Visual Art

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Jack Hanley Gallery stakes a spot within the spectacle of the Frieze Art Fair in London
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While the bankers who took your money were grabbing even more of it last weekend, a different sort of highbrow crowd — those whose investment, whether financial or personal, rests mainly in art — weren't quite sure what to do. At the Frieze Art Fair in London's Regent's Park, the theme was non-commitment. "It feels like the old days," gallerist Jack Hanley said on the second evening of the four-day international fair. Read more »

Missing pieces

Gallery 16's "These Are the People in Your Neighborhood" defined by theft and irony
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NEWS/REVIEW At this point, any review of Gallery 16's fifteenth anniversary show "These Are the People in Your Neighborhood" must revolve around its missing pieces. On the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 15, two paintings by Margaret Kilgallen were stolen. Of the 68 works on display, they were among only a handful not for sale. Read more »

The mirage

Bring on Liberace: "Double Down: Two Visions of Vegas" goes for broke
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America is a very poor lens through which to view Las Vegas, while Las Vegas is a wonderful lens through which to view America.

— Dave Hickey, "A Home in the Neon"

If, as Oscar Wilde once claimed, a lie can tell the truth, then what Dave Hickey writes is truer than ever: looking at Las Vegas is a terrific way to see the United States. Paul Verhoeven knew as much when he made Showgirls (1995). The fact that his old-school Euro-Hollywood auteur vision of Sin City offended so many bourgie film critics only proved its lasting, um, value. Read more »

"SF Open Studios: Weekend 3"

Artists worth seeing in Bernal, Duboce, Glen Park, Eureka Valley, Noe, Castro, and Mission
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STUDY 3, 2003 BY DAVID KING

PREVIEW The third weekend of Open Studios focuses on spaces in Bernal Heights, Duboce Triangle, Glen Park, Eureka Valley, Noe Valley, and the Castro and Mission districts. Here's a lucky-seven list of artists worth seeking out.

Matt Sarconi Spatial clarity is a major aspect of Sarconi's photography; his use of frames within frames elevates images that might be pretty as a greeting card into something more contemplative. His settings span from the Bay Area to Spain and Croatia.

A.J. Read more »

Obliterating the dollar

In these economic times, Andrew Schoultz's far-from-subtle "In Gods We Trust" is appropos
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REVIEW Andrew Schoultz is prescient. A week or two before Wall Street and Washington were forced to admit they'd obliterated the US economy, he unveiled new work that literally slices and blows up the dollar bill. In his A Litany of Defense and a Liturgy of Power (Come) from the Palm of His Hand, shards of the pyramid, all-seeing eye, and other mint-y green fixtures slice through the air alongside similar fragments of currency from other countries. Read more »

Vacancy and claustrophobia

German artist Matthias Hoch explores modern European cities in "New Work"
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REVIEW Matthias Hoch's disconcerting skill as a photographer is connected to a pair of paradoxes. His close-ups of the byproducts of "moderne" European cities and suburbs, from geometric ceilings to business parks, feel like panoramas. In his wider shots — of large concrete grids, or one otherwise "perfect" building's sad slant — claustrophobia and a sense of vacancy commingle. Read more »

"Istanbul-Berkeley"

Actual art at the "Orienting Istanbul" conference includes video works curated by Hou Hanru
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REVIEW When veteran Istanbulite Orhan Pamuk received the Nobel Prize in literature two years ago, the committee complimented his "quest for the melancholic soul of his native city." Melancholic? The world's third largest city has one big, melancholic soul? I think Pamuk, of all people, would disagree. Read more »

Mao and Coca-Cola

New waves of Chinese art hit the Bay Area -- from SFMOMA to BAM and beyond
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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is in the grip of full-on Fridamania when I first pay a visit to "Half-Life of a Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Logan Collection." Nonetheless, Yue Minjun's terracotta warriors attract photo-ops: a little girl poses next to a solitary Yue sculpture with his hands behind his neck, while five other Yue statues (each a life-size body — barefoot in white T-shirt and blue jeans — with an enormous head: eyes closed, mouth frozen in anxious "smile") stand in formation near the exhibition's th Read more »

Perspectives on metal

"David Maisel: Library of Dust" and "Zhan Wang: Gold Mountain"
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REVIEW San Francisco photographer David Maisel is best known for vast, expansive images. Critic Vince Aletti deemed his aerial views of Los Angeles freeways "absolutely post-apocalyptic." With "Library of Dust," Maisel shifts from the macrocosmic to the nearly microscopic. But his trademark clarity and intensity turns the viewer's mind into an infinite focus-puller regarding notions of existence and human relationships to the universe. Read more »

Friends of Dorothy

New group show takes off from The Wizard of Oz's yellow brick road
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As a child I remember being transfixed by the cover to Electric Light Orchestra's 1974 album Eldorado, A Symphony (Warner Bros.). I think I saw it before I ever actually watched Victor Fleming's 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, from which the album's art is taken. Designer Sharon Arden — now Ozzy Osbourne's wife — was undoubtedly riffing off of the concept album's storyline about a journey through a fantastic land. Read more »