Friday, March 20, 2009

California Water Color Association
40th National Exhibition


The California Water Color Association is having their 40th National Exhibition at the Presidio Officers Club thru tomorrow, Sunday, March 22, 2009. About 100 water colors by artists from around the nation are on display. The exhibit is free for visitors. When you walk in, you are handed a mini clip board and asked to vote for your top three paintings.

Some of my favorites were "Reflections from a Chrome Bumper," (my title because I can't remember the real title) , "The 27th Virginia Infantry," "Coral," and "Milan" by Yong Paik, shown above.


I'd forgotten about the Andy Goldsworthy tree spire sculpture at the Presidio until I was leaving the water color exhibit. I asked directions in the Visitor Center at the officers club, and was told to park in the lookout parking lot, cross the street, and "the path is right there." Be forwarned, if you want to do a mini re-enactment of D-Day, go ahead and take the worn path directly across from the lookout parking lot. If you don't get run over on the blind corner, be sure to hit the path running, since there is no shoulder on the road. Running also helps because the path starts out as a steep, five foot, muddy embankment.

Over the embankment, you start the slower climb up the hill, after you first avoid the broken tree limb waiting to impale you if you slip. Once you get past those two pleasantries, it is a nice walk up the hill to the spire. FYI if you return the same way, you are again trying to cross the road at a blind corner, with no shoulder. The best way to get to the spire is to park in the golf course parking lot. Or, as posted on the Presidio web site, walk down from the lookout parking lot toward the golf course, cross the street, and take the REAL path from the end of the golf course parking lot.

I found the the Goldsworthy spire underwhelming. Everything Goldsworthy I have seen before this, including news clips, documentaries, the movie "Rivers and Tides," gallery exhibits, even the crack in the sidewalk at the DeYoung, left me impressed and wondering, "How did he envision that? How did he do that? How did he have the patience?"

In 2000, the Haines Gallery had a Goldsworthy exhibit called "River," with a perfectly formed peak on a twisting sand dune meandering through all the galleries. When the sand was removed after the exhibit closed, the hardwood floor retained a stain in the shape of the weaving sand, leaving a memory of the exhibit throughout the galleries.

With the tree spire, you (think you) know how he did it (with some logs nailed together) and why he did it (the trees in the area were cut down and replaced with new plantings). Maybe the "Ah-HAH" moment is in the year 2032 when the newly planted trees have all grown up around it.

by Phil Gravitt

1 comment:

namastenancy said...

I agree with you on the Goldworthy spire at the Presidio. I loved the movie Rivers and Tides and was eager to see this new piece. But, after I braved the road of death and the climb up the hill, I was left with a big feeling of "So what." I was also puzzled by his negative, "don't care if you can see it" comments in an interview which I can't find now. Oh well, maybe he was having a bad tree day. We will always have Rivers and Tides and a lot of gorgeous photo books.