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Art + Wine

Added on by suzy baur.

The wine country not only offers fabulous wine and delicious food for you to enjoy, but also notable art collections. Here are some must-see art galleries...

The Hess Collection, Napa CA

The Hess Art Museum, designed by Swiss architect Beat A. H. Jordi and built in 1989 in collaboration with Richard Macrae Architects, is one of my favorite places in the wine country to visit. The galleries house one of the finest pieces of contemporary art in Napa Valley. The amazing collection not only reflects Donald M. Hess' personal passion but also the dialogue with the artists he has built over the years. Immerse yourself and explore the worlds of Magdalena Abakanowicz, Georg Baselitz, Franz Gertsch, Rolf Iseli, Per Kirkeby, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter and many others. There are quite a few pieces that are dear to my heart, Markus Raetz's Metamorphose, 1991 being one of them. Do not miss it on your way out. 

To learn more visit Hess Collection.  

Cornerstone Gardens, Sonoma CA

Cornerstone Gardens are a unique concept of gallery style gardens featuring innovative designs from the finest landscape architects and designer from all over the world. This site is another favorite of mine. For one both the works of art and the installations are splendid. Second the natural setting is beautiful, especially in winter. And last but not least, since the gardens keep changing with the seasons, they always offer something new to explore.   

Free and open to the public seven days a week. 
To learn more visit Cornerstone Gardens Designer.

Mumm, Napa

Mumm Napa Winery has one of the finest photography galleries in the wine country. In the main gallery they usually feature temporary exhibits paired with their amazing private collection of superb Ansel Adams photographs - the biggest outside Yosemite National Park. 

To learn more, visit Mumm

Di Rosa, Napa CA

Di Rosa is a non-profit art gallery featuring a broad range of contemporary San Francisco Bay Area art. The collection embodies the shared vision of Rene and Veronica di Rosa and consists of over 2,000 works by more then 800 artists. The Gatehouse gallery features current exhibits and is open on a drop-in basis. To visit the permanent collection, which is on view in the Main Gallery, historic residence and throughout the gardens, guided tours are available. Reservations are highly recommended. 

To learn more visit diRosa Collection

Paradise Ridge, Santa Rosa CA

Off the beaten path, Paradise Ridge Winery offers not only amazing views of Sonoma County but also a splendid sculpture garden. This inspiring exhibit site at home in the four-acre Marijke's Grove shows off the Byck family's passion for sculpture and invites everyone to embark on an explorational stroll. The art works by sculptors based locally and nationally are free to the public seven days a week. Their up-coming exhibit 20@20 will celebrate Paradise Ridge's 20th anniversary featuring 20 works of art installed throughout the winery. 

Free and open to the public seven days a week. 
To learn more visit Paradise Ridge Winery

Stonescape, Calistoga CA

Norman and Norah Stone purchased the Stonescape property in 1991 and over years transformed it into a place for the enjoyment of art as well as the contemplation of nature. The site is both an art collaboration of multiple talents and an unconventional project whose catalyst was a sky space by James Turrell. 
Tom Leader, Berkeley based landscape architect, designed the landscape of the property including a so called "land bridge" emerging from a forested hillside and a lavender garden. San Francisco based architect Jim Jennings was commissioned for the entertainment pavilion as well as the infinity edge pool working closely with James Turrell to realize the artist's vision. Stone Sky, 2005  is the culminating element of the pool and can only be entered by swimming underwater. Aligned with these components is the entrance to the Art Cave, the work of New York based architects  Bade Stageberg Cox, a rare cavernous exhibition building and home for the Stone art collection.

Stonescape is quite unique is its overall design and art collection especially the Stone Sky by James Turrell, whose installations never cease to amaze me. If you get a chance, go to the LACMA in Los Angeles and check out James Turrell's Ganzfeld. It will transform your senses and perception of the natural world.  

To learn more, visit Stonescape
To learn more about James Turrell, click here
Please note: while the SFMOMA was fortunate enough to arrange a tour for members a few years back, they no longer have an on-going relationship with Stonescape in that capacity. 

Maryhill, Goldendale WA

If you happen to be on the Oregon / Washington border driving east towards the Walla Walla wine country, make sure to stop by at the Maryhill Museum of Art on the Columbia River. This cultural resource offers insights into local history, current exhibitions and stunning views of the area. Originally design as a residence by Washington, D.C. architects Hornblower & Marshall for Maryhill Museum's founder Sam Hill (1857-1931), the mansion's destiny was altered in 1917 before it was completed. Hill determined that the mansion should become a museum. 

To learn more, check out Maryhill Museum of Art and Sam Hill
Check out Hornblower & Marshall
Visit Walla Walla Wineries

Art Exhibits in 2015

Added on by suzy baur.

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....

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 exquisiteI 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. 

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. 

To learn more, visit The Crocker and Toulouse-Lautrec Foundation
Also check out Gwathmey Siegel & Associates

Trough April 26, 2015

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!

To learn more, visit omca
To learn more, check out Group f.64

Through April 12, 2015. 

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. 

Admission is free. To visit, please sign up at Pier 24
Also check out Melissa Catanese's video Dive Dark Dream Slow

Through May 31, 2015.

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. 

To learn more about the exhibit, visit Kala
To learn more about each artist, visit Freddy ChandraDesirée HolmanRanu Mukherjee, and Yasuaki Onishi