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“Seduction” and “The Printer’s Eye”

Katsukawa Shunshoi More than 200 artworks are now on exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (February 20-May 10, 2015), an exploration of Japanese art and the world of desire (“ukiyo-e”—floating world). Elaborate scrolls, woodblock prints, sculptures, and kimonos are vivid examples of the transient and evanescent world of the senses, particularly the highly rarified courtesan culture for the extremely wealthy samurai and aristocratic classes. As the Buddha famously observed, a lifespan is like writing in water, a moment of illusion and sensory experience soon disappearing. The Yoshiwara...

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“Apparitions: Frottage and Rubbings from 1860 to Now” @ Hammer Museum (UCLA)

  Dominick Di Meo– “Untitled (numbers creatures)” This  pioneering exhibit—the first to focus on frottage as an art technique– currently ongoing until May 31, is a scintillating, deceptively simple display of approximately 100 artworks by fifty artists using the technique known as frottage (French: “to rub”).   Rubbing a textured surface with a pastel, charcoal pencil, crayon, or printer’s ink over paper or canvas on top of a textured surface, the artist creates a relief image. Associated with the surrealist movement, particularly Max Ernst (1891-1976) , these rubbed...

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Keith Haring (1958-1990): The Political Line (November 8-February 16, 2015)

Many of the works in this comprehensive exhibit at the De Young Museum (San Francisco) are being publicly presented for the first time, several on loan from the Keith Haring Foundation, Brooklyn, New York, [In March 2012, a retrospective exhibit of Haring’s work, Keith Haring: 1978-1982, opened at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.  See my May 2012 review ]  The imagery of Haring remains vital to the universally recognized visual language of the late 20th century. His enduring vision and critique of global problems is as relevant today as it was almost a quarter of a century ago. More than...

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Ai Weiwei—Without a Trace

With Wind The extraordinary @Large Ai Weiwei exhibit is now part of the daily tour to Alcatraz by ferry (Pier 33). Ai Weiwei, 57 years old, whose art raises questions about freedom of expression and human rights, has served several prison sentences in China.  This major installation invites viewer participation. Alcatraz   Several of the prison buildings (now in ruins reminiscent of burnt-out inner city neighborhoods or the aftermath of Hiroshima) exhibit a range of Ai Weiwei’s artwork with the most evocative being “With Wind” and “Trace”. “With Wind” has an enormous dragon kite as its...

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GORGEOUS: Confronting Beauty in Some Extreme Forms

[Guest post from artist Tracey Adams who currently has her own show at the Bryant Street Gallery,  Palo Alto, and K. Imperial Fine Arts, San Francisco.   In addition, The Huffington Post interviewed Tracey in “Everything in My Life Is Interconnected” on art, music and math.]  Last week I had the pleasure of seeing GORGEOUS, an exhibition of works  from both the SFMOMA and the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.  The curators mentioned, this exhibition is not about the context or meanings of the objects. Rather, the focus is on what the objects look like and how we react to them.  What...

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Green Chalk Contemporary–It’s All About Fish

The year-old gallery, Green Chalk Contemporary,  in Monterey, is currently presenting “FRESH FISH “, a show of  over 50  artworks  contributed by local, national and international artists.  Emotionally resonant subject matter, expressive brushwork, vibrant colors, deep and rich paint and ink tones, mixed media, found objects and industrial materials all are evident in eclectic compositions.  Squid ink, seaweed, threads, epoxy and glass, and dried anchovies screamed out “FISH.” This exhibit ( part of the Lighthouse District’s Big Splash” events going on in...

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