Thursday, October 30, 2014

Weekend picks for Oct 30 - Nov 2. SF Giants, Hans Hoffman and more

 "Summer Bliss" (1960), oil on canvas; gift of the artist, Hans Hofmann, to the Berkeley Art Museum in memory of Worth Ryder. 

The weekend will get off with a roar on Friday with the Giant’s victory parade and Halloween. Eric Fischl has some critical words about American art in the Guardian, Lee Krasner and Nicki de Saint Phalle were born this week and it’s the 3rd weekend of SF’s Open Studios 

Weekend 3 (11 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 1-2): Mission, Castro, Bernal Heights, Noe Valley, Upper Market, Glen Park

Hans Hoffman at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive:
 Hofmann had begun traveling to the U.S. in 1930, when he was invited by a former student, Worth Ryder, to teach a summer art course at the University of California, Berkeley, where Ryder was a professor. In the spring of the following year, Hofmann taught at the Chouinard School in Los Angeles, and returned to Berkeley to teach another summer session. He also had his first American solo show at the Legion of Honor.

Hans Hofmann: Effervescence, 1944; oil, India ink, casein and enamel on plywood panel; 54-3/8 x 35-7/8 in.; gift of the artist.    

In 1932, while working abroad once again in the U.S., his wife advised Hofmann not to return to Munich because of the growing political hostility due to the rise of the Nazi Party. Hofmann settled in New York City where he established an art school in 1933.

 Over the next twenty-five years he influenced an astounding array of artists. He later claimed, “If I had not been rescued by America, I would have lost my chance as a painter.” He might have also ended up in a concentration camp had he not left Germany for good in 1932.

In 1963, as a gesture of gratitude toward the place that had first welcomed him with open arms, Hoffman gifted UC Berkeley with nearly 50 works and $250,000 in seed money for the new museum.

 Now, those works are on display at the Berkeley Museum of Art and Pacific Film Archive – generating enough energy to levitate the huge concrete building over the bay. Through December 2014

PBS interactive pages on the push-pull theory:

A series of videos on Hoffman and his legacy:

The perfect Halloween movie is also playing in Berkeley: Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut at

More weekend picks at:

Link to the excellent blog The Blue Lantern and an essay on Saint Phalle:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

National Cat Day

Please consider a donation to for , because adopted shelter cats rock EVERY day.

Art reviews to come - pre-Islamic art at the Asian, Hoffman at the Berkeley Museum and Film Archive and the 3rd week of Open studios.

But in the meantime, art, cats and the final game of the world series.

Happy ! Celebrate with our board, "The Cat: Muse, Symbol, Deity."

Saturday, October 25, 2014



Here's the latest lesson from the Friskies chief house cat to the newly arrived kitten.

I just saw that it's Picasso's birthday but a cat video trumps Pablo, any day of the week.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

'L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA.'

Pauline Oliveros - an avant guard musician who uses the accordion. It's not going to be a Lawrence Welk kind of concert or Weird Al Yankovich either (

For creative programming and avant guard music, one need look no further that the upcoming schedule for the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) after gallery-hours program "L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA."

BAM/PFA will be closing its galleries to the public in late December in preparation for the move to the new museum building in downtown Berkeley in early 2016 so the November/December 2014 L@TE schedule will be the last at the old location.

More on the schedule here:

Grumpy cat says that avant guard music is not for everyone but why not give it a try.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Literary and musical challenges around the SF Giants vs the Kansas City Royals

The world series competition goes beyond the ballfield

The Heartland Men's Chorus threw down the gauntlet Monday morning, with director Dustin Cates making a wager: if the Giants beat the Kansas City Royals in the World Series, he'd don a Giants jersey during a chorus rehearsal. If the Giants somehow lost to a team that hasn't seen a World Series since the Reagan administration, San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus director Tim Seelig would have to sport a Royalettes jersey.

Kansas City, San Francisco accepts your challenge. Not just between baseball teams, but between gay men's choruses.

And more....

Literate competition as well: The war of words is heating up btwn @KCLibrary and @SFPublicLibrary. It's even getting Shakesperean ‪#‎WorldSeries‬

Sounding a bit Shakespearean, Liesl Christman, the Twitter czar for the Kansas City Public Library, tweeted on Wednesday morning, hours after the San Francisco Giants crushed the Royals in Game 1 on Tuesday, 7-1: "Tis but a flesh wound - @Royals will rally! Tonight, #LetsThrowFire!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BigCrow Studios - New exhibition space in the Outer Sunset

Sherry Miller. My Favorite Volcano" Oil on canvas.

From Anna Conti: What a year for changes! Moving is postponed, probably for a year at least. Meanwhile, since we emptied out more than half the house, we decided to to out it to good use by .... opening a gallery!


Celebrating a new exhibition space in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco.
Oct. 24th - Dec. 6th, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, October 24th, 2014 ~ TWO locations:

5-7pm at BigCrow Annex, 1567 46th Ave, San Francisco
6-8pm at BigCrow Studios, 1426 41st Ave., San Francisco

Photographs by Tinker Greene

For 25 years, BigCrow Studios has been the home and workspace of artists Anna Conti, David W. Sumner, and an evolving cast of painters, photographers, musicians, writers and other artists.

The new exhibition space is opening with "Premier," a group show with 40 works by a dozen of the artists who have passed through here over the years. The space will operate free-to-the-exhibiting-artist (the gallery does not take a cut of sales) but it is not a co-op.

The shows will be curated by Anna Conti and David Sumner, by invitation only. It’s a small space (372 sq. ft.) but, over time, Anna and David hope to show most of the great local contemporary artists they have come to know. They’ve got some cool shows coming up!

After the opening reception, the primary Exhibition Space (on 41st Avenue) will be open to the public every Friday (1pm - 8pm) and Saturday (noon - 6pm.)

Other days/hours by appointment (call Dave at 415-632-7746 or email Anna at ) The BigCrow Annex space (on 46th Avenue) is open by appointment.

Both locations (5 blocks apart) are open during the receptions, held approximately every 6 weeks. The second show, "Portrait of the Artist," will open on Friday, December 12th.

Stay tuned for more photos & info about the work in this show.