Friday, September 11, 2009

Anna's Picks

Just a quick review of a few of my favorite gallery shows in SF right now:

Catherine Clark Gallery
, Minna Street (near SFMOMA)

Sandow Birk's "American Qur'an" is a preview of an ambitious work in progress. He's the guy who reinterpreted Dante's "Divine Comedy." Now he's tackling the Qur'an. It's an ongoing project, about 2/3rds done, translated into contemporary American English, and illuminated with scenes from American life. The pages resemble parts of the Book of Kells and Persian miniatures. The calligraphy is graffiti style. Eventually it will be published in book form, but for now the gallery is exhibiting the framed pages.
Sandow Birk, Gouache and ink on paper, 16 x 24 inches

There's also a life-sized ceramic ATM machine (a frequent image in the paintings) next to the gallery desk. (image at top)

through October 31st

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Jerry Kerns, "Graceland", 2009, acrylic on canvas, 48" x 68"

Modernism, 685 Market (near 3rd), Suite 290

In the front room is Jerry Kearns' "Paleface" - big, fun paintings of a ghostly christ-like American hero in all the classic roles. My favorite: the pairing with a satanic Keith Richards.

In the back room is the gallery's 30th anniversary show, work by Le Courbsier, Malevich, Valmier, Masson, et al, and some early African wood pieces.

through Oct. 31st

right: George Valmier, "Main a la bouteille", 1931 gouache on paper, 14" x 11"

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Adou "Witch and Chicken", 2006, Silver Gelatin Print, 51 x 41.75 inches

Haines Gallery, 49 Geary

"Samalada": Chinese photographer, Adou, shows large format silver gelatin prints of people and places in his native Sichuan Province. The series title is a direct translation of the local name for Da Liang Mountain, a barren area bordered by rivers and mountains. The images are moody, atmospheric (he used expired film) and mysterious.

through Oct. 17th

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Stephen Wolf Fine Arts
, 49 Geary, SF

Local photographer Jo Babcock's "Past Life Picturesque" - pinhole cameras (handmade from found objects) and low-key, witty assemblage installations of same (installation shots above).

Nicholas Knight, "Taking Pictures"
Photos of people taking photos of pictures, in galleries and museums.

through Oct. 10

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Toomey Tourell Fine Arts, 49 Geary

Brian Dettmer's, "New Mixed Medium" - incredible, layered sculptures carved and constructed from illustrated books. The best of this genre that I've ever seen. Most work made from books strikes me as book abuse, but Dettmer's work really elevates and transcends the materials.

Great Images on the artist's Flickr stream!

Through Sept 30th

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