May 19, 2015
There's been a flurry for press for the opening of Drifting in Daylight : Art in Central Park, a free exhibition of eight site-specific works installed in the north-end of Central Park in New York City. Catch all the exhibits, including Nina Katchadourian's Lampost Weavers on North Drive (pictured below), through June 20th, 2015.
May 15, 2015
Wave Hill Puts Spotlight on Art to Celebrate Its Gardens and Lure Visitors
By WINNIE HUMAY
May 13, 2015
Summer has come early to a public garden in the Bronx: Dragonflies skim over clusters of lily pads in a lush aquatic garden in full August bloom. But only at night.
In the evening, an outdoor installation at Wave Hill brings the garden to life with vivid animation and ethereal music. But during the day, the aquatic garden returns to its barren, postwinter state.
The installation by Chris Doyle is the centerpiece of a new $250,000 exhibition, “Night Lights at Wave Hill,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Hudson River estate in Riverdale that is celebrated for the artistry of its gardens. “Night Lights,” which runs through May 24, pays homage to the destination art shows that Wave Hill was known for in the late 1970s and ’80s, when works by Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi and Keith Haring were displayed on its grounds.
The new exhibition aims to raise the visibility of the 28-acre public garden and cultural center, which for the first time is holding regular night hours, three times a week, for the exhibition. Though the number of visitors to Wave Hill has been growing steadily — reaching a record 155,000 last year — it is often overshadowed by its neighbor a few miles away, the 250-acreNew York Botanical Garden, which has 900,000 visitors annually. Or as Wave Hill’s supporters like to say, it is like the Frick Collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Read more
May 07, 2015
CCG artist Nina Katchadourian is one of 18 established and emerging artists from the Armenian diaspora featured in Armenity at this year’s Venice Biennale.
The Financial Times (online)
Armenia in Venice: The past and the furious
By Gareth Harris
May 1, 2015
One of several politically charged biennale displays this year, the country’s pavilion explores its violent history
For the Damascus-born artist Hrair Sarkissian, the issue of the Armenian genocide of 1915 always dominated family discussions. “For as long as I can remember, the massacre influenced almost everything we did,” he says.
According to the Armenian government, more than 1.5m of its citizens were killed when they were deported by Ottoman forces from eastern Anatolia to the Syrian Desert in 1915 — the centenary was marked on April 24 of this year. Turkey has never accepted the term “genocide”, but it acknowledges that vast numbers of Christian Armenians died in conflict with Ottoman soldiers during the first world war, when Armenia was still part of the Ottoman Empire.
Sarkissian’s grandparents were among the deportees and this bleak, and bloody, heritage underpins his practice. Now based in London, he is one of 18 established and emerging artists from the Armenian diaspora featured in the exhibition Armenity at this year’s Venice Biennale.
The exhibition’s location is far removed from the frenzied main show venues, in the Mekhitarist monastery on the island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni. There could hardly be a better backdrop for the Armenian narrative. In about 1715, Mekhitar, an Armenian monk, retreated to the island when under attack from the Ottoman army in southern Greece, and built there a complex for 17 monks. The Mekhitarist order thrived in this Venetian idyll, setting up a printing press and a library which today houses more than 4,000 medieval Armenian manuscripts.
Sarkissian’s 2012 photographic series “Unexposed” focuses on the descendants of Armenian nationals forced to convert to Islam under the Ottomans. Even today, for fear of Islamic authorities, he says that having rediscovered their roots and reconverted to Christianity “these descendants conceal their newfound Armenian-ness”.
Disguising one’s nationality is at the root of another work, Aram Jibilian’s photographic series “Akh Gorky” (2010). Jibilian created masks based on Arshile Gorky’s portrait “The Artist and His Mother” (1926-1936), which were worn by himself, his friends and family.
“This act of masking and reinventing continues to exist in contemporary Armenian-American traditions that I witnessed growing up in California, from concealing one’s inner desires out of fear of rejection to adopting an Americanised pronunciation of an ethnic name,” says Jibilian.
Meanwhile, Thessaloniki-born Aikaterini Gegisian will unveil 65 collages under the title “A Small Guide to the Invisible Seas” (2015), made from found images, some of them tourist paraphernalia. These assemblages explore romanticised visions of life in Soviet Armenia, Turkey and Greece during the 1970s and 1980s. “I’m exploring how new national identities are shaped by photographic images,” she says.
Adelina Cüberyan von Fürstenberg, a Swiss citizen of Armenian origin and founder of the non-governmental agency Art for the World, was asked by the Armenian culture ministry to curate the exhibition. The quality of the work is her main priority, she says. “In the last hundred years, despite the Medz Yeghern — an expression that Armenians use to denote the period of massacres and deportations that peaked in 1915 — Armenian culture has survived, and artists of Armenian origin have remained genuine citizens of the world,” she writes in a statement posted online.
In the last hundred years, Armenian culture has survived — its artists are citizens of the world
One highly controversial move is the inclusion of the Turkish-Armenian artist Sarkis under the Armenian umbrella. Sarkis is simultaneously Turkey’s official representative at the biennale this year, creating his “Respiro” installation in the Arsenale under the auspices of the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs. The directorate of press, which represents the Turkish government, declined to comment.
Nevertheless, Sarkis will show four works in the Armenian pavilion, including “Danseuse dorée en haut du toit” (2012), and “Atlas de Mammuthus Intermedius” (2014). “It is very important for me to keep the dialogue open. We are the link between two pavilions,” Sarkis says.
The issue remains a highly contentious one between the two countries. Last month, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the Turkish government to recognise the mass killings as genocide. The move prompted the Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, to tell reporters in Ankara that “this issue is now beyond the Turkish-Armenian issue. It’s a new reflection of the racism in Europe”.
Should these issues be aired at an art exhibition? “I think the concept is a very creative one that ably captures the manner in which the Armenians have been scattered throughout the world as a consequence of the collective violence they faced in the Ottoman Empire,” says Fatma Göçek, professor of sociology at the University of Michigan and author of A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire.
Von Fürstenberg, meanwhile, says that the experience has made her reconsider her own life experiences. “I escaped to the arts,” she says. “Perhaps it’s time for me to reassess everything.”
May 01, 2015
Our talented photographer, John White, took installation photos yesterday at Fort Mason. Find them all on the Art Market entry of our website.
April 30, 2015
Pictures from install day and the VIP Opening Night event at Art Market 2015. Huge thank you to our staff for their exhaustive efforts, and congratulations to our artists for an amazing exhibit of work. The first night concluded with sales of Wanxin Zhang's work to Pamela and David Hornik, and Dorothy Saxe, as well as placement of a Deborah Oropallo to a private collection in San Francisco. More pictures and updates to come. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for the latest shots from Art Market 2015.
April 25, 2015
In the Studio | Julie Heffernan
by Alex Rojas
The process of creation is an adventure in itself for artist Julie Heffernan. I had the pleasure to speak with her about this adventure on a recent visit to her studio located on the second floor of her Brooklyn brownstone.
Heffernan, who has been painting since the 1980’s, has a preoccupation with discovery. “I see myself as hiking through my paintings to their completion,” states Heffernan as we discussed the process she takes in creating her work. When viewing Heffernan’s multi-dimensional paintings, your eyes are first drawn to a female figure, who is always a representation of herself and is central to her work. Heffernan pointedly positions herself amidst all of the action, grappling with some form of struggle within the work.
While Heffernan refers to this female figure as the “glue” that binds the elements of each painting together, the surrounding composition is where the real adventure for both the artist and the viewer occurs. Heffernan uses the female’s surroundings to explore imaginary worlds, pushing into alternate realities. In some cases Heffernan throws herself into a lush and ornate forest-like environment, while in others she dives into a dystopia of sorts, attempting in a Bosch-like fashion to conceptualize and experience the contemporary world. Within these backdrops sits the true intrigue of her work, the surreal and small subtleties.
The complex world of Heffernan’s work proves that injecting art with references from one’s own experiences and dreams can produce rich, meaningful narratives that function as both surreal and true-to-life. Heffernan takes her viewers on an adventure that is full of alternate realities through which she explores femininity, the environment, and the human condition. Come visit Art Market SF, April 29th – May 3rd, to see two of her newest pieces that just arrived from her studio.
April 11, 2015
In the Studio | Kal Spelletich
by Alex Rojas
“What can I do? There is no excuse. I need to step up, do my life’s work, and do something important.”
Kal Spelletich has devoted himself to his life’s work through discovering the fourth dimension, a space where one can achieve his or her outlet for purpose despite the distractions of the world. The artist discovered in the late 80’s his purpose was to create radical, hybrid art full of soul, stating “Every piece I make should be as though it was the last piece I will ever make.” By cultivating and incorporating the latest technology, Spelletich responds to the world around him by creating innovative kinetic robotic sculptures, which he refers to as “intention machines” or “praying robots.”
Prior to Kal Spelletich’s first exhibition at CCG, I was fortunate enough to receive a behind the scenes tour of the artist’s studio and a preview of the works in his upcoming exhibition, Intention Machines, opening on April 11th and continuing through the end of May. As we wandered through his expansive warehouse studio, Spelletich explained to me his ideas and inspirations behind these works.
Spelletich’s Intention Machines exhibition pays tribute to seven friends and mentors. Through medium and movement, each embody specific individuals such as poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti or Black Panther activist Emory Douglas. These robots hold value not only for their role in Spelletich’s life, but also for the greater roles they have played in affecting and transforming our society.
Spelletich specifically requested the unwashed, worn-in, work clothes of these individuals, which he explained as an important component of each sculpture, acknowledging that the items we use or wear in our daily lives hold a part of ourselves within them: “Clothes are like a battery… It’s holding your essence in them and I thought ‘Can I bring that essence into the sculptures?’”
Because of his constant drive to push the boundaries, Spelletich’s sculptures are a combination of unlikely media. “I am obsessed with materials,” he says. This is evident from his studio, which is an incredible cabinet of curiosities, made up of items some may consider as junk, while others may consider as treasure. It is clear he has an abundance of materials to choose from when crafting his robotic sculptures, but he explains to me the intentional process that he goes through when selecting material. For example, the wood that the sculpture Kay Miller (2014-2015) sits on originates from a pipe organ, which created songs and music in its past life. By drawing on materials with a previous history, resonance, and energy, Spelletich builds another dimension of meaning to his work that honors the past.
As the artist and I continue to meander through his studio, we come across his Mark Pauline (2014-2015) sculpture sitting on a coffee table. I remark on the beautiful craftsmanship in this work, and he explains the intention behind the incorporation of the coffee table. “Where I grew up in Iowa they used to say if you were to stand on a coffee table and proclaim your love for a girl that was serious stuff… it holds value. This one, I was riding on my bike one day and saw it on the street. This beautiful thing, I knew someone would grab it if I didn’t, I bet it would last 2 more minutes, so I stood there for a while …. Decided fuck it - and I put it on my back. I thought if I wreck, I wreck, but I am riding with this thing on my back.” It is Spelletich’s stories such as this that truly make these robotic sculptures transform from static metal rods and mechanisms to spiritual and genuflecting kinetic robots, each steeped with special moments of history.
While the history of these materials partially bring these works to life, Spelletich uses technology to enable his robots to have physical movement. The artist uses interfaces, in an attempt to metaphorically or physically the movement of each individual portrayed- conjuring his or her spiritual energy. Specifically, Kay Miller, based on a mentor of Spelletich, moves in a spinning motion inspired by the powerful meditation of Sufi whirling dervishes. As an ardent feminist, activist, and artist, Miller had an impactful effect on shaping Spelletich today. “She schooled my ass,” Spelletich states. Further, for the viewer to experience the movement within each sculpture, they must interact with each robot, which reacts uniquely to each viewer’s presence or touch. All of the robots’ movements are spiritual and intentional, whether it is bowing or genuflecting.
Interaction has always been key to Spelletich’s art practice. During college he experimented with a whole spectrum of media, but continued to come back to kinetic live art that required audience participation, desiring to tap into the unseen by combining disparate mediums and interaction. Looking at artists like Chris Burden and Pyro Manzoni, Spelletich attempted to challenge the traditional forms of art.
With Spelletich’s Intention Machines we are faced with a multi-faceted experience, a collective energy made up of not only the artists aspirations, the subjects past, but our own intentions as well. While we interact with each piece, we give it life, and it gives a response. Spelletich states, “This is a practice of giving. This is my life’s work. This is why I am on the planet.”
Please join us for the opening reception for the exhibition on Saturday, April 11th, from 5- 7pm! Spelletich will be present and giving a guided tour of the show at 4pm.
April 07, 2015
"By trying to reconcile the gap in intentional systems science with sculptures that challenge and upend the human intelligence and artificial intelligence divide, Spelletich looks to the messy realm of “intentional imperfection” to keep machines and humans, human."
Natasha Boas reviews Spelletich's Intention Machines in SFAQ.
Read the full article here
March 31, 2015
DoReMi: Creating an arts oasis in a forbiddingly costly city
By Sam Whiting
March 28, 2015
“In a way it doesn’t matter what we call it,” Clark says. “It just matters that we call it.”
Catharine Clark discusses the new booming DoReMi arts community in SF Chronicle.
Read the full article here
March 26, 2015
A series of videos launching Wednesday features contemporary artists in the galleries at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's the first of five seasons that will ultimately feature a hundred artists talking about some of their favorite works and inspirations.
artnet News got a sneak peek at the three-minute videos featuring Nina Katchadourian, Kehinde Wiley, and Xu Bing.
March 21, 2015
"Arnold seems to be asking us to consider what the consequences of a failure to act might be, for all of us."
Read Maria Porges' review of Chester Arnold's solo exhibition Mad Abundance in Art Practical: http://www.artpractical.com/review/mad-abundance/
March 13, 2015
Chester Arnold will give two artist talks this month
Crocker Art Museum on March 18, 2015 at 1:15 pm
Closing Reception and artist talk: Chester Arnold | Mad abundance at Catharine Clark Gallery on March 28, 2015 at 4pm.
Chester Arnold, A Hawk's Attention, 2015, Oil on linen, 46 x 54 inches
March 10, 2015
We had a great week in New York City at our first exhibit at art on paper. Click on the link above for some highlights from the fair.
March 03, 2015
In anticipation of the exhibition of Sandow Birk's work at art on paper art fair (New York City | March 5 - 8 | thepaperfair.com), Catharine Clark Gallery Senior Intern Alex Rojas interviewed the artist about his Imaginary Monuments series.
On close inspection, the depth of artist Sandow Birk’s work is fully revealed to be much more complex than initially meets the eye. Addressing themes such as war, religion, politics, and incarceration, Birk speaks to the current global climate. His most recent series “Imaginary Monuments,” which will be on view at art on paper this weekend, deals with police brutality, human rights, and the Iraq War. I briefly spoke with Birk about his creative process and the inspiration behind these new pieces.
Proposal for a Monument to the NYPD from the series “Imaginary Monuments,” 2015
A: How would you describe the content of your work?
S: In general terms, I would say that my way of working usually involves looking to works from the past. I use them as the basis to create new works that deal with contemporary social issues and relate to the history of art in a broader sense. I’m interested in art history and in current events. I’m especially interested in what the role of an artist in the 21st Century can be and how it can be relevant in the contemporary world.
A: You explore politics and production. Can you say more about the themes and ideas that lie behind your work?
S: I usually begin a series of works that grow into larger and larger projects than I originally anticipated. The germ of the ideas for these large projects can come in different ways. Sometimes it can be a reaction to current events, like the L.A. riots. Other times it can come by a random chance encounter with “The Divine Comedy,” or it can come from prolonged thinking about something that leads me to investigate and research it further, such as my project with the Qur’an. The unifying thread through the various ways projects start is that, however they begin, they usually tend to get bigger and more complex than I ever intended at the outset, as I dig deeper and deeper into the ideas.
A: Does your personal history infuse itself into your practice?
S: My personal history is integral to my work. I travel a lot and I’ve spent a lot of time in Latin America, so I have an extra interest in that part of the world. My social viewpoint comes from my time spent traveling and living in Brazil and other places, as well as living in inner-city, Hispanic neighborhoods in Los Angeles. So I follow my interests in the world, in my neighborhoods, and cities. They usually lead to artworks. I really strive to say something in my works, so the content of my work is about something important and meaningful to me.
A: What inspired and fueled the “Imaginary Monuments” Series?
S: Like most of my projects, the beginning was humble but grew and grew. I began this series of “Imaginary Monuments” when I had an Artist Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, in 2007. I spent two months exploring the behind-the-scenes collections of the Smithsonian. I ended up doing a huge, wall-sized drawing of an imaginary monument to the Constitution of the United States, which was based on Durer’s “Triumphal Arch” from the 16th Century, which I was able to see in storage at the National Gallery. That project led to more research about important documents in world history, and also tied into Piranesi’s 18th Century etchings of Rome and fictional prisons, which I had looked at a lot years earlier. The combination of things that I had been interested over the past decade - prisons, documents, fictional monuments, social issues - all started to come together in this latest series of drawings and prints.
A: You have been working relentlessly it seems, on both “American Qur’an” and “Imaginary Monuments.” Now that some of that is done, do you have any new projects in mind?
S: I’ve just finished many years of learning, researching, and creating an illuminated manuscript about the Holy Qur’an. It has been fascinating, constantly interesting and relevant. It has also been very focused and very repetitive, as far as the actual painting of the images and transcribing the text. Now that that’s completed, I’m very much looking forward to doing larger paintings again, and I’m interested in doing more “History Painting” paintings, of current events. Working bigger seems refreshing and exciting again.
A: Do you have any words of wisdom or a motto?
S: "Cogito Ergo Faciam". I’m not sure that’s correct Latin, but for years and years I’ve had it over the door of my studio. I hope it correctly translates as, “I think, therefore I make.” Luckily, I don’t have it tattooed on myself anywhere, but it’s my personal motto.
A: Do you see your work in conversation with any artist in particular?
S: That depends on the project, but despite the fact that I’m not totally as involved in the art scene as I used to be able to be, and that my work is never really cutting edge in the technical sense, I really hope my work is part of the contemporary art dialog and not in some backwater. I really see myself as a contemporary artist and I believe I’m part of the discussion, even if my works resemble something from times past. And then, obviously, I hope they are in conversations with those artists and works from the past that they draw from, from Dante to Piranesi to Durer to Gericault to Ed Ruscha to the Chapman brothers, etc. Hopefully, they are part of a bridge between what art used to be and to what art can be today, in our times, now.
To see these works and others by Birk visit our booth at art on paper, New York Booth 405 | Pier 36 | 299 South Street, Lower East Side, NYC or meet the artist at a special cocktail party Saturday night, March 7th from 8pm to 10pm at our NY Pop Up Space located at 313 W. 14th St.
February 26, 2015
Visit us in New York, March 5 - 8, for a whole week of fair activity and off-site events in New York City. Check your inbox for an email with everything you need to know, or sign up for our mailing list here.
New work by Sandow Birk, Monument to the Free Seas (2015) in the series Imaginary Monuments.
February 17, 2015
This week, we're busy getting ready for our exhibition of Chester Arnold's work, Mad Abundance, which opens this Saturday, February 21, from 4 - 6 pm. Our media room will feature Kurt Stallaert's 'moving stills' work, Man with Lamb. Follow us on Instagram to see what's happening this week (including our favorite install snacks).
January 29, 2015
“Garble” @ Catharine Clark
Posted January 28, 2015
When conceptual art first reached a mass audience in the late ‘60s, it shocked by asserting that standalone text could be visual art. Today, text is ingrained in so many types of art (video, installation, drawing, sculpture, painting and photography) that it doesn’t elicit so much as a raised eyebrow. Garble, a text-heavy show featuring seven gallery artists doesn’t challenge that state of affairs. Instead, by offering a kind of core sampling of current practices, it affirms a key principle of Conceptualism: that ideas, not their delivery systems, are what matter. As for garble itself, there is little; the artists in this exhibition deliver messages that for the most part are quite clear. But if, by using the word garble, the show seeks to demonstrate how artists mess with codes of visual and linguistic communication, well, there’s plenty of that going on.
The strongest example is Anthony Discenza’s A Sculpture (Reclining Figure), a roped-off, blank canvas mounted a few inches off the floor. It appears in a darkened room near the back of the gallery. Enter and you hear, broadcast from speakers, the plummy, recorded voices of two actors (male and female), reciting bits of text sourced from the Internet. Affecting stuffy erudition, they describe, in purely formalist terms, a work of art we can’t see. But when you listen and stare, things change. Sensory deprivation and suggestion conspire, and before stupefaction sets in, the canvas at your feet – a literal smackdown of painting — becomes a kind of “screen” onto which we project our own visions of the object described. It's an elegant demonstration of how and why ideas needn’t be affixed to objects to become concrete. The artist makes that point again with snippets from seven gothic/horror novels, all self-penned and displayed on yellowing paper with foreboding titles (The Visage, The Tomb, The Goddess Plague). They, too, light up pictures; only here the effect rests entirely on words, a tribute to sharp writing and to genre parody of a very high order.
January 24, 2015
If you have not seen Kara Maria's recent work from her residency at Recology, you have one more chance! The last day to see the work in the Recology galleries is Tuesday, January 27th from 5-7pm.
We visited the Recology program last week and got to see Kara Maria and Imin Yeh as they prepared for their openings. Our new spring interns, Denise di Zazzo and Maddie Fuller wrote up their thoughts from the visit and Maddie shared some of her photos.
Denise Laxen di Zazzo:
Many artists seem to be truly conscious and dedicated to incorporating recycled materials into their work, fighting for the larger cause by utilizing art as a medium to express their beliefs. This is a delicate balance as art materials are often mass produced and sometimes even environmentally hazardous.
Last week, Catharine Clark Gallery staff and interns visited the environmentally friendly Artist in Residence program at Recology San Francisco. A program that has been running for 25 years, the residency provides six artists annually with studio space and unlimited access to items at the “dump”.
When we arrived on-site, Director Deborah Munk and her colleague Sharon Spain welcomed us to the facility, beginning with a presentation on past artists in the program, the facility's goals, and the success and future of the artist program. Even amongst the surroundings of San Francisco's discarded trash, flying seagulls, dirt, and pungent smells, the whole environment felt very friendly and welcoming, hiding numerous gems throughout the facility such as a beautiful sculpture garden.
As we toured the artist's studios, they each were so unlike the other. In the first one, we met Kara Maria who is represented by Catharine Clark Gallery. She had such a neat and tidy space – clean and organized – with her paintings already installed on the white walls in preparation for the upcoming exhibition presented at the end of the residency. She spoke to us about process, specifically how she collected colors during her months in the program. She had to search in the dump for all the colors she needed, yellow being the most tricky to find. She also found discarded canvases, including some mass produced prints from IKEA, of which she painted over to create her latest works of art.
Imin Yeh was the next artist we met. Her studio seemed to be the opposite of Kara's – a real creative mess with sprawling samples of different media, materials, and ideas. Although she had created sculptures from many different types of materials, each artwork maintained it's own concept and purpose.
In addition to being really inspired by the whole project and the consistency of the program, I was also interested in how the artists individually picked up on the impulses and ideas of the objects found on-site. Being influenced by the found objects, both artists brought forth and revealed some of their deepest thoughts and experiences through this residency, while simultaneously remaining true to their respective techniques and styles.
A truly inspiring day!
The San Francisco Recology Center is located just a couple miles from Catharine Clark Gallery. In a city wide effort to reduce waste and recycle, The Artist in Residence program was founded 25 years ago and has worked with over a hundred Bay Area artists ranging in mediums from traditional painting to sound performances. Complete with access to a full studio and any materials that can be scavenged from the dump, this residency is the perfect place for innovation and creation of unconventional works of art.
The Recology center itself is one of the more bizarre places to visit in San Francisco. After you throw something away, it is transported to this man-made eco system where it is moved through the center like a ballet, twisting and turning through the strange choreography on trucks and machines. After being sorted, the waste leaps to its resting place where it waits to be discovered by an artist or animal.
Recently Catharine Clark Gallery staff and interns took a visit to Kara Maria’s studio at Recology in anticipation of her upcoming show. Kara found her inspiration in the discarded mass-produced digital canvases and posters, which she repurposed as a place to begin her paintings. Sometimes, Kara used gesso over the entire canvas in order to cover all the scars of the previous artists work. Other times, she used the found imagery to begin her artistic exploration, appropriating whatever she could find to create the abstract craziness that is the Recology center. In addition to San Francisco’s trash, the Recology center is home to local wildlife searching desperately to find food and shelter. In order to keep the wild animals safe, the Recology center has implemented a few animals of their own. The Falconer Wade Neely safely and effectively uses animals to keep unwanted guests out. With his team of falcons and his dog, Neely is able to control the seagull swarm. Her work references the mountain-high piles of waste with psychedelic colors that are paired with hyper realistic depictions of the animals who have found homes in the waste.
January 23, 2015
Don't delay: Visit Trash Menagerie, open for only 3 days!
Opening Reception for Kara Maria's Artist in Residence exhibit at Recology, SF will open Friday, January 23, from 5 - 9 pm with Saturday viewing hours on January 24, from 1 - 3 pm. Address: 510 Tunnel Ave, San Francisco, CA 94134. Additional viewing hours Tuesday January 27 from 5 - 7 pm, with a gallery walk through with artists at 6:30 pm. Meet at 503 Tunnel Ave for the artist walk through.
January 14, 2015
Tune in to WNYC for a piece featuring Nina Katchadourian. Read more below and on the web.
WNYC’s Data News Team and New Tech City are on a quest to bring back boredom. In our second annual Digital Detox event, join us as we get ready to launch our weeklong Bored and Brilliant Challenge in The Greene Space. Take part in a semi-scientific experiment to test your creativity. We'll also help you track and reclaim the time you spend on your phone and use it instead to let your mind wander – and see what brilliance it may lead you to. Did we mention drinks will be served? Make 2015 the year your rethink your relationship with technology!
Hosted by New Tech City's Manoush Zomorodi and featuring guests Maria Popova of Brain Pickings, Kevin Holesh, maker of Moment, the app that lets you track your iPhone use, Nina Katchadourian, whose whimsical, thoughtful, funny art is inspired by embracing boredom, and John Keefe, WNYC's senior editor for Data News.
John Keefe and Maria Popova
January 02, 2015
See work by Kara Maria in Glamorgeddon: The Spectacle
Opening January 8
Glamorgeddon: The Spectacle, a group exhibition presented by SOMArts Cultural Center and on view with free admission Thursday, January 8th through Wednesday, February 4th, 2015, brings together visual, media and performing artists in a critical response to and free-form celebration of the concept of glamour. Curated by Johanna Poethig, with co-curators Angelica Muro and Hector Dionicio Mendoza, Glamorgeddon pushes back against the ways in which we consciously or unconsciously accept the logic of prevailing capitalist, media-generated spectacles.
Glamorgeddon is the first of three SOMArts Commons Curatorial Residency exhibitions in 2015, and builds upon the builds upon the elusive concept of glamour in relation to camp, kitsch and abjection as instigated by artists such as filmmaker and photographer John Waters and Debora Iyall of Romeo Void when Poethig mounted the group exhibition The Glamour Summit at SOMArts in 2000.
A show not to be missed!
December 23, 2014
Beginning in 2015 and traveling into 2017, Al Farrow’s Reliquary series will be the subject of a solo exhibition, Wrath and Reverence, that will travel to Forum Gallery, New York, NY; the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; 21c, Louisville, KY and Durham, NC; Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, CA; and Aeroplastics, Brussels, Belgium.
Our fall interns, Jacqueline Bogdan and Alex Rojas recently visited Al in his studio to see what he is working on for the upcoming exhibition. The following essays, musings on their studio visit, were completed during the final weeks of their internships.
We left San Francisco around 2p.m. on a Friday to visit the studio of the sculptor Al Farrow in San Rafael, which is about twenty miles north of the city. It was a relatively clear and pleasant day to be traversing the Golden Gate Bridge. It's easy to recognize the appeal of spending a lifetime in Marin County. Marin is not remote, only twenty minutes north across the bridge from San Francisco, or rustic, but it seems to exist in a harmony with the natural surroundings. In contrast with the city, the architecture and landscape don’t seem to fight one another. Farrow's studio is extremely close to the freeway, but still feels private and incited a feeling of being tucked away. The isolated, peaceful presence I gained from the location was quickly erased upon entering the studio. Engulfing the entirety of the studio are guns, gun parts, bullets, and casings. To a certain extent, it is a chaotic and frightening place. The shelves lining the walls of the studio are filled with automatic firearms and ammunition belts hang in every corner. These are some of the materials that Farrow uses to craft his sculptures, from his latest body of work titled the Reliquary series. He assured us that everything in his studio had been dismantled and rendered harmless, smiling as he says this, as though he is very accustom to this concern.
The artist’s current body of work, presents the viewer with the historical and contemporary relationship between organized religion and violence. Farrow uses guns and other materials as the raw elements to compose sculptural work based on conventional houses of worship and other fundamental objects associated with the canons of organized religion. As an artist whose practice is focused on social commentary, his thoughts that day contained a rich wealth of information about the context of global, political, and social trends. While visiting his studio, Farrow answered questions about his work in a manner that was broad-ranging in subject, but not tangential. There is something very comforting and familiarized about Farrow’s presence in general, made evident as he shared his newest works and invited us to participate in the conversation.
Besides the supply of ammunition that the artist uses to construct his Reliquaries, the studio is filled with his own collection of sculpture, which has a heavy emphasis on works from Africa. The studio is jam-packed with inspirational items that I found to be symbolic of the artist’s own process. Farrow told us that he would be celebrating his 40th anniversary in his studio next year and for me, being there was like being invited to have a look directly into years and years of the artist’s personal ideas and musings. Farrow showed us stacks of printed images of the houses of worship that inform his aesthetic choices for his latest Reliquaries. Recently, Farrow has been researching images of damage to these religious structures, brought about by vandalism or violent action. He has hundreds of books about art and architecture, some still open, on shelves and tables throughout the studio. The artist showed us some books with information on Hindu and Buddhist temples - additional inspiration for his future work.
When speaking about continuing and building upon this series, Farrow mentioned that before the Reliquary series, he would change the scale, medium, or subject of his work close to every seven years, as though each body of work had completed its cycle. It has been close to twenty years since Farrow began working on the Reliquary series. He spoke about how the challenges associated with the subject matter and the actual construction of the objects has continued to test and stimulate him as an artist. This is probably why Farrow and his work have been able to find such a wide audience. To me, the work doesn’t present definitive answers, but instead poses questions about the association of religion and violence. His work makes me question to what degree does religion owe its existence to violence? Can we call this relationship contradictory? I left the studio with a buzzing mind and a positive attitude about the power of Farrow’s work.
Tucked away in San Rafael sits the studio of the sculptor Al Farrow. Throughout his career, spanning almost four and a half decades, Farrow has produced thought provoking and extremely relevant art work, that contemplates the very fundamentals of our human condition. In his studio, Farrow is surrounded by his latest projects and the unlikely materials that he uses to create these pieces. Welding machines and stacks of boxes filled with ammunition and gun parts line the wall. Bullets and shell casings are spewed across tabletops waiting to be welded and manipulated into the highly crafted sculptures that are Farrow’s latest body of titled the Reliquaries.
Throughout his career, Farrow has explored themes relating to the human condition. His current Reliquaries speaks to an instinct for violence and acquisition on power that is consistent with the history of humanity and religion. Farrow explains, “I became an artist to do social commentary. That was my reason to be an artist. I always enjoyed making things, […] I could have made whatever […] but, I really wanted to say something and record it for history.” Through his Reliquaries, Farrow has accomplished just that: composing receptacles for imagined relics and meticulously crafted sculptures of mosques, synagogues, and cathedrals. His use of guns, bullets, and various parts of weaponry brings to mind a history and association of militarization that is not immediately identifiable with religious doctrine. This combination of strikingly beautiful, intricate objects with an omnipresent statement on humanity has set forth an extremely complex and compelling body of work.
On the afternoon of October 10th, my fellow intern and I took a trip up to his studio with the gallery associate, Katharine James. Upon entering it is clear that we have encountered the artist’s creative process. As he welcomes us in, Farrow leads us towards two of his newest pieces which take the form of wall reliefs and are modeled after church doors and facades. Although still quite large, these wall reliefs allow Farrow to focus his detail and precision into one element of the structure— the façade. Through this, their manageability in size and placement allow these works to be collected in private homes.
For me, the true excitement of the visit is found in Farrow’s office, situated in a small room next to his workshop. Aside from being the site of creation for Farrow’s work, his studio and office function as a storage site for his ideas and inspiration. A large collection of African Art, jewelry, masks, and pottery decorate his office. “I love African Art. To me it has more juice than most Western art. You know, there’s just a lot of power in it.” There are countless shelves of bones and books lining every wall in the room. Farrow pulls out two books he is currently studying for one of his lastest projects, picturing Hindu and Buddhist temples. As he shows us these images, he discusses his hesitation and fear for these new works, pointing out the difficulty in creating the delicate design and curvature of these structures with his rigid medium of ammunition and guns. “The hard part in emulating architecture, is that I’ve got to find violent elements that can translate to the design elements that [I am] using.” This project will mark the first time Farrow has introduced polytheistic religion into his Reliquaries.
While Farrow began his Reliquaries in 1995, almost fifteen years later he has still found ways to explore and expand this series to continually address more contemporary narratives. His work is timeless, addressing issues that are relevant to us all, in a way that is unexpected. It is difficult to not feel both involved and inspired by this truly remarkable and memorable experience of seeing with and through the lens of sculptor Al Farrow.
December 20, 2014
Just a few more weeks to catch IAMI by LigoranoReese in our media room, and the ceramic sculptures of Wanxin Zhang in our main gallery space. Please note: the gallery will be closed from December 24 - January 1. We will re-open for regular hours on Friday, January 2, 2015.
Nora Ligorano with Chris Morrell of Fitbit
Wanxin Zhang and Catharine Clark at our Holiday Party on December 20, 2014.
December 02, 2014
The fair doesn't open until tonight, but Catharine Clark Gallery has already been receiving some great press!
by Meredith Mendelsohn
"...(Miami Project's) model consists of a healthy mix of cutting-edge contemporary work made specifically for the fair and more established material with a historical heft. On either end of the spectrum, visitors can expect to find some museum-worthy works. In fact, in what appears to be an unprecedented offering at a fair, San Francisco collectors Andy and Deborah Rappaport are going purchase a major piece by Bay Area collaborators Andy Diaz Hope and Jon Bernson for a museum or institution that is committed to socially-engaged art. Titled Beautification Machine, 2014, the multimedia installation, displayed by San Francisco’s Catherine Clark gallery, uses mirrors, audio and video components to transform snippets from Fox News and MSNBC into a highly aesthetic, experiential light and sound environment, stripping them of their partisanship. You’ll find the piece in a special room built just for its installation at Miami Project. The installation is a good example of the kind of highly collectible high-tech mixed-media work that abounds at this edition of Miami Project."
Your Concise Guide to the 2014 Miami Art Fairs
"....With 69 galleries hailing from both coasts of the US and a few points in between, one thing that sets Miami Project apart from other satellite fairs is Andy Diaz Hope and Jon Bernson’s “Beautification Machine,” an interactive installation that will, according to fair, “neutralize the bile and fear spewed forth daily over the networks and transform polarizing media sources into vehicles of contemplation and peace.” By Friday, we will all be dying for some contemplation and peace. (VIP preview: December 2, 5:30–10 pm)
Miami Project is just a few days away from welcoming visitors to Miami's Midtown Art District. Edition 3 will launch Tuesday night with our VIP Preview sponsored by 1stdibsoffering the public a first glimpse at the best in modern and contemporary art presented by seventy of the country's top galleries.
Miami Project is thrilled to be partnering with Catharine Clark Gallery and San Francisco based collectors and philanthropists Andy and Deborah Rappaport to present Andy Diaz Hope & Jon Bernon’s Beautification Machine. In an unprecedented act of artistic patronage, the Rappaports are supporting the presentation of this powerful and compelling installation with the direct intention of gifting the piece to the collection of a museum or public institution committed to the exhibition of socially engaged artwork. With the hope of inspiring other collectors to follow suit, Andy and Deborah Rappaport are using Miami Project as a platform for change as they evolve the traditional art fair acquisition.
INSTALLATIONS & EVENTS
Miami Project Edition 3 will feature several other exciting installations including Mel Chin’s Cabinet of Craving presented by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery and Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez’s Opresores Oprimidos presented by THE MISSION.Deborah Butterfield is creating new sculpture, including two fullscale horses welded from found metal, to be presented in a solo exhibition of six works with Greg Kucera Gallery. Programming opportunities for fair-goers include artist talks, a musical performance and Friday December 5th’s Women in the Arts event hosted by Miami Project exhibitor Jenkins Johnson Gallery. For more information please visit miami-project.com/projects-events/
Miami Project and Art Market Productions wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. We'll see you in Miami!
2014 Miami Project Exhibitors
ACA Galleries New York
Adelson Galleries New York
Ampersand Gallery Portland
Andrea Meislin Gallery New York
Benrubi Gallery New York
Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts New York
Berry Campbell New York
Catharine Clark Gallery San Francisco
CES Gallery Los Angeles
ClampArt New York
David B. Smith Gallery Denver
David Shelton Gallery Houston
DC Moore Gallery New York
Dina Mitrani Gallery Miami
Driscoll Babcock Galleries New York
Eleanor Harwood Gallery San Francisco
Electric Works San Francisco
Ferrin Contemporary Boston
Foley Gallery New York
Forum Gallery New York
Fouladi Projects San Francisco
Freight + Volume New York
Gallery Paule Anglim San Francisco
George Adams Gallery New York
George Lawson Gallery San Francisco
Greg Kucera Gallery Seattle
Haines Gallery San Francisco
jack fischer gallery San Francisco
Jenkins Johnson Gallery San Francisco
JHB Gallery New York
Jim Kempner Fine Art New York
Jonathan Ferrara Gallery New Orleans
Joshua Liner Gallery New York
Julie Saul Gallery New York
Kasher|Potamkin New York
Kopeikin Gallery Los Angeles
Lennon, Weinberg New York
Lesley Heller Workspace New York
MARC STRAUS New York
Margaret Thatcher Projects New York
Mark Moore Gallery Culver City
Morgan Lehman Gallery New York
Muriel Guépin Gallery New York
Nancy Hoffman Gallery New York
Nancy Margolis Gallery New York
Octavia Art Gallery New Orleans
Paulson Bott Press Berkeley
Pavel Zoubok Gallery New York
PDX Contemporary Art Portland
Peter Mendenhall Gallery Los Angeles
Quint Gallery La Jolla
Richard Levy Gallery Albuquerque
Robischon Gallery Denver
ROSEGALLERY Santa Monica
RYAN LEE Gallery New York
Sasha Wolf Gallery New York
Staley-Wise Gallery New York
steven harvey fine art projects New York
Steven Wolf Fine Arts San Francisco
SVA Galleries New York
Tally Beck Contemporary New York
THE MISSION Chicago / Houston
Tibor de Nagy Gallery New York
Traywick Contemporary Berkeley
Von Lintel Gallery Los Angeles
Walter Maciel Gallery Los Angeles
William Campbell Contemporary Fort Worth
Winston Wächter Fine Art New York / Seattle
Yancey Richardson Gallery New York
Miami Project is sponsored by
Art Market Productions,109 S. 5th Street, Suite 407, New York, New York 11249
November 14, 2014
Discovering the city through The City as Museum: Highlighting Works from the Civic Art Collection by Anthony Discenza
by Allison Stockman
The first posters in the Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series by artist Anthony Discenza which debuted in mid-August, will be on view through December 1, 2014. For his poster series, titled The City as Museum: Highlighting Works from the Civic Art Collection, Discenza appropriated the format of the standard museum or gallery card. The 36 posters consist entirely of text describing the works of art along with their locations. Image Gallery
Reading these posters has been one of my favorite projects over the past few weeks. As an East Coast native, I had no idea that the city of San Francisco has such diverse collection of work in it's public art collection. I've laughed out loud reading many of the stories behind works of art I have blithely rushed by on my way to work--especially the Vaillancourt fountain, which my children spent many a pre-drought summer afternoon throwing pennies at, and trying to push each other into. I'm going to love explaining it's history of graffiti tags next time we visit it.
Today, I've gotten lost on the internet reading about Ruth Asawa: her internment during World War II, as a child, to the Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia where she lived in a horse stall; her journeys to Mexico and North Carolina seeking an art education in the face of lingering anti-Japanese racism; and her subsequent mastery of many mediums and forms throughout her career as an artist. The longer I live in San Francisco, the more of her public comissions and work I hope to seek out for a visit--The Garden of Remembrance at San Francisco State Univeristy is next on my list.
I hope you enjoy this project of Anthony Discenza's as much as I have, and it inspires more visits to our city's lesser known collected works.
November 11, 2014
New robots by Kal Spelletich will be included in a show opening this Thursday, November 14th at Jules Maeght Gallery in San Francisco.
6 - 8 pm
November 01, 2014
Follow us on Instagram the week of November 4 - 8 as we install lifesize ceramics sculptures by Wanxin Zhang for his exhibition Totem. This is the gallery's first solo exhibition of a ceramic artist and our inaugural exhibit of Zhang's work. Concurrently, our media room will feature two interactive fiber-optic self-portraits of the artistic duo LigoranoReese. This woven fiber-optic work, entitled IAMI, debuted at Miami Project 2013.
October 24, 2014
Studio Visit with Deborah Oropallo – The Magnolia Edition(s)
Oak wasp pods for re-invented iron gall ink are scattered across a workshop table. Sheets of handmade paper with intricate laser printed watermarks are stacked high. Various test iterations of the Chuck Close gridded pigment portraits are tacked on the walls. Jars of charred coffee grounds for artisan charcoal. A toweringly large Kiki Smith tapestry is cascading down the wall. Hand-drawn acrylic tiles of the Chuck Close mural for the new line of the New York subway are tucked around the room. And the state-of-the-art flatbed pigment printer elegantly ready to go.
This is the innovative environment of the renowned Magnolia Editions print studio that surrounds the artist Deborah Oropallo as she begins preparation for the printing of her latest canvases—a project that builds upon her original Guise series dating to the mid-2000s. Capitalizing on technological advancements, Oropallo sources art historical paintings of prominent male figures from the Google Art Project and images of costume clad woman from a sexy Halloween costume website. The artist then overlaps a feminine portrait on a masculine one, producing slightly larger than life-size, regal, androgynous portraits. The high resolution masculine images sourced from the Google Art Project allows the viewer to see the cracks and wear of the historical oil paintings dating to the 17th and 18th centuries—a complex new layer to this body of work. In addition to differing in resolution, size, and composition, these latest Guise paintings are unique works on canvas as opposed to the previous editioned work.
Come by Catharine Clark Gallery to see these stunning new works by Deborah Oropallo! The work will be at Oropallo's studio through the end of October, and available at the gallery for viewing at the beginning of November. View these new work on our website.
October 21, 2014
SFMOMA acquires two works by Nina Katchadourian
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has acquired two works by artist Nina Katchadourian. "Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style" from Seat Assignment is an ongoing project of Katchadourian's. Improvising with materials close at hand, Seat Assignment consists of photographs, video, and digital images all made while in flight using only a camera phone. More work from Seat Assignment is currently on display at the Brooklyn Museum in the exhibition Crossing Brooklyn. Look for more in our newsblog soon about news and press from this exhibition.
Lavatory Self-Portrait in the Flemish Style #3, 2011
From the series Seat Assignment
Edition of 8 + proofs
13.333 x 10.313 inches
Lavatory Self-Portrait in the Flemish Style #4, 2011
From the series Seat Assignment
Edition of 8 + proofs
13.333 x 10 inches
October 17, 2014
Sandow Birk wins United States Artists Program Award
by Felicia R. Lee
USA Knight Fellow
The singer and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello, the painter and sculptor Edouard Duval-Carrié, the filmmakers Ryan White and Ben Cotner and the artist Wangechi Mutu are among 34 people who have been awarded $50,000 and named U.S.A. fellows for 2014. The unrestricted awards, announced Monday, are from the United States Artists program, a grant-making organization funded by philanthropic foundations and individuals to support creativity. The 16 women and 18 men were selected by experts in their fields and were among 116 nominated artists living in the United States.
“U.S.A. Fellowships are awarded to innovative artists of all ages and at all stages of their careers, who are nominated for their commitment to excellence and the enduring potential of their work,” Carolina Garcia Jayaram, the chief executive of U.S.A. said in a statement.
The awards were given in architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, media, music, theater and visual arts. A complete list of winners can be found at www.unitedstatesartists.org/2014fellows.
Founded in 2006 by the Ford, Rockefeller, Rasmuson and Prudential Foundations, U.S.A. is currently funded by several philanthropic foundations and individuals, including the Bloomberg Foundation and the Knight Foundation. Each artist’s fellowship is named for the foundation or individual supporting him or her. Since its founding, the fellows program has given $19.1 million to 405 artists. Past recipients include Kara Walker, Meredith Monk, Jason Moran, Benjamin Millepied and Bill T. Jones.
October 12, 2014
Extraordinary Masami Teraoka at auction: Bonhams Made in California: Starts 10:00 PDT, Monday 10/13 in LA. Simulcast in San Francisco. Made in California auction website.
October 10, 2014
Sandow Birk interviewed by KCET in Los Angeles about his Prison Series. This segment will air again this Friday night, 10/10/14.
October 07, 2014
If you are in New York, don't miss this show at the Brooklyn Museum, featuring work by Nina Katchadourian.
by Ken Johnson
Exerpt: "Nina Katchadourian presents a triptych of video self-portraits she made in an airplane lavatory. In them, she’s costumed herself using paper towels and other available materials to resemble the subjects of Dutch old master portrait paintings, and she’s expertly lip-syncing the three harmonies of a Bee Gees song. It’s hilarious and gripping to watch and listen to."
October 03, 2014
San Jose Museum of Art | Slight of Hand: Painting and Illusion
Group Exhibition featuring CCG artists Chester Arnold, Masami Teraoka, and Sandow Birk
October 2, 2014 - Feb 22, 2015
September 26, 2014
For Immediate Release
September 25, 2014
Artist Chris Doyle has been selected to receive The 2014 Borusan Contemporary Art Collection Prize. The announcement, released earlier today at Moving Image Istanbul, named Doyle's work, Waste_Generation (2011), as the winner of this prestigious award from hundreds of entries from around the globe. Catharine Clark, owner and director of Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, California, was present in Turkey for the announcement. Clark said, "I am delighted to see Waste_Generation find a place in the Borusan Collection, with such video greats as Go Watanabe and Doug Aitken. I had hoped there would be a positive response to the imagery in Chris's work because of how cogent his reflections are to a place that resides at the juncture of East and West. His message seems timely and relevant to all humanity irrespective of cultural geography."
This prize will fund the acquisition of Doyle's work by The Borusan Contemporary Art Collection which includes nearly 600 artworks encompassing such diverse media as oil paintings, sculpture, video art, installations, new media, print editions, light art, and photography. Moving Image co-founders Murat Orozobekov and Edward Winkleman noted, "We are so pleased that the The Borusan Contemporary Art Collection Prize affords the team at Borusan Contemporary the opportunity to preview all the work in the Moving Image Istanbul art fair. The selection process is a great way for each gallery to have their artist's work viewed by one of the best collections of video art in the world. We are delighted for Chris Doyle that his work has been selected for their collection, and wish to thank everyone at Borusan for their generous support of our inaugural edition of Moving Image Istanbul."
Describing his award-winning work, Doyle states:
"Waste_Generation is the second in a series of five animations based on Course of Empire, by Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole. The series explores the cultural framework through which we view landscape. Focusing on links between plant life and pattern, ornament, design, and construction, it is about the tension between creative and destructive impulses. As we transition from industrial to digital culture, civilization continues to generate huge amounts of waste. At the same time, the creative and productive acts that generate that waste are dazzlingly and essentially human."
About the Borusan Contemporary
Founded in 2011, Borusan Contemporary is the leading platform for media arts in Turkey. Housed in the historic Perili Köşk mansion on the European shore of the upper Bosphorous, it consists of two gallery spaces for temporary exhibitions and new commissions as well as an extensive ‘Office Museum’ for the display of curated selections from the collection. It contains print editions by Jim Dine, Donald Judd, and Sol LeWitt; light art installations by Brigitte Kowanz, Keith Sonnier, François Morellet, and Doug Aitken; paintings by Peter Zimmermann, Gerwald Rockenschaub and Markus Linnenbrink; as well as sculptures by Liam Gillick, Manfred Wakolbinger and Ernest Trova. Artists such as Zimoun, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, U-Ram Choe, Daniel Rozin and Daniel Canogar are featured in the Collection’s new media segment, and Monika Bravo, Marina Zurkow, Kutluğ Ataman and Manfred Mohr are standout names in the video art section.
Waste_Generation (2011) can be viewed at Moving Image Istanbul through September 28, 2014. Doyle's work is also the subject of a solo exhibition, The Fluid, currently on display at Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco through November 1, 2014. Chris Doyle has been represented by Catharine Clark Gallery since 2010.
Chris Doyle talks more about Waste_Generation, and other recent works:
Video Interview with Chris Doyle by 21c Museum
Follow us on Instagram for more images of Chris Doyle's work
September 05, 2014
Catharine Clark Gallery is in the midst of a very busy and festive year at TX Contemporary 2014! Keep reading for a few updates and pictures below. If you are in Houston, please stop by to see our exhibit, GARBLE with artists Anthony Discenza, Nina Katchadourian, Walter Robinson, Charles Gute, Stephanie Syjuco, Ligorano/Reese, John Slepian and Sandow Birk.
Catharine Clark Gallery Booth 403
Walter Robinson, Sinvergüenza, 2008, MDF and epoxy, 16 x 33 x 1 inches
Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet, 99 Names of God (U.S.A.), 2011, Ink and gouache on paper, 41 ½ x 53 ½ inches framed
On September 4th, The Houston Chronicle picked up John Slepian's performance at the fair with a great picture of him performing A Really Great Idea. Read the full article here.
John Slepian give a few more performance of A Really Great Idea at Booth 403
Today, Friday, 9/5 at 1pm and 6pm
Saturday, 9/6 at 1pm, 3pm & 5pm
August 29, 2014
An Evening with Kal Spelletich
By Ashley Hong, a Catharine Clark Gallery summer intern
August 15, 2014
There is something surreal about the animation of inanimate objects. Maybe it’s the idea of metal breathing fire or machines that can mimic sacred human actions, like praying and hugging, that creates a transcendental impression. In the modern world, technology is ubiquitous. As technology becomes increasingly more advanced, it consumes more and more of our time. Kal Spelletich, a San Francisco artist, builds robots and machines that question the role technology plays in our lives. He asks questions that challenge our perception of science and technology, such as, “How can we have fun with some seemingly sinister technological applications?” and “Can we mechanize spirituality?” To Spelletich, machine robots “inhabit an innersticial place where they are both beyond human and robots at the same time. This leaves the audience mildly suspicious of the machine world and "reality;" it messes with people’s perceptions of safety and the role of technology.”
Kal Spelletich was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. He ran away from home at age 15, and worked numerous jobs as a carpenter, plumber, teacher, and auto mechanic among many others. Art was never on his radar as a child, but during college, interaction with a camera sparked an interest. While at the University of Iowa and later at the University of Texas at Austin for his Masters, art became a lifestyle for Spelletich. As a mechanic and carpenter, Spelletich was naturally drawn to sculpture, robots, and machinery. He wanted to make “art that does things,” so an essential tool in his studio is a cordless drill. Spelletich says he “scavenges junkyards, the streets, and Ebay,” and people give him materials for his work. “I cannibalize old pieces, I really try and not buy stuff, [and to] not add to consumerism. Honor[ing] items already used, I often feel a used item holds memories/energy from its previous user, previous actions.” To Spelletich, every cast off has potential.
His studio can be described as an organized mess. Despite being filled with wood and metal scraps and other industrial materials he finds along the way, the warehouse in which he creates his magic has an unconventional feeling of comfort and familiarity. Just as we build our lives with pieces we find here and there, Kal brings to life what others would quickly toss into the trash, “The roles of humans are changing just as tech and robots roles are changing, humans are good at a lot of things. But that is changing. Robots are good at a lot of things. But that is changing. I like how the two things are flipping. With every technological change there is a trade-off.” Spelletich’s love for trees and wood is expressed through the small oasis of green outside his warehouse in an otherwise industrial neighborhood. This balance between wood and metal is beautiful. There is a compelling tension between the many opposites that make up his world. Metal can withstand fire, but wood cannot; and wood represents the very organic essence of life. Wood is usually needed to spark a fire and yet when it burns, it turns back into earth. All of Kal’s fire pieces are made of metal and by working with both metal and wood, Spelletich explores how seemingly materials are intertwined.
Spelletich’s Fireshower is one of his most known works. It is essentially a capsule that surrounds a person in fire. To Spelletich, fire is “like a wild animal,” and having the flames merely five inches from your skin creates a feeling of “terror then bliss.” “I am often exploring how much a person is prepared to submit to external forces and how far s/he can allow a machine to intrude on the body. I like the double edged sword of this medium, you are attracted to it yet scared…” Spelletich’s multitude of fire pieces symbolizes his own experiences with mortality and the process of coping and finding peace after death. It was after dealing with the passing of close family members and seeing important people leave his life that Spelletich really began to grasp the ideas of abstract art. He found a new appreciation and understanding of abstract art and began creating abstractions that gave him a way to cope with pain and sadness. Here his love of Eastern religions, particularly the idea of Zen, transformed itself into robotic sculptures.
In an exhibition at Catharine Clark Gallery in conjunction with ZERO1 Biennial in 2015, Spelletich further delves into the ideas of what truly makes us human. He asks whether we can mechanize spirituality, “Can praying be automated? Buddhists do this! If we do not pray can a robot do it for us?” With these questions in mind, Spelletich began creating what he calls “Praying Robots.” He aims to bring into the forefront of people’s minds the possibility that intangibles such as emotions, the soul, and spirits, might be measurable. “Can I build an interface to trigger robots that can read viewers' "auras, vibe or character"? Can a robot respond to one’s individuality? Is spirituality quantifiable? Can one crowd-source energy to trigger the robots? Why is an atheist interested in this? Can I scientifically conduct experiments on whether this works?” These kind of questions spark the creative genius of Kal Spelletich and further explore the proximity of art and science.
In such a high tech, fast-paced society, we need constant reminders to take a step back from our phones, tablets, and laptops and realize the things that are constantly changing around us. Does being consumed by technology help us as a human race? Or is technology taking away parts of what makes us human, like physical interactions, reactions to people, and emotions? Many of Spelletich’s works aim to bridge human interaction with the art pieces themselves. Controlled simply by hovering a hand over a piece of metal to move the sculpture, many of his works require audience engagement. He even has a hugging machine that grabs a person from behind and lifts them into a huge bear hug. This is another example of technology and machines doing very human-like things, and it makes one wonder just how much a machine will be able to do in the future. Spelletich’s interest in the ideas of religion and spirituality makes him question whether art and technology can provide a substitute for religion. His Praying Hands are human operated machines that essentially pray to the person that is controlling it. Spelletich creates a beautiful connection between human and machine, demonstrating how each relies on the other to function.
Kal Spelletich’s renowned art pieces have lead him all over the world, from Europe to Africa to India. Every culture has an influence on an artist’s perspective and every culture interacts and reacts differently to the same artworks. Spelletich has noticed that “every exhibit is an experiment in engaging the audience and learning. To bring work that appears to be from another world, into another world is eye opening for me. In essence, I am interested in conducting live experiments on audience members using technology.” Audience engagement is at the heart of Kal Spelletich’s work and as he continues to explore ideas that extend our boundaries of thought, he creates works that changes the way we think and interact with art.
July 26, 2014
In San Francisco, Artist Take Over Outdoor Advertising Spaces
By Johnny Magdaleno
New York Times Style Magazine
July 11, 2014
Anthony Discenza, “Sell Your Hopes,” billboard at 15th Street and South Van Ness, San Francisco, 2014.
In San Francisco, where tensions between established artist communities and Silicon Valley continue to rise, Luke Groesbeck, a former tech worker and the founder of the fledgling public art organization Art City, wants to help his hometown reinvest in the former. “This is a city with a major arts and cultural legacy,” he says. “How do we honor that? Then an idea came up and I got fixated on it: What happens when you turn an entire city into a gallery? Is it possible?”
From now until Aug. 17, San Franciscans will get to find out. As part of Art City’s Way Out West project, Groesbeck, along with his crew of curators and organizers, worked with advertising companies and the local creative community to coordinate his organization’s pilot urban art takeover. Eleven billboards, four buses and three transit shelters in the Mission District are being resurfaced with works from 20 artists, many of whom have long-running involvements in San Francisco’s street art scene. These include the graffiti artist Apex, whose works live on building walls near major streets like Valencia, and members of the Mission School movement like Chris Johanson and Alicia McCarthy, who began collecting praise in the ’90s for their Sol LeWitt-like installations of busy, ribboned color.
The project isn’t just about the pieces themselves. It’s also about what they’ll replace: advertising. “Today, San Francisco has about 7,500 ad spaces, which reach tens of millions of people in a given month,” Groesbeck explains. “We’re doing this to illustrate a different possible future, where in each neighborhood we’re instead surrounded by art and contemporary art plays a major role in our lives.”
The subject of art versus commerce is a timely one in the Bay Area, especially in the once-gritty, rapidly gentrifying Mission. “Artists, musicians and other creatives that make San Francisco what it is are being pushed out,” says Brett Amory, an internationally exhibited artist and local resident who is also participating in the project. “The Mission District is one of the areas getting hit hardest by this change. It’s a very appropriate place to have art by local artists displayed, as a reminder of what the city is really made of.”
Groesbeck, for his part, thinks the project will help San Francisco remember its roots. “I think this is a way to do something positive,” he says, “and hopefully, give back to the city.”
July 08, 2014
Moving Party and Sale at Walter Robinson's Studio
4 - 6 pm
Right after the World Cup finals this Sunday, don't miss this opportunity to score some fantastic additions to your art collection. Join us this weekend at Walter Robinson's studio for a farewell party and studio sale.
Sunday, July 13
4:00 - 6:00 pm
Walter Robinson's Studio
2241 Quesada (@ Industrial ) San Francisco, CA 94124
July 01, 2014
The Portland Mercury
Column: Sold Out
By Marjorie Skinner
THE MUSEUM of Contemporary Craft's Fashioning Cascadia exhibit is the gift that keeps on giving. In addition to the backbone of its contents, which present a moving picture of the modern history and challenges of apparel design and manufacture in the Pacific Northwest, there are additional contributions from a series of world-class artists and academics visiting from outside the community.
This week brings a visit from San Francisco artist Stephanie Syjuco, whose current work in fashion involves the history and use of dazzle camouflage—the WWI-era practice of painting confusing graphic patterns on battleships to throw off enemy aim—as it relates to present-day surveillance technology and fashion. Next week she'll be hosting a two-day workshop for those with the time and inclination: Participants will use remnants of mass-produced textiles to re-imagine ethnic prints, designing and sewing garments intended to confuse the eye, and then they'll be captured in a final photo shoot.
If the workshop seems like too much of a commitment, Syjuco will also be laying out some of these concepts in a free lecture at the museum on Thursday. If earlier programming is any indication, you can expect to have your mind slightly blown for the occasion, which also happens to be perfectly timed to coincide with the current mania for pattern mixing. Craft Perspectives Artist Talk: Stephanie Syjuco, Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 NW Davis, Thurs June 12, 6:30-8 pm, free; Dazzle Camouflage Workshop: Design, Sew, and Disguise, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Fri June 20-Sat Jun 21, 10 am-5 pm, $175 (plus $75 lab fee), registration at pnca.edu.
Meanwhile, there are some big changes underway yet again in Portland's vintage clothing scene. Eden and its attached bridal salon Eve in Eden have announced that they are closing at the end of this month. Owner Cindy Rokoff is taking a job at Swift in lieu of running the shop, which in addition to vintage clothing has been keeping magpies gawking with an impressive array of apothecary products, books, jewelry, art, antiques, and more, and will be dearly missed. Days later it was announced that Lulu's Vintage is also pulling up Portland stakes after first landing on SW Morrison way back in 2001. The shop has since moved to W Burnside, and will remain online, but its brick 'n' mortar location will reopen way the heck up in Spokane, Washington.
Luckily, new shops in Portland tend to open in more abundance than ones that close, and designer Michelle Lesniak's open house and trunk show (see "This Week's Style Events," this page, for details) seems to be an indication of her intention to open as a retailer this fall, though Lesniak is cagey about specifics. Another silver lining, too: Eden and Lulu's are having mega-sales until the doors are closed. Eden, 221 NW 11th, edenportland.com; Lulu's Vintage, 916 W Burnside, lulusvintage.com
June 24, 2014
Join us in July at Walter Robinson's studio for a farewell party and studio sale (more like a mid-career survey exhibition of Walter's work from mid 1980s to present!).
Sunday, July 13
4:00 - 6:00 pm
Walter Robinson's Studio
2241 Quesada (@ Industrial )
San Francisco, CA 94124
June 18, 2014
Join us at Catharine Clark Gallery this Saturday, June 21 from 6:30-8:30pm for a unique performance and live auction to benefit the Museum of Performance + Design.
The evening will feature a live dance performance at the gallery, in which Smith will create a new work—fixing forever a few moments of his dancing life. The ballet master Parrish Maynard of the San Francisco Ballet will be giving the class during which Damian will create his action drawing. This work will be made available to the public through live auction to benefit the restoration and preservation of materials for the archives of the Museum of Performance + Design. David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle Executive Datebook Editor, has generously offered to donate his time as the auctioneer of this unique work generated by Smith's performance. Other action drawings by Damian Smith will be on exhibit and available for purchase to benefit the Museum.
Damian Smith at the barre
Video from the Museum’s collection featuring Muriel Maffre, as well as an archival dance score, video, and audio commentary of In the Mountain/On the Mountain (1981) by Anna Halprin will be featured as part of the exhibit. A rarely viewed original dance score by Halprin will be unfolded for the first time in several decades and presented during the course of the evening. Work by Josephine Taylor and Kara Maria, who will be also be present at this event, will be on display as part of the group exhibition, Incarnate.
May 27, 2014
Swine and Swill
Swine and Swill was an amazing evening of food, wine, debate and discussion about the ways in which food, wine, art and design intertwine. Guests dined at Michael Goldin's tables arranged throughout the gallery space, the walls lined with artwork by Deborah Oropallo. Amaryll Schwertner of Boulettes Larder provided the food and, with Adam Clark, deftly roasted and carved a pig raised on Oropallo and Goldin's Novato-based farm. David Burns and Austin Young, the current collaborative partnership of Fallen Fruit, exhibited their work in the media room, and were among a panel of speakers including Kitty Morgan, John Cumbers, and Ted Purves. Wine was provided by Ladd Cahoon of De Novo Wines. Photographs by Rita Harowitz.
Amaryll Schwertner, daughter Sita and cooking staff preparing food in the gallery lobby
Adam Clark and Michael Goldin roasting the pig on the sidewalk outside 248 Utah Street
Deborah Oropallo with her work, Ample (2013), Acrylic on canvas, 71 x 94 inches
Panel discussion with John Cumbers & Austin Young and David Burns of Fallen Fruit
View from outside the gallery
Table settings crafted by SWERVE, Michael Goldin's design enterprise located in Berkeley, CA
Artist Deborah Oropallo and designer Michael Goldin
Catharine Clark speaks with Kitty Morgan, SF Chronicle Assistant Managing Editor of Food & Wine
Adam Clarke getting ready to carve, with Thomas Moller and Matt Berstein, the curatorial staff at The Battery, in the background.
Cheese crafted at Oropallo and Goldin's Novato based dairy
Catharine Clark and dinner guests
May 13, 2014
Check out these two slide shows from SF Art Examiner Greg Flood featuring work by Al Farrow and Masami Teraoka.
May 12, 2014
Kenneth Baker review of Deborah Oropallo | Milk Made
May 09, 2014
Stay tuned for more previews in the coming week leading up to opening night on Thursday, May 15th!
April 25, 2014
Catharine Clark Gallery is proud to announce that three of our gallery artists have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships. Chris Doyle and Stacey Steers received awards in the field of film and video, and Stephanie Syjuco in the field of fine art. Congratulations to these hard-working and talented artists!
In its ninetieth annual competition for the United States and Canada, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded 177 Fellowships (including one joint Fellowship) to a diverse group of 178 scholars, artists, and scientists, of which only 96 were awarded for creative arts. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.
Raiders: International Booty, Bountiful Harvest (Selections from the A____ A__ M______)
Archival Epson photo prints mounted on laser-cut wood
Watercolor on paper
32 x 32 inches
Collage from the film "Night Hunter"
Hand worked collage
5 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches
April 15, 2014
News and events at Catharine Clark Gallery
Current Exhibition | Deborah Oropallo : Milk Made
Media Room: Fallen Fruit | Fruit Machine
Opens Saturday, April 12, 2014
Extended through May 31
Wall installation, pigment prints, collage on paper
81 x 38 inches
Fallen Fruit (Austin Young, David Burns, Matias Viegener)
Video, Edition of 3 + 3AP
If you haven't had a chance to see this exhibition, it's a must-do this weekend! Printmaking from San Diego to Seattle at Sonoma State University closes this weekend, Sunday, April 13. The exhibit includes work by several of our gallery artists including Anthony Discenza, Sandow Birk, Deborah Oropallo, and Masami Teraoka.
Current and upcoming exhibitions
Group exhibition: Andy Diaz Hope | Re: Collection
The Museum of Art and Design
New York, New York
April 1 - September 7, 2014
Solo exhibition: Andy Diaz Hope | Beautiful Void
Catharine Clark Gallery NYC
May 8 - May 11, 2014
Group exhibition: Kara Maria | Around the Table: Food Creativity, Community
San Jose Museum of Art
San Jose, California
November 9 - April 20 , 2014
Group exhibition: Sandow Birk, Anthony Discenza, Deborah Oropallo and Masami Teraoka | West Coast Ink: Printmaking from San Diego to Seattle
Exhibition dates: March 13 - April 13
University Art Gallery, Sonoma State University
Group exhibition: Kara Maria, Sandow Birk and Stephanie Syjuco: Initial Public Offering: New Works from SJMA's permanent collection
Exhibition dates: March 1 - September 7
San Jose Museum of Art
San Jose, California
Solo exhibition: Stephanie Syjuco | FREE TEXTS
Opening: March 8, 2014, 7-10pm
Artist talk: April 12, 2014
Exhibition dates: March 5 - March 29, 2014
Ulrich Museum of Art
Group show: Stephanie Syjuco | Alien She
Exhibition traveling to Vox Populi, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania March 7 – April 27, 2014
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California, Opening October 17, 2014
Group exhibition: Chris Doyle | Taking Time
Opens April 4, 2014
Curated by Lawrence Rinder
The Cube at the Sheldon Museum of Art
Group exhibition: Chris Doyle | Beyond Earth Art
Through June 8
Johnson Museum of Art
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Solo exhibition: Sandow Birk | American Qur'an
March 10 - April 14, 2014
Kittredge Gallery, University of Puget Sound
Solo exhibition: Masami Teraoka | Inversion of the Sacred/The Cloisters Last Supper/Triptych Series
March 15 - May 3, 2014
McKinney Avenue Contemporary
Group exhibition: Nina Katchadourian | Face to Face, Wall to Wall
March 20 - August 24, 2014
Yellowstone Art Museum
Group exhibition: Nina Katchadourian | Seat Assignment
Opens March 17, 2014
Gund Gallery, Kenyon College
Group exhibition: Nina Katchadourian | Seat Assignment
Opens April 4, 2014
Cecilia Brunson Projects
London, United Kingdom
Solo exhibition: Chester Arnold | 5th Annual Art of Painting in the 21st Century 2014
Through April 12, 2014
John Natsoulas Center for the Arts
Group exhibition: Chester Arnold | Environmental Impact
Through May 4, 2014
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Group exhibition: Kara Maria | ICA: On The Road
The Club VIP Lounge, Norman Y. Mineta International Airport
San Jose, California
Through April 30, 2014
Solo exhibition: Travis Somerville | American Rhetoric
Beta Pictoris Gallery
April 4 - May 30 , 2014
Group exhibition: Ken Goldberg and Kal Spelletich
San Francisco, California
Opens April 22 , 2014
Workshop and Debate
Stephanie Syjuco | Valuing Labor in the Arts: A Practicum
UC Berkeley Arts Research Center, Berkeley, California.
April 19, 2014
Congratulations to Masami Teraoka on the Denver Art Museum's recent acquisition of three woodblock prints to the permanent Asian art collection:
31 Flavors Invading Japan/Today’s Special (1982)
Sarah and the Octopus/Seventh Heaven (2001)
AIDS Series/Geisha in Bath (2008)
Sarah and Octopus / Seventh Heaven
29 color woodblock print on Hosho paper
Edition of 200
10 3/8 x 15 5/8 inches
Please consider supporting the Kala Institute's 40th Anniversary Auction & Gala. This will be a fantastic event featuring a week-long exhibition of works by an eclectic mix of talented artists and culminating in a lively Gala Auction and Birthday Party for Kala on Saturday, April 26th. Kala has supported many Catharine Clark Gallery artists and continues to provide opportunities for upcoming artists and the greater community of the East Bay. A fun and festive event for a great cause! For more information and to purchase tickets.
April 04, 2014
Deborah Oropallo | Milke Made
Media Room: Fallen Fruit | Fruit Machine
Join us this Saturday, April 12, from 3:00-5:00 pm for an opening reception with Deborah Oropallo and artists Austin Young and David Burns of the art collective, Fallen Fruit.
Deborah Oropallo, Gravid, 2013, Acrylic on canvas, 71 x 94 inches
March 18, 2014
Walter Robinson: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi at Catharine Clark Gallery
by Maria Porges
Shotgun Reviews are an open forum where we invite the international art community to contribute timely, short-format responses to an exhibition or event. If you are interested in submitting a Shotgun Review, please click this link for more information. In this Shotgun Review, Maria Porges reviews Walter Robinson: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi at Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.
Walter Robinson. Exodus, 2014; Wood, fiberglass, taxidermy, glass, leather, sand
75 x 63 x 20 in. Courtesy Catharine Clark Gallery.
What are we to think about an Egyptian funerary boat powered by oars, piled improbably high with miniature, candy-colored shipping containers? San Francisco artist Walter Robinson has become well known for this kind of humorous, slightly disturbing disjuncture: a combination of conceptually and visually loaded elements, exquisitely realized and presented as a fait accompli. The title of Robinson’s solo show, Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, unites a vivid group of paintings, sculpture, and unsettlingly surreal installations. Loosely translated, this Latin phrase means “Thus passes the glory of the world,” reminding us not only of the fleeting nature of our existence here on earth, but that, as Douglas Huebler once said, “Things are only things.” Despite what the ancient Egyptians believed, we can’t take them with us when we go.
Robinson is a skilled maker, creating seamless combinations of ingenious, highly crafted parts and found materials (historically, there have been less of the latter, more of the former). This show represents a departure in that more than half of the pieces shown are two-dimensional canvases, painted in the handsomely idiosyncratic palette that has characterized his work for decades. The themes of these pictures include clowns, pets, and a variety of bucolic landscapes, based on motifs taken from paint-by-number images popular in Robinson’s childhood.
In a spectacular series representing the four seasons, these themes are combined in ways that can only be described as somewhere between humorously dreamy and nightmarish (depending, of course, on how you feel about clowns). In Four Seasons (Winter) (2013), an Emmett Kelly look-alike in the foreground gazes pensively into the distance, while skaters skim across the ice behind him, their faces simplified to robotic dots. In the panel that represents spring, a geisha wanders across a bridge behind a different mournful red-nosed figure.
Rather than alluding to the seasons as a one-way journey, representing the ages of man, these pictures seem more to be reminders of the cyclical passage of time. The wheel goes around, year after year, though we can witness it only so many times. The centerpiece of the show, Exodus (2014), is an amalgam of memento mori: a saddled warthog-cum-pack-mule carrying a giant (functional!) hourglass, one hoof embedded in a human skull. The exodus referred to is not only Robinson’s own imminent, lamentable departure from the Bay Area, it is the steady loss of members of the creative class who can no longer afford to live here.
Walter Robinson: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi is on view at Catharine Clark Gallery through March 29, 2014.
Maria Porges is an artist and writer whose critical writing has appeared in many publications, including Artforum, Art in America, Sculpture, American Ceramics, Glass, and a host of other now-defunct art magazines. An Associate Professor at California College of the Arts in the Graduate Program in Fine Arts, she likes to topiarize unsuspecting shrubbery and read out loud.
March 04, 2014
The opening reception on Saturday, March 1 for Walter Robinson's solo exhibiton Sic Transit Gloria Mundi went smashingly. Visitors to CCG navigated their way around Robinson's vibrantly colored sculptures arranged througout the gallery floor space. Large-scale acrylic paintings and book pieces are displayed on the gallery walls.
Guests enjoyed refreshments and had the opportunity to hear Walter discuss his new work.
February 21, 2014
In anticipation for Walter Robinson's upcoming exhibition at Catharine Clark Gallery, Allison Stockman, marketing associate at CCG, and I payed a visit to Walter's studio in San Francisco's Excelsior neighborhood. In addition to Allison scoring a beautiful old beachcomber bike during our outting, we also had the opportunity to ask Walter a few questions about what he has been working on recently.
Q: What was the inspiration for your recent work? Can you explain the title Sic Transit Gloria Mundi?
A: The work in this show is a personal response to events in my life. Over the past few years, I have had to help others through serious health crises and end of life issues. In retrospect, I think paint by numbers came to me as a healing tool – many people I have talked to did paint by numbers as children when sick at home. The first in the series (4 Seasons/Winter) came directly from a dream where I was painting a “paint by numbers” painting that had only shades of red. The red landscape has the oxygen-starved emotional tenor of climate weirdness.
At the same time, I was making sculptural objects that dealt with similar issues. The connecting thread was mortality. When I compare the arc of my own life and the trajectory of American history/economy/ environment during the same period, the graph is similar.
Sic Transit Gloria Mundi translates as “Thus passes the glory of the world”. Basically, our attachments to worldly things mean nothing in the end.
Q: Your new works of clowns and landscapes, inspired by paint by numbers kits, have a melancholy humor to them. Did you use these kits as a boy and is there a particular motivation for using this imagery?
A: The hobo clown was also a slightly menacing mid century personality. They represent the outsider, someone who is free to travel and critique society. I started the series with a monochromatic landscape and then came to the idea of introducing a figure from the same period in them. They exist in the same time bubble. In the past, all of my work has contained humor, sometimes melancholic.
Q: Often artists working in such a diverse range of materials as you do will have their work fabricated in part or whole. How involved are you with the production of your work and how important is that to you?
A: I have always been a designer/builder. Drawing, visualizing, researching, engineering, making models and maquettes are all part of my brain/hand problem solving process. I occasionally have things fabricated by others, and then I provide drawings, jpegs, etc.
Q: Text, which can figure prominently in your work, is notably absent in your most recent pieces-was this a conscious decision on your part?
A: Not a conscious decision. Text did not fit into my focus for this show. There are a few new pieces I am working on that include text, but not in the same puzzle form as past work.
Q: Your assemblage work incorporates a diverse range of materials. Do your source your materials from a particular place?
A: My sources vary. I have always collected vintage things. I find things on eBay, flea markets and sometimes on the streets in my studio neighborhood. There are a few things in the show that repurpose parts from some of my older pieces. There is some purging of collected worldly goods going on. Thus passes the glory of the world.
-Christopher Bernu, 2014 Spring Intern
Walter Robinson's upcoming exhibition Sic Transit Gloria Mundi runs March 1-29, 2014
Reception: Saturday, March 1, 4:00-6:00pm
Media Room: John Slepian | Art Is Not An Object (Sculpture)
February 11, 2014
KQED interviews Stephanie Syjuco about the Mission Local Bus Contest
Mission Local Announces Tech Bus Design Contest Winner
By Christian L. Frock (excerpt), Feb 07, 2014
Read the full article
"...Last October, Mission Local, an online news outlet specific to San Francisco's Mission District, announced its unofficial contest, challenging artists to create designs to decorate the white commuter buses that shuttle tech workers between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. A cash prize of $500, supplied by an anonymous donor, was offered for the winning design, to be selected by the Mission Local editorial staff. The initial contest announcement was straightforward: "If you live or work in the Mission, you're no stranger to the buses run by Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, and Genentech... Don't they look like big canvases just waiting to be painted on?" Contestants were simply encouraged to make the buses "beautiful," with submissions due by the end of December. Judging by the entries posted online, some artists approached the buses as directed, proposing largely decorative designs, while others saw the contest as an opportunity to offer cultural critique about what the buses have come to represent.
And then things got complicated...
San Francisco-based artist Stephanie Syjuco saw the Mission Local contest as a way to further dialogue around what the buses have come to represent. Since it called upon artists to work on spec -- another point of contention: essentially asking artists to work for very little return -- to beautify the same symbols of pervasive change that have displaced many in the creative community, why not use the contest itself as a platform for dialogue?
Stephanie Syjuco, Public Comfort, 2013
Syjuco offered to facilitate the design of submissions by other artists through an open call on her Facebook page, and invited descriptions of "the bizarre, the biting, the critical, the crazy." Participants posted descriptions and Syjuco, with her assistant Johanna Friedman, created mock-ups based on their understanding of the desired image; the pair ultimately supplied design support for more than fifty submissions.
By her own estimate, about half of those who offered ideas genuinely wanted to submit, while the other half just tossed ideas out for fun. For her part, Syjuco emphasizes that she "took all comers," even if she didn't always like or understand the relayed descriptions. The point was not to facilitate only the ideas she favored, but to create the platform for a diversity of voices. This kind of open collaboration is on par with Syjuco's larger body of work, which regularly critiques capitalism and aims to create participatory platforms "for other people's voices in difficult situations."
Upcoming in February and March 2014: openings and exhibitions
Current Exhibition | Nina Katchadourian : Two Libraries: Recently Sorted Books
Through February 22, 2014
Media Room: Nina Katchadourian | In A Room Full of Strangers
Upcoming Exhibition | Walter Robinson: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 1, 4:00-6:00pm
Exhibition dates: March 1 - March 29, 2014
Media Room: John Slepian | Art Is Not An Object (Sculpture)
Group exhibition: Travis Sommerville | In the Seance Room: Acquisition Highlights from 2003-2013
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
San Diego, California.
Through February 23, 2014
Group exhibition: Chester Arnold | Environmental Impact
February 22 - May 4, 2014
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Group exhibition: Deborah Oropallo | Wild and Wooly
On exhibit through February 21, 2014
New Art Center, Newtonville, MA
Solo exhibition: Kambui Olujimi | List Projects
On exhibit through February 23, 2014
The List Visual Arts Center at MIT, Cambridge, MA
Group exhibition: Kambui Olujimi | mnemonikos: Art of Memory in Contemporary Textiles
Through February 22, 2014
The Jim Thompson Art Center
Group show: Stephanie Syjuco | Jigsaw Youth
Through February 16, 2014
Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
Exhibition traveling to Vox Populi, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania March 7 – April 27, 2014;
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California, Fall 2014.
Group exhibition: Stephanie Syjuco | Capp Street Project
Opening: February 18, 2014, 8:00pm
San Francisco, CA
Group exhibition: Kara Maria and Stephanie Syjuco | Initial Public Offering: New Works from SJMA's permanent collection
Opening: March 1, 2014
Exhibition dates: March 1 - September 7
Solo exhibition: Masami Teraoka | The Cloisters Last Supper/Triptych Series
Opening March 2014
McKinney Avenue Contemporary
Group exhibition: Walter Robinson and Stephanie Syjuco | Multiply and Conquer
Opening: March 8, 2014, 7-10pm
Exhibition dates: March 5 - March 29, 2014
Group exhibition: Chris Doyle | Beyond Earth Art
Through June 8
Johnson Museum of Art
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Group exhibition: Chris Doyle | Taking Time
March 14 - June 14, 2014
The Cube at the Sheldon Museum of Art
Lecture: Nina Katchadourian: Washington State University
The Washington State Fine Art Department is very excited for Nina Katchadourian to present a public lecture on February 25 along with graduate studio visits and critiques on February 26, 2014
Lecture: Chester Arnold: The Eye of the Mind is a Drone Beyond Time and Space, San Jose State University, San Jose, California.
Arnold will discuss the role of imagination and memory in contemporary painting, amidsty the madness of the world at large, and that of the art world today.
Stayed tuned for ticket sales for
SWINE and SWILL
a dinner at Catharine Clark Gallery on
Sunday, May 4, 2014
in collaboration with Deborah Oropallo, Michael Goldin, Amaryll Schwertner of Boulettes Larder, and Ladd Cahoon of De Novo Winery
February 04, 2014
"Books do furnish an artwork," by Kenneth Baker
January 30th, 2014
San Francisco Chronicle
"New York artist Nina Katchadourian has filled the Catharine Clark Gallery with photographs representing two episodes in her ongoing project “Sorted Books.” It proceeds by her finding and ordering books so that their titles form phrases or poetic expressions neither anticipated nor intended by authors or publishers.
The Clark Gallery hosted an event on the opening day in which people from various disciplines, within and beyond the arts, were invited to speak briefly about books, as objects, that have with special meaning for them.
Katchadourian and I spoke at the gallery after that event.
Q: Can you remind me how this project got started?
A: In 1993, when I was a graduate student at UC San Diego, studying with people like Allan Kaprow and Eleanor and David Antin, their work had a lot of interest in looking at the world. And a lot of us graduate students were similarly trying to work in non-art situations, so to speak. So we went to a small house in Half Moon Bay for a week, where there was an undergraduate student we all knew whose parents had agreed to let us live for a week with them and make art with what we found in the house. And I ended up spending a lot of time with this couple’s books. They had a lot of books and what came back to me in looking at them was a thought I’d once had in a library, looking for a book and reading titles and thinking that it would be really amazing if these titles came together to form a really long poem or sentence. Then I thought I could just make that happen… So I started taking books off the shelves and composing with them, sequencing the titles so these poems, stories and so on started to take shape. I never imagined I would be making them 20 years later. And I never thought that they would be in photographic form…"
Full article: link
January 17, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, January 24, 5-9pm & Saturday, January 25, 1-3pm
ARTIST TALK: Tuesday January 28, 7pm at 401 Tunnel Ave
Art studio and gallery: 503 Tunnel Ave, San Francisco, CA 94134
Join us at Recology for the opening of Stephanie Syjuco's exhibit, Modern Ruins (Popular Cannibals) in San Francisco, CA. Syjuco is a current artist-in-residence at Recology, one of the most progressive waste management providers on the west coast, focusing on resource re-use and ecosystem sustainability. Recology's artist-in-residence program, which has hosted over 100 artists since 1990, provides Bay Area artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and a large studio space at the Recology Solid Waster Transfer and Recycling Center. The artists' studios are located on-site at Recology's 47-acre facility located west of Highway 101 near Candlestick Park, and is also home to a three-acre sculpture garden containing work by former artsits-in-residence. In this exhibit, Modern Ruins (Popular Cannibals), Syjuco takes beloved archetypes of modernist furniture and reproduces them dump-style to explore a range of ideas related to production, consumption, class and economies. These works continue her investigation of copies and counterfeits, while also examining modernism's promise of utopian progress and the reality of that vision today.
Work in progress: "Modern Ruins (Popular Cannibals)," at Recology Artist in Residence Program, San Francisco, Dec. 2013. Review in Squarecylinder Magazine.
December 07, 2013
Catharine Clark Gallery
We are in the midst of an incredibly busy and exciting time for the gallery and our artists! Sales thus far include:
Travis Somerville's drawings on cotton sacks, American Dream I and II; Nina Katchadourian's video, In a Room Full of Strangers *SOLD OUT; Julie Heffernan's print, Intrepid Scout Leader; Paul Rucker's sculpture, September 15, 1963 from Soundless Series; leonardogillesfleur's lenticular, A Quema Ropa; and Ligorano/Reese's comissionable fiber optic tapestry, IAMI, sold to three collections including 21C in Louisville.
On Friday, we took collectors on a walk-through with Nina Katchadourian at Art Basel at the Warehouse to view the Marguiles collection of Lavatory Self Portraits in the Flemish Style.
More news and updates to come soon!
Articles by BlouinArtINFO and Miami Herald:
December 07, 2013
Miami Herald (online) Posted: 12/06/2013 20:59
With so much art swirling around the downtown-Miami Beach axis this week, it’s hard to know where to start. This year, the art itself feels especially interesting --- and yes, even worth braving the traffic! Here are a few of our must-see choices.
But first, this survival tip: Get to the fairs early, park your car and take taxis or shuttles around town.
1. Miami Project art fair, Northeast First Avenue at 29th Street, in Midtown; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, till 6 p.m. Sunday; $25.
In its second year, Miami Project is securing ground as the most-cutting edge fair without succumbing to sensationalist tendencies. The work feels fresh, different and exciting, yet the layout of the ubiquitous Art Week tent is orderly and easy to navigate. What might strike the visitor the most is the number of galleries from the Midwest and West -- another truly refreshing change from the East Coast- and Euro-centric rosters of almost all the other fairs. It’s a new and welcome voice added to the satellite fair universe.
Full article PDF: Miami_Herald___13_things_you_better_not_miss_at_Basel_2013.pdf
October 11, 2013
Catharine Clark Gallery at Texas Contemporary 2013
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 11:00am to 7:00pm
Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 11:00am to 7:00pm
Sunday, October 13, 2013 - noon to 6:00pm
Pictures from Houston
Booth #307 Ready for Opening Night!
Nina Katchadourian | Sorted Books
Titus Kaphar at Texas Contemporary
Venue Space: Hall A
Catharine Clark with Max Fishko (left), fair organizer and Paul Kopeikin (right), art gallerist from LA.
Catharine Clark with gallery staff member Alex Case
Titus Kaphar| Vague Re-collections
August 06, 2013
Archival Insights: Julie Heffernan
As an intern for the gallery this summer, I have found myself meandering through the rooms of towering archival bins; each bin fronting a meticulously labeled name of one of the many artists represented by the gallery over the years. Tasked with the organization of Julie Heffernan’s archives, I slid the bin off the metal shelf and entered the paper history of her career.
Archival bins are organized boxes of primary sources— a paper trail of the imprint an artist has left on the art world. Heffernan creates paintings alive with magical realism, where fairy tale landscapes mix with the interior workings of her dream-like outlook. Her work is expansive and complex, and is often presented on a monumental scale. Within, the viewer finds an interwoven multitude of painted vignettes packed with intricate and deliberate details, as seen in Heffernan’s Intrepid Scout Leader, 2011.
Julie Heffernan. Intrepid Scout Leader, 2011. Archival pigment print, museum board, glass jewels, metal fittings, gold leaf, PVA glue, acrylic handwork. 36 x 27 inches.
The stoic male figure in this print grounds me in the composition, a role Heffernan’s figures often play, but soon my gaze wanders to the detailed mini-worlds beyond the centrality of her protagonists. The backpack made of coiled rope holds miniatures of opened and closed doors, gilded hanging ornaments, and watchful jungle animals. The folded turf on which the figure sits is sliced along the midsection to expose a stratification of layered earth. Inside, I see a mysterious interior of a dark marble rotunda, above which stands an ancient world of earthen temples and rich river beds. Viewing Heffernan’s work feels like a never-ending game of Where’s Waldo.
The paper contents of Heffernan’s archive do not compare to physically viewing her paintings— and how can they, because paintings are meant to be experienced in person, with the textures of the medium and the reality of the scale presented in front of the viewer. However, archives should not be negated by thismere comparison because they do serve a purpose, which is to maintain a permanent record of an artist’s career and past accomplishments.
Flipping through the files of Heffernan’s archive, labels such as “artist, institution, and client correspondence,” “financial inventory,” “press archive” and “inventory, lists, consignments” come to the forefront. The “press archive” folder contains art magazines and articles that have featured Heffernan’s work, while the “invitations” folder houses many pamphlets from the artist’s group and solo exhibitions. One invitation mentions Heffernan’s artist residency at the LUX back in 2008, when the artist painted a five-by-six-foot oil painting from start to finish over the course of three weeks. Another pamphlet with a title both in English and Japanese recalls Heffernan’s one-person exhibition at the Megumi Ogita Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. Unique to paper archives is the tangibility present in both of these folders; as I held these reminders of early exhibitions, it was as if I held the physical byproduct of the artist’s past accomplishments.
The correspondence folders also tell the story of how these Heffernan exhibitions came to fruition and the art world players who contributed to her career. Email printouts from the artist and her dealers show the constant communication required when preparing for a solo exhibition. Registrars contribute to the dialogue, as well as assistant directors, gallery owners and the artist herself.
Julie Heffernan. Self-Portrait as Tender Mercenary, 2006. Oil on canvas. 91 x 68 inches.
The back and forth between artist and galleries demonstrates the need for proper packaging and wrapping, estimates and loan agreements, in addition to working titles that kept constantly revolving and changing. In one email related to a 2006 solo exhibition at Catharine Clark Gallery, the artist makes a request for a slide detail of Self-Portrait as Tender Mercenary, 2006, to highlight the “animals at her feet.” Since this work is displayed on the invitation for the show, both artist and gallery clearly saw it as a standout image. If I hadn’t seen Heffernan’s request for a detail shot, I might have focused on the shimmering chandelier, fighting soldiers or capitol building set ablaze rather than the pile of animals at the central figure’s feet. Archived correspondence as such contributes a certain perspective to the understanding of an artist’s work, and if it weren’t for the archives, these brief pockets of information would have been overlooked.
Archives tell the tale of an artist’s career -- who they are, where they have gone, and sometimes what they will do next. When researching an artist, archival records provide alternative information about the artist that can yield new insights on familiar pictures.
Julie Heffernan’s work is currently on display at the Palo Alto Art Center.
University of Southern California, 2015
August 03, 2013
Interview With Masami Teraoka
Click this link to view an interview with Japanese American artist Masami Teraoka, whose work was recently featured in the group exhibition "All You Need Is LOVE: From Chagall to Kusama and Hatsune Miku" at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.
The show featured artists working in a wide range of styles, from Marc Chagall's romanticized, dreamlike compositions to the unbashed pop aesthetic of such mega artists as Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst.
July 30, 2013
San Francisco Galleries Migrate Toward New Hub After SFMOMA Closure
With the temporary closure of SFMOMA for its massive renovation, San Francisco’s gallery scene is shifting away from its traditional downtown hub to the Potrero Hill neighborhood, which offers larger spaces in former manufacturing buildings and proximity to another major institution. Four recently relocated galleries are planning simultaneous fall season openings on September 7 in their new Potrero Hill digs.
Brian Gross Fine Art, Catharine Clark Gallery, Jack Fischer Gallery, and George Lawson Gallery have all recently moved to within a few steps of one another on Utah Street and Potrero Avenue, the San Francisco Business Times reports, just across the freeway from the California College of the Arts and its Wattis Institute.
The neighborhood is already home to Steven Wolf Fine Arts, Hosfelt Gallery, which moved in last year, the artist-run space Southern Exposure, and the local offices of Bonhams & Butterfields.
“The industrial buildings are a natural fit for galleries and arts institutions that value the setting for presenting and creating art,” Catharine Clark Gallery spokesperson Ariel Rosen told the Business Times. “With SFMOMA closing, the energy is moving elsewhere. And there’s already a vibrant design community here, so it’s a good place to be.”
July 23, 2013
Studio Visit with Deborah Oropallo
The high-pitched murmurs of chickens clucking, the pitter-patter of Nigerian dwarf goats circling around the hay-filled pen, and a faint scampering of a baby calf frightened by the engine of the car pulling into the dirt driveway. When the staff of the Catharine Clark Gallery embarked on a studio visit to the farm and residence of Bay Area artist Deborah Oropallo, these sounds filled the fresh Northern Californian air of this barnyard sanctuary.
A baby calf greets visitors to the farm
Situated in the picturesque landscape of Marin County, Oropallo’s studio embodies her technology-based art process while reflecting the rural, quirky setting. Inside her work space, visitors find large desktop computers, inkjet printers and airbrush equipment alongside stuffed prop geese nestled beneath the drawing table. Roaming the premises, one might see one door leading to this studio, and another that opens to reveal a goat cheese-making room. All the while, the view from the window stretches out to reveal an orchard of fruit trees and blooming shrubs.
The cacophony of farm animals insinuates itself into Oropallo’s canvases. Daily routines in farm life, from milking cows to feeding pigs, appear in her mixed media pieces. Unique in its own right, the artist’s process begins with Photoshop; using a mix of her own and found photographs, Oropallo blurs and layers images of farm animals before effacing certain color pigments from the digital images to generate a ghost-like effect. In partnership with Magnolia Editions, the artist oversees the creation of the final work using flatbed printers and large pieces of canvas. She uses an airbrush tool to fix any problem areas before calling the work complete.
Studio shot of the artist's space
This layering of images produces a dissolving and blur-like impression, which remains a continual theme in her career as an artist. The compositions in this current work juxtapose images of fleshy cows arranged on top of bare ligaments and pink-toned muscles, revealing the inner skeletal components of the farm animal. Her work sheds light on the complex narrative of the “farm to table” process, bearing witness to the cycle of human consumption of meat products.
One of the artist's work in progress
Whether one sees in Oropallo’s work a rejoicing in informed food consumption or a disturbing reminder of the original source of packaged meat, a visit to the artist’s studio and farm provides insight and a much-need break from the bustle of the urban inner-city.
University of Southern California, 2015
July 17, 2013
What is the link between Venice and the Great Wall of China, or between Ile Saint-Louis in France and a man barbecuing?
Kara Maria’s "Hotel Stationary Drawings" illustrate some scenes that seem to come from an amateur vacation photo album. Admittedly including a humorous note, this series pushes the viewer towards deeper reflection. Indeed, for the observer, the material used in this work is inseparable from the imagery. This relationship might seem obvious. When talking about the series, the artist admits that the pictures do not match the locations of the hotels advertised on the stationary. The combination of the stationary and images from other places reminds us how different trips, places, visits and events tend to blur together over time in our lives and minds.
Kara Maria. I-5 2012. Graphite on hotel stationary. 11 x 8 1/2 inches.
“I-5” (2012) illustrates a man taking a break in a rest area. He looks toward the horizon and the wind off the highway catches his hair. The moment is peaceful and produces a feeling of freedom and escape that is in direct contradiction with the utilitarian nature of the rest stop. We don’t expect such an image of quiet meditation amidst so many comings and goings. The ephemeral nature of the atypical material used in this series underscores the brief moment immortalized by the artist.
Kara Maria gives importance to these snapshots taken during her own travels through the act of drawing them in pencil. This approach relates to her method of working, which often starts with a photograph, as in her “Breast Portraits”. However, Maria’s universe is very large. From representation to abstraction, the artist explores a lot of directions and brings us with her in an interesting and endless reflection.
By Alain Pittet
June 28, 2013
Archival Insights: Masami Teraoka
During my summer internship at Catharine Clark Gallery, I have had the fortunate opportunity to assist with archiving the papers of Masami Teraoka, in preparation for their donation to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. Teraoka’s archive contains a diverse array of media that reflects his prolific career from 1973 to the present. The vast range of the archive's chronology and contents, from sketchbooks to sales receipts, printing plates to videos, and newspaper clippings to a monograph entitled “Ascending Chaos: The Art of Masami Teraoka 1966-2006” (2007), materializes the many entangled processes of idea, experimentation, exhibition, and sale, from which art arises in an artist’s life. Additionally, the archive makes manifest the various factors, such as the aesthetics of cultural tradition, the performative nature of identity, the pressures of modernization, and the memory and mythology of place, that have driven Teraoka’s profound artistic output and evolution.
Masami Teraoka, “AIDS Series/Geisha in a Bath”, 2008.
I am grateful to have learned about Masami Teraoka and the visual complexity of his paintings and prints. I am most drawn to his early and mid-career work that visualizes social issues, such as AIDS and westernization, in the ukiyo-e woodblock print aesthetic. Teraoka’s appropriation of traditional Japanese “pictures of the floating world” with contemporary concerns functions to ground the imagery in our current milieu of globalization, with figurative narration of intercultural bewilderment. Despite his evolution from watercolor and prints in the ukiyo-e style to later oil paintings that adopt the pastiche form of Medieval altarpieces, the fluctuating subject in Teraoka's work, be it a geisha or a nun, performs the dichotomy of liberation (frequently erotic) and limitation (often cultural and linguistic), and consequently subsumes the inherent theatricality of his assembled identities. Perhaps the most thrilling moment in the archival process was finding two carved printing plates from 1977, depicting an image from the “31 Flavors Invading Japan” series. It was exciting to have direct exposure to Teraoka's facture and insight into his process of printing black line contours before using watercolor to paint the picture plane, bestowing agency to his characters that in turn construct narratives of performed social commentary and dissent, aptly fitting his self-named aesthetic of Masami-za, or “the narrative art theater of Masami”.
Masami Teraoka, Printing Plate from “31 Flavors Invading Japan” Series, 1977.
I was initially overwhelmed by the immense scale of Masami Teraoka’s archive. Amidst decades of papers that seemed to frequently defy the logics of chronological organization, it can be easy to lose perspective on how an archive signifies the development of career, art, and influence. How can one distinguish between junk and gem, detritus and treasure? Why might the archive be necessary in our current state in which information can be rapidly accessed? Many questions arose throughout the archiving process, yet I have come to realize that in the contemporary moment dominated by the excess of the internet, the extensive flow of global capital, and the incomprehensible speed of technological innovation, the archive exists in suspension between threatened extinction and digitized propagation. However, alongside the artwork itself, the archive remains the most integral and dynamic source for contextualizing art, interpreting culture, and rendering history intelligible for the future.
Cornell University '15
June 27, 2013
Andy Diaz-Hope and Laurel Roth Studio Visit
Syringe needles and red gel capsules glittered amongst Swarovski crystals, lighting Andy Diaz-Hope and Laurel Roth’s apartment and studio. All around oddities attracted your attention: hypodermic needles disguised as airplanes flew overhead, pigeon-mannequins wearing crochet suits perched on side tables and mirror sculptures refused to reflect the viewer, drawing you in like a black hole.
Sharing a space has evidently influenced both Roth and Diaz-Hope. From Roth’s exquisite peacock made entirely of hair clips to Diaz-Hope’s series of crocheted balaclavas, it is clear that both artists have a compelling sense of humour. Sharing a studio also seems to have been fruitful: last year the two completed a collaborative project entitled Allegory of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, the culmination of five years works that finished the pair’s triptych of tapestries.
Seeing Diaz-Hope and Roth’s work within the context of their studio was insightful; their appreciation of playfulness in art is apparent, but so too is their aesthetic eye. Overlooking the roofs of the Mission and amid the margaritas and salsa that accompanied the conversation on the deck, it was universally agreed that Diaz-Hope and Roth share an inspiring environment.
June 26, 2013
A Closer Look at Timothy Cummings' A Painting Lesson
Painting Lesson, 2011. Acrylic on linen panel.12 x 8 inches unframed, 13 x 9 inches framed.
The figures in Timothy Cummings' work look like they’ve been extracted from a Botticelli altarpiece and transplanted into a kid’s dream, or a sort of apocalyptic Eden. It’s all very paradoxical. His subjects all seem to be at that awkward age between childhood and maturity. The inquisitive gaze that falls on the viewer is ambiguous. Is the figure aware of his (or her?) sexuality; is his cocked head just innocently observing?
Critical perception of Timothy Cummings’ work has often focused on his lack of official training. Painting Lesson, a smaller canvas for Cummings, seems to be a playful response to the media’s tendency to highlight this particular aspect of his biography. The rainbow-hued silhouette that dominates the left side of the canvas evokes lessons learned in preschool painting class, as does the impasto pallet at the top of work. Yet reflected in the rainbow silhouette is a finely painted and brocade-clad figure that offers a counterpoint to the more abstract forms. The finesse of the figure defiantly shows: “who needs formal training?”
The juxtaposition of various styles makes this Cummings piece stand out from his usual repertoire. His other works completed in the same period such as A Rare Flower or Clairvoyant are more conventionally ‘complete’; they have the Renaissance luminosity of Caravaggio’s masterpieces Bacchus, or Boy Bitten by a Lizard, and share the same homoerotic appeal. Yet everything in Painting Lesson seems to be a veritable pastiche of styles, even the literal canvas is pasted together creating a sort of quilt-like surface. The decision to leave areas of the canvas raw and the gobs of paint preserved as a palette above the subjects’ heads make the piece seem unfinished. Yet, as the name might suggest, Painting Lesson seems to pose an answer to some of those perpetual dilemmas facing artists. "When is my piece complete?" is confronted by the direct gaze of the figure who defiantly declares ‘Right now’. It’s quite a rebellious painting.
Whether you’re interested in work reminiscent of historical masterpieces, are a fan of Cumming’s masterful ability to synthesize disparate styles, or you just want something to celebrate today’s historic overruling of Proposition 8, Cumming’s pint-sized painting is a unique choice from his wide repertoire.
Timothy Cummings will be showing new work in August at the Transart Institute in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
June 22, 2013
<em>Sky is Falling: Paintings by Julie Heffernan</em>
Installation view of Sky is Falling: Paintings by Julie Heffernan
Last night the Palo Alto Art Center opened Julie Heffernan's mid-career exhibition Sky is Falling: Paintings by Julie Heffernan. The exhibition runs through September 1 and then will travel to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California. The opening reception included a walk through with the artist, as well as a conversation between Heffernan and acclaimed writer Rebecca Solnit, who wrote the essay for the exhibition's catalog.
Installation view of the exhibition
Installation view of the exhibition
Julie Heffernan beginning her artist-led tour of the exhibition
Julie Heffernan walking the rapt crowd through the private tour.
Julie Heffernan finishing up the exhibition tour.
Preceding the artist-walk through, guests were invited to listen to a conversation between Julie Heffernan and writer Rebecca Solnit.
Writer Rebecca Solnit and Julie Heffernan in conversation at the opening, topics ranging from dangerous beauty, the environment, and emergencies.
Palo Alto Art Center
Address: 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA
May 25, 2013
Julie Heffernan opens at the Palo Alto Art Center June 22!
Self-Portrait of Boy with Growth, 2011. Oil on canvas. 77 ¼ x 66 inches
Sky is Falling: Paintings by Julie Heffernan
Palo Alto Art Center
June 22, 2013 – September 01, 2013
Address: 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA
Opening Reception June 21 | 7-9pm
“What we imagine we can manifest”—Julie Heffernan
Julie Heffernan draws from a rich art historical tradition of still lifes, landscapes, and portraiture to create her lush canvases. With traditional techniques she creates very topical representations that address climate change, consumption, and globalization. This exhibition will feature a wide range of paintings produced within the past ten years and is accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Rebecca Solnit.
Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Julie Heffernan now lives and works in New York. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and is included in numerous national and international collections, including the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina and the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond. A traveling retrospective of her work was organized by the University Art Museum, University of Albany in 2006.
May 18, 2013
Beyond Bay Lights: What is the role of cities and cultural institutions in creating visibility for the digital arts?
The crowd and panelists at the event.
Beyond Bay Lights: What is the role of cities and cultural institutions in creating visibility for the digital arts?
Open to All Fair Attendees
Saturday, May 18th | 11:30AM - 12:30PM | Discussion Theater
Artists, curators, gallerists, city officials and collectors will discuss making, collecting, selling, exhibiting, maintaining, and supporting new media in contemporary art. What is the role of the city relative to tech companies and artists working with technology as a medium? What are the unique issues facing artists making work using digital technology? What are the issues facing collectors and exhibiting institutions relative to new and time based media? What role do cultural organizations play in creating visibility for the field? Panelists include artists Anthony Discenza, Laurie Frick and George Legrady; collector Ron Casentini; Catharine Clark of Catharine Clark Gallery; Jay Nath, Chief Innovation Officer for the Mayor’s Office of the City of San Francisco and Ceci Moss, Assistant Curator at YBCA. The panel will be moderated by Joel Slayton, Executive Director of ZERO1.
Joel Slaton, Executive Director of ZERO1, moderating the panel, which also featured Catharine Clark of Catharine Clark Gallery; Ceci Moss, Assistant Curator at YBCA; artist Laurie Frick; collector Ron Casentini; artist George Legrady; artist Anthony Discenza; and Jay Nath, Chief Innovation Officer for the Mayor’s Office of the City of San Francisco.
The panelists and attendees engaged in discussion.
May 16, 2013
Catharine Clark Gallery at artMRKT SF 2013 | Booth 601
Installation view of Catharine Clark Gallery's booth 601! L to R: Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth Allegory of the Prisoner's Dilemma, Walter Robinson Capitol Hill Billy, Sandow Birk Monument to the Constitution of the United States.
Catharine Clark Gallery announces our participation in artMRKT San Francisco 2013, at Fort Mason Center from May 16 – 19, 2013. In Booth 601, Catharine Clark Gallery will feature an exhibit on the subject of human rights, with the newest Sandow Birk etching Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the centerpiece of the exhibition. The 2013 artMRKT San Francisco is relocated to Fort Mason and opens to the public May 16 – 19. Click here to read the full press release.
artMRKT Fair at Fort Mason: Hours
Thursday, May 16 ArtCare Award for Excellence in Civic Arts Patronage 5 – 6pm
Opening Night Preview Reception 6 – 8pm
Opening Night Party 8 – 10:30pm
Friday, May 17 11am - 7pm
Saturday, May 18 11am – 7pm
Panel on New Media 11:30am
Sunday, May 19 Noon – 6pm
Installation view of booth 601. L to R: Travis Somerville C.D.P., Chester Arnold Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, and Titus Kaphar Attic.
Entrance to booth 601!
May 14, 2013
Nina Katchadourian Sorted Books Events | May 10-12, 2013
Catharine Clark Gallery, New York
Friday, May 10 | Opening Reception, Veronica Roberts and Nina Katchadourian in conversation
Installation view of Nina Katchadourian's Sorted Books exhibition.
Thank you all who came out for Nina Katchadourian's Sorted Books monograph release and solo exhibition at Catharine Clark Gallery, New York!
Nina Katchadourian and Veronica Roberts in conversation, Friday May 10.
The audience on Friday, May 10!
Rapt attention while Nina and Veronica were conversing!
Saturday, May 11 | Cocktail Reception
Katie Clark, Travis Somerville, and longtime friend!
Guests enjoying the event!
Nina Katchadourian entertaining guests.
Sunday, May 12 | Open House Book Signing, Brunch, and Book Show and Tell
The crowd on Sunday, enjoying Nina's work.
A lovely brunch spread by Catharine Clark.
Nina Katchadourian introducing the Book Show and Tell!
Kambui Olujimi sharing his book Wayward North (and many personal vignettes!)
Nion McEvoy presenting his book selection. We had such a fanstastic selection of "show and tellers!"
Thank you all for the continued support at our New York space!
May 06, 2013
May 10-12, 2013
Catharine Clark Gallery, New York
New York, NY: Catharine Clark Gallery announces the release of Nina Katchadourian’s monograph Sorted Books, published by Chronicle Books, with a series of events May 10-12 at Catharine Clark Gallery, New York. Coinciding with Frieze Art Fair and celebrating the release of the publication, Catharine Clark Gallery, New York, presents a solo exhibition of the most recent addition to Katchadourian’s “Sorted Books” series, titled “Once Upon a Time in Delaware/In Quest of the Perfect Book,” originally commissioned by the Delaware Art Museum. The book release events and exhibition are open to the public May 10-12. Read the full press release here.
Friday, May 10 Opening Reception 5:30–8:30pm
Nina Katchadourian and Veronica Roberts in Conversation 7pm
Saturday, May 11 Cocktail Party 6-9pm
Sunday, May 12 Open House Book Signing 10am-2pm
Book “Show and Tell” with Nina Katchadourian and selected participants 11am
Sorted Books is currently available through Catharine Clark Gallery or Chronicle Books for $25.
Installation view of Nina Katchadourian's Sorted Books series "Once Upon a Time in Delaware/In Quest of the Perfect Book."
May 03, 2013
Catharine Clark Gallery Now Open By Appointment Only
Catharine Clark Gallery will move to 248 Utah Street in the Summer of 2013, to a space designed by Los Angeles based Tim Campbell. This new location is within the neighborhood of the San Francisco Design Center and Showplace Square. Catharine Clark Gallery will add to the emerging cultural character of the Potrero Hill, which currently includes California College of the Arts (CCA), the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, and the Museum of Craft and Design.
Catharine Clark Gallery will be closed to the public from April 21 – June 30, but open for appointment in San Francisco during this time. The gallery’s grand opening on Utah Street will be announced in July 2013. Catharine Clark and staff have several extra-mural programs planned for April, May, and June. For more information about programming or artists, please contact gallery staff: 415.399.1439 or 415.519.1439, or visit: www.cclarkgallery.com
Alex Case and Eric Lendll packing everything up!
Stephanie Smith and Ariel Rosen moving our flat files out of the gallery!
May 01, 2013
Art of the Call Podcast: Catharine Clark, Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, California
Here's another Art of the Call video podcast where we ask directors, artists and curators to talk about the call for entry process.
In this video, Catharine talks about:
- Emerging vs professional artists
- Juried shows
- Legitimate space for art
- Selecting art for a gallery
- Choose and be chosen
- What's important for artists
April 20, 2013
Travis Somerville: A Great Cloud of Witnesses
Paul Rucker: Sounds Like... and Proliferation
Media Room: Question Bridge: Black Males
Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith, and Kamal Sinclair
Installation view of Travis Somerville's "A Great Cloud of Witnesses"
Please join Catharine Clark Gallery to celebrate the closing of our final exhibition at 150 Minna Street! The afternoon will feature a cello performance by exhibiting artist Paul Rucker and catalogue sale. Thank you for your continued support, we look forward to seeing you Saturday!
Paul Rucker. Still from Water from the series Sounds Like... 2010. Single-channel video, digital print. Edition of 15. 24 x 36 inches unframed
"Sonic Interpretation" Performance by Paul Rucker
Saturday, April 20 | 4:30pm
With cello and electronics, Paul Rucker will perform live at Catharine Clark Gallery, inspired by the artwork on view.
In light of Travis Somerville's associated "Meet the Artist" event at the Crocker Art Museum, Paul Rucker will begin his concert at 4:30pm, following an introduction to his artwork on view at 4:15pm.
Meet the Artist: Travis Somerville
Saturday, April 20 | 1 - 3pm
Crocker Art Museum
Catharine Clark Gallery will be open by appointment April 21 – June 30 in San Francisco. The grand opening will be in July at 248 Utah Street. Catharine Clark and staff have several extra-mural programs planned for April, May, and June.
Upcoming at CCG NY:
Nina Katchadourian: Sorted Books Monograph Release
May 10 - 12
Upcoming Art Fair:
artMRKT San Francisco 2013
May 16 - 19
For more information about programming or artists, please contact gallery staff: 415.399.1439 or 415.519.1439, or visit: www.cclarkgallery.com.
April 12, 2013
Catharine Clark Gallery at SEVEN April 11-14!
Coinciding with the Dallas Art Fair, Catharine Clark Gallery is participating in SEVEN at Dallas Contemporary, showing work by Walter Robinson, and "Winter in America" by Kambui Olujimi and Hank Willis Thomas in the video room.
"Tower" by Walter Robinson
Pilot by Walter Robinson
Walter Robinson and Jaime Brunson at SEVEN, in front of two "Eye Chart" works
Video Room installation from SEVEN, featuring "Winter in America" by Kambui Olujimi and Hank Willis Thomas.
Installation of "Winter in America" by Kambui Olujimi and Hank Willis Thomas
March 27, 2013
Making Art Out of Earthquakes
Berkeley's Ken Goldberg explores how to help people understand the physical realities of a geologically active world.
GEOFF MANAUGH & NICOLA TWILLEY
MAR 25 2013, 3:22 PM ET
The Hayward Fault runs through the center of the UC Berkeley campus, famously splitting the university's football stadium in half from end to end. It has, according to the 2008 Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, a thirty-one percent probability of rupturing in a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake within the next thirty years, making it the likeliest site for the next big California quake.
Nonetheless, for the majority of East Bay residents, the fault is out of sight and out of mind--for example, five out of six Californian homeowners have no earthquake insurance.
The Hayward Fault trace superimposed onto a map of the University of California, Berkeley, campus, as seen in theUSGS Hayward Fault Virtual Tour
Meanwhile, three-quarters of a mile north of Memorial Stadium, and just a few hundred yards west of the fault trace, is the office of Ken Goldberg, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at Berkeley.
Goldberg's extensive list of current projects includes an NIH-funded research initiative into 3D motion planning to help steer flexible needles through soft tissue and the African Robotics Network, which he launched in 2012 with a Ten-Dollar Robot design challenge.
A robot from the "10 Dollar Robot" Design Challenge organized by the African Robotics Network
Alongside developing new algorithms for robotic automation and robot-human collaboration, Goldberg is also a practicing artist whose most recent work, Bloom, is "an Internet-based earthwork" that aims to make the low-level, day-to-day shifts and grumbles of the Hayward Fault visible as a dynamic, aesthetic force.
Screenshot of Bloom, 2013, by Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg
Venue stopped by Goldberg's office to speak with him about Bloomand the challenge of translating invisible seismic forces into immersive artworks.
Our conversation ranged from color-field art and improvisational ballet to the Internet's value as a vehicle for re-imagining the relationship between sensing and physical reality. The edited transcript appears below.
• • •
Nicola Twilley: When did you start working with seismic readings in an artistic context, and why?
Ken Goldberg: Well, I had just finished grad school, I had started teaching at USC in the Computer Science department, and I was doing art installations on the side. And I was building robots.
I had just completed an installation for the university museum when I stumbled onto this, at the time, brand new thing called the World Wide Web. My students showed me this thing and I realized: this is the answer! The Web meant that I didn't have to schlep a whole bunch of stuff to a museum and fight with all their constraints and make something that, in the end, only 150 people would actually get out to see. Instead, I could put something together in my lab and make it accessible to the world. That's why we--I worked with a team--started developing web-based installations.
The Telegarden, 1995-2004, networked art installation at Ars Electronica Museum, Austria. Co-directors: Ken Goldberg and Joseph Santarromana Project team: George Bekey, Steven Gentner, Rosemary Morris Carl Sutter, Jeff Wiegley, Erich Berger. (Robert Wedemeyer)
We actually built the first robot on the Internet, as an art installation. It got a lot of attention--tens of thousands of people were coming to that. Then we did a second version called The Telegarden, which is still the project I'm probably best known for. It was a garden that anyone online could plant and water and tend, using an industrial robotic arm, and it was online for nine years. I actually just found out that there's a band called Robots in the Garden, which is exciting.
What was really interesting to me about The Telegarden was this idea of connecting the physical world, the natural world, and the social world through the Internet. I was interested in the questions that come up when the Internet gives you access not just to JSTOR libraries and to digital information, but also to things that are live and dynamic and organic in some way.
That really drove my thinking, and my colleagues and I began to do a lot of research in that area. I registered some patents and won a couple of National Science Foundation awards, formed something called theTechnical Committee on Networked Robots, and wrote a lot of papers. From the research side of it, there are a lot of interesting questions, but, from the art side, it also led to a series of projects that look at how such systems were being perceived, and how they were shaping perception.
I worked with Hubert Dreyfus on a philosophical issue that we call "telepistemology," which is the question of: what is knowledge? What counts as objective distance? In other words, people were interacting with this garden remotely, and that raised the question of whether or not, and how, the garden was real, which is the fundamental question of epistemology.
The Telegarden, 1995-2004, networked art installation at Ars Electronica Museum, Austria. Co-directors: Ken Goldberg and Joseph Santarromana Project team: George Bekey, Steven Gentner, Rosemary Morris Carl Sutter, Jeff Wiegley, Erich Berger. (Robert Wedemeyer)
Epistemology has always been affected by technologies like the telescope and the microscope, things that have created a radical shift in how we sense physical reality. As we started thinking about this more, we became interested in how the Internet is causing an analogous shift, in terms of, hopefully, reinvigorating skepticism about what is real and what is an artifact of the viewing process. I edited a book on this for MIT Press that came out in 2000.
In the middle of all that, then, I moved here and met someone from the seismology group. They agreed to give me access to this live data feed of movements on the Hayward Fault, a tectonic fault that cuts right through the center of Berkeley--in fact, right through the middle of campus, not far from here. I was really interested in this idea of connecting to something that was not just the contained environment of a garden, but something much more dynamic and naturally rooted and global.
I guess I should add, as well, that a big factor for me was when I moved up here and became intrigued by the total amnesia and denial that people here have about their seismic situation. I would ask people, "What do you have in your earthquake kit?" And they would reply, "What? What are you talking about?" Now, of course, twenty years later, I don't have an earthquake kit, either. [laughs]
Manaugh: I think that's quite a common scenario. When we first moved out to California, we bought several gallons of water, a few boxes of Clif Bars, extra flashlights, and even earthquake insurance, and the native Californians I knew here just looked at us like we were paranoid survivalists, hoarding ammunition for Doomsday.
Goldberg: It was that sort of reaction that got me thinking a lot about how people are not conscious of the fault, or about earthquakes, in general, and I began wondering how you could make that more visually present. Also, the old seismograph was an interesting visual metaphor for me. Everyone recognized that form, but I wanted to play with it. I thought we could make a live, web-based version, which you can actually still see online.
Twilley: What form did that take?
Goldberg: The very first version was just a simple trace across a black screen. It was called Memento Mori and it was meant to be super-minimalist. In fact, when I showed it to the seismologists, they said, "Oh, where's the grid? How can we quantify this without a scale?" I had to say, no, no, it's not about that. We're just showing a sense of this--a visible signal. We actually wanted people to make an analogy with a heart monitor.
Screenshot from Memento Mori, 1997-ongoing, Internet-based earthwork (Ken Goldberg in collaboration with Woj Matuskik and David Nachum)
What's also interesting is that the trace mutates quite a bit. You come in at different times of the day and the signal is very different. It's sort of like the weather. The fault has different moods. When there is an earthquake, people will see big swings of activity with rings, because it goes on for days and days afterward. In fact, when there's a big earthquake in Turkey, you can pick it up here. It strikes the earth and then a signal comes around at the speed of sound, and then it goes all the way around again, and you get these echoes for weeks. Very small echoes can go on for months. And, every time there is a tremor, we get a huge spike in traffic.
I also liked the idea of making a long form artwork, like Walter De Maria's Earth Room, online.
Manaugh: Like a seismic Long-Player?
Part of this, I think, is that as an engineer, I'm really intrigued by the challenge of how you make the system stay on. A lot of times we have robotic projects, but they work once or twice, and then that's it. I feel like that's deceiving, because people may see them, or watch a video, and then they take away a certain sense of what robotics is. You have to be careful, because it sets false expectations. The kind of robotics in which you really build a system that can stay online and also take the kind of abuse that happens over the Internet is quite a challenge. I'm very big on this issue of reliability and robustness.
In any case, we put the Memento Mori system online and, after a year or two, Randall Packer, a composer here, approached me and said, "What about adding an auditory component?"
The actual signal frequency is too low--it's inaudible. If you just attach a speaker to it, nothing comes out. What you want to do is use it to trigger sounds, so that, essentially, the signal becomes like a conductor's baton, triggering this orchestra of sounds. Through that process of sonification, you can create a very auditory experience that's still driven by the seismic signal.
Twilley: So you could be using the signal to trigger a laugh track if you wanted to?
Goldberg: Exactly--the sounds don't have to be notes. Packer did it with a lot of natural sounds, like waterfalls and lightning and thunder--things like that--so it was very earthly. But by no means does it have to be musical. In fact, that's where we are now with Bloom, which is my most recent project.
We renamed the new auditory version Mori. We got a commission to do a project in Tokyo, at the ICC. They actually gave us a good amount of funding, so we ramped up and built this whole seismic installation with an acoustic chamber that was about fifteen feet square and had extremely powerful subwoofers underneath the plywood floor.
The whole idea was that you could walk in and you could lie on the floor. We amplified the signal a lot, and there was this real sense of immersion, like you were essentially inside the earth. What was important is that it was live.
Obviously, you could do this prerecorded, but it was essential to us that this signal was coming directly from the earth in real-time.
Mori Seismic Installation, 1999-ongoing, Ken Goldberg, Randall Packer, Gregory Kuhn, and Wojciech Matusik. Photo taken at the Kitchen, New York City, April 2003. (Jared Charney)
That was started in 1999, and, as it traveled around Japan and then to the The Kitchen in New York, we got closer and closer to the one-hundredth anniversary of the 1906 earthquake. I got this idea that I wanted to do a performative version. I wanted to do it in a very big space where everybody could experience it together at the time of the one-hundredth anniversary.
About a year before the anniversary, by chance, I was seated at a table next to a dancer--actually, the dancer--from the ballet. She was the principal dancer at the San Francisco Ballet--Muriel Maffre. After a couple of drinks, I got the courage up to ask her, "Would you ever consider dancing to the sound of the earth?" Amazingly, she said yes.
So Muriel, who is just an astounding artist and performer, took this on as a project. The idea was quite radical--that she would take a live seismic signal and respond to it on stage. And it's improv, because you don't know what's going to happen. We worked together for about a year, and we convinced the ballet to actually perform it in the opera house. It was about a week before the actual anniversary, in the end. She performed it on stage and it was about three minutes long. She did a phenomenal job. It was just a beautiful thing.
Muriel Maffre performing Ballet Mori, image via Ken Goldberg.
Twilley: How did you connect the signal to her, on stage?
Goldberg: We connected to the signal via the Internet, and we did the sonification right there on site, feeding it into their speaker system. She was just responding to the sound on stage.
What's so interesting about how the ballet works is that they do all these rehearsals and, then, when they actually set up for the performance, it all has to be done that same afternoon. There's no advance set up, because the space is in so much demand. You only have a few hours to get the whole thing tuned.
In this case, we were really cranking it--telling them to just turn up the volume. It was amazing to watch this old opera house, which actually was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and then rebuilt, start to vibrate. That was actually a big concern--were light fittings and so on going to fall?
Ruins of City Hall and the Majestic Theater in San Francisco, following the 1906 earthquake.
Manaugh: That reminds me of the artist Mark Bain, who actually got permission to install a massive acoustic set-up in a condemned building in the Netherlands; it got so loud, and the bass frequencies he was using were so extreme, that the building risked collapse--which, of course, was the entire point of Bain's performance--but the organizers had to shut it down.
Goldberg: The facilities guys actually said to me, "We don't want to drop the chandelier on people's heads! What if there's a spike in the earth's motion that would cause the sound levels to blow up?" I don't know if that's even feasible, but we put a clip on it so, if there was a sudden event, the system wouldn't be overwhelmed.
From there, I went on to do a limited series of the original Memento Mori piece that collectors could purchase. There was an artist's edition that would always be publicly available, but people who bought their own edition got their own version that they could label, and that included some private data. But, in the course of developing that, I started thinking, why does it have to be so grim? When I originally conceived it, I was really into the minimalist aesthetic. It was just black and white and about mortality. But I started thinking: why? It started seeming very dark.
So I started thinking about what else this signal could be used to generate, something that would be more visually stimulating and more engaging. That's what gave rise to my new project, Bloom. Bloom is meant, in some sense, to invoke something that's more natural and organic. It still references mortality, but in a much more positive way. Maybe it's because I'm getting a little older or something like that!
Screenshot of Bloom, 2013, by Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg.
Bloom is basically the idea that all flesh is grass, and that we can look at natural plant growth and organic material as outgrowths of the Earth. The seismic signal is a representation and reminder of this organic substrate, so I thought: let's use it to trigger the growth of forms. I'm just going to play it for you. [launches beta version of Bloom]
Manaugh: What are we actually seeing right now? What scale of seismic activity do these blooms represent?
Goldberg: What you're seeing right now is just normal variation. For example, when a big truck goes up Hearst Avenue, which is not far from the seismometer, there's a signal from that. And then, at any given time, there are actually lots of tremors going on around the world, so you're picking up all the echoes of those. It's actually really rich to try to do signal-processing in order to extract signals from the noise, because there are also resonant elements from, for example, the beating of the surf on the California coast.
There's actually a huge amount of information coming through here. What's interesting is that this display is so different to what earth scientists are used to looking at. They study plots and seismographs, and so on. We're actually going to have a meeting with them to talk about their perceptions of this and how they respond to it. My sense is that they probably won't find it that valuable, because there's no real scientific benefit to it--although it would be interesting to see if someone who really understands the signal could look at this thing for a while and actually start to read it.
For us, it's really more of an abstraction.
Screenshot of Bloom, 2013, by Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg.
Twilley: Can you explain how the blooms' particular colors and forms are generated?
Goldberg: The blooms are triggered from left to right, so there's still this idea of temporal progression, and they are triggered depending on whether the signal is switching. The relative size of each bloom is generated by the size of the signal change. The color choices come from a feed from Flickr--a search for flower images to pull up a data set that we can use to source the color variations.
I'm working with these two wonderful data visualization folks, Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viégas. They are amazing: Martin has a Math PhD from Berkeley and went off to work at IBM. He's done a huge number of these visualizations for data of all kinds--most famously, for baby name data. All of his interfaces are just fantastic and we've been friends for a long time. He then started working with someone I knew from MIT, Fernanda, who is a painter by training. The two of them started to do all these amazing projects with IBM, and they had their own lab, which they eventually took private. Then they got bought by Google, but Google seems to give them pretty free rein to do whatever they want. We started working on this about a year ago.
Mysteries: Afloat, 2000 (Kenneth Noland)
I should also explain the reference to Kenneth Noland. I'll confess to you--I didn't really know his work when I began this project. I gave a talk to some art historians, and they said, "Oh, it's so nice that you're referencing Kenneth Noland in this way!" I was like, "Who?" They were a little horrified. [laughter]
Noland was a New York color-field painter, whose work is a lot like what we had started generating with Bloom--so I dedicated the project to him. We wanted to play with that reference. What's amazing is that he passed away just a year ago.
Screenshot of Bloom, 2013, by Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg.
In any case, we're still fine-tuning things, including the fades and the way that the colors are derived from the data and how it's going to be installed in the gallery and so on. The experience in the museum is always more immersive and hopefully more dramatic than it is online. The ideal situation for me is that you would come in on a kind of balcony and you could look down twenty or thirty feet and see all of the colors blooming there below you.
Bloom installed at the Nevada Museum of Art
Bloom is currently on display at the Nevada Museum of Art, Venue's parent institution, through June 16, 2013.
March 21, 2013
Catharine Clark Gallery
Upcoming Exhibitions and Art Fairs
Walter Robinson. Untitled, 2013. Wood, polychrome, brass, 104 x 75 x 36 inches
Upcoming Art Fair
April 12-14, 2013
Featuring work by
Friday, April 12-Sunday,
April 14 11am-6pm
Friday, April 12 8pm-12am
Luncheon and Panel Discussion
Saturday, April 13 12:30-2pm
Nina Katchadourian. Tittlebat Titmouse from Once Upon a Time in Delaware/In Quest of the Perfect Book, 2012. C-print, Edition of 5 + 2AP, 12 1/2 x 15 inches unframed
Catharine Clark Gallery, New York
May 10-12, 2013
Friday, May 10
Opening Reception 6-9pm
Nina Katchadourian in conversation with Veronica Roberts 7pm
Saturday, May 11
Cocktail Reception 6-9pm
Sunday, May 12
Book “Show and Tell” with Nina Katchadourian 11am
Open House Book Signing 12-4pm
Catharine Clark Gallery, New York
313 W 14th Street, 2F, Between 8th + 9th Ave
March 12, 2013
Playful Book Spine Poetry by Nina Katchadourian
By Emily Temple on Mar 11, 2013 8:45am
Nina Katchadourian has been working on her Sorted Books project for over 20 years, rummaging through libraries and personal collections, and organizing the books she finds into legible clusters, which may come out funny, poignant, or even beautiful. “The final results are shown either as photographs of the book clusters or as the actual stacks themselves,” she writes, “shown on the shelves of the library they were drawn from. Taken as a whole, the clusters from each sorting aim to examine that particular library’s focus, idiosyncrasies, and inconsistencies — a cross-section of that library’s holdings.” Earlier this month, selections from Katchadourian’s project were published by Chronicle Books in a volume entitled Sorted Books, filled with assembled literary poetry and enough deliciously destroyed spines to satisfy any visually hungry book nerd. After the jump, check out a few of our favorites from the book, and if you’re intrigued, head here to learn more.
Photo Credit: Nina Katchadourian/Chronicle Books
March 07, 2013
Ligorano/Reese's public ice sculpture, Morning in America, featured yesterday on the The Rachel Maddow Show!
A clip from the time lapse video of the work begins at 4:32 seconds. Audio overlay is Senator Bernie Sanders speech.
March 01, 2013
By Ed Fletcher
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Museums – much like libraries – are places where voices are hushed and noise minimal.
That was not the case Monday as a new sculpture by Sacramento artist Gerald Walburg was carefully positioned outside the Crocker Art Museum by a steel sledgehammer.
"Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang," rang out over the hum of a boom truck's engine and the roar of chain saws from a nearby tree-trimming crew as Walburg and his assistant Jeff Farley attempted to slide the immense sculpture over four bolts before turning it to lock it in place.
"That piece will exist when this building is torn down," Walburg said after finishing the installation of his 1,000-pound, 10-foot-high nickel-bronze statue that he named "Sakti No. 15."
Walburg, a former professor at California State University, Sacramento, said it's the 15th in a series of sculptures he has done inspired by Indian temples. His more famous Sacramento work is "Indo Arch," which extends over the walkway between the Downtown Plaza and Old Sacramento.
Walburg said he leaves it to viewers to form their own interpretations of his works.
"I'm not trying to tell a story," he said.
He said he starts with a series of shapes suspended by cranes in his work space. He manipulates them, rotates them and spins them until he finds the relationship he likes, and then he welds them together. Walburg took no compensation for the artwork.
The museum also welcomed a new indoor exhibit, "Rebirth of a Nation: Travis Somerville's 1963"
The mixed media installation by the San Francisco artist was born out of his Southern upbringing and pushes viewers to reassess race relations in America.
Somerville said much of his art tries to make sense of growing up in Georgia in a white family active in the Civil Rights movement.
"We were very much outcasts," Somerville said
One of his work pairs a familiar image of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Nike swoosh; it is Somerville's statement about the "commodification" of King's image.
Another piece takes the viewer inside a small cabin, seemingly plucked from the woods. Inside, the walls are papered with newspapers of the era. Images of blackface and the sound of a burning cross confront those inside, said Somerville.
He said his work aims to spark discussion on race and racism. He dismissed the idea that the election of President Barack Obama means the United States is in a post- racial era.
The exhibit of Somerville's work opens Sunday.
February 28, 2013
Travis Somerville: Installation video of 1963 at the Crocker Art Museum
Travis Somerville is busy preparing for his opening at the Crocker Art Museum Rebirth of A Nation: Travis Somerville's 1963 (as well as at Catharine Clark Gallery)! Watch this short video of Somerville installing his wonderful installation, 1963, which is the center point of his installation, and was recently acquired by the Crocker Art Museum!
Follow the link: http://youtu.be/TiEUq8B5tYw
Travis Somerville, born 1963. 1963, 2009
Installations with found objects and video; 117 x 116 x 214 inches. Crocker Art Museum, Crocker Art Museum Purchase with funds provided by Deborah and Andrew Rappaport, 2011.78
Rebirth of a Nation: Travis Somerville's 1963 runs March 3 – May 5, 2013
February 21, 2013
Berkeley Art Center presents their Spring Artist Lecture Series:
Saturday, February 23, 4pm
The Counterfeit Crochet Project (2006–present): Diana's Dior
Stephanie Syjuco is a conceptual artist on the cutting edge of social practice. Her strategies include use of common materials, the public domain, social networking, intervention, collaboration and humor to investigate themes of authenticity, consumption, value and labor. Her recent projects include creation of the artist-collaborative: Shadow Shop at SFMoMA in 2010, and Free Texts: An Open Source Reading Room at this year's ZERO1 biennial.
$10 general admission, free for BAC members and students. RSVPs are strongly encouraged by calling 510.644.6893 or e-mail annw [at] berkeleyartcenter.org
February 19, 2013
Opening March 2: Travis Somerville A Great Cloud of Witnesses
February 15, 2013
Watch the time-lapse video of Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet creating the murals for the San Francisco Jazz Center!
Catharine Clark visited Birk and Pignolet on site at the Jazz Center in early January, and took this snapshot of one the murals in progress!
February 08, 2013
Nina Katchadourian. Chronicle, $22.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-4521-1329-
When conceptual artist Katchadourian began stacking books to create playful expressions with their titles in the early 1990s, print had few challengers. Two decades later, with tablets and e-readers prevalent, the artist’s “delicate conceptual game with the horizontal and the vertical,” as Brian Dillon describes in his introduction, feels particularly relevant. The New York–based artist has assembled and photographed her stacks, or “clusters,” at private homes and museums, and even at playwright August Strindberg’s library in Stockholm. They recall everything from graffiti lifted from public bathroom stalls (“Repeat After Me/ Are You Confused?/ Are You Confused?”), to pure Imagist poems (“Sketches From a Hunter’s Album/ Rivers and Mountains/ Antlers in the Treetops/ Running Dog/ Some Trees/ Vanishing Animals”). When they are most effective, the book spines form lucid images that involve the viewer in a pithy narrative, such as the mock-noir cluster: “Trouble is My Business/ Money Under the Table/ Blood on the Dining-Room Floor/ Downcast Eyes/ Guilty.” With some exceptions, Katchadourian’s stacks possess an understated sophistication; they are true to the intimate nature of books and yet reveal their dramatic features and unexpected potential. And they suggest that print is becoming, as she believes, “more beautiful, more tactile, and more materially compelling.” Color photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/2013
February 07, 2013
Speaking Directly: Interview with Tony Discenza
February 7, 2013
Written by Bean Gilsdorf
Tony Discenza’s text-based work is concise yet absurd: the tone is often matter-of-fact while the content is speculative and fanciful. The appropriated formats of a street sign or a book’s teaser page provide an internal logic that holds the tension of this paradox quite neatly; obviously, I’m a fan, so I asked him to chat with me about his recent projects. Discenza’s solo and collaborative work has been shown at numerous national and international venues, including The New York Video Festival, the Museum of Modern Art (NY), Whitney Biennial (2000), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Discenza will be presenting a project for the Kadist Art Foundation on their Twitter feed (@ Kadist_AF) on February 18, 2013. Don’t miss it.
Tony Discenza, TRANSPORTED, 2010. Vinyl on aluminum, 30 x 24 inches
Bean Gilsdorf: Your practice shifted from representational, image-based work to language-and-text based work, was there a particular catalyst for the change?
Tony Discenza: The change was gradual. The whole time I was doing all the video work, which started in the late 90s and continued for about 10 years, I had a sort of shadow practice. I was working in law firms, an office environment where there is a lot of down time. I did a lot of [art] thinking and working while sitting in front of a computer and being in a cubicle. A lot of that work took the form of writing—text, fragments, collecting bits of things—but I never really had a sense of what to do with it. It accumulated, but to a certain extent I had stuck myself with this narrative that I was a video artist. I did reach a point around 2007 or 2008 where I was feeling kind of burnt out on the work that I was doing in video. The things that had fueled it didn’t feel as relevant anymore because of huge shifts in the way that we watch things, and I was burnt on the logistical obstacles, I felt that I rarely got to present the work in the way that I wanted…
BG: How did you want to present it?
TD: Not in very complex ways; for example, in having a darken-able space in an exhibition or having reasonable soundproofing, having a good projector—just things to ensure that the work was presented well. I wasn’t at a point where I was able to say, “You either show it this way or don’t show it at all.” So I started looking at all this other stuff that I was doing, and some of the questions I was exploring overlapped between video and text. I was given the opportunity to do a solo show in my gallery in 2010 and I wanted to show divergent work, something that almost looked like a group show, a range of approaches and tones, to bring the humor out. I wanted more play.
Tony Discenza, Teaser #3, 2010. Lightbox with Duratrans, 30 x 40 inches
BG: Out of curiosity, what were you doing in a law firm?
TD: I was a paralegal. It was a job I fell into after college.
BG: I find that very interesting, considering that the practice of law is to create definitions and strictures with language. Being around that environment for so many years, how could you not be influenced?
TD: Yeah, I worked in offices for 18 years, and it’s had a huge impact on the way I work with things that are language based: iterative structures, making lists, reports, documents…they all seeped into my thinking.
BG: And how did it feel to present that first body of text-based work?
TD:Up to the point of the show it was very nerve wracking. I second-guess myself a lot, and part of me kept saying, “People are not going to be able to deal with this shift.” Once it was done I felt very satisfied because it looked more like the kind of show that I was interested in at that time. There was video in the show, but also print work, light boxes, an audio installation, a generative text piece, etc. The works were divergent but interconnected.
Tony Discenza, A Report on Recent Developments within the Category of the Ineffable, 2012. Dymo labeling tape, dimensions variable
Tony Discenza, A Report on Recent Developments within the Category of the Ineffable (detail), 2012. Dymo labeling tape, dimensions variable
BG: Since we’re on the topic of exhibitions, I want to talk about the way that context frames the work. When you go into a gallery and you see a text-based art object, the tendency is to first look at it as though you’re beholding any other visual object. You notice the color, scale, texture, and then only after—and I think that’s really due to the context of the gallery—do you allow yourself to be a reader instead of a viewer. How do you feel about the difference in the way that the work is approached?
TD: I wrestle with the visual form and presentation of the text, partly because I know that I am influenced by existing text-based work and partly because there’s a broad but finite range of ways to present text. There are only so many things you can do with it that will hold people, yet you don’t want to tread too much on someone else’s aesthetic. I tend to look for ways in which the content of the text really remains the most important part. There are always design and aesthetic considerations, but you can try to signal that those considerations are of lesser importance. Using a lowest-common-denominator font, like Helvetica for example, as I’ve done with the wall pieces and light boxes. Every font is loaded with a set of associations and baggage, but because Helvetica is so widely used it’s a way of saying the font is not that important. I want the visual presentation to be stripped down, but I think there’s always a little bit of a surrender to the decorative with text-based work because you have to present it in some way, and you don’t want it to look terrible.
Tony Discenza, A Master at Work, 2012. Inkjet on found paper, 7 x 4 inches
BG: How do you decide the format or delivery system for whatever text you’re using? How do you decide if it should be a book page or a street sign or wall vinyl?
TD: With the signage pieces, so much of that is about using a preexisting system for delivery. It became a way of taking fragments and bits of text that I collected—weird, playful, snarky, mysterious—and using an existing form…just inserting other kinds of utterances into a textual field situated outside in the world, because then you stumble on them by chance. The book pages started because I had a collection of pulp novel book pages, and originally the project was going to be re-presenting those. So often the delivery is an appropriation of a particular form.
Tony Discenza, Pulps series, 2012. Inkjet on found paper, each approx. 7 x 4
BG: And some of the text is by you, some is appropriated, and some is a mix?
TD: Increasingly the text is not appropriated. The appropriative gesture is a first step, but the processing that the material undergoes really takes it far away from the source. Even when I start with appropriated texts, they undergo a process of rewriting and revision, so it’s not like the integrity of the source material is maintained. It’s the same with the book pages, they originally began with an excerpt of text from a pulp novel on its own, but I felt like that wasn’t quite enough. In the final pieces, the text is actually unique. It’s more that that the forms are appropriated, like the street signs or the form of the commercial light box. I use the initial [text] appropriation as a kind of prosthesis for myself, to allow myself a practice of writing that, if I came at it cold, would be too intimidating.
BG: And when you are doing the writing for these pieces, do you find that you have a particular voice or character?
TD: If there’s a place where my own voice comes through most directly it’s in some of the street sign pieces. I think the sensibility of those pieces, the kind of ebb and flow between sarcasm and a strange evocative space that’s both ominous and funny, is maybe closest to me speaking directly.
February 05, 2013
A Great Cloud of Witnesses at Catharine Clark Gallery
March 2 – April 13, 2013
Opening Saturday, March 2
Panel Discussion from 3:30 - 5pm, featuring Diana Daniels, Travis Somerville, Alison Bing, Matt Gonzalez, and Jeff Dauber
Reception from 5 - 7pm
Travis Somerville. Fall of Spring, 2013. Pencil on found chairs; Approximately 58 x 34 x36 inches
For his 2013 solo exhibition at Catharine Clark Gallery, Travis Somerville continues his exploration of historical memory. How is it that certain stories reduced to sound bites and repeated ad nauseam become the collective truth? Through imagery that invites an investigation into the impact of iconographic legacy and the current state of human rights, Somerville critically examines the continued cultural implications of the Civil Rights movement. By bringing appropriated material from the past into dialogue with imagery from today’s “post racial” society, the artist makes complex montages that appose imagery from a bygone era with that of contemporary news stories on the subject of immigration, child labor in Uzbekistan, and Arab Spring uprisings. The resulting works are confrontational and serve as a springboard for conversations about multiculturalism, truth, and the lasting power of images.
Somerville’s work has been included in numerous museum exhibitions: the University of Georgia, de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University, Florida A&M University, the Laguna Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, San Francisco Arts Commission, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others. Somerville’s work was recently exhibited in Newtopia: The State of Human Rights, an international show of 70 contemporary artists whose work is dedicated to an investigation on the state of human rights. The exhibition was held at various prominent cultural institutions in Mechelen, Belgium and was curated by Katerina Gregos. His solo exhibition, titled Rebirth of a Nation and curated by Diana Daniels, will open at the Crocker Art Museum in March, 2013. Somerville has exhibited with Catharine Clark Gallery since 1996. For more information, visit http://www.cclarkgallery.com/
Rebirth of a Nation: Travis Somerville’s 1963
Crocker Art Museum , March 3 –May 5, 2013
Reception Saturday, March 23 from 2:30 - 4:30pm
Travis Somerville, born 1963. 1963, 2009. Installations with found objects and video; 117 x 116 x 214 inches. Crocker Art Museum, Crocker Art Museum Purchase with funds provided by Deborah and Andrew Rappaport, 2011.78
Rebirth of A Nation: Travis Somerville’s 1963 is a tightly focused exhibition that showcases the Crocker Art Museum’s newly acquired, mixed-media installation 1963, along with four large-scale paintings and a site-specific wall drawing. A three-dimensional construction measuring 7 feet high and 12 feet wide, 1963 examines a volatile and pivotal year in American history through sculpture, video, painting, and collage. Somerville, who regards himself as a history painter, has created a rich tapestry of social documents, political detail, and popular culture artifacts. Wallpapered with randomly culled sheets of period newspapers, Somerville's structure is meant to be entered and viewed from within and out. It serves simultaneously as a collage, time capsule, and provocation. Somerville's critique of the visual artifacts of racism in the United States is personal. Born in 1963, he was raised in Georgia by activist parents who participated in the Civil Rights movement. He aims with 1963 to make visceral the conflict and violence that confronted the fight for equal treatment under the law in that decade.
Rebirth of a Nation: Travis Somerville’s 1963 will be accompanied by a 20-page catalogue with full-color reproductions written by Diana L. Daniels, the exhibition’s curator. For more information, visit http://www.crockerartmuseum.org/
January 26, 2013
Punch Card at Catharine Clark Gallery
Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth. Allegory of the Prisoner's Dilemma, 2012. Jacquard tapestry. Edition of 8 + 2 AP. 106 x 76 inches. Image courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery.
At the opening of the group show “Punch Card” at Catharine Clark Gallery, artist Andy Diaz Hope said he and co-creator Laurel Roth wanted to make Jacquard tapestries that reflected Victorian enthusiasm for science. Emulating the political secrets coded in the 16th century “The Unicorn Tapestries,” Diaz Hope and Roth designed, digitized, and commissioned three works that triumph human accomplishment in “hard disciplines.” “Allegory of the Prisoner’s Dilemma” shows the succession of architectural achievement from when humans lived in caves into the future, when we reach the singularity (when artificial intelligence exceeds human intelligence). I’d like to think the outcome of the singularity/the cumulus clouds at the top of “…the Prisoner’s Dilemma” spire will be one ecstatic rave, but let’s not kid ourselves; the future will be dystopian. Human societies are the prisoners and the warden offered scientific knowledge and technological advancement as our Faustian bargain. The works in “Punch Card” venerate the glories of biology and technology, while acknowledging that a lot of those advancements amount to a deal with the Devil.
Stephanie Syjuco. Coverlet from Pattern Migration, 2011. Wool, loomed by Peggy Hart. Edition of 3. 96 x 72 inches. Image courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery.
Stephanie Syjuco’s wool “Coverlet” and plastic bags were originally woven for her show “Pattern Migration” at the Columbus Museum of Art. In an interview with the museum, Syjuco said she was inspired by the outsourcing of manufacturing in America, a nineteenth century coverlet from the museum’s collection, and insanely cheap plaid plastic bags that are generally regarded as immigrant’s luggage (Columbus Museum). Syjuco recreated the plastic plaid in wool on a handloom and a commissioned old industrial loom in New England. She also commissioned the 19th-century coverlet design printed on plastic from Beijing. “Pattern Migration” is a story of America’s bygone days of American industry for an exploitative outsourcing system, and the ways that the advancement of the loom—which is highly mathematical—obviated the jobs of craftsmen. The Industrial Revolution was humanity’s deal with the Devil in that first-world countries got their wish, in bountiful inexpensive clothes, while developing countries destroy their environment and sacrifice their people in pursuit of economic development.
Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth. Allegory of the Infinite Mortal, 2010. Jacquard tapestry. Edition of 8 + 2 AP. 106 x 76 inches. Image courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery.
“Punch Card” refers to the jacquard loom that uses card stock with rectangular holes in it—producing chads—to control the loom and “correspond one-to-one to components of the design” (Catharine Clark). The same system was used for early computer programs. The jacquard loom’s punch card represents the upbeat of technological advancement, and, because the holes directly correspond to single colors of thread, it’s pixilation. Diaz Hope and Roth’s tapestries are true to the punch card in their digitally mapped designs, it’s just in another language. Up close, the tapestries have a blocky warp and weft of pink, white, and yellow threads; from a distance, they combine to the recognizable color of skin.
Devorah Sperber. After Warhol 1, 2008. Thread spools. Edition of 5. 42 x 25 x 66 inches. Image courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery.
Devorah Sperber’s instillations dominate Catharine Clark’s galleries. Sperber is known for translating iconic images upside down, pixelated in spools of colored thread with an acrylic orb on a stand in front of them. Looking into the orb re-orients the Mona Lisa or Superman right-side-up and reduces its size beyond the point of visible pixelation, but you don’t need it to—the images are so omnipresent that you can easily recognize them upside down and abstracted into blocks of color. For a child, this is a fun optical trick. For an adult, it seems that the wonders of optics and visual language are being squandered on the same old things. Spectacularly, the gestalt effect would fill in and complete an unfamiliar image in my brain, even upside down. The pieces are a reminder of the price we’ve paid for gaining the ability to stamp out a million Mona Lisa keychains. The immense capacity for our brains to take in and play with new visual experiences is wasted on a modern world with a rigid visual vocabulary of repeating images and objects.
Intellectually cohesive art exhibits are rare, though plenty would have you think they have it together. “Punch Card” is united by criticality of technological advancement, Sperber’s and Diaz Hope/Roth’s optical gestalt effects, and in the neglected medium of textiles—and it’s a group show. It is conceptually taught without making a (futile) neat conclusion, but the evidence amounts to a vaguely queasy feeling that glorious technology has taken some very wrong turns. Catharine Clark credited her gallery’s marketing associate Stephanie Smith and registrar Juliann Crisp for coming up with the artists in “Punch Card” on short notice. They pulled off a curatorial hat trick that leaves the viewer wanting an alternative to the uncompromisingly positive history of technological advancement and a more measured (though probably less optimistic) prospectus for the future.
Punch Card is on view at Catharine Clark Gallery through February 23, 2013.
January 23, 2013
Travis Somerville Interviewed by Art.College.Radio
Travis Somerville. Old Pal of Mine, 2011-12
On January 21, Martin Luther King Day, Travis Somerville was interviewed on Art.College.Radio on a program celebrating the tenth anniversary of Whiteness, A Wayward Construction at the Laguna Art Museum. California curator Tyler Stallings is also featured.
January 18, 2013
Opening January 19 at Catharine Clark Gallery from 3-5pm
Please join us for the opening of Punch Card in the main gallery space, and A Selection of Works by Masami Teraoka 1979-2013 in the viewing room!
Devorah Sperber. After the Mona Lisa 8
Punch Card examines the ways artists are merging technology and traditional textiles to redefine and repurpose craft, each uniquely forming their own “digital stitch” as they merge art historical and contemporary references. The exhibition title, Punch Card, refers to the mechanics of the jacquard loom, suggesting the loom as a precursor for contemporary digital practices. Predating computer pixilation and CNC mechanic precision, the 19th century punch cards guide the design of jacquard weaving: cards of individually punched holes correspond one-to-one to components of the design, combining to form intricate patterns. Whether weaving digitally, pixel by pixel, like Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth, with fiber optic thread in Fifty Different Minds by Ligorano/Reese, or directly on commercially produced photographs, as in Nina Katchadourian’s Paranormal Postcards, the artists in this exhibition are openly exploring the possibilities between hand and machinery in the digital era.
Masami Teroka. New Waves Series/Full Moon Review
Presented in our viewing room is A selection of works by Masami Teraoka 1979-2013, an intimate exhibition that spans Masami Teraoka's career, from early works on paper and woodblock prints to a recent jacquard tapestry based on an original watercolor. Teraoka has consistently subverted traditional imagery with contemporary culture, and will continue to explore the correlated relationship between time, history, and culture in the years to come.