Visual Art

Now you see him

A last look at "William Kentridge: Five Themes"
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It takes a lot to get your head around William Kentridge. His nebulous existence in the world of modern art makes him a slippery figure, able to exist between things we can name. Read more »

Accidental, with purpose

Theophilus Brown peels away expectation and returns anew to abstraction at 90
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

What began as a frugal effort to make use of leftover paint, something all painters grapple with on occasion, has spawned a late career style that realigns everything previously thought about the artistic practice of Theophilus Brown, now 90 years old. Read more »

Call it Afro-Surreal

AFRO-SURREAL: Black is the new black -- a 21st century manifesto
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I'm not a surrealist. I just paint what I see. — Frida Kahlo

THE PAST AND THE PRELUDE

In his introduction to the classic novel Invisible Man (1952), ambiguous black and literary icon Ralph Ellison says the process of creation was "far more disjointed than [it] sounds ... Read more »

"Open Endless"

Glad to be alive
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REVIEW Not every art show allows you a chance to swim in the Pacific Ocean on a Sunday afternoon and experience the bracing cold of the water and the pull of the tide. But David Wilson's "Open Endless" isn't your average show, even if it is characteristic of Wilson's community explorations of art and landscape under the Ribbons Publications rubric. Last year, he instigated a sleep-over happening at Angel Island that included live music. Read more »

Time passages

Matt Keegan gives form to his and SF's past in "Postcards & Calendars"
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johnny@sfbg.com

The past is vanishing, more than ever before. Or so it seems, as so many temporal placeholders — including the newspaper you might be holding in your hands right now — give way to digital facsimiles. Read more »

New art and style on Geary

Local looks and views abroad
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With a calm demeanor and a pulled-together, no-nonsense appearance, Claudia Altman-Siegel isn't an obvious suspect when it comes to identifying the driving force behind a conceptual art show that draws well-heeled European tourists and people clad in Converse shoes and skinny jeans. Read more »

"Desiree Holman: Reborn"

Tapping into and surrealistically subverting conventions regarding race relations in the early Obama era
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REVIEW It's time to dance — to sashay from the video installation within Nick Cave's "Meet Me at the Center of the Earth" at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to the video aspect of Desirée Holman's part of the SECA exhibition, now in its last days at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. To hustle between the two is revealing. Not only do Cave and Holman share an irreverent interest in choreography and the unity or community that can spring from mutual movement, they also devote considerable creative energy to costuming. Read more »

"Dean Smith: thought forms 2003-2009" and "Dean Byington"

Something different from the clichéd forest animals and color-theory rainbows
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REVIEW Call it the tumbling dice effect: dice keep appearing within Bay Area art this spring. First there was the gigantic 16-sided polygon by Brian Wasson at Ping Pong Gallery — a prediction device freed from its Magic Eight ball. Now viewers can roll with enigmas of a dice-centered video installation that is the most intriguing facet of Kent and Kevin Young's "Jury Breaks DNA Deadlock" exhibition at Steven Wolf Gallery. Read more »

"Punks and Poets: SF Subculture in the '70s"

You haven't seen so many skinny ripped jeans, torn Patti Smith tees, untamed hairdos, and askew lapel pins since your last trip to the backroom of Adobe Books
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PREVIEW Let's get punk-rock and have a slideshow, everybody! While Green Day not-so-secretly toils along its dejected piano-ballad path to Broadway, it's the perfect time for a bracing reminder of what actual punk in the Bay looked like, circa the late-1970s. You know, way before the final episode of Seinfeld. Read more »

"Julie Blackmon: Domestic Vacations"

The boring and the uninteresting are different concepts
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REVIEW One of my most uninteresting college professors used to insist that negatives only exist in language, but couldn't explain what this meant. That's funny, I thought, because I can physically feel a complete lack of interest in your class. In fact, I think you can feel it too; it's contagious. Nonetheless, I was never bored as a child, and I'm still never bored. The boring and the uninteresting are different concepts. Read more »