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The Legacy of Feminism
By Nirmala Nataraj (May 9, 2008)
The question of what it means to be a woman might summon a few immediately stereotypical ideas (bras, lipstick, painful visits to the waxing salon), but at least in this generation, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find femaleness aligned with stalwart pronouncements of power or that dreaded “f” word: feminism. More
At Frey Norris Gallery
By Nirmala Nataraj (Apr 18, 2008)
Christine Wong Yap and Jenifer K. Wofford are two San Francisco-based artists whose work -- collectively ranging from comic-book-esque sketches of immigrant nurses to installations of paper bags embossed with cheeky truisms -- is more preoccupied with instances of the mundane than anything else. But glancing through “Sorry", a collection of their recent works at the Frey Norris Gallery, you needn’t wade through the playful renderings of everyday vernacular and ritualized habits to get to the heart of the show, which exploits the manner in which language and image are often shrouded in indeterminate, constantly changing meanings. More
A Whimsical Selection
By jesse nathan (Feb 15, 2008)
The Richmond District’s Park Life Store is only a store some of the time. Other times, it’s a gallery -- often both at once. It’s not the first venture to do double duty by a long shot, but it’s one of San Francisco’s best examples of blending a curator's instincts with a designer's commercial sensibilities. More
Elegy for a Dying City
By jesse nathan (Jan 18, 2008)
When I asked Katherine Westerhout why she chose to focus her creative energies on photographing Detroit, no longer the splendid center of American auto manufacturing it once was, she replied that she was enticed by this very glory, former as it might be. “Detroit was once the richest city in America,” she says. “The vestiges of its success are still apparent in the beauty of its architecture, much of which has been lost to fire and demolition.” More
Surrealist Mapmaking
By jesse nathan (Jan 4, 2008)
Part designer, part surrealist cartographer, Portland-based Francesca Berrini creates fantastical geographies from maps that have been cut apart and re-arranged. This comes as a more specific manifestation of what she’s known for: exploring strange combinations of found materials. But her works are not overtly popish, not purely found and presented, more thoroughly scrambled and recast. This is perhaps because Berrini arrives where she does as an artist via an unconventional course, at least as compared to other more ambitiously Warholian artists. More
Tiny, Little Pleasures
By Aimee Le Duc (Dec 14, 2007)
Living in San Francisco, at times, can feel like Alice must have in Through the Looking Glass. Sometimes we can feel enormous and sometimes we feel very, very small. As San Franciscans we take the lead throughout the country in grand social movements like green living and the slow food movement yet at other times we can be walking along a street only to discover a small neighborhood gallery, with small etchings that evoke the tiny little pleasures of simply eating vegetables. More
Beauty: When Hacking Occurs
By Jialin Luh (Nov 2, 2007)
Some of the most fascinating works of art come as a result of experimentation and endeavors in non-fine-arts related fields. Electrical engineer and “hardware hacker” Joe Grand has been dabbling with electronics for years, tweaking archaic computer systems and breathing new life into obsolete equipment. Though he’s been commissioned to create badges for computer security conventions, invents and designs consumer electronics and video gaming accessories, Grand has never thought of exhibiting his pieces as art. Now for the first time he’s displaying his work as an installation aptly named “When Electronics Become Art” at 20 goto 10. More
Chronicle & Critique
By gina basso (Oct 12, 2007)
At the entrance of Catherine Clark Gallery visitors are confronted with a massive black and white woodblock print bearing the phrase “The Depravities of War” chiseled into a monolithic stone monument that is crumbling into ruin. Set against a war torn landscape, the structure is surrounded by shrouded figures posed to express their various states of emotional despair. This is the first in a series of large format prints and paintings by Sandow Birk who uses highly charged, media-inspired images to chronicle and critique the Iraq war. More
Old Haunts and New Visions
By gina basso (Oct 5, 2007)
The Limn Gallery presents the Beijing-based art duo The Gao Brothers’ first solo exhibition in San Francisco in a small, but conceptually dense collection that samples their oeuvre from the past decade. The brothers, Gao Zhen and Gao Qiang, began their collaboration in the 80s as Chinese artists were producing more socially engaged and avant-garde inspired works and achieved international acclaim by the mid-90s. More
Communications and Inspirations in the Modern Age
By Jialin Luh (Sep 28, 2007)
Unless you live in the rural countryside, chances are that you use email and/or a cell phone to stay in touch with people and to keep up-to-date with goings on in the world. Instant messaging programs and text messaging have morphed communication today into an often context-less space with lack of intonation and increased probability of mixed messages and miscommunication. SF Camerawork’s current exhibition, "There is Always a Machine Between Us", explores these new modes of communication propelled by the advent of the Internet, in methods and mediums that promise an intriguing visit and provide ample fodder for discussion in the aftermath. More
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