Recommendation by DeWitt Cheng
Continuing through August 31, 2017
The San Francisco satirist Ambrose Bierce defined painting as “the art of protecting flat surface from the weather and exposing them to the critic.” San Franciscan Chad Hasegawa, known for his mural work, has created a body of abstract paintings on canvas that focuses on the issues of working outside (although, curiously, there is no mention of exposure to sidewalk critics): i.e., dealing with “wind, dust, and all angles of direct sunlight of all hours of the day.” Hasegawa aims for long-term survival “as if [the works] were outside in heavy conditions” — as well as for the immediate visual impact necessary for the street.
These large latex (“bucket paint”) and acrylic works, with their geometric shapes, eccentric and sometimes complex, suggesting three dimensions; their taped edges; and their textured paint, are monumental, in accordance with the artist’s admiration for the abstract expressionists Franz Kline, Phillip Guston, Joan Mitchell and Robert Motherwell; yet they’re also personal, befitting their inspiration in the traditional quilts of the artist’s native Hawaii, where these handmade objects are regarded as serious artifacts (as some of us continue to regard paintings). Hasegawa’s palette derives from the “royalty colors” of Hawaiian kings and queens, as do his high-contrast graphic compositions, which derive not from the natural world, as do traditional quilts, but today’s cultural world, and personal associations. Four small paintings, “Kahuku,” “Waianae,” “Haleiwa” and “Kapo Lei,” aligned vertically, constitute a symbolic map of four districts of Honolulu. The large works from the "Lean On & Against" series exemplify Hasegawa’s aesthetic of harmony through contrast, of painterly intuition layered into dynamic equipoise.
Gugger Petter debuts September 10th at the Denver Art Museum
'“Stampede” is a major exhibition in every sense of the word, drawing from all the collections across the museum’s nine curatorial departments. Its breadth is meant to give visitors a sense animal’s ubiquitous presence across time and culture by highlighting how much we take for granted our dependence on them for not only work and food, but companionship, emotional stability and symbolic meaning, whether cultural or political.'
An International Show of Cute
June 22 – August 27, 2017
Sweet’n Low will feature artwork from ASG's Gwen Manfrin in a part invitational and part juried exhibition.
Thursday, June 22, 6:00–8:00pm
Inside the Lesher Center for the Arts
1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek
Tuesday through Sunday,
Noon to 5:00 pm; and 6:00 – 8:00 pm when there are theater productions in the LCA.
Presenting the fifth solo exhibition by Gugger Petter entitled Tabletops & Portraits.
"My execution of each piece emphasizes the textured surface and the newspaper material. This creates a visual tension between texture and image, while also presenting a blurring between representation and abstraction". - Gugger Petter.
This is what SF/Arts curator Christian L. Frock had to say about Gugger Petter: Tabletops & Portraits:
Gugger Petter’s work is based on manipulations of newspaper that reference both sculpture and textiles, with an element of the conceptual as well. Given that Petter works from time-stamped documents, each reflecting the social issues and concerns of their time, the resulting constructions offer an abstracted diary of sorts, reflecting both larger world events and a moment in the life of the artist.
Unlike those who struggle to find their passion in life, the path appears to have been always clear for San Francisco-based Piero Spadaro. “It came as no real surprise,” said Spadaro, “that the only colleges I applied to were art schools.” At Urban School, “an arts magnet high school in the Haight,” he worked with well-established artists, like Jennifer Starkweather and Kate Randall, who encouraged him to attend the arts-focused Oxbow School in Napa.
At Oxbow, Spadaro was won over by a recruiter from MICA, the Maryland Institute College of Art. “Baltimore is a challenging city in a lot of ways... it’s a very heated environment. But in the end we had a lot of freedom—I was able to really experiment.” While etching was his first love, for his senior thesis he created a body of silkscreen prints inspired by the experience of living in a country under the shadow of war. “I was interested in the idea of commemoration, and how night footage of bombings looked just like fireworks... in how we perceive things, the role of media, and kitsch.” He recalls, “So for my thesis I did a series of explosions in glitter, on black vel- vet. Pretty wild, because they enticed you in and then they bit you.” Spadaro acknowledges a connection to Warhol, who similarly used screen printing, with glitter or diamond dust—and often tackling dark subject matter—also mentioning the work of Michael Mazur as being of particular significance, “but I really fell in love with Goya, with ‘The Disasters of War.’”
Moving back to San Francisco when he graduated, Spadaro’s process- oriented painting technique has evolved from his printmaking experience. Spadaro created a series of abstract works in mixed- media on panel, including French Enamel Varnish, or FEV—shellac thinned down with denatured alcohol, and mixed with dyes or pig- ments. Many of these earlier works “are about signifiers, for example how a horizontal line implies the horizon, and therefore landscape,” perhaps churning masses of ultramarine adjacent to a calmer area of blue-black “where the blue of the sky meets the blue of the sea...” Continuing to explore the use of glitter, he also began to use acrylic resin in some of the work.
Spadaro recently mounted a one-man exhibi- tion, “Razzle Dazzle,” at Andrea Schwartz Gallery. While coming up with ideas for a new series, Spadaro was watching an antiques road show about camouflage techniques used in World War I. “It was about what they called ‘Razzle Dazzle’ camouflage,” designed to mask the bow and stern of the boat. “I loved the idea of it being hidden by being blatant,” he explains, adding that “the cubists felt slighted for not being given credit for its devel- opment,” since the patterns used related so strongly to their work. “Ultimately,” he laughs, “it was not deemed a success in any way.”
Researching the term further, Spadaro kept finding more and more references to the phrase in the context of over-the-top fashion and jewelry; enjoying the double meaning, Spadaro brings pop culture into play with contemporary references to the blinged-out or hip in his titles. The enthusiastically-titled YAAAAAS (2017) places an art-deco-looking band of dark purple shapes, elongated dia-monds and triangles, atop a field of brilliant magenta-hued glitter. We may lose ourselves in the areas of diffusion, or meditate on the pat- tern on repeat. Firmly grounded in the tradition of color field painting, with areas of staining meeting more dense passages of pigment, YAAAAAS offers an optical treat as the warm purple glitter sparkles atop an underpainting in a dull, greenish-gold color, the pair mixing visually to create an unusual, vibrating hue.
One of the most striking works is On Fleek (2017), a large-scale work in a pale blue green, “the color taken from the tourmaline.” The title phrase, derived from “fly” and “sleek,” and originally relating to shaping the eyebrows, suggests anything that is, as Spadaro puts it, “really well put together... over-coiffed.” With concentric rectangles in shades of gray sug- gesting a portal to another dimension, Spadaro notes as well that the geometric elements are drawn from the world of gemstone cutting, “this one is the emerald cut.” With brilliantly- hued passages of glitter encased in sparkling coats of resin, these works are themselves, quite simply, dazzling. “There is definitely an idea of meditation, or the mandala, inherent in the practice.” Spadaro reflects “For myself, I need to create light. There’s a lot of dark out there right now. The way the works capture, bounce and essentially emit light—that, I hope, is the gift.”
Opening Reception : Friday, May 12th 2017
Time: 7 – 10pm
Dates: May 12 – June 12, 2017
"The Luggage Store is excited and proud to feature, “Lil SWIM”, curated by Yarrow Slaps and Auguste Somers of the artist collective SWIM Team. SWIM was founded in 2013 to bring artists and and other creative people together to connect and collaborate, and first participated in the Luggage Store’s “Short Cuts” program, a mentoring program for young artists predominantly of color.
Swim has since grown and expanded into a dynamic network of mostly young artists who make art, clothing, music. Swim releases limited edition clothing, runs a blog and drops mix tapes; and they have also gained curatorial experience in the past four years."
ASG is pleased to announce Time Out featured our current Gugger Petter show Tabletops & Portraits!
Opening Reception, May 10:
Gugger Petter: Tabletops and Portraits, Andrea Schwartz Gallery
In her fifth solo exhibition, Gugger Petter uses manipulated newspapers to paint her tabletop scenes and portraits. The result is a multi-layered look at the artist's present day life. Beneath the surface of the initial paintings lie the actual social issues, concerns, and news of the day - literally. May 3 through June 9, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, 545 4th Street, San Francisco.
Tom Bolles, 15 Bars in Blue, acrylic on canvas - 66 x 66 inches
San Francisco based curator, critic, collector and educator DeWitt Cheng describes ASG's current show continuing through April 28, 2017:
The title of Tom Bolles' show, “Reverence," might be considered as a reaction against our hectic, intemperate era, invoking the slow, sympathetic attention formerly accorded to creative art. Bolles, who considers a work successful when it attains “an indefinable and elusive balance of color, light and texture,” clearly wants viewers to look carefully, as artists do, at a wide range of artists from various eras and cultures. Elaine de Kooning joked about her continual surprise at finding paint still on canvases in exhibitions in the wake of voracious scrutiny by her husband Willem and Franz Kline.
In his 2015 show, titled “Stripes,” Bolles, who had formerly built up his color abstractions slowly, alternating intricate brushwork with multiple glazes, began using a computer in order to execute what might be considered his underdrawing — in the digital building blocks of zeros and ones. These characters remain visible here and there beneath the color he applies later, implying, not for the first time, that mathematics is the underlying reality. Bollles synthesizes digital and traditional painting techniques to create hypnotic fields of color. Three square-format acrylic paintings on canvas, “15 Bars in Magenta,” “15 Bars in Blue,” and the slightly smaller “13 Bars in Blue” read as dark, soft-edged registers overlapping colored backgrounds, as if blurred by overwritten text. We associate such minimalist subject matter (with its mystic, transcendentalist implications) with hard-edged, machine-perfect facture. As Bolles’ painterly ‘handwriting’ becomes clear, the texture of the canvas remains evident as well. Transcendence and mystery are inscribed in these modernist manuscripts, both dark and luminous.
In addition to the canvases, Bolles shows thirteen shaped digital prints of the stripe images already noted; of bullseye motifs in a circular tondo format; and of oblong rectangles shaped to curve out sculpturally in the middle, like drawn bows, or catenary arches. One of the tondos is entitled “Ode to Tadasky,” Tadasky being a New York maker of Shinto shrines with ties to Op Art. Viewers of a meditative bent will find Bolles’ subdued lyricism, to quote the photographer Walker Evans’ holy trinity, “literate, authoritative and transcendent.”
Arts in April Artist Reception: Thursday, April 20, 6:00 - 7:30 | Complimentary wine tasting & hors d'oeuvres
John Belingheri, Totem - Parasols, oil on canvas - 50 x 50 inches
April - June 2017
ASG is thrilled to be a partner with Bardessono Hotel and Spa and to once again celebrate Arts in April. Join us on April 20th at the reception from 6:00 - 7:30 PM to view new works by John Belingheri, Albert Dicruttalo, Gugger Petter, John Nelson, Piero Spadaro and more!
Vice President of Operations for Bardessono, Sileshi Mengiste: "We are proud to continue to present beautiful, new pieces throughout Bardessono during Arts in April and value our partnership with Andrea Schwartz Gallery."