a confessional with a prostitute dressed in a prelate’s liturgical robes reciting Baudelaire while ten electronic organs reproduce The Well-Tempered Clavier, played by Scriabin.
If you happen to be in the vicinity of Davis, go and visit the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum on the UC Davis campus. It celebrated its opening on November 13th, 2016 and has been the latest addition of university art museums in the SF Bay Area. The spectacular floating "Grand Canopy" - designed by the architecture firms Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and SO-IL - houses the UC Davis' unique art collection, a university that has mainly been known for its agricultural sciences and business management. With this museum the art department aims to serve both the community and the university with the focus on coming together and celebrating art while representing the belief of the philanthropists Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem: free public access to the arts.
The inaugural exhibit, Our of Our Way, is a must see. It focuses on the first 12 members of the university’s original art faculty: Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, William T. Wiley, Roy De Forest, Roland Petersen, Manuel Neri, Ralph Johnson, Ruth Horsting, Daniel Shapiro, Tio Giambruni, Jane Garritson and John Baxter. Richard Nelson, founding member of the art department, hired these unique dynamic talents with the goal to bring a divers creative teaching spirit to UC Davis. The exhibit is both delightful and enlightening - a piece of Bay Area art history.
Out of Our Way through March 16, 2017.
Chasing clouds and sunsets is one of my secret passions, hunting down wildflowers equally so. These tiny marvels come in so many different colors, shapes and sizes. Utterly fascinating!! Cannot get enough.
L: Scotch Cottonthistle - Onopordum acanthium; Composite family
C: Mountain Spiraea - Spiraea densiflora splendens; Rose family
R: Mt. Hood Pussypaws - Cistanthe umbellata; Purslane Family
L: Western Pasque Flower - Anemone (Pulsatilla) occidentalis; Ranunculus family; I prefer to call it Dr. Seuss Flower…
C: Bruneau Mariposa Lily - Calochortus bruneaunis; Lily family
R: Pearly Everlasting - Anaphalis margaritacea; Composite family
L: Tidy Tips - Layia platyglossa; Composite family
C: Yellow Tidy Tips - Lalyia glandulosa sep. lutea; Composite family
R: Sticky Cinquefoil - Potentilla glandulosa; Rose family
L: Blue Dicks - Dichelostemma capitatum; Lily family
C: Blue Bottons - Cynoglossum grande; Forget-me-not family
R: Arroyo Lupine - Lupinus succulentus; Pea family
L: Red Columbine - Aquilegia formosa; Ranunculus family
C: Giant Red Paintbrush - Castilleja miniata; Snapdragon family
R: Vollmer's Tiger Llily - Lilium pardalinum subsp. vollmeri; Lily family
L: Balsamroot - Balsamorhiza sagittata; Composite family
C: Pretty Face - Triteleia ixioides; Lily family
R: Mountain Butterweed - Packera streptanthifolia; Composite family
L: Rangers Button - Sphenosciadium capitellatum; Carrot family
C: Purple Owl's Clover - Castilleja exserta; Pea family
R: Baby Blue Eyes - Nemophila menziesii; Forget-me-not family
L: Fireweed - Chamerion angustifolium; Evening Primrose family
C: Checkermallow - Sidalcea glaucescens; Mallow family
R: Redstem Storksbill - Erodium cicutarium; Geranium family
L: Devil's Lettuce - Amsinckia tesselata; Forget-me-not family
C: Cream Cups - Platystemon californicus; Poppy family
R: Blazing Star - Mentzelia pectinata; Loasa family
L: Fremont's Phacelia - Phacelia femontii; Forget-me-not family
C: Scarlet Gilia - Ipomopsis aggregata; Phlox family
R: Wild Iris - Iris missouriensis; Iris family
- Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest by Mark Turner & Phyllis Gustafson; Timber Press Field Guide, Portland OR.
- Wildflowers of the Eastern Sierrs and adjoining Mojave Desert by Laird R. Blackwell; Lone Pine Publishing Edmonton AB.
- Field Guide to Wildflowers, Western Region by Richard Spellenberg; National Audubon Society New York NY.
- Wildflowers of the Carrizo Plain Area by Malcolm McLeod; California Native Plant Society, San Luis Obispo CA.
Also check out Calflora, for information on wild California plants for conservation, education and appreciation.
First Look at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is an exhilarating exhibit showcasing recent acquisitions to their growing contemporary art collection. These exciting explorations into various techniques, mediums and materials - pencil, oil, acrylic, ink, lacquer, paper, fabric, wood block, rattan, bamboo, metal, assemblage, photography, digital animation - radiate reflections on nature, urbanism, society, cultural history while mirroring dialogues with both Eastern as well as Western traditions.
Artists such as RongRong&irni, Pinaree Sanpitak, teamLab, Zhu Jinshi, teamLab, Zheng Chongbin, Yang Yongliang, Sopheap Pich and Chen Man among others are represented with eye-catching pieces that speak to the viewer with their mesmerizing technique and individual themes - engaging us on many levels. It is fascinating to trace how ink meets acrylic in Zheng Chongbin's creation or the contemplative nature of teamLab's animations! Chen Man's photographs are stunning. And Zhu Jinshi's thick sensual use of paint echoes a hint of Turner's groundbreaking technique of brushwork in a radically expressive way.
A must-see exhibit featuring works of art one cannot help but keep going back to!
October 11th, 2015
To learn more, see press release.
Seeing Time at the KALA Art Institute, 2nd Hand at Pier 24, Fertile Ground at the OMCA, Toulouse Lautrec at the Crocker, Botticelli to Braque at the de Young....
BOTTICELLI TO BRAQUE @ DEYOUNG
May 30, 2015
If you'd like to get inspired and view masterpieces spanning from a period of over 450 years, then you are in for a treat at the de Young Museum, San Francisco. Botticelli to Braque features some fifty plus masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland with the majority being true gems to revel in forever: the exhibit includes religious and mythological paintings, landscapes, portraits and still lifes.
I fell with love with John Singer Sargent's Lady Agnew of Lochaw (1892), her striking yet delicate pose and the masterful rendering of her silky dress. Then the detailing Allen Ramsay did on Margaret Lindsay of Ewlick, Mrs. Allan Ramsay (ca. 1759) is exquisite. I caught myself wanting to caress the lace of her satin dress and steal the roses off the painting. Just has I wanted to snatch the strawberries off Sandro Botticelli's The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child (ca. 1485).
Camille Pissarro's Chennevières-sur-Marne (ca. 1865) is equally fascinating with its capturing of the hilly, riverside landscape of this Parisian commune, as is River Landscape with a View of a Distant Village (ca.1750) by Thomas Gainsborough. Or André Derain's Collioure (1905) and Pierre Bonnard's Lane At Vernonnet (ca. 1914), both are absolutely captivating in their color scheme depicting the vibrancy of Southern Europe. Eduard Vuillard's The Candlestick (ca. 1900) is superb in its unique viewpoint, composition and rending of the different textures. And not to mention Reverend Robert Walker, Skating on Duddingston Loch (ca.1795) by Sir Henry Raeburn, which is as simply as it is brilliant in captivating the reverend enjoying his favorite sport.
But there is also Frans Hals, Paolo Veronese, Gerrit Dou, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Edouard Vuillard, Paul Cézanne, Piet Mondrian…..So much to say, however this should suffice. Go and see for yourself!
Learn more, visit Botticelli to Braque.
Through May 31, 2015.
TOULOUSE-LAUTREC @ CROCKER
March 30, 2015
Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) has always been a favorite artist of mine. He has been an inspiration not only for his masterful depiction of the colorful Parisian nightlife of theaters, cafe-concerts and the demimondes of the Belle Epoque but also for his huge contribution to the renaissance of the art of lithography. With his elegant yet exciting creations he immortalized formidable artists such as Yvette Guilbert, La Goulue, Jane Avril, Marcelle Lender, Aristide Bruant and Valentin Désossé.
This traveling exhibition at the Crocker was drawn from Dutch private collections featuring lithographs, paintings, drawings, book illustrations and rare zinc show puppets by more than 50 artists. Classic lithographs by Toulouse Lautrec are juxtaposed with works by other well known avant-garde artists such as Pierre Bonnard and Juan Gris documenting modern life around them. While I enjoyed immersing myself into this colorful ambience - with Louis Abel-Truchet's Le Café-Concert, József Rippl-Rónai's Portraitand Henri Gabriel Ibles' Mère Moderne being especially eye-catching - I also found myself wanting to see more of Toulouse-Lautrec and his vast oeuvre. It felt as if they were trying too hard to re-create the vibrant fin-de-siècle atmosphere of Paris by including all these different artists and subsequently neglecting Toulouse-Lautrec and the art of lithography a bit too much for my taste. Nevertheless, the exhibit is very much worth seeing!
As a side note, the Crocker museum is one of the oldest museums on the West Coast. Created as trust for the public by Margaret Crocker in honor of her shared vision with her late husband Edwin B. Crocker, the E.B. Crocker Art Gallery was built in 1871. It opened to the public in 1890. The museum's collection focuses on Californian and American as well as European Art. In 2010 - after an extensive eight year expansion designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates - the museum reopened with triple of its former exhibition space.
Trough April 26, 2015
FERTILE GROUND @ OMCA
January 30, 2015
Combining their collections for the first time, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) have imaginatively created a remarkable exhibition addressing local histories and social forces that impacted the arts in California. Featuring a vast array of art works by legendary artists such as Diego Rivera, Imogen Cunningham, Mark Rothko, Jay DeFeo. Richard Diebenkorn and many more, Fertile Ground not only illuminates key moments in Californian art as well as social history but also highlights trends happening from the first half of the 20th century up to today.
Learning more about San Francisco in the 1930s, made me want to go and see the murals at Coit Tower again. I also thought that the selected works representing GROUP f.64 were true gems: Water Hyacinth (1920s) by Imogen Cunningham and Dunes, Ocean (1934) by Edward Weston in particular. The main gallery fabulously chronicles the different movements and influences of the postwar area showcasing classics such as Untitled (1953) by James Weeks, Figure on a Porch (1959) by richard Diebenkorn and Horse (1982) by Deborah Butterfield. Barry McGee's Untitled (1996/2009/2014) marks the crowning end point to an excellent exhibition about visionaries and artist communities that have been crucial in shaping the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, California and beyond. A must see!
Through April 12, 2015.
2ND HAND @ PIER 24
January 20, 2015
The photographs presented in this comprehensive show at the Pier 24 in San Fransicso focus on found and reused imagery while resonating with today's digital age of sharing images. Through a simple change of context, existing pictures suddenly appear in a new light and are given new meaning. Works by Erik Kessels, Matt Lipps, Joachim Schmid and others are examined and brilliantly paired with vernacular photographs by pioneering artists such as John Baldessari.
I very much enjoyed Matt Lipps' Horizons and Maurizio Anzeri's Embroidered Postcards. Erik Kessels' 24 HRS in photos installation was quite overwhelming, and left me with a feeling of drowning. I think my favorite were Joachim Schmid's Photogenetic Drafts, a witty series of B&W portraits created with found photographs. And last but not least, the Employee Badges (1930 - 1960) were absolutely fascinating. Do not miss them as you start your visit.
Through May 31, 2015.
SEEING TIME @ KALA
January 16, 2015
Celebrating 40 years of inspiration and creativity, Seeing Time - Time Traveller closes Berkeley Kala Art Institute's 40th anniversary year. This special exhibit, curated by Mayumi Hamanaka, revisits Kala's Seeing Time program (installations and performances throughout the Bay Area 1982-1992) featuring Kala fellowship alumni Freddy Chandra, Desirée Holman, Ranu Mukherjee, and Yasuaki Onishi. Their works explore the fleeting aspect of time ranging from astrology, nature, culture, light, and life.
The various contributions are as diverse in regards to style, technique, medium and hand writing as the artists themselves. Ranu Mukherjee Desert Bloom (2013) is as big as it is fascinating addressing many layers and questions. Xeno-Real (2013), a hybrid film just on the wall next to the entrance sheds light on how it was created. My favorite was Vertical Emptiness KL (2015) by Yasuaki Onishi, which take up the entire left back area of the exhibit space. It is especially striking in its unique form and beauty. It is probably the most ephemeral piece in the exhibit. It will get destroyed - as other works by the artist - once the exhibit closes.
In addition there also works on paper from the Kala Collection on view in the Roger Smullen Print & Media Center.
Through March 21, 2015.