Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bay Area art events for the week of July 7th

In July, while the rest of the country is enduring three-digit temperatures, San Franciscans are reaching for their sweaters. The fog, affectionately known on Twitter by his handle @KarltheFog, is hanging around the Golden Gate Bridge and keeping the city cool. But there are plenty of art happenings to heat things up.

 SF Public Works have decided to do fandom one better with an exhibit dedicated to Bill Murray, the master of the stone-faced, one-line zingers. "The Murray Affair," an appreciation of the actor, opens on August 8th.

Tickets are on sale for $10-15. There will be live musical entertainment. No word yet on whether King Bill will make an appearance but hope springs eternal.

For those interested in submitting their own masterpieces, "The Murray Show" is taking submissions for art. You have until July 21 to send your secret collection of Murray portraits to curators Ezra and Julia Croft. Address any questions to THEBILLMURRAYARTSHOW@GMAIL.COM

                       Jay De Feo. Untitled/Collage. Courtesy Hosfelt Gallery

Collage is the material in two different shows, one at Hosfelt Gallery and another at Arc Studio and Gallery. The artists using collage material go far beyond the scissors and paste technique that many of us learned in kindergarden. Hosfelt Gallery gathers a who's who of artists - Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, William T. Wiley, Ed Ruscha and others who work with paper but also silicone, human hair, odds and ends, and the occasional large utility item, including a stuffed alligator. 

The title, "Holding It Together," most obviously refers to the adhesive used to make an assemblage or collage, but also alludes to the concepts that unify the diverse images or objects into a discrete entity. Colloquially, the title refers to maintaining your sanity or keeping your cool through physical or emotional difficulty.

Jess's work is his usual jungle foliage of imagery, layered into a dense and impenetrable complex vision and topped by an irritable Buddha.  Rina Banerjee draws on her multi-cultural and racial heritage to expand the definition of collage into and beyond installation. She works stuffed alligators, ostrich eggs, light bulbs, fish bones, feathers and umbrellas into a 21st century vision (nightmare) of a turquoise-limbed Kali, residing in a room papered with fuchsia peonies. It has to be seen to be believed.

Through August 16, 2014. Reception: Saturday, July 12, 4 - 6 p.m.

Opening Reception of the “Collage-a-Rama” Bay Area Exhibition at Arc on Saturday, July 12th 7-9 p.m.  http://www.arc-sf.com/collage-a-rama.html

 Benny Andrews. "Portrait of a Black Madonna" (1987)

This year marks the 50th anniversary of both civil rights legislation and the Freedom Summer -and sees the renewed fight to regain what has been lost by current Supreme Court Decisions.  So,"African American Art in the 20th Century: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond", a traveling survey exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum, couldn't be more timely or more powerful.

  Romare Bearden's intricate "Prevalence of Ritual Suite" (1974)

The more than 100 paintings, sculpture, prints and documentary photographs by black artists who lived through and documented the times come from the Smithsonian American Art Museum collections. The Crocker Art Museum is the only West Coast venue for this stunning survey of African American visual heritage, its rich sources, and future directions. The 48 featured artists include not only icons of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance but lauded figures of the 20th century's major artistic movements. Included are such artists as William H. Johnson, Alma Thomas, Jacob Lawrence, Sam Gilliam, as well as assemblage artist Renee Stout.

Among the works on view: "Portrait of a Black Madonna" (1987), Benny Andrews' evocative oil and collage depicting a woman in a flowered housedress and shawl seated at a table with a vase of blooms which shows influences as diverse as the Fauves and Matisse; a pair of lively, intricate prints that Romare Bearden's intricate "Prevalence of Ritual Suite" (1974); Gordon Parks' black & white photographs of Harlem and Muhammad Ali training for a fight; and two flavorful pieces on paper by Jacob Lawrence: "Community" (1986), a study for a mural; and "Bar and Grill" (1941).

Jacob Lawrence painted "Bar and Grill" shortly after arriving in New Orleans in late summer 1941. Although he had just finished the sixty panels of his epic Migration series, he had only second-hand knowledge of the South, being a native New Yorker.

"Bar and Grill" shows the interior of a cafĂ© that is divided by a floor-to-ceiling wall that separates the commercial space into two realms—one occupied by whites, the other by blacks. Apart from obvious segregation by race, the image also reveals status. White customers drink in comfort, cooled by a ceiling fan above. The number of figures occupying each side of the room reflected the white-black ratio of city residents.

Living in a southern city where legislation required that he ride in the back of city buses and live in a racially segregated neighborhood, Lawrence discovered the daily reality of Jim Crow segregation. This experience emerged in "Bar and Grill" and other paintings that dealt with what he called "the life of Negroes in New Orleans."
https://crockerartmuseum.org/ Through Sept. 21.

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