Saturday, September 29, 2012

Danny Lyon at the de Young

Danny Lyon (American, b. 1942), Crossing the Ohio, Louisville, 1966. Gelatin silver print. The Menil Collection, Houston, gift of Kenneth G. Futter. Photograph © 2012 Danny Lyon/Magnum Photos. Courtesy of the Edwynn Houk Gallery and

I previewed the Danny Lyon exhibition at the de Young yesterday. It's a small selection of his work spanning the time from the 1960s to present day. It's definitely worth a visit to the museum if you plan to take in the other galleries as well or if you're a member.

As always with photography exhibitions at the de Young I was left wanting more and with the feeling that this could have been a truly great exhibition had it been curated by another museum. Be that as it may, this exhibition provides to good opportunity to get a sense of Lyon's mastery of photography. I was impressed by the consistently exceptional compositions of the images on display, so many of them made on the move.

Some of the most recent images include scenes from China which convey a similar sense of struggle and search for hope that can be seen in Lyon's work from the '60s. As Lyon said in conversation at the museum last evening, his motivation for photographing was political not photographic. But I see his mastery of the photographic allowing the expression of the political, making his work exceptional indeed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'WOMEN我们' at the Chinese Cultural Center: gender & sexuality identity in today's China

Artist Gao Ling, collaborated with the NGO Shanghai Nv Ai, a lesbian advocacy group, to create a public performance piece called "Subway Performance." In a protest against governmental dictates about "provocative" dress, Ling and other women ride the subway wearing tea strainer bras. They cover their faces to protect their identity while holding signs that say "It's a dress, not a yes, " and "Want to flaunt, not a taunt."

"Women," now showing at SF's Chinese Cultural Center (CCC) and curated by CCC's Deputy Director and Curator Abby Chen proves that art does not have to be large and loud to be powerful. ...more at...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Observations on foot

About six months ago, I spotted these two ceramic beauties in the window at Hospitality House, a fine arts studio for homeless and poor artists that is part of the Community Arts Program (CAP) in San Francisco.
Many other ceramic pieces created at Hospitality House were in the two large display windows in front of the studio.
CAP and the gallery are temporarily at The Luggage Store Gallery, 1009 Market Street, near 6th Street. The current show runs through October 5, 2012.

* * * * * * * * * *posted by Phil Gravitt
If you thought kids have taken over the world, you haven't checked your coat at the DeYoung Museum lately.
The adult coat and bag check in the lower level of the DeYoung is like a large walk-in closet in a nice apartment, complete with art work.
The kids coat and bag check is two laundry hampers in front of the Kimball Education Gallery.
Which hamper to use is determined by the level of finger painting skills of the wearer.