Saturday, September 24, 2016

Anthony Hernandez at SFMOMA

Evie, LA, 1962
Young Mexican Men, LA, 1952
Hernandez was born and raised in East LA, the son of a machinist and a meat packing worker. Following two years of study at East Los Angeles College and two years of service in the United States Army as a medic in the Vietnam War, Hernandez took up photography in earnest around 1970. His early work emulated the street photography of Gary Winogrand, although his work is far less impulsive and more focused on the social landscape of LA, highlighting the cultural difference of class and race. From the gritty to the graceless, there is little that escaped Hernandez's discerning eye.

The show at SFMOMA of approximately 150 photographs inaugurates the museum's new Pritzker Center for Photography. The exhibition presents the full scope of Hernandez’s long and prolific career, from his original focus on urban decay and angst to his current work with images which are more surrealistic and abstract. His debt to Bruce Conner (also due a retrospective in October at SFMOMA) is understated but emotionally tangible; if it's not the apocalypse now, it certainly will be later.

Hernandez (NY Times) “Some people ask, ‘What's so important or compelling about taking pictures of such unpleasant subjects like city dwellers?’ … My work may be beautiful or it might not be, that just isn't what I am concerned with. I try to be open and face the city. … To me it's not unpleasant or unbeautiful, it's just life – which has to be threatening sometimes if it is going to be interesting."

Discarded #50
 All images courtesy of SFMOMA

Anthony Hernandez
On View: September 24, 2016 — January 1, 2017

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA, 94103

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Caroline Herrerra - 101 years old and finally getting her due

Have women artists finally come into their own. One swallow...etc. We are still battling for that first step on the ladder and artists like Herrerra should not have to wait to turn 100 to be "noticed." Even though she's getting long over due recognition, most of the articles focus on her age, not her art. NY Times

From NPR: For most of her career, Carmen Herrera's paintings of brightly colored geometric shapes went unnoticed, while her male counterparts — Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella — got plenty of attention for similar work. Herrera finally made her first sale at 89. And now, at 101, it seems she's getting her due at last. The Cuban artist's work can be seen at the Tate in London, MoMA in New York, and she has an exhibition coming to the Whitney Whitney Museum of American Art in September.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Greek Food Festival at the Annunciation Cathedral

Greek Island. Watercolor by Nancy Ewart

Whether you dream of visiting the Acropolis in Athens, or swimming off the shores of sunny Mykonos, you can get the best Greek food in the Bay Area at Annunciation Cathedral’s own A Taste of Greece, the only Greek festival in San Francisco.
Souvlaki, Gyros, Moussaka, Spanokopita – all of your favorites will be there along with live music and traditional dance performances. The food is lovingly cooked by members of the local Greek community and it has the genuine taste of Greece, served with smiles and gratitude. Because the Cathedral has not been finished, the courtyard where they usually have booths full of Greek themed goods is closed but I was assured that it will be open by next year.

A Taste of Greece | 2016 San Francisco Greek Food Festival
September 16, 17 & 18, 2016
– Friday: Noon to 10 pm
– Saturday: Noon to 10 pm
– Sunday: Noon to 8 pm

Annunciation Cathedral, 245 Valencia Street, San Francisco
FREE with ticket (although we got in without one);otherwise, there will be a fee for admission at the door (in past years it was $5).

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sofia Carmi at the Mosser Hotel

23m23 minutes ago San Francisco, CA
Sofia Carmi with her geometric abstract painting at for the…

Van Gogh, Grapes

The complementary colors in this work reinforce each other’s intensity. ‘Grapes’ Sept - Oct 1887.

How Van Gogh was portrayed on an episode of Dr. Who: Open Culture

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Jill Magid: The Proposal - opening at the SFAI

What happens to an artist's legacy after his death?

In his will made prior to his 1988 death at age 86, in Mexico City in 1988, Mexican architect Luis Barragán designated two people to manage his legacy, with his friend and fellow architect Ignacio Díaz Morales to identify an institution for his library. Díaz Morales established the foundation managing the Casa Barragán. Fundación de Arquitectura Tapatía which owns (in co-ownership with the Government of the State of Jalisco) Luis Barragán's former private residence in Mexico City: Luis Barragán House and Studio. The house is now a museum which celebrates Barragán and also serves as a conduit between scholars and architects interested in visiting other Barragán buildings in Mexico, including Capilla de las Capuchinas and Casa Prieto López.UNESCO added the Casa Luis Barragán to its World Heritage List in 2004. (Wikipedia)

But a portion of Barragán's estate, his professional papers and the copyright was bought in 1995 by a Swiss furniture executive and have not been made available to the public. Furthermore, Vitra, the Swiss company, claims copyright to all images of Barragán's work, including current photographs of the buildings he designed.

"Researchers have been denied access, and even the use of images of Barragán’s buildings is carefully controlled. Among those who study twentieth-century architecture, the inaccessibility of Barragán’s archive and the bizarre conditions of its custodianship have become almost as much of a preoccupation as his buildings." (New Yorker Magazine). 

After hearing about this, American conceptual artist, Jill Magid, felt this silencing of an artist's legacy was untenable. With the family's permission, Magid exhumed Barragán's ashes and had them made into a two-carat diamond engagement ring.

In The Proposal, now on view at the San Francisco Art Institute, Magid presents Federica Zanco, director of the Barragan Foundation (sans accent), Swiss home of the archive since 1995, with a two-carat diamond engagement ring made from Barragán’s ashes. Magid asks: Will Zanco accept “the body” of the man in exchange for the return of “the body of work” to Mexico?

The bare bones of the show - two vitrines with various documents, a floral tribute modeled on Mexican Day of the Dead, a film and even the diamond make the viewer reflect on the questions of intellectual copyright, corporate control, even the commodification of an artist's legacy. 

San Francisco Art Institute 
Walter and McBean Galleries 
800 Chestnut Street 
San Francisco, CA 94133
United States 
Hours: Tuesday 11am–7pm,
Wednesday–Saturday 11am–6pm

Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute
Sept. 9 – Dec. 10, 2016