"A Trip Down (False) Memory Lane"

Curator Jessica Silverman taps into legendary queer bar history

PREVIEW The Lexington Club is an underground landmark of San Francisco. If you're queer, and especially if you're a lesbian, the bar has probably played a role in your life at one point or another, and something important probably went down there, by the jukebox or in a graffiti-lined bathroom. In "A Trip Down (False) Memory Lane," curator Jessica Silverman of Silverman Gallery taps into the Lexington's importance and its history through an ambitious but also human-scale group show that's been more than a year in the making.

The Lexington has hosted some excellent art at times (I've seen paintings by Alicia McCarthy there, for example), though you might not know it. "About a year ago, I was there and I asked [some bar-goers] what show was up, and they didn't know," says Silverman. "No one was looking at the art. That was bothersome to me. I also wanted to do a show that addressed the space."

Silverman has brought together an array of local and international artists — including Susanne Winterling, Bruce LaBruce, and Slava Mogutin — to create individual works for the exhibition and smaller works for a limited 50-edition box set. Some people, such as New York's Daphne Fitzpatrick, have never been to the Lexington, even if they have friends who work there — in such cases, they create works that imagine the site, or forge a connection to it. I'm looking forward to seeing Luke Butler's collages, photographer Job Piston's sculptural piece, and Tammy Rae Carland's c-print. Some other potential highlights: Brandon Herman's jewelry box containing a lighter — which overtly plays off of the ritual of smoking a cigarette in front of the bar — and a postcard invitation from Danny Keith.

A TRIP DOWN (FALSE) MEMORY LANE Reception: Tues/13, 7–9 p.m. 3464 19th St., S.F. (415) 863-2052, www.atripdown-false-memorylane.blogspot.com

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