Visual Art

What recession?

Art Basel Miami, take one: Buzz outflashed protest at this year's beachside art fair

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Pre-Occupied

YEAR IN VISUAL ART: Can the various democratizations of 2011 art trickle up?

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arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN VISUAL ART "Occupy the Empty," Amanda Curerri's 2010 solo show at Ping Pong Gallery (now Romer Young Gallery), seems about as appropriate a tag line as any for this past year. It's not just Curerri's prescient title that resonated with the occupations at Zucotti Park, Frank Ogawa Plaza, and the Mario Savio steps at U.C. Berkeley's Sproul Hall, as well as the populist expressions of protest seen throughout the Arab Spring that many involved with the Occupy movement looked to, not always unproblematically, as sympathetic precedents.Read more »

Dead horses and fool's gold

Ventriloquism, alchemy: Ray Beldner at Catharine Clark and Leslie Shows at Haines

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HAIRY EYEBALL What more can art tell us about our culture's conflicted relationship to celebrity, let alone its own conflicted relationship with celebrity? Not much, I suspect.Read more »

Bling and the kingdom

"Maharaja" at the Asian Art Museum and "The Matter Within" at YBCA focus on India's past and present

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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL "Why curate an exhibition focused on a single country in an age of disappearing boundaries?" is one of the questions posed by the curatorial text at the start of "The Matter Within: New Contemporary Art from India," Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' survey of recent photography, sculpture, and video from the subcontinent.Read more »

GOLDIES 2011: Tammy Rae Carland

Offering photographic retorts to hoary stereotypes

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GOLDIES The beds in the photographs are like any other unmade beds — messes of rumpled sheets and dented pillows occasionally punctuated by a stray article of clothing or a curious pet. Except that they are not like other beds: they are, as the title of Tammy Rae Carland's 2002 series of depopulated portraits informs the viewer, "lesbian beds."Read more »

GOLDIES 2011: Ana Teresa Fernandez

A glossy realism that foregrounds physicality and sensuality

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GOLDIES When I meet Ana Teresa Fernandez at her studio at the furthest edge of Hunters Point, she tells me she has just come from surfing. Water, it seems, is very much Fernandez's element, frequently appearing in her dream-like video installations and her gorgeous, large-scale, photorealistic oil paintings as both setting and metaphor — and sometimes even as medium.Read more »

Occupational hazards

Geof Oppenheimer's politically charged new show at Ratio 3 juxtaposes polyphony with cacophany

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HAIRY EYEBALL  Weds/2 marks the first citywide general strike in our country since 1946. Spearheaded by Occupy Oakland in the wake of the Oakland Police's grossly excessive use of force against protestors last week, the strike is further proof that the only definitive thing one can say about the Occupy movement is that it is growing at a remarkable pace.Read more »

Spellbound

Houdini's fascinating magic endures at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

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Harry Houdini: the name conjures up a multitude of images and ideas about what a magician and escape artist should be. The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco is currently celebrating that rich and long-lasting legacy with Houdini: Art and Magic, a new exhibit featuring a collection of vintage photographs, event posters, archival film, original props, art installations, and more, focusing on the world's most famous magician — who died in 1926, on Halloween.Read more »

Uncomfortable truths

The SF Arts Commission's "SHIFT" asks America to put aside its discomfort and talk about race

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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL Sometimes it seems like Americans would rather undergo a root canal than honestly talk about race in this country. Witness the rounds of recrimination and defensive posturing on all sides that followed the Washington Post's recent front page story that the hunting camp Texas governor Rick Perry has long frequented was formerly known as "Niggerhead."Read more »

The sight of sound

Punting audible obsolescence with Christian Marclay's cassette-based photograms and Fran Herndon's poetic echoes. 

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