The annual Art of Baseball exhibit at George Krevsky Gallery, opening May 9 and running through June 20, is one of my favorite shows. As I go to only one Giants game a year, I enjoy the show mostly for the range of artists and styles rather than the subject.
The theme of the exhibit this year is “Everything that is old is new again.” The show offers history and quality, from paintings to collage, mixed media and sculpture, with a few sprinkles of kitsch. I usually find one or two pieces that look simple and quick, as if the artist just wanted to get something into the exhibit. Most appear to have been labored on for many hours and days, the artist searching for just the right look, light, and feel of that moment in a baseball game. With twenty five artists from around the country and forty five pieces, it is a show to see for baseball fans as well those interested in history and varied art styles.
One of my favorites from the earliest shows is the work of local artist Charles Hobson. Hobson created a fold out art book titled, "Leonardo Knows Baseball," published by Chronicle Books, where he paired his monotypes depicting baseball players and umpires in mid action with Da Vinci's observations about the human figure.
Hobson, who studied history as well as art, has other art books such as "Parisian Encounters," where he overlays monotypes of famous Parisians with hand written letters from their lovers, intertwined with maps of where they lived and met. Like baseball players, they used secret signals to communicate. And sooner or later, many had to steal home.
by Phil Gravitt