Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mid-week roundup: Bedford Gallery, Asian Art Museum, Chinese Cultural Foundation & Seager Gray Gallery

BLOW UP at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek explores the imaginative ways that artists use air as a tool for creating large-scale sculpture. Inflatable structures connote fun and whimsy, and challenge our everyday, feet-on-the-ground perspective. The show creates a spectacular, immersive environment and taps into our fascination with inflatables with artworks that are surreal, humorous and poetic. (Image courtesy of the Bedford Gallery):

 'Present Tense' at the Chinese Cultural Foundation

Haisu Landskating to music by Mozart

Art from Asia, by native born Asians and by Asians born in America is exploding onto the world stage. The Asian Art Museum is featuring new art from China and the Chinese Culture Foundation opens today with a new exhibit featuring the talents of emerging artists of Asian descent, selected from the MFA programs around the Bay Area.

T​anja Geis takes inspiration from the East Bay and its ecology, focusing her recent work on the mudflat adjacent to the Bay Trail in Richmond, to create a rich tapestry of paintings, sculpture, and video made from and inspired by materials dredged from the Bay. Meanwhile J​Kung Dreyfus creates abstract painting and sculpture which interrogates the space of the computer screen, architecture, and human presence. Her work is sketched in Powerpoint and finished in hand-rendered two and three-dimensional form. C​hiyomi McKibbin makes paintings that speak of the impossible perfection of domestic space as presented in glossy home magazines. Her work fuses aspects of form and function, creating ideas of space and domesticity through painterly abstraction.

J​ingwei Qiu creates large scale sculptural and installation works that explore technology and the global environment. His work blends concerns of how space, language, and landscape are experienced, represented, and altered. O​riginally from Korea, ​Minji Sohn embraces her artistic practice in her daily life. Through her visual work and performances, she reorganizes chaos in color-saturated spaces made for ritualized acts of repetitive counting, marking, and inhabiting. L​astly, H​aisu Tian creates traditional Chinese ink painting with a custom-engineered pair of roller skates, a tool that allows her to work at large scale, and with surprising precision.

Visit the Cantor and enjoy some exquisite drawings. The Bay Area has every form of art on view but seldom that of the Renaissance and Baroque. Looking at this is a reminder of what kinds of artistic skills used to be considered normal and desirable - and are no longer. It's our loss.

 Bernini, Seated Male Nude, 1618-1624

'500 Years of Italian Master Drawings' at the Cantor Arts Center

Seager Gray Gallery

Francis McCormack
 The term “lyrical abstraction” has been used to describe two separate post-war modernist art periods, one related to Abstract Expressionism occurred primarily in France after 1945. Artists such as Jules Olitski, Joan Mitchell and Sam Francis expressed themselves in the language of abstraction, but in a less gutteral, more descriptive form, using movement of brushstroke and generous applications of paint to create paintings of uncommon complexity and beauty. Later, in the 60’s the term “American lyrical abstraction” emerged referring to artists such as Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Natkin who were moving away from geometric, hard-edge, and minimal styles, toward more sensuous, fluid abstractions worked in a loose gestural style.

Ann Weber. Save Me
It is with a nod to those moments in history that we present Contemporary Lyrical Abstraction featuring painters Leslie Allen, Tim Craighead, Frances McCormack, Claudia Marseille and Christine Hayman. In planning the exhibition, we became interested in how some shapes and markings in paintings show up in three-dimensional sculpture. We decided to include the wire sculptures of Emily Payne and cardboard shapes of Ann Weber, creating an interesting dialog between the paintings and 3-dimensional forms.

"28 Chinese” evolved after six trips the Rubells made to China between 2001 and 2012. It includes, as one would expect, work by art star Ai Weiwei but equally importantly, it includes Chinese artists not yet "discovered" and therefore, presenting fresh and challenging art. (now at the Asian - a proper review to come later).

1 comment:

Karen Graham said...

An interesting and eclectic grouping of exhibits. You're right, Nancy, that the Baroque style of sketching is no longer considered "cool."