Visual Art

"Who Got the Chickens" and "Love Can Build a Bridge"

It looks like Bush isn't the only wellspring of psychic damage deep in the heart of Texas
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REVIEW/PREVIEW Although No. 43 has finally flown the coop back to Crawford, Texas, our country would do well to remember Faulkner's famous words from 1951's Requiem for a Nun: "The past is never dead. It's not even past." The psychic damage from the Bush years runs deep, and will no doubt keep resurfacing. Read more »

Round and round

David King uncovers spherical lyricism on paper and at the Dump
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johnny@sfbg.com

David King and I are staring at a baseball, some screws, and some bolts. More specifically, King and I are looking at Satellite #2, a nine-inch pointy yet round sculpture he constructed from those ingredients for an upcoming show. "To me, this is one of the more successful pieces," King says, as we look around the warehouse art studio at SF Recycling and Disposal Inc. To our left, Christine Lee — who, like King, is an artist-in-residence at the Dump — is working with James Sellier on a wood-based project. Read more »

"Brad Noble: Chaotic Resolve"

Productive opacity and surrealist abstraction
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The recent Washington Post obituary of Andrew Wyeth reveals that the figurative painter considered himself an abstract artist, because he didn't depict but rather evoked a metaphysical vision. This idea is at least as old as 1907, when antimodernist Max Nordau hurled it as an accusation at French symbolist Puvis de Chavannes, and while few use the word abstract with this meaning, I find the conception sympathetic rather than pejorative. If we can call it a lineage, then Brad Noble is part of it. Read more »

Martin Puryear

There's a lot to surprise - and refresh - the eye in this Puryear retrospective
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REVIEW It's exhilarating to see, upon entering the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's atrium, one of Martin Puryear's most renowned works, Ladder for Booker T. Washington (1996), installed with such noiseless bravura: the 36-foot sapling grows slender and seems to disappear even faster into space as it floats above the elevators. Read more »

"A Trip Down (False) Memory Lane"

Curator Jessica Silverman taps into legendary queer bar history
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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. Read more »

"Pinball as Art and the Art of the Pinball"

William T. Wiley's solo show takes pinball seriously
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PREVIEW One Bay Area artwork that made an impression in 2008 was William T. Wiley's Punball: Only One Earth. Read more »

Best in show

The Year in Visual Arts 2008
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YEAR IN REVIEW The time is right to pay tribute to the Bay Area's artists and galleries. Read more »

Don't look back

Art in 2008 recedes like nobody's business, and it might be time to come home
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Twelve months ago, as I sat down to write a year-end appraisal of 2007, I was still in awe of "© Murakami," the Takashi Murakami show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. It brilliantly captured the crass apex of global capitalism, mostly through celebrity-studded receptions and the appropriated — call it sculptural — form of a Louis Vuitton boutique. What a difference a year makes. Read more »

Picks, pans, and a top 10

Artists and curators sound off on 2008
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CHUCK MOBLEY, CURATOR AT SF CAMERAWORK

Pan: SF Art Institute's furlough

A humble proposal to those laid off for a month: exchange your individual voice for a collective one and begin intervening by employing the crafty tools of activism as an artful device of communication in order to effect positive change for your institution. Read more »

"Dream On!"

Mission 17's juried show shows thoughtfulness and promise
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PREVIEW 'Tis the season for Bay Area art to slow to a near standstill. Many galleries are closed through 2008. Those still open tend to favor group shows that double as holiday sales — a tough proposition this year. Mission 17 is bucking the trend with "Dream On!," a juried exhibition put together by director-curator Clark Buckner and three others. The show's dream theme is a mighty wide one. Read more »