Saturday, August 29, 2015

"La Lune Blanche" in honor of the full moon

Published on Nov 11, 2012
"La Lune Blanche" from the Forgotten Songs by Charles Loeffler (1861-1935)
Performed by Olga Bykhovsky, mezzo-soprano, Michael Zaretsky, viola, Bill Merrill, piano on October 7, 2012 at Longy's Pickman Hall

La Lune Blanche by Paul Verlaine

Friday, August 28, 2015

'Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Ali‘i' at the de Young

For the Europeans, gold and silver represented wealth. But for early Hawaiians, it was feathers, woven into magnificent garments for their nobility.

The de Young Museum is presenting “Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Ali‘i,“ an exhibition featuring more than 75 examples of Hawaiian featherwork.

Developed in partnership with the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu, this is the first major exhibition of Hawaiian featherwork to be mounted in the continental United States.

More at :

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Happy Birthday Man Ray

"The most successful art to me involves humor."—Man Ray, born on this day in 1890 Agree?

Official site



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

'Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby' at CS Northridge

Comic book fans, begin to get ready to make a road trip. Famed comics artist Jack Kirby (1917-1994), whose work launched The Avengers, X-Men, Captain America, and the Marvel Universe, is the focus of an exhibition at the California State University, Northridge Art Galleries (CSUN). Called the “King” of comic books, he, along with Stan Lee, is the best-known artist in superhero comics. His characters, concepts, and plots became the springboard of the Marvel Universe in comics, in film, and across media. Kirby designed and launched such iconic properties as The Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Thor, The Hulk, and Nick Fury; he co-created Captain America and The Black Panther, and helped launch other Marvel properties such as Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Daredevil. 

More at:

Lovely tribute to Jack Kirby here

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tuesday links: Korean art, Marsden Hartley, naughty French & SF artists fight back

Korea, Korean, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), late 19th century
Paintings. Panel, ink and color on cotton

Geurim - dervied from the verb Geurida - is the pure Korean term meaning to draw or paint. This indgenous Korean language word suggests not only the action of physically making art but also imagination and a more philosophical notion related to the conception and creation of an artwork.

Portrait of a German Officer, 1914, Metropolitan Museum of Art
David Salle on Marsden Hartley

Oh la la..The naughty side of the French:

A Berkeley woman has recovered a treasured family painting, stolen from her home in January, with the help of a website designed to get stolen goods back into the hands of their rightful owners.

New Gallery in Union Square:

Not dead yet - SF’s creative spaces fight back :

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ancient Greek Bronzes at the Getty in L.A.

Portrait of a North African Man, 300–150 B.C., found in Cyrene, Libya. Bronze and bone, 10 5/8 in. high. Image courtesy of  © The Trustees of the British Museum

The Hellenistic period (323 b.c.–31 b.c.) in Greek and Mediterranean history marks a momentous development in the medium of sculpture. Though artists and artisans of the time were inspired by classical subject matter, they were innovative and forward thinking in their own right. They began using bronze, rather than marble, to create statues and honorific portraits more realistic than ever before, and an increasing number of affluent collectors were eager to bring these prized creations into their homes.

“Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World,” an unprecedented new exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, features more than 50 of these ancient sculptures, shedding light on their scale, fine detail, and astonishingly lifelike features. Highlights include a depiction of a perfectly chiseled Herakles from the first century a.d. and a remarkably naturalistic sculpture of a boy removing a thorn from his foot that is more than 2,000 years old.

 Sleeping Eros, 300–100 B.C., Greek. Bronze, 16 1/2 in. high x 33 9/16 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1943 (43.11.4). Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Scala, Firenze

In the Hellenistic period, artists were interested in more than just standard ideal figures. We see the first realistic images of children as children, not as miniature adults, and of older figures with balding heads and pot bellies.

The sculptures in the exhibition appear to be highly individual portraits—look at their furrowed brows, crows’ feet, bulging chins, broken noses, and fleshy cheeks. But because these features appear in more than one portrait, they appear to have been part of the artistic lingo of the time. How lifelike these portraits truly are is hard to say.

Bronze sculpture is made with the lost-wax casting process, a technique that allows for finer detailing than stone carving. Since bronze is strong, metal sculptures could also have more dynamic and emotional forms than marble sculptures.

In antiquity, bronze sculptures were made in multiples and extremely common. The lost-wax casting process allowed for many copies. Thousands of bare pedestals at archaeological sites show us that at one point bronzes were everywhere. Lysippos, sculptor to Alexander the Great, was reported to have made 1,500 bronze statues in his lifetime. None survive today.

Ancient bronze sculptures were melted down for their material, which was recycled into coins and other objects. Only 100 to 200 bronze sculptures from the Hellenistic period survive. The count varies, depending on how you want to count fragments like stray hands and feet.

In a beautiful paradox, the bronzes we have today survived mostly because of disaster, such as volcanic eruptions and landslides. Greed also saved a few, since statues being transported as booty or commercial merchandise were sometimes submerged during shipwrecks. Just in the last 15 years, a handful of significant bronzes have been discovered at the bottom of the sea.

Today ancient bronze sculptures are various shades of green and gray, due to oxidation. But when first made they would have been a shiny, reflective brown, like tan skin in the Mediterranean sun. Bronze allows for an play between light and shadow that must have been a delight to see when the sculptures were originally displayed in public.

Because of their rarity, Hellenistic bronze sculptures are most often displayed in museums as isolated masterpieces. This exhibition, the largest of its kind ever staged, is the first to present these works in their larger contexts. When viewed in proximity to one another, the variety of styles and techniques employed by ancient sculptors is emphasized to greater effect, as are the varying functions and histories of the sculptures. Bronze was a material well suited to reproduction, and the exhibition provides an unprecedented opportunity to see objects of the same type, and even from the same workshop, together for the first time since their ancient creation.

Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World is on view July 28 to November 1, 2015, at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center. The exhibition was organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington with the participation of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's come to this? Jewish American musician ousted from a music festival in Spain.

 What's next - forcing all Jews not living in Israel back to gated ghettos? How about forbidding them to practice a long list of professions and wearing a yellow star? Do people even realize how close all of this is getting to both the Medieval and Nazi treatment of Jews?

It’s come to this. Now you don’t have to take a hit from Muslim extremists only if you mock their Prophet Mohammad the way Charlie Hebdo cartoonists did in January. All you have to do is be a singer who is Jewish who doesn’t want to take a loyalty oath to the extremists’ agenda.

If there was ever a case that showed the true face of BDS, the saga of Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu and his ouster from a music festival in Spain might well be it.

BDS has revealed itself as a hate group that targets Jews because of their (BDS's) political views. And its members will use pressure tactics to silence those who think differently than they do.

Not content with targeting artists from Israel, the BDS bullies have moved to targeting artists who support Israel, like Matisyahu, who is American.

The BDS bullies pushed the festival to demand that Matisyahu issue a statement in support of Palestinian statehood, a condition not placed on any other artist at the festival. The BDS singled him out as a “lover of Israel,” according to Reuters.
The BDS wasn’t alone in its discrimination. According to Rolling Stone magazine, “Other artists at the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival threatened to pull out of the festival since they felt that he, as a Jewish American, was ‘seen to represent Israel.'”

As an American Jew, he was seen to represent Israel.

In a statement published on Facebook, Matisyahu said that his music was non-political. He also slammed the festival for singling him out. “Honestly it was appalling and offensive, that as the one publicly Jewish-American artist scheduled for the festival they were trying to coerce me into political statements.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

'Astley D. M. Cooper and Mrs. Stanford's Jewels,' at the Cantor Arts Center

Many who visit the Cantor Arts Center must have wondered where the trompe l'oeil paintings of the magnificent jewelry displayed in the first galleries originally came from. Now, "Astley D. M. Cooper and Mrs. Stanford's Jewels," at the Cantor Arts Center, explores the life of this now little known artist. The show features 15 works from painter Astley D. M. Cooper, including Wild West scenes, landscapes, oddball portraits, a few seascapes, a giant buffalo head and his famous still life of Jane Lathrop Stanford's jewelry collection. Some of the pieces on display were even a surprise to the show's curator, Annie Ronan, who just finished her Ph.D. in Stanford's Department of Art & Art History. "I didn't realize he painted landscapes," Ronan said. "He's mostly known as a Western painter. It turns out he was working in all these different genres. And the cool thing is that he's also directly referencing cinema in a lot of ways."

Nationally recognized during his time but largely forgotten in our own, painter Astley D. M. Cooper (1856–1924) used a faux Egyptian temple as a studio, paid off bar debts with paintings, and threw the wildest parties that San Jose, California had ever seen. With their luscious colors and trompe l’oeil trickery, his landscapes, portraits, and wild western scenes aimed to both please and astonish. To this day, he has a following among those who collect early California art.

The namesake painting in the show, "Mrs. Stanford's Jewel Collection" (1898) is owned by Stanford University. As the story goes, Jane Stanford commissioned Cooper to paint a still life of her jewelry, but the teetotaler did not approve of Cooper's lifestyle. She insisted he show up nicely dressed and sober. As a result, he bailed from the scene and finished the painting at home before displaying it in a local saloon. Stanford later dispatched an assistant to fetch the painting.

Astley David Middleton Cooper was born in St Louis, Missouri on December 22, 1856, the son of Fannie Clark O’Fallon and Dr. David M. Cooper, an eminent surgeon. At an early age, A. D. M. Cooper was fascinated with the Indian paintings of George Catlin, a close friend of the Cooper family. After attending Washington University, he traveled throughout the West as an illustrator for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. At age twenty he was in the West at the time of the Custer massacre and became famous as a painter of the Old West and Indians.

In 1879 he moved to San Francisco and became active with the local art association. Upon establishing a studio, he was in demand as a portraitist and painted several studies of General U. S. Grant. In 1883 he moved to East San Jose where he later built a unique studio-home in Egyptian style, entertained lavishly and became known for his wild parties.

He was also an accomplished violinist and often sat in with local orchestras. In his later years he painted allegorical scenes with semi-nude women and several trompe l'oeil studies. On rare occasions he signed his paintings "A. Dubernet" or "David Middleton." In his more lucid moments, Cooper was capable of producing masterpieces; however, due to his affinity for alcohol his paintings are uneven in quality. "We hear the story, 'Oh, this guy was drunk all the time, he put paintings in bars,' but here was a serious artist who really defined what kind of art was being done in this area," Ronan says. "And speaking in a very clear voice. You get a lot of his personality in his works."

This exhibition, curated by Annie Ronan, PhD, Department of Art & Art History, explores Cooper’s life as well as the Bay Area Bohemia out of which he first emerged.

Where you can see his work:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

World Elephant Day

Hansken by Rembrandt. The only 17th century elephant with it's own website:  #worldelephantday

From Steffen Hope ‏Also, here's Matthew Paris' two elephants: … #WorldElephantDay

Elephants AND dragons. hip hip hooray!

Who could resist Sandra Boyton's delightful elephant with balloon? 

Monday, August 10, 2015

'San Francisco: Rebirth of the Enduring City' at the Robert Tat gallery

View of the Panama Pacific Expo. Library of Congress Public Domain use. 

One hundred years ago, San Francisco held a great fair. Known as the Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), it was organized to celebrate the rebuilding of San Francisco after the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire. To celebrate this anniversary, the Robert Tat Gallery is presenting photographs picturing the scope of San Francisco history--from the 19th century to the present day. More than 30 vintage images dating from 1851 to the 1960s are on view in “San Francisco: Rebirth of the Enduring City."

Gallery Director Robert Tat explains: “While the mostly architectural photographs of the Fair itself are beautiful, our exhibition places them in context. The Exposition was a celebration of rebirth, so we want to show the city as it was as well as the city that later emerged. The scope and breadth of the exhibition gives one a sense of the varied history of the city, and what makes San Francisco such a marvelous place to live and visit."

Mayor Rolph opening the expo
The Panama Pacific Exposition took over three years to construct and had great economic implications for the city that had been almost destroyed by the great earthquake and fire of 1906. The exposition did much to boost the morale of the entire Bay Area and to help get San Francisco back up on its feet. The fair ran from February 20th until December 4th, 1915 -- and was widely considered to be a great success.

Officially, the exposition was a celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal, and also commemorated the 400th anniversary of the discovering of the Pacific Ocean by the explorer, Balboa. San Francisco was only one of many cities hoping to host the PPIE. New Orleans was its primary rival, but in 1911 after a long competition of advertising and campaigning, President Taft proclaimed San Francisco to be the official host city.

The tallest, most well-recognized building of the PPIE was the Tower of Jewels. Standing 43 stories tall, the building was covered by more than a hundred thousand colored glass "jewels" that dangled individually to shimmer and reflect light as the Pacific breezes moved them. There were many other palaces, courts, state and foreign buildings to see at the fair – however most of them were made of a temporary plaster-like material, designed to only last for the duration of the fair. Luckily, one of the primary exposition buildings, the Palace of Fine Arts, was not torn down with the rest of the buildings, and was completely reconstructed in the 1960's.

Described by Tat as a “cavalcade” of images, the retrospective begins with a rare panorama made from two daguerreotypes of the San Francisco waterfront before April, 1851. Other 19th century photographs of the early city include views by Carleton Watkins, I. W. Taber, William Henry Jackson and others, dating from the 1870s. “California Street From Sansome Street, San Francisco,” taken by Isaiah West Taber in 1875, shows the hilly thoroughfare as it looked in the days of horses and buggies and early cable cars.

Images of Market Street and Mission Dolores by William Henry Jackson reveal a turn-of-the-century landscape. Jackson used the Photochrom process, which involved a “litho stone” and some chemical interaction, to color his photos. The exhibition continues with images of the destroyed city just after the earthquake. A vintage Arnold Genthe photograph made a day or two after the quake reflects the horror and devastation, along with the prevailing spirit of the survivors. An R. J. Waters panorama made one year after shows a partially re-built city.

Then, on to the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition with vintage prints depicting the classical architecture of the Fair by Studio Cardinell-Vincent (official PPIE photographer), Francis Bruguiere and others. Of particular note is a grouping of vintage hand-colored views of the fair. The show’s centerpiece features the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and includes hand-colored silver prints of its architecture and splendor. Frequently photographed structures include the Tower of Jewels, the exposition’s central building. An image of the Palace of Fine Arts is by Francis Brugiere, who was known for experimenting with multiple exposures.

The exhibition concludes with 20th century images of the mid-century and modern city, including works by Perkle Jones, Moulin Studios, Horace Bristol, Vern Sutcher and others. Of particular interest is the dramatic-looking “Tower, San Francisco Bay Bridge Under Construction” which was taken in 1936 by Horace Bristol, a Depression-era artist who also worked with John Steinbeck.

Robert Tat Gallery.  49 Geary Street, Suite 410, San Francisco. Wednesday - Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m; Tuesday by appointment.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

International Cat Day

It's International Cat Day today. And every other day of the year as well as far as they are concerned. Here’s a note of thanks for my friend Linda and all the volunteers who feed and take care of the numerous feral cats in the SF Bay Area. If you love cats, look into helping out by finding a rescue group near your home. Or adopt a cat from the numerous ones at animal shelters. Cherish your four legged friends. It’s not only good karma, it’s the right thing to do.

is the purrfect day to download created by the .

Compilation of the Webs Finest!: - News - ArchivesOn International World Cat Day...
Did you know the ancient Egyptian word for 'cat' was 'miw’?!

 The cat-goddess Bastet, daughter of Re, Egypt 715-343 BC. Bronze statue. #InternationalCatDay

A compilation of the coolest cats on the Internet:

36 Cat Facts for International Cat Day

Let's not kid ourselves. Cat cafes are nothing new!

Did you know Amsterdam has a museum entirely devoted to cats?
For InternationalCatDay, here are 10 great pictures of cats and books: 

All animal rights:

We'll leave you with this classic from the archives for International Cat Day: Henry's Cats … 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Roots Division, Poetry Marathon, Lava Thomas in Berkeley and more

The focus for this Bay Area weekend events is on the quirky, the offbeat and the unusual. Outside Lands will be holding its annual 3-day musical bacchanal at the outer edges of Golden Gate Park. "Pistahan 2015: Filipino Cultural Festival and Parade" will be marching down Market Street to SF's Civic Center, featuring ceremonies, festivals, dance and food.

Roots Division prepares to open their new space with a hymn of tongue-in-cheek praise to the Mission’s old, slow and sometimes unruly No. 14 Bus. “14 Rapid: Transit & Transition” Mission Themed Art & Performances “

In "14 Rapid: Transit and Transition," twelve artists consider the #14 Bus line, and the evolution of Mission Street in a variety of media including performance, video, painting, sculpture and photography. Mission Street is a main artery through a variety of the fastest changing neighborhoods in San Francisco. The #14 Muni bus line runs from Daly City to SoMA and carries passengers representing the enormous cultural diversity that San Francisco’s Crocker Amazon, Excelsior, Mission District and SoMa residents represent.

The exhibition will be presented at 2293 Mission Street, a restaurant space made available for their use. Root Division are partnering with Citizen Fox, the newest restaurant project by longtime Root Division supporter Deborah Blum, to offer an evening of art, and innovative plant based food. 2293 Mission St, San Francisco, CA. Reception: Saturday, August 8, 6-10 p.m.

Bay Area Poetry Marathon: Co-founded and curated by poet Donna de la Perrière, the Marathon began in Boston in 2001 and has taken place in various gallery and performance venues around San Francisco, including Alley Cat Books, Artists’ Television Access, The Emerald Tablet, The Lab, & The Writer’s Studio at California College of the Arts, since 2004.

Saturday, August 8.  7:30 p.m. 
Artists’ Television Access, 992 Valencia (in the Mission) Guest curator: Zoe Tuck. Readers: Elana Chavez, Madison Davis, Rob Halpern, Geraldine Kim, Tessa Micaela, Monica Mody, Maisha Quint, & Cosmo Spinosa

Saturday, September 26 Р100 Thousand Poets For Change. Curator: Donna de la Perri̬re. Readers: Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Lisa Cattrone, MK Chavez, Steffi Drewes, Rachelle Linda Escamilla, Daphne Gottlieb, Erika Staiti, & Elizabeth Treadwell

The Mask of the Artist: Works From Our Stable of Ten." Ten artists were given a free hand to portray themselves in any disguise they wanted. The mask can hide, disguise and even transform the public persona – what lies behind the mask? Maybe only Alexandre Dumas knew. The San Francisco Gallery. 441 Jackson Street San Francisco, CA 94111, USA Wednesday, through Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lava Thomas at the Berkeley Art Center. Like her recent show at MoAD, Lava Thomas mines African-American history to make viewers reflect, preferably uncomfortably but certainly thoughtfully, on African-American identity in America. "Looking Back and Seeing Now" challenges the viewer to consider the tambourine not only as a simple instrument used in folk and gospel music, but also as a tool of protest and a repository for resistance and hope. The tambourine provided the rhythm for protest songs ad marches during the civil rights movement. It also recalls the complicated role that the church has played as a locus of community. Together, the drawings and the installation serve to connect past and present, artist and audience, in an ongoing revelation of shared histories, struggles and aspirations.

The tambourines, adorned with mirrors and digital drawings of eyes, are hung from the gallery ceiling,  The drawings are inspired by a discovery that Thomas made when she was in Decatur, Texas, attending the funeral of her best friend’s mother and visiting the family graves. While she was there, Thomas found an album of her grandmother's. The photos in the album were of early 20th century African-American women. She was immediately drawn to the women, feeling that discovering their images in an unmarked photo album was no accident was no accident.

“I don’t know if the women I’ve drawn are actually relatives of mine or not, but I suspect they are,” says Thomas. “I was struck by the arresting power in their gazes, their defiance, power and also sadness.” She spent 18 months carefully drawing two women from the album, then incorporating the tambourines (which Thomas played in church as a girl) “as a kind of elegy” and, finally, the mirrors — “so I could see my own reflection, and the reflections of the drawings,” says Thomas.

Lava Thomas: "Looking Back and Seeing Now." 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Through Aug. 23. Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St., Berkeley. (510) 644-6893.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Last week in art

A roundup via Christie's on Twitter:

Pride of Pinner … this Ming Vase was found on a suburban bookcase. Photograph: Terry Smith/Rex Shutterstock 

Ai Weiwei denied six-month UK visa: The British government claims the artist lied on his application form, in a move that has sparked outrage from his London gallery. The Home Secretary reviews and then grants the visa

Tate Britain names Alex Farquharson new Director: The founding director of Nottingham Contemporary has been named successor to Penelope Curtis — news that has been broadly welcomed across the art world. (The Telegraph)

Sydney set to approve investor’s $32 million answer to MONA: Billionaire arts philanthropist Judith Neilson submits proposal to build a major gallery and theater
(The Sydney Morning Herald)

Whitney Museum receives $2 million for educational programming: The gift, from billionaire Steven A. Cohen and his wife Alexandra, will allow the New York institution to boost its engagement with schools and the community

Metropolitan Museum draws record crowds: The institution drew 6.3 million visitors last year, buoyed by a spate of well-attended shows and a seven-day-a-week schedule  (The New York Times)

Why do so many art galleries lose money? The art business is booming but many galleries are barely getting by. One German expert thinks he knows why. Here's a clue; it's because of high rents and artists' demands. (Bloomberg)

Seattle to host first large-scale art fair in years: Featuring galleries including Pace and Gagosian, the 2015 Seattle Art Fair is the brainchild of Microsoft co-founder and art collector Paul Allen (The New York Observer)

Tate announces ‘blockbuster’ exhibitions for 2016: Major retrospectives will present work by Georgia O’Keeffe, Francis Bacon, Robert Rauschenberg and Paul Nash
(The Financial Times - registration required + paywall.)

Could there be a masterpiece lurking in your home? What really happens when you find a Ming vase on a shelf, or a Michelangelo behind the sofa?(the Guardian)

The Costa del Sol now has an art fair: A popular holiday destination, the region is attempting to turn itself into an art hotspot with new event Art/Marbella
(Huffington Post)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

' Luminous Worlds: British Works on Paper, 1760-1900' at the Legion of Honor

Burne Jones

William Blake

Richard Dadd

John Constable

"Luminous Worlds: British Works on Paper, 1760-1900” at the Legion of Honor is more than an addendum to the de Young's major exhibition, “J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free.” By culling relevant works from the holdings of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts and private S.F. collections, the show shines a spotlight on not only the drawings, watercolors and oil sketches of Turner but also on those of contemporaries like William Blake, John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough.

More at: