The Lab Annual Art Auction
March 27, 2011

Well, everyone, it’s that time of the year again.  The Lab is having it’s annual live and silent auction on Saturday, April 2nd from 7pm-10:30pm.  The live auction starts at 8pm.  I have donated a drawing titled E.C.T., based on a line from the play Next to Normal that recently showed at the A.C.T. in San Francisco.  For a sneak peak at some of the art being auctioned off, go here. There is also an online auction happening now for those who can’t wait. Hope to see you there!

E.C.T. 2011

Big Thanks! Auction Attendees, et. al.
January 18, 2011

A big thank you to everyone who came out Sunday evening to the Art Auction/Fundraiser for our friend Natalie Hardcastle.  There is no right combination of words to express our gratitude for your support and contributions in effort to raise money for Natalie and her family.  The generosity of art, cash, in-kind donations, attendees, those who purchased work and moral supporters was overwhelming.  Almost every art piece found a new home.  It was because of all of you that we raised over $18,000 to help payoff Natalie’s medical expenses.

The list of contributors is still growing and we are most grateful for your help.  This was truly a beautiful experience and we hope that everyone will continue to support and aid those in need in whatever manor you are able.  Way to rally, all!

Natalie Hardcastle and Bob Nugent

Art Auction Fundraiser, Sunday 1/16/11
January 10, 2011

It’s almost here!   The art auction and fundraiser for our friend Natalie Hardcastle.  Please join Rick Kantor, Bob Nugent, Mark Perlman, Kurt Kemp and the caring art community of Sonoma who have rallied together prominent artists from across the country for this private fundraiser of great art at affordable prices.  The event happens this Sunday, January 16 from 4-7pm at Terrasanti, 11790 Main St., Suite E, Penngrove, CA.

Natalie recently underwent brain surgery to remove a golf ball sized tumor, just 4 short months after she gave birth to her second son. Natalie is a talented artist, advocate for the arts, former art student of Sonoma State University and one of the most kind-hearted people you will ever meet.  100% of the money raised will go to pay off medical expenses that are not covered by Nat’s insurance. If there are any additional funds remaining they will be donated to the UCSF Medical Foundation for research.  Please come and support Natalie and her family.

Contributing artists include John Fraser, Judy Pfaff, Tim McDowell, Heather Patterson, William Smith, Sami Lange, Kiki Smith, Mark Perlman, Kurt Kemp, Jennifer Sturgill, Brett Grunig, Michael Gregory, Eric Oldmixon, Wendy Anne Crittenden, Erik Neff, Marianela de la hoz, Rob Keller, Chester Arnold, Michael Schwager, Ed Aiona, Jennifer Clark, Alison Harris, Hung Liu, Nancy Youdelman, Michael Manzavrakos, Frank Ryan, Anne Siems, Heather Wilcoxon, Suzanne Stryk, Gregory Raymond Halili, Aaron Fink, John Nava, Robert McCauley, Marlene McCauley, Tom Foolery, Bob and Janet Voruz, Matt Mullins, Kerry Vander Meer, Andrew Meiress, Halle Seipman, Ashley Heber, Gordon Powell, Era and Don Farnsworth, Monika Steiner, Kristine Branscomb-Fitzgerald, Bob Nugent, Lynda Nugent, Kara Maria, Enrique Chagoya, Robert Hudson, Andy Saftel, Judith Williams, Donn Brannon, Shane Weare, Tony Guaraldi-Brown, Kenna Moser, James Porter, Pam Longobardi, Steven Sorman, Dan Gualdoni, Jeanette Pasin-Sloan and the list grows…….

bated breath

bated breath, 2010, Wendy Anne Crittenden

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