Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Out of the Wood
and Into the Trees:
Sonoma County Museum

Michael Cullen
Chest on a Stand
Friday August 24 is the opening of the annual Artistry in Wood exhibit at the Sonoma County Museum. The exhibit of fine woodworking is in collaboration with the Sonoma County Woodworkers Association (SCWA).
The Opening Reception is Friday, August 24 5-7pm
Possibly a coincidence, the museum is hosting two current exhibits featuring a woodworker's favorite raw materials:
Chester Arnold: Trees
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Wrapped Trees
On Thursday Sept 6 at 6PM, nationally recognized furniture maker/designer Debey Zito will be discussing influences in her designs from Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, and Asian designs.

Posted by Phil Gravitt

Friday, August 3, 2012

Naoya Hatakeyama at SFMOMA

Man’s relentless efforts to master the environment. That’s the underlying message I took away from my visit to SFMOMA to see the current exhibition of photography by Naoya Hatakeyama. But there is a twist.

The first images in the exhibition are of expansive landscapes featuring dramatic mountains. The mountains, other than being pretty held no obvious message, they are just “pretty.”

The images I found more appealing were of abandoned and working quarries and were photographed as grand landscapes and had a definite message. From an anthropological point of view they tell a dramatic story of the consequences of the archaic notion, so persistently maintained by human kind, that nature can and should be conquered. Hatakeyama’s work so clearly shows us that the fact that the earth will never bend to the human will is lost yet on another generation.

Hatakeyama demonstrates how this quest of humanity to dominate the very environment that gives it life, is carried out by every means that is violent. The irony is dramatically evident in his imagery of the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan. These images share a gallery with a sequence of photographs of quarry blasting, images that capture the brutally violent reality and consequence of the explosions. But still, what these images tell us is that despite every effort by “man,” nothing will ever match the violence of which nature is capable. Nature is the master and there is no such thing as conquering the environment.

Photos: © Naoya Hatakeyama

Thursday, August 2, 2012

'When Artists Attack the King: Honoré Daumier and La Caricature, 1830-1835' at Cantor Arts Center

Long before Iranian cartoonist Mahmoud Shokraiyeh was sentenced to 25 lashings for drawing a parliament member in a soccer jersey, 19th-century caricaturist Honoré Daumier and his colleagues at the weekly Paris journal La Caricature endured prison sentences, fines, and litigation for their scathing portraits of king Louis-Philippe I of France, who came to power after the Revolution of 1830.

 The Cantor Arts Center presents 50 of these pioneering satirical works in “When Artists Attack the King: Honoré Daumier and La Caricature, 1830–1835,” which opens August 1. The exhibition, drawn entirely from the collection of the Cantor Arts Center, also features issues of La Caricature and large Daumier lithographs published for L’Association Mensuelle, a monthly print subscription,

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