Thursday, May 30, 2013

Horoscope for the new SFMOMA?

Yesterday SFMOMA had a ceremonial ground breaking ceremony for the new renovations and add-ons; I timed the time the 1st spade went in at 11:92 AM. SF time. Fixed signs on the angles and Sun in the 10th show it's visibility but the Mars at 28 Taurus separating from the MC sure seems to indicate a lot of bull headed energy, anger and aggression. Moon in Aquarius conjunct the dsc - moving toward the 7th house of others. Then Jupiter, Venus and Mercury in the 11th house of friends, groups, hopes. Leo Ascendent showing the pride but maybe a bit too much price. Saturn conjunct the IC but widely trine the moon. Pluto/Uranus square - Pluto in the 5th square Uranus in the 9th. I am not sure how that will play out. Hopefully this does not signify turmoil in the museum but I don't know at this point.

If any astrologers are reading this, what do you think? Is a chart for the official start of construction signify the new building? Actually, construction has been going on for some time but this was the official, we are going to close in 4 days celebration. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SFMOMA kicks off renovations with a 4-day party.

Today, or Wednesday, May 28, 2013 at 11:02 a.m. to be exact, various San Francisco dignitaries were joined by the pupils of Bessie Carmichael School to officially kick off SFMOMA's upcoming two and-a-half years of renovations. They counted down, pushed the lever and flooded the temporary media space with glittering confetti. The glitter certainly reflects the upcoming 4-day long party, which began today with free admission until the museum closes on June 2.

SFMOMA has planned something for everyone. Visitors will have the opportunity to party on the rooftop with cocktails and live music; stay up all night in the galleries and catch performances by 48 artists in a 24-hour variety show marathon. Or they can explore SFMOMA’s landmark photography exhibition Garry Winogrand and line up to catch Christian Marclay’s 24-hour video movie "The Clock."

Museum staff and docents in the galleries will be on hand to talk about their favorite artworks. Visitors can get to know Bay Area makers and artists featured in a special live-format edition of KQED Public Radio’s popular series "The Making Of…" by the award-winning Kitchen Sisters and see a large-scale model of SFMOMA’s new building. There will be a special family day on June 2 and reservations are recommended for that as the museum anticipates a record turn out.

"SFMOMA is more than just a building," says SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. "We're a set of intersecting cultural communities." He also announced a generous gift to the youth of the city, a 10 million dollar endowment that will allow free admission to visitors under the age of 18.

The new space, designed Oslo-NYC firm Snøhetta, will include 225,000 square feet of gallery space at estimated cost of $610 million. 41,000 square feet of free-access public space has been promised, in addition to a new seventh floor outdoor terrace and massive vertical gardens.

While SFMOMA will be closed until 2016, they haven't gone away. SFMOMA also will be well represented around other venues in the Bay Area. Even before the museum closed, it presided over the May 22 opening of the yearlong outdoor exhibition "Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field," an array of eight monumental pieces that celebrates the influential sculptor's 80th birthday.

On June 28, SFMOMA and the Contemporary Jewish Museum will open "Beyond Belief," the first of many collaborative exhibits with participating museums around the Bay Area. A team of resident and guest curators has chosen 60 works from SFMOMA's collection, dated 1911 through 2011, to evoke shifting relations between art and spirituality in the high modernist period and beyond. The show will be anchored by a great late abstraction by Mark Rothko (1903-70) but "Beyond Belief" will also bring back to light several things in various media not on public view for many years.

In addition, collaborations with SFMOMA will take form this year and next as exhibitions at local institutions including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Oakland Museum of California, and regional museums in Oakland, Sonoma, Sacramento, Bakersfield and Riverside.

Still, as the dignitaries pontificated from the podium, congratulating themselves on how SFMOMA anchored the changes for the south of Market Street area, I couldn't help but reflect on the cost of those changes. Thousands of units of low-and-middle income housing torn down and not replaced, thousands of low-to-middle income people pushed out of the city or worse, onto the streets because there was no place for them to go. The working class base of the city is gone, probably forever. The current housing crisis can be traced to the huge redevelopment projects which bulldozed huge portions of the city and put up expensive high rise condos, pricing out most of those who used to live in those areas.

The construction site revealed the advertising on the side of an old brick building, revealing one of the many businesses that used to be here. South of Market was where hundreds of businesses were located, like Hills Bros Coffee, the flag makers noted on the side of the business above, other factories with a union work force, allowing the city to be affordable and politically progressive.

Tourism is a 2 billion dollar business but it does not give the city or the working class families who used to live and work here the solid base to build a future. The money stays at the top. What future will the Black and Latino kids from Bessie Carmichael School have in the SF of the future? Unless things change drastically, not much. Free admission for kids under 18 is not much of a consolation prize.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day and Team Rubicon 2013

Team Rubicon - Memorial Day 2013

Team Rubicon Saves Lives.

Since its creation in January 2010, TR has impacted thousands of lives – in Haiti, Chile, Burma, Pakistan, Sudan, and here at home, in Vermont, Maryland, Missouri, and Alabama.  TR reaches victims outside the scope of where traditional aid organizations venture; victims on the fringe.

Team Rubicon Engages Veterans.

Hundreds of US military veterans, many returning home after fighting ten years of war, find a renewed sense of purpose for their skills and experiences through TR.

Team Rubicon Sets Itself Apart In the Nonprofit World.

Is it a disaster relief organization? A veteran-focused enterprise?  The truth is it’s both. TR pioneered a new paradigm in disaster response while redefining the meaning of veteran reintegration into society.

Team Rubicon Pioneered the Concept of Veteran-Focused Disaster Response.

On the streets of Port-au-Prince, in the immediate aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, TR’s military veterans realized a simple truth – natural disasters present many of the same problems that confront troops in Iraq and Afghanistan: unstable populations, limited resources, horrific sights, sounds and smells.  The skills cultivated on those same battlefields – emergency medicine, risk assessment and mitigation, teamwork and decisive leadership – are invaluable in disaster zones.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

At the Legion: 'Impressionists on water'

The marketing people at the Legion have linked the upcoming America's Cup race with their upcoming exhibit on an exhibit of works about boats, sailing and fun on the water by the Impressionists.

Caillebotte, Regatta at Rrgenteuil. 1893.

The upcoming show at the Legion does not need this dubious honor. Unlike the multiple fails of the America's cup, including a death, these works never fail to delight. While Impressionist paintings now sell for millions of dollars, the artists were not rich or famous when these works were painted. These are the visions of men who rebelled against the establishment of the time. The fact that their paintings still delight us, 100 plus years later is a testament to the enchantment of their art. 

 Monet. Boats Moored at Le Petit-Gennevillers. 1874.

The play of light, sense of atmosphere and physical experience of floating in a groundless world were irresistible for artists like Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Signac and Caillebotte (an accomplished sailor in his own right) -- key Impressionists who spent many hours at sea, on river boats, leisure craft and floating studios. Opens June 1

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Contemporary Jewish Museum presents 'Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg'

On March 25, in 1957, Allen Ginsberg helped make literary history. when 520 copies of his poem "Howl" were seized by U.S. Customs agents on charges of obscenity. Ginsberg and his publisher, City Lights, would fight those charges -- and win.

The current exhibit of his personal photographs at the Contemporary Jewish Museum won't make artistic history but they will help illuminate the private life of Ginsberg and his band of famous friends. The focus is on the personal lives, a disappointment to those who are looking for more documentation of the history that Ginsberg lived through as a poet and an activist.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Mary Cassatt

ALLEGHENY CITY, PA.- May 22, 1844.- Mary Stevenson Cassatt was an American painter and printmaker. She lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists. Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children. In this image: The Boating Party by Mary Cassatt, 1893–94, oil on canvas, 35 1/2 x 46 in., National Gallery of Art, Washingtont

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The desk to end all desks; the Roentgen's Berlin Secretary Cabinet

I covet this desk even though it's larger than my living room and totally impractical. But what a fantastic, inventive work of art.

One of the finest achievements of European furniture making, this cabinet is the most important product from Abraham (1711–1793) and David Roentgen's (1743–1807) workshop. A writing cabinet crowned with a chiming clock, it features finely designed marquetry panels and elaborate mechanisms that allow for doors and drawers to be opened automatically at the touch of a button. Owned by King Frederick William II, the Berlin cabinet is uniquely remarkable for its ornate decoration, mechanical complexity, and sheer size.

This cabinet, from Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, is featured in the exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens (on view October 30, 2012–January 27, 2013).

Footage courtesy of VideoART GmbH and Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Helen Suzman at Katz, Chagoya at Kala, 'Orgins' at Berkeley and poetry at the SFPL

 For those who want a less intense art viewing experience than the one provided by this week's huge art fairs, there is a lovely variety to chose from - a crusader against apartheid, sculpture in Berkeley, Enrique Chagoya at Kala Art Institute and poetry by the city's youth,.

Helen Suzman with Nelson Mandela. AP wire Services

Katz Snyder Gallery: Helen Suzman was one of South Africa’s most vociferous and energetic opponents of apartheid. She takes pride of place among those liberals who devoted their lives to the fight for human rights and the rule of law in South Africa. Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, her valiant stand against the injustices of the apartheid regime was acknowledged by numerous institutions. From the start of a political career that spanned four decades, she worked tirelessly, never flinching from challenging the pernicious system created by apartheid.

But while she challenged apartheid at a time of violent protests among the black majority, she advocated peaceful change. This policy led to changes, after her death, that she didn't do very much at all - charges which reflect the troublesome nature of current South African politics, rather than Ms Suzman's actions during the struggle.

She rarely faced such criticism from South Africa’s best-known black leaders. Mr. Mandela spoke with affection of her visits to the Robben Island prison in the chilly Atlantic waters off Cape Town, where he was serving a life sentence imposed in 1964 and where he remained until he was moved to a mainland prison nearly 20 years later. Using her parliamentary visiting rights, she made her first trip in 1967 and returned frequently. (NY Times, Jan 2009).

Suzman was awarded 27 honorary doctorates from universities around the world, was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and received countless other awards from religious and human rights organizations around the world. Queen Elizabeth II made her an honorary Dame Commander (Civil Division) of the Order of the British Empire in 1989.

Hours: Monday – Thursday: 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.. Friday – Sunday: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Berkeley Art Center. "Origins: Elemental Forms in Contemporary Sculpture." Co-curated by Suzanne Tan and Ann Weber, this exhibition explores the primal and evolutionary impulses of shape, form, and figure as expressed through distinct works from an accomplished and diverse group of sculptors. On Sunday, there will be a panel discussion among artists included in this survey  4 p.m. Saturday. $10. (Exhibition runs through June 9.) Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St., Berkeley. Reservations: (510) 644-6893.

Their Freedom of Expression…The Recovery of Their Economy, 1984. Collection of the San Jose Museum of Art

Kala Art Institute. "Their Freedom of Expression." works by Enrique Chagoya: A survey of politically charged graphic arts by esteemed Bay Area painter Enrique Chagoya, selected by Peter Selz and Sue Kubly. 

Time Out, 2009
Chagoya's work incorporates historic and political subject matter to cast new interpretations of Mexico's history and current political events. It follows in the grand tradition of the great 20th Century Mexican muralists; But it is most indebted to the legendary exponents of art of social satire: José Guadalupe Posada and Francisco Goya.

 When Paradise Arrived, 1988. Courtesy of the di Rosa collection

Through July 6. Noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, noon-4:30 p.m. Saturday. Kala Gallery/Kala Art Institute, 2990 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 841-7000.

Poetry at the San Francisco Public Library: The main staircase inside the library is decked out until the end of the month with colorful poems about pop culture from youth in the WritersCorps program. WritersCorps is a national program put on in San Francisco by the Arts Commission and library that has paired professional writers with more than 18,000 students since 1994.

The youth will perform works from their “Step to Poetry” display in the library at a free event on May 17 at 6 p.m.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Art party time!

Hung Liu, The Sewer, 2013, oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches. Nancy Hoffman Gallery

artMRKT San Francisco, the Bay Area’s premier contemporary and modern art fair, opens tomorrow, May 15, at the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason. The show will feature 70 galleries from around the globe, bringing some of the world’s most intriguing artists and galleries

 In showcasing historically important work alongside relevant contemporary pieces and projects, artMRKT will create an ideal context for the discovery, exploration and acquisition of art.

Regular hours: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.. Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, May 19, 2013 - Noon to 6:00 p.m.

Evelyn Reyes. Orange Carrots @2010 Creativity Explored

ArtPadSF, the 21st century boutique art fair that focuses on emerging and contemporary art from the Bay Area and beyond opens May 16 at the Phoenix Hotel.

In its third year and partnered with San Francisco’s world-renowned arts institutions, galleries, and artists, ArtPadSF is a crossroads for the creative and an unparalleled marketplace for art.

Daniel Green. Smell Sumo Feet Wrestlers. 2002. Creativity Explored

ArtPadSF, the 21st century boutique art fair that focuses on emerging and contemporary art from the Bay Area and beyond opens May 16 at the Phoenix Hotel.

In its third year and partnered with San Francisco’s world-renowned arts institutions, galleries, and artists, ArtPadSF is a crossroads for the creative and an unparalleled marketplace for art.

Located in San Francisco Tenderloin district, the area is a bit rough around the edges but full of hidden treasure for the adventurous art seeker. The Phoenix Hotel closes to the public and turns 44 rooms for the creative and traveling into an art benefit for SF MOMA.

Over the course of the weekend, art patrons will be given the run of the hotel including the tropical courtyard. That's just for starters. The 4-day weekend promises more of the same, with screenings, panels, performances, access to galleries and opportunities to talk to the artists.

Equality in all things

 "So my amazing daughter, Emma,  turned 5 last month, and I had been searching everywhere for new-creative inspiration for her 5yr pictures..... It started me thinking about all the REAL women for my daughter to know about and look up too, REAL women who without ever meeting Emma have changed her life for the better. My daughter wasn’t born into royalty, but she was born into a country where she can now vote, become a doctor, a pilot, an astronaut, or even President if she wants and that’s what REALLY matters. I wanted her to know the value of these amazing women who had gone against everything so she can now have everything. We chose 5 women (five amazing and strong women), as it was her 5th birthday but there are thousands of unbelievable women (and girls) who have beat the odds and fought (and still fight) for their equal rights all over the world…… let’s set aside the Barbie Dolls and the Disney Princesses for just a moment, and let’s show our girls the REAL women they can be."

New Zealand passed a bill allowing legal same-sex marriage Wednesday, prompting a jubilant celebration in the House of Representatives.
The bill passed with 77 in favour and 44 against, making New Zealand the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage, reports BBC News.
As the speaker read out the votes, noting that the bill had passed, spectators watching in gallery started singing the New Zealand love song “Pokarekare Ana.” Below, MPs hugged Louisa Wall, who sponsored the bill.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Superman at the Cartoon Art Museum, new work at Creativity Explored

Colored Circles by Beth Zmerzlika
 Creativity Explored is one of my favorite art spaces in the Bay Area. A team of dedicated teachers and guides work with the disabled to help them create wonderful art. Through that art, these "artists with disabilities" are able to connect with the wider world.

"Space," the latest exhibit is a gallery experience consisting of sculpture-based work made from recycled materials, paired with sound, video, and light components. More than a dozen Creativity Explored artists worked collaboratively to create a space of their own, working alongside the exhibition’s curators to create an “out-of-the frame,” conceptual environment.

Superman at the Cartoon Art Museum - celebrating 75 years of America's "it's a bird, it's a's Superman.." and
Gary Bukovnik's watercolors at Thomas Reynolds.
A&A with the artist: Q&A with Bukovnik:

Management changes at the Museum of the African Diaspora

Monday, May 6, 2013

Nudes, a celebration of the female form

Happy birthday to the Eiffel Tower

May 6, 1889.- The co-architects of the Eiffel Tower were Emile Nouguier, Maurice Koechlin and Stephen Sauvestre. The risk of accident was great, for unlike modern skyscrapers the tower is an open frame without any intermediate floors except the two platforms. However, because Eiffel took safety precautions, including the use of movable stagings, guard-rails and screens, only one man died. The tower was inaugurated on 31 March 1889, and opened on 6 May.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

New Project at Chez Nancy

Next project at Chez Nancy - scan my best nude drawings and upload them. But first, off to see all the art that I missed by staying close to home when it was too. darn. hot. And don't tell me that 1. Heat waves are OK. 2. It only happens a few days a year (not any more). I Will. Be. Annoyed.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


 Yesterday was such a beautiful day that my friend Judy and I decided to celebrate May Day by going down to Pescadero and eating at Duarte's. We cruised through the new tunnel that bypasses Devil's Slide and made our way down the coast, marveling at the blue sky and the sparkling ocean. The fog lay right off the land, rolling up over the horizon with a line that looked cut with a knife. The breeze was perfection and we enjoyed the drive even more because the weather man had said that the next day would be hot with temperatures up in the high 80's. For once the prediction was right.

Pescadero is a tiny little town, south of Half Moon Bay, on the coast with a total population of 643 (according to Wikipedia). Main Street (the only street) like it hasn't changed much since the 19th century when it was founded.

Their website celebrates small town life, right out of the pages of Booth Tarkington, with farm festivals, flower shows, arts festivals and barn sales. You can visit a goat farm, stroll along the beach or view the birds from the wild life refuge that runs alongside the road into town.

Main Street is charming, with old homes, beautiful gardens and a gentle, slow ambiance.

The town is so small that it's hard to believe it's about an hour's drive from San Francisco. There are small homes, a gas station, a post office, two churches, a thrift store and a couple of markets.

But we had come with less meditative things in mind. DUARTE'S! Artichoke and green chili soup, crab cakes, French Bread and other culinary delights.

The business was started in 1894 when the great-grandfather of the current owner, Frank Duarte, brought a barrel of whiskey from Santa Cruz and placed it on top of the bar that is still used today. The price was ten cents for one whiskey, two bits for three. Business thrived until prohibition. During prohibition, according to our waitress, they went in for rum running but, as a sideline, founded the restaurant (1934). The same family still runs the business, serving (according to their website) 13,000 people a month. In 2003, the James Beard Foundation in New York awarded Duarte's an honorary award as an American Classic.

Judy had the artichoke soup and the crab melt. I just had the green chili soup and only refrained from licking the bowl because we were in public. We shared a slice of the olallieberry pie a la mode since we didn't want to do more damage to our waistlines and because we were both stuffed and couldn't eat any more. 

On our way back home, we stopped at Half Moon Bay to walk along the wharf and admire the boats and the occasional seagull. It was a perfect day.

The restaurant doesn't publish its recipes but this is close to their Green Chili Soup.(found on the Internet)

The amount of cream in this recipe may scare some people. I'm not usually one for adding so much cream to soups, but this soup is so greatly improved and transformed by the creamy addition that I put in the full amount. Try it with less, if  you must.

20 fresh, mild large green chiles (the original recipe calls for Hatch Chiles and I have no idea what they are. I used a mixture of Anaheim, Serrano and 1 Scotch Bonnet chili because I like more heat).
1 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt plus more to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (Homemade Chicken Broth is a great addition to this soup)
1 cup heavy cream


Roast and peel chiles using either the stove-top method or the broiler method. After peeling, put chiles in a large bowl to collect any juices.
In a medium pot over medium-high heat,melt the butter. Add onions and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, another minute or so until the mixture is very fragrant.
Add chiles and broth (3 cups for a thicker soup, 4 cups for a thinner soup) to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until vegetables are extremely soft and flavors have blended, about 15 minutes.
Whirl mixture in a blender or food processor until super smooth. Whirl at least 2 minutes (this may seem like a long time) to achieve a velvety texture.
Return mixture to pot and stir in cream. Gently heat until mixture is heated through. Add more salt to taste, if you like.
Makes 4 servings Cream of Green Chile Soup or 2 if you are greedy like me.