Archive for June, 2010

William T. Wiley at the de Young
June 21, 2010

Move fast on this one, reader, you have about a week to see the exhibit titled I Keep Foolin’ Around: William T. Wiley as Printmaker at the de Young Museum.   The show closes July 4, 2010, Yikes!  Great assortment of works by Wiley, but unfortunately I couldn’t find reproductions of what is being exhibited.  If you are unfamiliar with the work of this humorous S.F. Bay Area artist, I have provided an example for you, Mr. Unatural Eyes the Ape Run Ledge, 1975.  Mr. Unatural is Wiley’s alter ego, which I have always been told is a spoof on R. Crumb’s Mr. Natural.

William T. Wiley, Mr. Unatural Eyes the Ape Run Ledge, 1975

And while you are in that section of the museum, mosey on back to see the permanent collection.  The first Odd Nerdrum painting I have ever seen in person will be waiting for you.  I regret not writing the title down to the piece, for your viewing reference, so you will just have to be pleasantly surprised when you see it with your own eyes.  I also urge you to find your way over to Mel Ramos’ Superman, 1961-2, it may be one of my all time favorite paintings.  I always make a point to see it when I go.  A photo just doesn’t do it justice.  And there are plenty of other works to see, you just have to get up and go see them.

de Young’s Birth of Impressionism
June 20, 2010

It’s true.  I have seen the de Young’s Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, and can tell you it is very much worth the visit.  What can you expect to see, you wonder?  Expect a time line in painting, starting off with what preceded impressionism, ending with paintings by artist such as Cézanne showcasing the early works of Impressionism.

My absolute favorite piece in the exhibit was Édouard Manet’s Portrait of Georges Clemenceau, 1879–80.  This piece floors me with excitement as he left evidence of his procedure in painting, the black  jacket of Georges is scraped away enough to reveal the outline the sitter’s side.  Traces of the under painting revealing itself to create the illusion of form.  It’s not just his right side, it’s his hand, his head, his left shoulder, his bowtie…  traces of his thought process, really, as if he were drawing and erasing, drawing and erasing.  I urge you to attend just for this piece.

Édouard Manet, Portrait of Georges Clemenceau, 1879–80

However, I understand you may want to view the whole shebang of a show, and I don’t blame you.  This is probably the first and only time all of these pieces will grace our soil, and I am grateful to be present for it.  The main buzz about the show is centered around James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter’s Mother (a.k.a. Whistler’s Mother), 1871 and Gustave Caillebotte’s Les Raboteurs (The Floor Scrapers), 1876, mighty fine pieces to view.

My critique is in the arrangement of the exhibition.  There are some very high-profile pieces in the exhibition and the flow of the exhibition is unfortunate, to say the least.  In too many areas viewers get stuck, as there is no flow due to the people taking in the high-profile pieces.  In fact, my experience was that viewers were quite pushy and rude, especially if they were participating in the audio tour.  Hey, if you are hooked up to a headset, does that make you immune to social politeness and tact?   No it doesn’t.  Be mindful of your actions is all I have to say.  In fact, here is my big tip to all planning to go:  do not attend on the weekend, and do not attend when the museum first opens for the day, you will encounter long ticket lines and elbows in the exhibition space.  Instead, try a weekday and arrive around 2pm.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler's Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (a.k.a. Whistler's Mother), 1871

Anyhoo, this show is a must see.  Brave the potential masses.  You have until September 6, 2010 to view it.  There is a sequel to this exhibition. titled Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Beyond:  Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musee d’Orday.  The sequel will run from September 25, 2010-January 18, 2011.  I suggest you attend both.

Gustave Caillebotte's Les Raboteurs (The Floor Scrapers), 1876

Intersection’s 45th Anniversary Gala : June 12, 7pm
June 4, 2010

Save the date!  The time has come for Intersection for the Arts’ annual auction.  This year the auction is celebrating their 45th anniversary, and it’s happening at their new satellite location in the San Francisco Chronicle Building at 901 Mission Street (5th and Mission).  I have happily donated a full size mounted image of big boy, 2009.

big boy, Wendy Anne Crittenden, 30" x 30" C-print mounted on aluminum, 2009

The gala will have a live and silent art auction featuring work from many celebrated Bay Area visual artists, live DJs, good food and good drinks.  Your attendance and support will help Intersection raise the critical funds it needs to support their many performances, exhibitions, jazz, education and artists’ resource programs and to help them continue to provide a space for artists, youth, and the community.

General Admission is $60 or 2 for $100. Tickets can be purchased here.  Preview of the art can be found here, my eye is on the Julie Chang.  Hope to see your smiling faces June 12th at 7pm!