Friday, July 29, 2011

Driven to Abstraction | Art Critical Featured Review

Driven to Abstraction, A Group Show at Von Lintel Gallery

by Christina Kee

Catherine Howe, Night Painting (Phoenix), 2011. Oil and beeswax on linen, 40 x 40 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Von Lintel Gallery, NY

Catherine Howe, Night Painting (Phoenix), 2011. Oil and beeswax on linen, 40 x 40inches.

"This sampling of contemporary incarnations of abstract painting by eight artists, all of whom are women, evokes a wide range of painterly associations. Strikingly, however, almost all of the works forego the traditional (for abstraction) flat treatment of the picture plane in favor of the kinds of depth inherent to illusionistic space – implying, whether tacitly or overtly, an engagement with depiction.

In the warp-and-woof play of Canan Tolan’s work, for example, a plaid pattern is destabilized by contrasting surface yellows and recessive darks. Carrie Yamaoka’s resin-slick surface of even deeper blues and blacks is alternately inky, cosmic and oceanic in effect. Amy Ellingson and Lisa Corinne Davis employ diagrammatic sensitivity in their constructions of geometric forms. Dannielle Tegeder’s fresh take on Suprematist forms has them ascending towards the extended field of a secondary canvas while Rebecca Smith’s metal wall sculptures suggest forms slipping off the grid in an almost liquid gesture of melting and submersion.

The chaotic underpinnings of abstract process are visible in the wrestling-with-formlessness evident in both Andrea Belag’s big-stroke chromatic transitions and Catherine Howe’s deliciously sloppy tableau of ill-contained areas of color and bursts of materiality.

The exhibition remains on view through Friday, July 29.  There is a closing reception for the show as part of Chelsea Art Walk 2011 on Thursday, July 28, 5-8 PM."

Read original review @ artcritical

Saturday, July 16, 2011

JOHN CHIARA & MARCO BREUER | SF Gate Review | Group Exhibition: Science of Sight: Alternative Photography

Exhibitions skirt mainstream via photo technology

"When the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art hosted a symposium last year titled "Is Photography Over?" I thought it a premature, if not gratuitous, provocation. But several current Bay Area exhibitions have me wondering.

The Haines Gallery's "Science of Sight: Alternative Photography" assembles work by 13 artists from three continents. Each participant deliberately deviates from the methods, tools and rationales conventional in the photographic mainstream.

RayKo Photo Center has in its gallery "No Mirrors: A Juried Show of Camera-less Photography," another sampling of work by people both local and international.

Marco Breuer, who also appears in "Science of Sight," has a solo show at the de Young Museum titled "Line of Sight" that sets photographic works among other light-sensitive objects and things drawn from the museum collections with associative connections to the camera and photographs.

Suddenly artists everywhere seem to be looking for things to do with photographic technology besides shooting pictures."

Read full review @ SF Gate

JOHN CHIARA | ArtSlant Review | Group Exhibition: Science of Sight: Alternative Photography

John Chiara, 15th at Noriega, 2011
Dye Destruction Process
Unique Photograph, 33 x 28 inches
Group Exhibition
Haines Gallery
49 Geary St., Suite 540, San Francisco, CA 94108
June 9, 2011 - July 16, 2011

by Kara Q. Smith

"Certainly science is central to the methodical processes witnessed in Science of Sight: Alternative Photography at Haines Gallery. This is a science of chemicals, of alchemy, of an Otherworld. Light reacts: transgressing the limits of minuscule holes, meeting new levels of exposure.

More than the fundamental techniques needed to produce a photographic image, Science of Sight seeks to expose something less literal:  the mental faculties of sight, a vision evocative of memories and dreams. And it is here, where past techniques capture a contemporary social ethos. Perhaps then, this Science is less a re-creation than it is a re-imagining: an anachronistic rebellion of sorts.

Begging for a soundtrack when one views them, John Chiara's work defies any existing presentation standard I know of with his jaggedly cut photographic prints, stained with uneven chemistry and black smudges. Nonetheless, his images float (from lack of matting) in their white frames as well as on the gallery wall to remind us of a sort of Whistler-esque nocturne that pastorally reminds me of dreams or memories. Emerging from his self-made large-scale camera that he hauls around on the back of his truck, his work embodies a special space in landscape imagery that is emotional and deep, shadowy and reminiscent. Once taken, there is no way to recreate the exact moment of capture."

Read full review @ ArtSlant

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

MARCO BREUER | 'Line of Sight' Art Practical Review

Marco Breuer: Line of Sight 
Marco Breuer Apr 02 - Oct 02 
de Young Museum 

by Brian Andrews

Spin (C-818), 2008;
chromogenic paper, exposed, embossed, and abraded;
10.8 x 8.5 in.

In 2005 when the de Young "museum opened their new Herzog & de Meuron‑designed facility in Golden Gate Park, the museum endeavored to update their engagement with contemporary art practices. Most visibly, five large-scale works were commissioned from blue chip artists to be featured at the building’s opening celebration, including an immense print by Gerhard Richter, a meditation stupa by James Turrell, a glass installation by Kiki Smith, an outdoor sculpture and crack in the landscaping by Andy Goldsworthy, and a series of paintings by Ed Ruscha. Less sensational but potentially more impactful, the de Young also initiated their Collection Connections program with a series of work by local photographer Catherine Wagner. The program debuted with the objective of integrating contemporary practices with the de Young’s eclectic general collection holdings by asking artists to create a body of work both inspired by and displayed with objects from the de Young’s permanent collection. Marco Breuer: Line of Sight is the latest installment in this program.

Breuer’s studio practice engages the technological apparatus of photographic image-making without participating in the act of photography itself. Rather, Breuer tinkers with photosensitive papers, subjecting them to all kinds of nontraditional physical manipulations prior to chemical processing. To create Untitled (Study for Tremors) (2000), Breuer strafed a heating element from an old frying pan across an unexposed sheet of black-and-white silver gelatin paper. After processing, the transformed chemical elements have merged with the toasted charring of the prints’ base in an abstract image reminiscent of Richter’s squeegee-based paintings. In Spin (C-818) (2008), radial scratches illuminate colors on the surface of chromogenic paper, creating a science fiction wormhole effect. Both his technique and its results demonstrate Breuer’s interest in the obfuscation of image content within an artwork by the methods of its construction and accidents of its history."

MARCO BREUER | SFGate: Bay Area Art Picks


Bay Area arts picks

Breuer's eyeline: German-born East Coast photographer Marco Breuer plumbed the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco's collections for objects - from a painting in a state of abandoned conservation to a faded 19th century silk taffeta dress - and combined them with his own work in camera-less photo processes in a show that ricochets ideas around one large room.

"Marco Breuer: Line of Sight." 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Tues.-Sun., 9:30 a.m.-8:45 p.m. Sat. Through Oct. 2. M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, Golden Gate Park, S.F. $6-10. (415) 750-3600. www.famsf.org. 


MARCO BREUER | Group Show Review: Jim Schmidt's keen curatorial eye returns

By Ivy Cooper

"It was tough to see Schmidt Contemporary Art close down earlier this year, but it's good to know that the indispensible Jim Schmidt is continuing to shape the St. Louis art scene.

Now at Philip Slein Gallery, Schmidt has put together an abstraction show that reminds us of his keen curatorial eye and smart insights. On view are a range of works by artists Schmidt featured in his own gallery, including ethereal gridded paintings by Erik Spehn and "Pop Rhythm Painting Green and Red," an explosive-looking work by Ford Beckman. 

There are beautiful passages throughout the gallery...  this is primarily a show of paintings, and a study of abstract possibilities they afford,..

Surprises in the show include Adam Fuss' patterned field made from the imprints of mushroom spores on paper, and Marco Breuer's work on chromogenic paper, scraped to reveal brilliant flashes of hot yellow and gold."