Art in San Francisco

If you follow this blog you know I haven’t been posting with the same regularity as in the past. I’ve been showing and traveling a lot. Let me bring you up to speed on what I’ve been up to. Last week I flew to San Francisco for the opening of ArtMarket San Francisco and then returned via Denver, where I participated in an opening at the incredible Space Gallery. I’m not cut out for jet setting—I find all that travel far too stressful and time consuming—but I love the destinations.

View from Pacific Heights down to the Marina, where ArtMarket San Francisco was held. Internet photo

My Home for Two Days
San Francisco was its lovely self. I stayed on Pine Street in Lower Pacific Heights (they wouldn’t dare call it LoPaHe), near Fillmore Street, which leads right down to the Marina. I had a comfy room in a former painting studio behind a quaint blue Victorian nestled between larger buildings. The size of the house is deceiving. The property—the home, a lush backyard garden, and the studio behind  

Top: The Inn facing Pine Street; above: the garden behind the house, which leads to the studio where the guest rooms are (both images from the Artists Inn website)

that—ran the length of a short city block. It’s called the Artists Inn, and with good reason. William Shields, the late husband of the owner, Denise Shields, was a painter whose canvases, constructions and works on paper hold the walls. The best recommendation I can give it is that it’s where I plan to stay whenever I return to San Francisco, which I hope will be often.

Right: the back view of the studio where my room was. That whole second floor was where I stayed. See me waving from the window? Just kidding. I took the photo.

ArtMarket San Francisco
The fair had two openings this year: a special event for the DeYoung Museum on Wednesday evening, and then the opening proper on Thursday evening. It was my first time visiting this fair. I saw many familiar galleries with the work of artists I know and like (the same producer delivered us Miami Project in December and the recent Art on Paper event during Armory Week in New York City). The art-over-the-water concept is not new. New York’s Armory Show is set on piers that jut into the Hudson, but there is no comparing a view of Weehawken with the San Francisco Marina and its breathtaking panorama of the Bay.

Looking down the center aisle of the fair just before it opened on Wednesday evening

Location, location, location, with the city rising behind the Bay.
The Festival Pavilion in the Fort Mason complex is farthest from you in this picture.
Photo: Robert Campbell for Marina

The Adler & Co. Gallery booth 
My destination was the Adler & Co. booth, where my paintings were on display. Cynde and Jim Adler had installed a luminous grid of 16 of my most recent small Silk Road paintings. But since the booth was not just about me, let me tell you what else was there: paintings by Gina Werfel and Michael Rich, a painting and sculpture by the emerging artist Nick Theobald, a couple of large-scale drawings by Michael Scoggins, prints and a fabulous donut painting by Wayne Thiebaud, and a Warhol Polaroid of Muhammed Ali, then Cassius Clay. This is where I spent most of my time, greeting friends and talking with interested art goers. It’s an interesting perspective for one who usually goes from booth to booth. Let me take you around:

The Adler & Co booth with work from John Holt Smith, Nick Theobald, Michael Rich; in the distance, Robert Rauschenberg

Look at the gorgeous surface of Theobald's painting. It's not yarn. It's beeswax

Entering the booth and turning left: two drawings by Michael Scoggins 

The Starry Night was a magnet for 20-something Selfie takers. I preferred it as here, without the hordes 

Continuing from Scoggins, we come to three by Wayne Thiebaud: a luscious donut painting (shown below) and two prints, Neighborhood Ridge and Eight Lipsticks, also shown in closer view below

Thiebaud, a larger-than-life figure in the Bay Area where he lived and worked, is here represented by Three Donuts,  a small 1994 oil on canvas that leans more toward Morandi than Warhol

Moving along the double-wide booth, we come to a Nick Theobald waxed-cloth-and-rope sculpture, John Holt Smith enamel-on-aluminum painting, and a peek at my Silk Road grid

Nice company: The Silk Road paintings were bracketed by Thiebaud and Rauschenberg

The Rauschenbergs are from a series of tire-track prints, cast on the ground. Seeing the juxtaposion of my paintings with these prints, a Facebook friend noted that "road" was the thematic connection

Robert Rauschenberg, Patch (Tracks), 1976; clay, dirt, resin, fiberglass, one of 18 castings

My Silk Road 169, 2013

Silk Road 228, 2014

Silk Road 227, 2014; all encaustic on panel, 12 x 12 inches

View from the aisle: Thiebaud, Theobald, Mattera, Gina Werfel

Making the Rounds
Though I spent most of my time in the Adler booth, I did get to walk the fair several times. Here’s some of what I saw, concentrating on West Coast galleries:

At Gallery Sam, Berkeley: Louise P. Sloane and Richard Anuszkiewicz

At Gregory Lind, San Francisco: Don Voisine and a selection of smaller works by various artists, shown below

At Patricia Sweetow, Oakland: Marcus Linnenbrink

At Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, Oakland: Sabine Reckewell yarn installation

Detail below 

At Newzones Contemporary, Calgary, Canada: Rana Rochat 

At Kathryn Markel Fine Art, New York City: Deborah Zlotsky  and  . . .
 . . .  Josette Urso 

At Traywick Contemporary, Berkeley: Jessica Snow

At Jack Fischer, San Francisco: Ted Larsen, left, and a large installation of paintings by Heather Wilcoxon . (One of the things I liked about this fair is that it was not all about big)

At Morgan Lehman, New York City: Cordy Ryman
Gallery photo

At Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle: Margie Livingston
I've been following Livingston's work since I first saw it at Soil, a Seattle non-profit gallery, at Aqua Art Miami almost a decade ago. She makes sculpture from acrylic paint skin. How fab are these?

A Studio Visit
The next day, I met my buddy Howard Hersh for breakfast and then we headed to his studio for a visit. I’ve known Howard for close to 10 years and his work for longer than that. He maintains a studio in one of the barracks in the San Francisco Navy Yard.

How's this for a studio? 

Howard Hersh's work is focused on structure and dimension. Two concurrent series--one worked on flat panel in encaustic, the other in acrylic on a constructed wooden armature--explore the ideas of implied space versus dimensional space. He states it this way: "One series consists of paintings about structure. The other, of structures about painting."

Work from both series on the walls. Foreground: sawhorses covered in wax, which is where Hersh pours the medium onto his encaustic paintings

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (Google it if you're under 40) would be apoplectic with the waxy buildup here

Looking in the other direction, we see more of the structural work . . .

. . . like the one below, with another in progress, foreground

Another view of the work shown above

Howard has a great little Mercedes sportscar, and we drove around with the top down until the heat got to be too much. Did I mention that it was 90 degrees? It's only relevant because I was wearing my New York black and expecting a spring-like 70-degree day.

After vising a few galleries in Potrero—Hosfelt Gallery, Catharine Clark, George Lawson, Jack Fischer—it was time to head back to the fair. The line to get in was long, always a good sign, though I was able to slip in with my gallery badge. The fair was thronged with artists and collectors. Many Facebook friends stopped into the booth to say Hi. (Thank you for that.) 

It was a cool San Francisco night when I left the fair, illuminated by an almost-full moon, and a cool morning when the taxi picked me up for the airport early the next morning.

Next Post: Denver 

The opening of Pattern: Geometric/Organic at Space Gallery, Denver


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tour of your trip, the fair and Howard's amazing space (and work in progress.
You are so wonderful to share this with your readers.

CMC said...

Thanks so much for sharing, Joanne.

pamelawwallace said...

Agree with Lynette!

Dan Addington said...

Great post, Joanne! Thanks!

annell4 said...

A wonderful post! I loved it, almost thought for a minute I was there!

Christine said...

Ahhh..nothing like a well written, beautifully illustrated, well edited blog post. Such a pleasure to follow along behind and see it through your eyes. Hard to take my eyes off those saw horses of Howard's. Whoa! Thank you!

Art Paintings said...

Loved this wonderful post!!