Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Beyond Limits curated by Ginger Shulick Porcella and Denise Carvalho at SDAI

Beyond Limits from Oct 4 to Nov 15 at the San Diego Art Institute (1439 El Prado, sd 92101 in Balboa Park) is curated by SDAI Executive Director Ginger Shulick Porcella and Brazilian curator Denise Carvalho. This exhibition was created to demonstrate that the future of the arts lies on a borderless, multidimensional circuit of experimentation. Featuring both local and international artists, Beyond Limits bypasses all borders that create hierarchies or limit the exchange of ideas. The exhibition features a series of lectures, performances, and video screenings. Watch for works by SD Art Prize artists Einar & Jamex de la Torre, Debby & Larry Kline and New Contemporary artist Margaret Noble. More info: 619.236.0011 

I have to disclose in writing this that I am on the board of the San Diego Art Institute. I am enjoying the changes that are happening at SDAI as it faces the 21st century. One of those changes is the new director Ginger Shulick Porcella who is not only a curator but a great fundraiser and gatherer of community. She worked with Denise Carvealho for two years on this show and it is because of her directorship that we are lucky enough to have this exhibition in San Diego.  

These two women did not choose all the works for the show, but in the spirit of the title Beyond Limits, they allowed the artists to learn about each other and either choose work or create new work suitable for what is really a large collaboration. Ginger was interested in bringing back materials to exhibitions having previously worked with both photography and video. No one should be quick to pigeon hole her as she is a free and lively thinker who I think will continue to surprise us with her very contemporary ideas about the role of art in our society. 

The first thing that strikes you when you enter this cavern of a space under Balboa Park is how transformed it is for this exhibition. Large works fill but don't overcrowd; there is sound coming from all sorts of directions; there are video screens and light works and some black walls instead of the relentless white; and yes, there are sculptures and images, but they all seem to make a whole. You feel that the art is all about a similar subject and so it does not seem confusing but instead it entices you to come and explore.

I can't document the entire show and as always, I am choosing what I can capture and also some of my personal preferences. 

Title Wall

Installation view

Installation view
Einar&Jamex de la Torre, Border Park of Earthly Delights

Debby & Larry Kline, The Post-Apocalyptic Coffee Shop

Debby & Larry Kline, The Post-Apocalyptic Coffee Shop inside

Debby & Larry Kline, The Post-Apocalyptic Coffee Shop ready for Halloween!

Margaret Noble, Dorian’s Gray

Margaret Noble, Dorian’s Gray detail
Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Invisible - Erase Spray deletes 99.5% of the dna you leave behind you and the Replace Spray cloaks the last .5% with dna noise. The video shows you how this works. 

Blane de St. Croix, Two Ends

Blane de St. Croix, Two Ends detail

Mei Xian Qiu, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom

Mei Xian Qiu, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom

Marlon Griffith, Bess Ting and Soldier from The Ballad of Francisco Bobadilla

JaeWook Lee, Nothing But a Symphony - some images from his video that are interspersed with color pulses. This is a jelly fish in motion

JaeWook Lee, Nothing But a Symphony

JaeWook Lee, Nothing But a Symphony

JaeWook Lee, Nothing But a Symphony - violinist with no instrament
OyvindRenberg& Miho Shimizu, Free Townswoman, Seeing Double, and Double Trouble - props from the video scenes on display

Don Porcella, Global Identity Project - hat is made from his chosen media, pipe cleaners and pictured on a variety of subjects.

Hector Canonge, Des-cubrimiento -  the subject is wrapped with a string dipped in red paint and he is shown cutting his way out leaving the white garment and string on display next to the video

Alex Villar, Aboveground - still from video of man mounting a bus

Alex Villar, Aboveground - still from video of man mounting a bus
Jose Hugo Sanchez, Border
 I hope I have tempted to you go see this show. The regular C-Note show is next with local works to be had very inexpensively.
Save the date for the SDAI gala fundraiser called Local Meets Global on Friday. Dec 12. Check the website for details. It should be a blast.

Gauguin to Warhol: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery at SDMA

Gauguin to Warhol: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-KnoxArt Gallery, an exhibition that traces the path of Modern art through iconic 20th century works from this renowned collection in Buffalo, N.Y. is showing at The San Diego Museum of Art from October 4 and runs through January 27, 2015.

We are so fortunate to have this wonderful exhibition visit our city. These are major works by reknown names that are familiar to most art enthusiast. Impressionism, School of Paris, Modernist, Surreal, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Color field and process work are all included. Of course names are left out, but what you view is an excellent representation of what is agreed are some of the best from the period. You can go and learn about how these works lead one to the other as they are display chronologically, or you can go and simply glory in the wonder of the art. 

What stuck me is how little the collection says about the collector besides his desire for the best. John J. Albright  donating funds for a new building and the Albright Art Gallery was dedicated on May 31, 1905. During the 1950's Seymour H. Knox, Jr., became the museum's most influential supporter, not only making possible the building of a new addition  but also amassing a brilliant collection of 700 artworks. Knox was helped by Gordon M. Smith, the director who did forward scouting. Knox was a polo player and charming and gained confidence and funds as director of various large companies: Marine Midland Bank, the F. W. Woolworth Company, New York Central Railroad, and the American Steamship Company. We can really see Knox as a patron in the classical manner who gave money and time to have his vision realized. What we wonder, is role of the 21st century patron?

I have chosen just a few very personal works to illustrate the show and they might not be your choice or even the best of the works in the show. But they spoke to me on this day when all the American sports are playing at one time...baseball, basketball and football. This show is the equivalent of the dream team and it certainly is major league.

Thanks to SDMA and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for the use of these images.

This work from 1012 captures the flurry of motion of this little dog and it's leash as it depicts more than one view of each. Time and motion caught together on canvas and still amazingly charming.
Giacomo Balla:
Dynamising a Dog on a Leash,
1912, oil on canvas
overall: 37 5/8 x 45 1/2 x 2 5/8 inches (95.57 x 115.57 x 6.67 cm)
Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear and Gift of George F. Goodyear, 1964

Contrast the above with a slightly out of character Francis Bacon: Man with Dog, 1953, oil on canvas. A fairly early canvas which speaks of things to come, but in it's own way is also charming.   Did anyone else see glimpses  of Dan Adams in this?
framed: 62 1/4 x 48 3/8 x 2 3/4 inches (158.115 x 122.8725 x 6.985 cm)
Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1955

It is always nice to be suprised by a work you have not seen before and this Jim Dine: Ten Formal Fingers, 1961, wood relief with oil, is one of those. I love the fact that they are fingers looking like match sticks in a box. 
framed: 75 3/4 x 30 1/8 x 4 3/4 inches (192.41 x 76.52 x 12.07 cm)
The Martha Jackson Collection at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1974

This Adolph Gottlieb: Pictographe, 1946, oil on canvas was so seductive with it warm shades of red, pink and corral. 

overall: 37 1/8 x 49 3/16 x 1 1/2 inches (94.30 x 124.94 x 3.81 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson to The Martha Jackson Collection, 1976

I really was stuck with this work by John Beech: Large Elmer Painting, 1993-1995, 2000, glue, turmeric, plywood, steel and MDF...until I read the label. I did not know this artist at all. The soft sheen of the surface is intriguing and I finally remembered where I had seen this effect....dried Elmer's Glue. Could that be the reference to the title. Tumeric gives it the color and shading? Isn't it fun to discover something so simple and so effective. 
overall: 77 1/2 x 35 x 3 inches (196.85 x 88.9 x 7.62 cm) Gift of Natalie and Irving Forman, 2003

I am always glad to see a well planned educational component for an exhibition and SDMA has been improving continually in this regard for the last 10 years. You are offered paper to do traces of shapes on this light box, then able to rub different textures and add color. Adult as you can see here as well as children get to be hands on artists right in the gallery. No appointment necs, not extra fee.  Bravo.

There is an excellent pop up shop also in the exhibition and I was especially taken with these figure puppets of Picasso, Warhol and Dali. I did not include the one of Van Gogh as he had two ears.

I also admired these intensely colored Miro and Delaney inspired embroidered  pillows covered. Art you can lean on!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Maurice Hewitt: PTS Dreams

In October, the Oceanside Arts Walk, produced by the Oceanside Cultural Consortium, in businesses and vacant spaces throughout downtown Oceanside (and even extending down the coast) features 6 venues out of the total of 18 with art by veterans or art concerning the military.  info@oceansideartwalk.org 760.435.3721. Some of those are continuing including the exhibition at Oceanside Public Library (330 North Coast Hwy)

I have chosen to focus on just one artist in this one location. Maurice Hewitt is a well respected photographer who is most often found illustrating the articles by his wife Lonnie Burstein Hewitt in the La Jolla Light. But in these "photopaintings" his voice is personal, humorous, poignant and humble. 

Maurice is a veteran of the Vietnam war. He was seriously wounded in 1968. His body has healed but he has painful flashback even to this day. He found making these images helped his healing and hopes that other veterans might be able to relate to them and start their own healing.

Left Behind: This solitary leg jutting up from the sand is a real image from the war, but here is becomes surreal.

Flashback: It is a bit hidden, but there is a skeleton running through the jungle in this image. Maurice claims that not drinking has helped him eliminate some flashbacks but he feels they will always be with him.

Incoming:: This fantastic image represents a time when Maurice was shortly due to be sent home. It became even more terrifying to think that something could happen to you right before you would be safe. He said," I wanted to climb into my boots." Again the eyeballs starring out at you gives this a very surreal aspect.

ARTS: A Reason to Survive

I was so pleased to finally visit the current home of ARTS: A reason to survive in National City. I had been to ARTS at NTC in Point Loma at Liberty Station but getting myself down south took a bit of effort, although not as much as I thought. Matt D'Arrigo is the co-founder and leader of this non-profit which helps young people to use the arts to heal from trauma and move forward in their lives. An organization like this needs lots of support from all directions. Showing off their new facility is an excellent way to achieve that and I was very impressed to see this very large and well organized plant set in a lovely garden in the middle of municipal buildings which are modern and clean and must be one of the prides of National City. 

In 2013, Inocente won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject Documentary featuring this charming young women who got her start at ARTS. This is so impressive but ARTS is very well structures to creates lots of success stories. Their donor board is arranged much like their mission: Visionary, Healer, Mentor, Empower, Inspire. 

My tour of ARTS was a very personal one by Destinee. After four years at ARTS as a student she is now a part time teacher. In her own voice from William Jennings Bryant, "Destinee is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice.  It is not a thing to be waited for, but a thing to be achieved."  This appears on her own work in the hall of inspiration. 

I attended a little fundraising auction but go and see for yourself how this organization has grown and prospered and is a great model for other cities. It is now perfectly situated in the best location to serve our community.

My tour guide Destinee

Destinee's work in the hall of inspiration

Great pottery studio

Old TV waiting to be recycled in the materials lab

Lots of work from students from the Sweetwater High School

Library captures the wonderful new direction of ARTS

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Nancy Gordon Studio Pottery Sale, Cardiff by the Sea

Nancy Gordon Studio Pottery Sale occurred on Oct 28 but this little gem of a house and studio is open by appointment (760.479.0076  nants@usa.net ) all year round. 2128 Manchester Avenue in Cardiff by the Sea is home to a tiny beach cottage which oozes character. It has been lovingly cared for the last 40 years by this potter who also teaches summer camp and gives birthday parties. There are ceramic bits and pieces in every corner and a huge variety of plants so there is something to see in every nook and cranny. This is a low tech zone, but Nancy does have a website http://nancygordonstudio.com. 
Check it out if you have children or grandchild or in the mood for some hand crafted pottery presents. 

Front garden view to the street
Quantity of pottery for sale

Light filled pottery studio with two electric and one gas kiln

Side patio for lunches and snacks
New line of berry bowls with strainer and under plates average about price $55