Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bye Bye Silly Pink Bunny

The statue, which appeared back in 2011 at the corner of Haight and Laguna, is the work of artist Jeremy Fish. Back in December, Upper Playground posted a photo of Fish apparently working on the statue, which measures roughly 7 feet tall:

As Fish put it:
"my gang, THE SILLY PINK BUNNIES, is celebrating 20 years of being a mean gang this year. Coincidentally 2011 is the year of the rabbit. this statue and mural is a tribute to the the gang and our history in the lower Haight. Viva la bunnies! see you this Easter."

Slow forward to 2013 and Jeremy Fish’s 7-foot-tall statue, along with the rest of the Lower Haight mural, will be demolished the week beginning September 9th. The artwork, which was always intended to be temporary, has been a part of the neighborhood since late 2010 / early 2011, when it was commissioned to spruce up the corner of the abandoned UC Berkeley Extension campus. Now that campus is being torn down to make way for the 55 Laguna housing development.

Yesterday 7X7 asked Fish if he wanted to try to preserve his creation, but he declined thusly:

“I am looking forward to watching it get smashed with a wrecking ball. After being lit on fire he deserves to die a valiant death!”

There are discussions underway to have some sort of send-off for the mural and bunny, and if anything develops, I will post it here.

For those in the East Bay, don't forget that tomorrow is Free First Sunday at the Oakland Museum of California. Those of us on this side of the bridge will just have to wave forlornly toward the Oakland Hills. But next time..

Friday, August 30, 2013

Chinatown on Labor Day Weekend

The bridge is closed until after Labor Day and the city is peaceful and a delight without the crazy cars and equally crazy crowds. It was even nice enough for me to brave Chinatown which I usually stay away from. There were only a few tourists out and it was even possible to walk on the side walk. Because it was so much less stressful, even the most grumpy storekeepers were in a good mood.

More at:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Labor Day Weekend fairs and family fun

50th Annual Kings Mountain Art Fair: Kings Mountain Community Center and Firehouse Woodside, CA. Labor Day weekend brings a few festivals to the Bay Area, including The Kings Mountain Art Fair (August 31, September 1 – 2, 2013), which presents juried artists exhibits in a glorious setting among the redwoods.

Kids have their own dedicated space at the Art Fair: Kiddie Hollow, located down the hill from the Cookie Booth. Don’t miss the world’s largest cookies – peanut butter, toffee, chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin – at the Cookie Booth just around the corner from The Cookshack (a great spot for breakfast or lunch).

Local residents started the Art Fair in 1963 as a fundraiser to help create a volunteer fire company for the remote Kings Mountain community. The first fair, held in a red barn, featured mostly local artists and raised $50. It is now ranked as one of the Top Five Fine Art Fairs in California, and in the Top 50 in the nation. - Art Fair SourceBook 2011. Saturday, Aug 31, September 1 and 2, 2013. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Sausalito Art Festival: This annual event, spanning more than 60 years, draws tens of thousands of art lovers to the North Bay with promises of food, wine, art and live music. With The Psychedelic Furs, Lisa Marie Presley and more. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, until 5 p.m. Monday. $5-$25. Marinship Park, Sausalito.

San Francisco Zine Fest 2013: The 12th annual SF Zine Fest will host over 140 DIY & small-press creators in two huge exhibition halls; the fest is FREE to all public attendees.

There will also be events including spotlights on artists Justin Hall, Roman Muradov, & Sophia Foster-Dimino, as well as workshops & discussions of all things DIY.
The SFZF Reading Room & Zine Library will also return. This collection of over 200 comics and zines showcases some of the finest creators in the Bay Area and beyond.

San Francisco County Fair Building - Hall of Flowers, San Francisco, CA. Aug 31st + Sept 1st 2013. 11a.m. -5 p.m.

America's Cup: Art in the Park: America's Cup hosts an Art in the Park day at America's Cup Park. The whole event is free and open to the public! Local artists of all ages will paint "en plein air" landscape images of America's Cup on the San Francisco Bay. The public can watch the artists at work, enjoy other live performance art, and participate in art activities.

America's Cup Park at Piers 27/29. San Francisco, CA. Saturday, August 31, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 43rd annual Millbrae Art & Wine Festival transforms downtown into the “Big Easy” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 31 and September 1, 2013.
This free Mardi Gras-style festival features live music, a juried art show with professional artists and craftmakers showing their latest handcrafted wares, a microbeer tasting tent, home and garden exhibits, an organic and green product showcase, a classic car show, and more.

Ignoring the dust

And so I am out the door - Asian, new exhibits at the Library, research on Odillon Redon for the show at the Cantor and a final visit to Arc Studios and Galleries. Let the dust wait a bit longer. Life is too short to worry about my dust bunnies. I keep hoping that if I wait long enough, they will morph into a house keeper and start cleaning up after themselves.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

50th Anniversary of "I have a dream."

 I will get back to art blogging, interspersed with my comments about politics, women's rights and whever else comes to mind. But today is not that day. Today is a day to remember one of the most important speeches in my life time, a vision of a world which we are further from than ever.

Photographing the dream at the Getty

The Full Text:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A memorial to Ruth Asawa

A memorial celebrating the life of Ruth Asawa will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Music Concourse Band Shell in Golden Gate Park. 
Asawa, who died Aug. 6 at age 87, was one of California's most admired sculptors and the first Asian American woman in the nation to achieve recognition in a male-dominated discipline. The ceremony will be across from the de Young Museum, where guests are welcome to view her works.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Ruth Asawa Fund, 1116 Castro St., San Francisco, CA 91114. The fund supports the artists-in-residence program at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The 19th Amendment became law on this day in 1920

Today is the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and I’m giving thanks for Alice Stokes Paul. 

She was arrested and jailed — and force-fed during a hunger strike — fighting for the rights of women in this country.

I wish I had known Alice Stokes Paul.  I would have thanked her for her incredible courage.

I wish I had met so many of the suffragettes (the very word makes me proud, yet sad).  I would like to have thanked them for easing the way for me to go to university in this country, to work here, to become a citizen, and to vote here.  I would like to have thanked them for their many sacrifices.

These women protested and gave public speeches and traveled a long way for their civil rights. They faced the derision of their neighbors, the wrath of powerful men, and, for some, ostracized by their own families. They marched on Washington 100 years ago, and waved placards and banners every day in front of the White House, finally convincing Congress to pass the 19th amendment.

Don’t know it?

It includes this historic sentence: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

The amendment was introduced in Congress in 1878, but it took 42 years before it passed.

 #WomensEqualityDay! The 19th Amendment became law on this day in 1920! #93years #womenvote #StopGOPWarOnWomen
 No self-respecting woman should work for the success of a party that ignores her sex." -- Susan B. Anthony

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Weekend Picks: August 24-25. 'FourSquared IV,' Absolut Vodka 'Open Canvas,' 'Untitled' at Mission Cultural Center.

I am not a fan of the music but the pen work in this is amazing.

Arc Studios: FourSquared IV
When: Sat, August 24, 7pm – 10pm
Where: 1246 Folsom St. SF (photo courtesy Arc Gallery/Priscilla Otani)

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, August 24th, 7-10PM "FourSquared IV" is a unique exploration of the works of sixteen Bay Area artists. Each of the artists has produced sixteen small works, presented in sixteen clusters giving the audience the experience of sixteen micro solo exhibitions.

All works are priced under $500. Featured Artists: Lexie Bouwsma, Tyrell Collins, Monica Denevan, Robin Denevan, Mauricia Gandara, Paul Gibson, Katja Leibenath, Paul Morin, Greg Nelson, Jann Nunn, Mary O’Brien, Anna Marie Panlilio, Mark Paron, Lucky Rapp, Linda Raynsford, Fernando Reyes, and Jenny Robinson Curated by Arc Gallery partners, Michael Yochum & Matthew Frederick.

Michael Yochum is the author of SF Art News, which maintains an exhaustive list of art events and openings in San Francisco. Matthew Frederick is founder of Art Farm, an artist collective in the Mission, where he maintains his studio. "Four-Squared" is a reflection of the co-curators' strong and abiding interest in local, affordable art and the exhibition includes some of our most talented local artists.

OPEN CANVAS: ABSOLUT Vodka's Open Canvas campaign has enlisted more than 20 artists to transform the entire Divisadero Street (between Hayes and Grove) from a mundane, white canvas to extraordinary living works of art. Experience the transformation as artists work their respective crafts from: 1:00PM – 6:00PM, Saturday, August 24.

The multi-disciplinary group art exhibition will be on display through Sunday, September 1 with interactive happenings from 3:00PM -7:00PM daily.

ABSOLUT’s project will feature five local San Francisco artists and more than 20 emerging contemporary artists and  is a real-time, evolving, participatory body of work that is designed to be created and experienced personally and collectively.

Untitled: Group show featuring works by Julio Salgado, Paz De La Calzada and Eliza Barrios and more explore ideas of migration, documentation and family. Through Sept. 21. 5-9:45 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m.-9:45 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission St., S.F. (415) 643-2796.

Now you can buy those "Girl with a Pearl Earring" banners that fluttered from utility poles around town earlier this year advertising the de Young Museum's exhibition of Dutch paintings from the Mauritshuis in The Hague. Forty-five silk-screened vinyl banners bearing Vermeer's enchanting pearly girl are being sold for $525 a pop by, which gives a piece of the action to the museums involved.

 If you prefer more contemporary realism, a banner for Robert Bechtle's 2005 retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - the artist's family standing before its car in his 1969 classic "'61 Pontiac" - goes for $479. Unlike Vermeer, Bechtle is still around to sign it. For information, go to

Friday, August 23, 2013

Women Power in Ancient Peru

The discovery in Peru of another tomb belonging to a pre-Hispanic priestess, the eighth in more than two decades, confirms that powerful women ruled this region 1,200 years ago, archeologists said.

The remains of the woman were discovered in an area called La Libertad in Peru's northern Chepan province; she belonged to a civilization called the Moche (or Mochica). In 2006, researchers uncovered the Lady of Cao in the same region. 

Before then, it was thought that only men held high positions in ancient Peru — but the luxury of the Lady of Cao's funerary bundle made it clear that this ancient woman was hugely high-ranking and most likely considered nearly divine. 

The priestess was in an "impressive 1,200-year-old burial chamber" the archeologist said, pointing out that the Mochica were known as master craftsmen.

"The burial chamber of the priestess is 'L'-shaped and made of clay, covered with copper plates in the form of waves and sea birds," Castillo said.

Near the neck is a mask and a knife, he added.

The tomb, decorated with pictures in red and yellow, also has ceramic offerings -- mostly small vases -- hidden in about 10 niches on the side. 

The new priestess tomb makes it clear that the Lady of Cao is far from an anomaly. According to archaeological project director Luis Jaime Castillo:
This find makes it clear that women didn't just run rituals in this area but governed here and were queens of Mochica society... It is the eighth priestess to be discovered. Our excavations have only turned up tombs with women, never men.
According to Castillo, the burial chamber was "impressive," even by Mochica standards. The Mochica were known as master craftsmen, so that is saying something. The priestess's burial chamber was covered in copper plates in the forms of waves and seabirds, and a mask and a knife were found near her neck. Her body is flanked with ceramic offerings, as well as the bodies of seven human sacrifices (two babies, three children, and two adults).

"Tomb find confirms powerful women ruled Peru long ago"

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Getty sets 4600 images free

The images are gorgeous; I downloaded "Iris" and it's 28 MB so be sure you have enough disc space before you get carried away.

I started surfing the images and forced myself to stop - what a time sink! But the images are beautiful - there are a number of world known museums that only put up small images or use the "zoom" feature which does not allow the viewer to enlarge the whole image. Or wobbles all over your screen. Way to go, Getty - class act all the way.

Here is Eric Idle singing about the Getty - link courtesy of DeWitt Chang

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Pagoda Palace finally comes down & another gallery closes

The Pagoda Theater sits boarded up at the intersection of Powell and Columbus in San Francisco, Calif., Sunday, December 2, 2012. Photo: Sarah Rice, Special To The Chronicle

From SF Gate:  Like the walls of Jerico, but without Joshua's horn, the walls of the Pagoda Palace Theater came down yesterday. The tentative plan is that the famous "blade" sign will be torn down on Wednesday.

The Pagoda, a political symbol and a North Beach eyesore, has been vacant for 20 years. Proposals to develop the property have come and gone, and activists have battled the demolition, even staging mock funerals recently. But eventually, it just made too much sense to tear down the aging, empty bird sanctuary.

"The library is going up and the Pagoda is coming down," crowed North Beach activist Julie Christensen, who supported the demolition of the old theater and the building of the new North Beach Library.

Once the skeleton of the theater is removed, the site will be used to remove the boring machines that will dig the Central Subway.

And then it will be time for the next controversy.

Marx & Zavattero closes (from their announcement).

Marx & Zavattero Co-Directors Heather Marx and Steve Zavattero formally announced today that they are permanently closing their contemporary art gallery after operating for nearly 12 years. The pair mounted close to 100 exhibitions in their San Francisco space and organized a significant number of outside exhibitions for their artists during the gallery’s existence.

“It’s been a great run, and we are extremely proud of all we have accomplished with our provocative program in a very tough art market,” says Zavattero. “This was a very painful decision as we built our lives around our love and support for our artists, both as great talents and as people. However, it has become startlingly clear that the brick-and-mortar gallery model is no longer a sustainable endeavor for us.”

Not willing to compromise their vision by shifting to a more market-driven business, the pair decided to close the gallery now, “on a high note when our artists and our own contributions will be remembered in the strongest light,” says Marx.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Cyrus Cylinder - now at the Asian Art Museum

It's good to be king: "I am Cyrus, king of the universe, the great king, the powerful king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters of the world..."

The Cyrus Cylinder, travels here from the British Museum and is making its West Coast debut at the Asian Art Museum.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Caturday - 'Cats of the Hermitage'

The State Hermitage Museum has contributed to the genre of cat portraiture in the grand manner by commissioning an artist to render its famous feline guardians dressed in Tsarist court costumes. The Uzbek artist Eldar Zakirov has created the series “Cats of the Hermitage” for the Hermitage Magazine based on works in the St Petersburg museum’s collection. The magnificent moggies are depicted with deadpan expressions, dressed in historically accurate uniforms, such as The Hermitage Court Chamber Herald Cat. In 1745, Empress Elizabeth ordered that Russia's best cats be brought to the Winter Palace to rid it of rats. They have been guarding the Hermitage's treasures ever since and are now regarded as treasures in their own right.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Goodby Seattle (for now)

 I went to the wedding of my niece Sarah and her (now) husband Nils. The ceremony was held in Nils' grandfather's back yard, overlooking Puget Sound. There was homemade roasted pork, beef, a "buffet" which included salad, green beans and Cheetos. I liked the Cheetos - quite a homey touch. 

The wedding cakes - one a traditional cake and the other a traditional Scandinavian wreath cake (Kransekake) made from almond paste. Nils' aunts made it and it was delicious!  It was supposed to be decorated with Norwegian flags but, given that my nieces (all of them) are avid soccer fans, the flag of the Seattle Sounders would have been more appropriate.  

The next day was a birthday party for my great-nephews. Multiple cousins attended and I lost track of who was related to who (whom?). But it was a heck of a lot of fun.

The festivities were a bit much for one of my great nephews. 

I played tourist in Seattle, walked until my feet gave out and "helped" my sister buy gifts for her granddaughters (my great-nieces). 

My brother-in-law went up on the Space Needle. My sister and I sat that one out. We munched on roasted corn, talked family and settled the world's problems. We are good that way. 

 I became very familiar with "downtown" Bremerton as we went back and forth on the ferry. When the Navy was there in full force, Bremerton was quite the rowdy place - esp for sailors on leave. But the Naval shipyards are much reduced and the town is dying. 

Apparently the town council has tried to make it more upscale but has imposed draconian taxes and fees, so no new business will move in. Right now, it's an uncomfortable mixture of upscale stuff (or an attempt at upscale) juxtaposed with the old style blue collar homes and stores. There are some condos with great views of the sound but one block away, it's just dead. I didn't see any markets for real food or even a farmer's market although I read that there was one. It would be a pity if the town were to continue to slide down hill. The site is magnificent and a lot less expensive than the city across the water.

I visited Pulsbo, a cute little touristy town founded around the turn of the last century. Supposedly it was founded by Norwegian fishermen but there is little of the old town left, if any at all. It reminded me a little bit of Mill Valley but with the shops filled with tourist junk, " antique" stores and restaurants. There wasn't even a Scandinavian deli, much less pickled herring (thank heavens!) so my brother and I had a lovely lunch at a Mexican place. 

We drove around a lot of back roads and I can't say where I was but it was beautiful. The houses were all kinds, from modest but well kept to a "castle" which is the latest sensation. I could see the sea through the trees; it kept winking in and out of view like an intense blue ribbon, low upon the horizon.

My last shot - or close to it from my balcony in Bremerton, Washington. I highly recommend the Flagship Motel. It is out of the way so you will need a car. Luckily for me, everybody in my family does have a car so I was driven around like a queen. The rates in the motel are low, the beds are nice and they always have chocolate chip cookies in the lobby. Warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Still round the corner there may wait
  A new road or a secret gate;
And although I oft have passed them by,
  A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
  West of the Moon, East of the Sun. (Lord of the Rings).

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Julia

Julia's kitchen at the Smithsonian:

This post is the third in a series of six about the museum’s work in Julia Child’s kitchen. Christine Klepper is a Museum Studies graduate student at The George Washington University.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

View from Seattle

I am out of the city for a week for a family reunion and a wedding. Washington State is absolutely gorgeous even though it's too hot for me. This is the view from my motel window. A beautiful finger of Puget Sound, right outside my balcony...and all for a reasonable price.

My niece was married at her new husband's family home, built by the grandfather from 1963 on. The home overlooks Pulsbo, a old fishing town, again on Puget Sound. Watching her being given away by my brother was emotional as I remember her as a darling little baby crawling around on the floor. Now she's a beautiful young woman, as are my other nieces.

But I still can't believe that I am old enough to have three great nephews and three great nieces.

My nieces and nephews much have been child brides and grooms. No way am I that old!

Monday, August 5, 2013

At the Getty. 'Gardens of the Renaissance'

Drawing from their own collections of illuminated manuscripts, one of the greatest in the world, the Getty has mounted another one of their exquisite exhibitions. As a calligrapher and artist, I was enchanted by the work and impressed by the scholarship.

The exhibition features over 20 manuscript illuminations, a painting, a drawing and a photograph from the Getty Museum's permanent collection, as well as loaned works from the Getty Research Institute and private collectors James E. and Elizabeth J. Ferrell.
Bathsheba Bathing, Jean Bourdichon, Illuminator, French, Tours, 1498–1499

In this image of Bathsheba bathing in a fountain, her sensuous nude figure seduces not only King David at the palace window but likely also the patron of the manuscript that contained this leaf, King Louis XII of France (ruled 1498–1515). The biblical story that inspired this image does not mention a garden, but artists often placed Bathsheba in one because a garden was considered both a private space and a place of temptation. Louis XII employed Italian engineers to redesign gardens at his court, making them conform to the Renaissance principle of symmetry between palace and garden. In the illumination, the artist differentiates spaces for the planting of herbs, roses, and a citrus grove, all aspects one would expect to encounter in a royal garden.

The Annunciation, Master of James IV of Scotland, Illuminator, Flemish, Bruges and Ghent, 1510–1520 

At the bottom of this image, two angels tend the Virgin Mary's garden, arranged with square beds of flowers, including roses, lilies, and columbines. One angel picks a lily, which symbolizes Mary's sin-free birth. In a view of the interior, another lily is visible in a vase atop a wooden cabinet. The angel Gabriel, joined by an angelic retinue and the dove of the Holy Spirit, tells Mary that she will give birth to the Christ child, and she accepts the news with humility. In the sky beyond the house, Gabriel is shown again kneeling before God the Father in heaven.

In Annunciation scenes, Mary is often shown near an enclosed garden because Christian tradition associated the private green space with purity, prayer, and paradise, the last of which awaits Christians anew in heaven.

 Noli me Tangere, Lieven van Lathem, Illuminator, Flemish, 1469

In this scene, Mary Magdalene kneels before the resurrected Christ within a modest fenced garden. According to the Bible, after the Crucifixion, Christ was buried in a tomb on a plot of land containing a garden. Mary initially mistook Christ for a gardener, and thus artists in the Renaissance often depicted him holding a shovel, as here. The tall tree at the center of the image not only suggests a garden setting but likely refers to the Tree of Knowledge that grew in Eden, serving as a reminder of Christ's atoning sacrifice for the sins of humanity.

What is an Italian villa or French château without a garden? In the Renaissance, gardens complemented the architectural harmony of courtly estates through plantings along a central axis and beds of herbs and flowers arranged in geometric patterns. The combination of sculptures, fountains, and topiaries in gardens not only communicated the patron's control over nature but also expressed the Renaissance ideal that art is inspired by nature and, in turn, nature is shaped by art. In manuscripts, a courtly garden could serve as a backdrop that conveyed a ruler's status or as a stage for activities both reputable and scandalous. 

Insect, Tulip, Caterpillar, Spider, Pear, from Model Book of Calligraphy, (text in Latin), Joris Hoefnagel, Illuminator; Georg Bocskay, scribe, Flemish and Hungarian, illumination 1591–1596, script 1561–1562, Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment, 6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in., Ms. 20, fol. 25 
Painted with spellbinding precision, the pink-and-yellow-striped tulip shown here is among seven of varying colors featured in this book illuminated by Joris Hoefnagel for Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II (ruled 1576–1612). The elaborate samples of calligraphy had been commissioned thirty years earlier by Rudolf's grandfather Emperor Ferdinand I (ruled 1558–1564), but Hoefnagel's naturalistic depictions of plants, animals, and insects rival the text in beauty. Rudolf cultivated botanical rarities, like the tulip, in gardens throughout his empire, and Hoefnagel's highly accurate illuminations preserve a floral record of species from as far away as modern-day Turkey and Peru. These images are also available in a series of small books.

The catalog for the exhibit is only $20. Drawn from a wide range of works in the Getty Museum’s permanent collection, this gorgeously illustrated volume explores gardens on many levels, from the literary Garden of Love and the biblical Garden of Eden to courtly gardens of the nobility, and reports on the many activities—both reputable and scandalous—that took place there.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Weekend Picks for August 3 - 4

it's not always about the fog in SF - today is sunny, clear and with a hint of cooling wind. Just the perfect kind of day to be out, about with frequent stops to enjoy art.

My interior decorator was very happy at today's craft show at Ft. Mason while my inner bookkeeper was aghast at the prices. Yup, SF is a pricy place to live and lots of people who live here can afford this stuff. Well, more power to the craft's people who make these unique, beautiful pieces.

 For the August 2013 show, ACC invited nine celebrated Bay Area interior designers and architects to create eight unique room settings -- each inspired by a piece of fine craft. Themed “Make Room: Modern Design Meets Craft,” the showcase celebrates the symbiotic relationship between craft and design while providing show-goers with ideas on incorporating fine craft into home décor.
The crafts on view and for sale include jewelry, clothing and home decor. Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan St. 11 a.m to 5 p.m.

Wangechi Mutu, Kibaba Original (detail), 2012, mixed media

Maps, boundaries and national and ethnic identities are a comment thread through two SF exhibits now on view at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Wendi Norris Gallery.

"Migrating Identities" samples works by eight contemporary artists whose lives and output cut across boundaries, and to some extent histories, of nationality and regional culture. All were born between 1969 and 1981 and received art education in the United States. Their work is inspired by the tension between their native cultures and that of the United States where most now live.

The value of a specific place and its particular history is the basis for these artists to embrace, alter, or interve with the conventions of contemporary art practice to address larger global issues such as colonialism, war, daily life, the vernacular, and history.

Artists like Wangechi Mutu, originally from Kenya, creates work that speaks more of Africa while the other artists, however individually interesting, present work that is more generic 21st century Western. While the show is fascinating, what's most apparent is the power of American culture.

"Migrating Identities:" Video, sculpture, painting, collage and graphic arts. Through Sept. 29. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. (415) 978-2787.

Patrick Jacobs, "Oak Stump with Dead Leaves", 2013, Diorama viewed through 2 3/4 in. (5 cm) window, Styrene, acrylic, cast neoprene, paper, hair, ash, talc, starch, polyurethane foam, acrylite, vinyl film, wood, steel, lighting, BK7 glass.

"Journey Forth:" Landscape seen through the lens of today's technology, deconstructing traditional concepts of the sublime, and what it means to bring the outdoors inside. As the broader culture continues to evaluate humanity’s role in our natural environment, the works in this exhibition demonstrate echoes of the Romantic desire to connect to the world we live in.

"Journey Forth: Contemporary Landscape Between Technology and Tradition:" Through Aug. 31. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Gallery Wendi Norris, 161 Jessie St., S.F.

Opening tonight at ARC Gallery: "Sweet and Subversive" ironically appropriates feminine stereotypes to expand the discourse of contemporary feminism. The exhibition is founded on the subversive craft movement and cupcake feminism, a trend focused on playing with the ideals of the 50’s housewife.

more at:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Virgo and August

 This Psalter was made for, and most likely by, a group of Benedictine nuns at the Abbey of Saints Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg, Germany. Although the Psalter itself, along with its calendar, date to the late twelfth or early thirteenth century, a number of texts and prayers were added in the mid thirteenth century. Most striking about the manuscript are its illuminations, which include a prefatory cycle, full-page miniatures and historiated initials. While all are Romanesque in style, they vary greatly in quality and technique, and three or four different artists seem to have been at work. The Claricia Psalter takes its name from one of the initials, which depicts a young girl in secular dress swinging from the initial "Q," who has "Claricia" written around her head. It has been suggested that the image represents a novice artist who signed her work, but there are many other theories, and none are certain.

This Psalter-Hours was made for a Franciscan community in Cologne, Germany, in the late thirteenth century. It is especially notable for its large program of illuminations, which includes roundels in the calendar depicting the labors of the month, two full-page miniatures, fourteen historiated initials, and grotesques perched upon the top of bar borders throughout. It is identical in style to Baltimore, Walters Ms. W.111, and both are related to the style of Liège manuscripts of the 1280s-90s. They are also considered to be stylistic precursors of works by Johannes von Valkenburg, such as two graduals he created for Franciscans in Cologne in 1299 (Cologne, Diözesan Bibliothek Ms. 1B and Bonn, Universitätsbibliothek Ms. 384).