Posted by erin on November 28th, 2011

Hello Dear Readers of artshiftsanjose.com,

It is with regret that the Advisory Board of ARTSHIFT announces the end of our online coverage of the visual arts in Silicon Valley.  Our endeavor of four years, a labor of love, has been staffed entirely by volunteers and as we know, all good things have a natural life span.  We continue to believe strongly that the stories of artists and artwork in this geographic region have a great importance and much to contribute to the development and history of art.  We salute, the great faculty and students of Silicon Valley’s art schools, the dedicated museums and galleries, the Zero1 festival and all the imaginative individual artists that make up this community.  We especially want to thank all the wonderful and supportive individuals who have written for AFTSHIFT and those who have contributed funds to the ARTSHIFT AWARDS.

Hopefully, it will not be long before another online journal takes up the mission to report on the visual arts news of this area.  In the meantime, ARTSHIFT’s archives will remain accessible online.

Best of luck to all!

ARTSHIFT’s Advisory Board

Las cadre at Black Bean Ceramic Art Center

Posted by kfunk on November 8th, 2011

“General Eclectic: the first 5 years of las cadre

October 2-29, 2011

by Susannah Israel

Five years ago a group of Oakland artists met at the studio of Noelle Nakama for a potluck critique.  We have been meeting continuously ever since.  Founding members Jennifer Brazelton (SF), Michelle Gregor (Oakland), Susannah Israel (Oakland), Tom Michelson (SF), Noelle Nakama (San Leandro), Tomoko Nakazato (SF), Tiffany Schmierer (SF) and Shalene Valenzuela (Missoula, MT) exhibited ceramic artworks at the Black Bean Ceramic Art Center during October 2011.  They were joined by more recent las cadre members Saadi Shapiro and Chris Kanyusik, and painters Sterling Israel and Elaine Toland, all from Oakland.

Vigorous conversation is a vital and integral part of art practice for the las cadre group. Developing long-term relationships with each other’s artwork brings depth and insight to the critique process.  The insight and generosity of such dialogue is an invaluable tool for creative growth.  (A number of other groups have been inspired to form, such as the Clay Babes of Grass Valley.)  Common threads weave through the las cadre group: seven artists studied ceramics at San Francisco State University, three work at Merritt College, six more work or have worked at the Richmond Art Center.

"Desert Spring" by Elaine Toland
“Desert Spring” by Elaine Toland

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THE PAINTED WORD OF CONNER EVERTS

Posted by erin on September 20th, 2011

Collage Paintings at SJSU’s Natalie and James Thompson Gallery

By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

The Chinese General Writes, 29-11-05, Connor Everts at San Jose State’s Thompson gallery

 

It was worth a special trip from Seattle to San Jose on a Tuesday night to see the opening of the Connor Everts exhibition in the Thompson Gallery of San Jose State’s Art Department and hear his former student, Professor Patrick Surgalski, recall events of the artist’s life through decades of work as a teacher, baseball player, gallerist, and longshoreman.  Connor Everts’ was born in Bellingham, Washington in 1928, and became one of those charismatic artists to enter the art world after traveling, engaging the revolutionary politics of the late 50s and 60s, and attending art school on the GI bill.  He returned to teach at his alma mater, Chouinard, and  then at the San Francisco Art Institute along with the University of Washington and the University of Southern California, and finally at Cranbrook, Michigan.  Surgalski regaled the audience with stories of Everts’ wicked sense of humor and non-conformist approaches to teaching art, some of which resulted in severed relations with those academic institutions.  Connors’ wife Judy joined into the testimonial of life in the classroom with Connor Everts.  She described the sexual implications — for both male and female students  — of being asked to reach into a box covered with a pair of jockey shorts and draw what they experienced inside.  Everts left teaching in chilly Michigan in 1981 to devote himself exclusively to a daily regimen in his beloved Torrance studio.

 

In the late 50s, Everts founded the short-lived Exodus Gallery in San Pedro, California.  In a town where there was no art activity, he introduced important and controversial artists particularly in assemblage, who were destined to become Los Angeles legends.  Artists of Everts’ generation were often bigger than life, as he is still, indeed.  The visionary spirit of Exodus Gallery has been honored in San Pedro with the New Exodus Gallery, a site-specific program of inventive arts events in the old town center.

Connor Everts:  Layers of imagery, epochs of times of the artist’s life and the evocative reference: Exodus Gallery

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Atmospheric Firings

Posted by kfunk on August 24th, 2011

a tradition of acceptance

Atmospheric Firings at the Triton Museum, Santa Clara, California

July 30 – Sept 11, 2011

by Susannah Israel

Nine wood-firing artists presented strong, diverse work at the Triton Museum, masterfully constructed, elegantly conceived and collaboratively fired.  The opening reception was well-attended, with viewers filling the large gallery for the duration of the event. All around the room, groups of people gathered by the artwork to engage in discussion and enthusiastic observation.  The artists were in attendance to answer questions and meet the public, adding to the sense of celebration.

I had the opportunity to talk with Hiroshi Ogawa (my notebook in hand) expecting he would have information to offer about his work.  Instead he wanted to give me details about the work of the other artists.  His knowledge and enthusiasm were the perfect advocacy for better understanding the diversity of these works.  Ogawa modestly made no mention of his own work or his role in the community, but I later learned that seven of the artists fire in his kiln in Oregon. All speak of his generosity and knowledge as part of their experience and the spirit of the work.

Installation view, photo- James Dewrance

Installation view, photo- James Dewrance

The collaborative nature of wood-firing is intensive.  Providing the best possible results for everyone’s pieces translates to physically working twelve-hour shifts, through day and night, throwing wood into a small port in a flaming brick kiln wall. This is serious commitment.  Diane Levinson, who proposed the exhibition, talked with me about the process of curating and installing the work, informed by the same careful respect and attention that characterizes the wood-firing process. Just as the pieces are placed in the kiln to maximize the possibilities of the firing, the work was placed in the museum with an eye to creating the most beautiful and successful totality.  For example, an important sense of the work’s identity was lost when the pieces were commingled in the gallery space, leading to the collective decision to create an area for each artist instead.  The installation took all day, under the direction of Levinson and Terry Inokuma.

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HANNA HANNAH: FRAMES OF WAR

Posted by kfunk on August 20th, 2011

Hanna Hannah: Frames of War

by Tom Leddy

Immanuel Kant’s discussion of aesthetics (in his Critique of Judgment) begins with something he calls “The Analytic of Beauty” in which he describes beauty as being detached from matters of morality and cognition.  Free beauty is exemplified by flowers and wall-paper, among other things (including, oddly, crustaceans).  Such beauties have the capacity to cause our cognitive faculties, the imagination and the understanding, to go into free play, giving rise to pleasure.  Beauty is not in the thing itself but in its capacity to cause this experience.  Flowers and wallpaper often have elaborate designs that encourage us to linger in contemplation.  This contemplation is a relaxing mental activity very unlike problem-solving and scientific thinking.  The freedom involves not having to apply concepts.

Untitled, (Lebanon), 2009

Untitled, (Lebanon), 2009, Casein on paper 72 x 36 inches. Courtesy of the Artist. Photo: rr jones

Decorative wallpaper, unlike flowers, is actually designed by an artist or craftsman.  But the main point is that it subordinates content to pleasing formal arrangement.  We enjoy good wallpaper design but think of it as something that should be in the background.  Kant insisted that, although objects of free beauty have a designed look, a look of purposiveness, we should not think about the actual purpose, since then we would no longer be engaging in free play.  A botanist, for example, has no advantage in appreciating flowers and should set aside his or her knowledge of plant reproduction if he or she wishes to appreciate its beauty.  Kant excluded the sensual pleasures of color from his account of beauty: color counted merely as adding charm.  But this seems wrong, since our appreciation of flowers and wallpaper includes the colors, and neither would be the same in black and white.  So Kant should have said that the free play is between imagination, understanding and sense.

Untitled (Iraqi and American soldiers in Ramadi, Iraq), 2009-2010

Untitled (Iraqi and American soldiers in Ramadi, Iraq), 2009-2010, Casein on paper, Courtesy of the Artist Photo: rr jones

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In Response: Lynn Powers’ Triton Museum Exhibiton

Posted by erin on July 6th, 2011

ARTSHIFT welcomes responses from the community to our articles and reviews.  Here are Stephen French’s comments, received in response to Erin Goodwin-Guerrero’s review of Lynn Powers paintings in her Winter show at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara. We apologize for a somewhat tardy publication of this thoughtful commentary on both the exhibition and works in question.

By Stephen French

Lynn Powers revisits Vermeer

In her ARTSHIFT review of Lynn Power’s Twenty Year Survey at the Triton Museum, Erin Goodwin finds Powers’ most recent work (based on familiar Vermeer paintings) narrow in focus, missing the richness of surface and symbol of earlier work and “relatively impersonal next to her signature painting style.”

True, Power’s most recent paintings move away from the familiar painterly surfaces and varied textures of the artist’s earlier work but in doing so they greatly expand on the essential and most personal qualities of her work.

These include the rich play of light, shadow and luminosity found in Power’s early work which is continued and greatly intensified in the new Vermeer pieces.  These new pieces also amplify the meditative qualities of stillness and repose that reside at the heart of her most powerful work. In addition the notioon of the “precious object” often highlighted in previous work is reinvented – now found in Vermeer’s paintings.  A partial string of pearls, a spool of thread, an earring are celebrated and given unexpected personal focus.  Ironically what is new and enriching in these paintings is what is missing – Vermeer’s figures.  We are presented with a dramatic conundrum.  Where is the milk maid, the lady of the house, where are they, where have they gone, why are they missing?  No longer present (except in memory) they conjure a magical disappearance, an absence, an enigma that brings a new dream like, surreal character to Power’s 21 Century remembrances.

Powers alters size, scale and proportions, to achieve meditative qualities without reference to the human form.

Its important to note that these “Vermeer paintings” are not attempts to simply replicate the originals.  Powers has changed the size, the scale, the proportions of the paintings and the details of paintings to her own ends.  Like composers from Mozart to Stravinsky, artists and poets have borrowed predecessors’ themes and structures to enhance, inform and enlarge their own work.  The best of cases as here,  honor the forerunner and enrich the borrower’s art.  And, as an artist friend said to me, when you work with Vermeer you really can show what a kick-ass painter you are!

INTERVIEW 5 – the first of a series

Posted by kfunk on July 1st, 2011

Interview 5 series
by Pantea Karimi

Interview 5 is a series of interviews with individual artists who have left a meaningful impact in their communities.
Interviewee: Corinne Okada Takara

www.okadadesign.com

Corrine Okada Takara is a mixed-media artist and arts educator, who composes sculptures of both elegant and mundane materials that tell stories about the collision and intersection of cultures. Okada was selected as one of three Silicon Valley educators to represent the Bay Area at the Microsoft 2011 Innovative Education Forum. She will be presenting the You Are Here Street Banner Project.

Interview 5: Tell me about your current project, You Are Here Street Banner. What is the main goal you would like to achieve by doing this project?

Corinne Okada Takara (COT): The You Are Here Street Banner project is a workshop series exploring community and identity through photography and digital textile design. This project idea began in the summer of 2010. We started the workshops in the winter and are now in the phase of photographing the neighborhoods. On June 20th students presented their collaborative banner designs to the Alum Rock Village Business Association for approval. The following day they presented to the Office of Cultural Affairs at City Hall. The final install date (at the time of this writing) is yet to be determined. I am hopeful for a July or August date.

The project engages the entire fifth grade student body of Cureton Elementary of Alum Rock, San Jose in thinking about what makes their community visually unique. To compare and contrast different community visual vocabularies, the third graders at Hawaii Preparatory Academy also participated in the initial textile pattern workshops. First students at both schools drew radial textile patterns using markers, pencils and tracing papers. These images were posted on VoiceThread, an online freeware communication site, where the students from both schools commented on the textile patterns they created. They either typed in or voice recorded their comments to the other students. These initial marker compositions, became digitally printed fabrics; the 12 yards of fabrics were installed at the Montalvo Arts Center’s Art Splash in April: http://tinyurl.com/textileartsplash.  A portion of the fabric was cut into squares for the students to keep and to learn how to make an eco-friendly Japanese furoshiki wrapping carry-cloth. The radial pattern project done in marker was a way to introduce students to visual vocabularies and to the math involved in creating radial patterns – both main components of the second project: You Are Here Street Banner.  I wanted students to have the experience of creating a radial pattern design by hand before they experimented with digital tools.

 

Furoshiki - wrapping carry-cloth

Furoshiki – wrapping carry-cloth

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Robert Mapplethorpe: Portraits

Posted by kfunk on June 19th, 2011

From Truman Capote to Laurie Anderson: Mapplethorpe’s Portraits at the San Jose Museum of Art

Twenty-two years after the controversial show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art closed-or actually never opened, Mapplethorpe’s work is celebrated world-wide without a blink of hesitation. The controversy is just a blip in the cultural memory of the late 1980s – early 1990s culture wars that created famous verbal spars between artists like Karen Finley and political leaders like Senator Jessie Helms. The obscenity wars shaped a generation and our memory of American life in the last part of the 20th century.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Iggy Pop, 1981, gelatin silver print, Courtesy of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

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AN HISTORIC OVERVIEW OF THE HUMAN CONDITION

Kenna Moser, Observe at Grover Thurston Gallery

Kenna Moser performs a whimsical play with stamps, botanical drawings, postmarks, precise and studied handwritten names and addresses, and collage paintings of diminutive people cut out of old dictionaries They come together to say something about the essence of human endeavor: we strive for the same things, we play the same way, we make the same mistakes, we are guilty of the same follies, we love the same things through the ages. Like a lost letter that arrives at its destination one hundred years later, her small juxtapositions of imagery buried in encaustic, are a surprise and a delight.   Each is an intimate reward for the viewer’s attention, not intended to be monumental, but rather very personal, perhaps like a confession to a dear friend or a narrative of everyday life from a distant relative. Moser works on top of small wooden box forms that give her paintings a sculptural dimension and the sense of containing artifacts as much as being art.  A short story, a few precious antiques, small, collaged historical elements and detailed botanical paintings executed by the artist herself, all are embedded in the carefully prepared wax environment that makes each jewel-like work seem a glimpse into history.

Feat by Kenna Moser

It helps to know the titles.  To some of these tiny narratives we will say, “How true!” Others will make as laugh as we discover visual puns and silly connections between names and objects.  Observe features a tiny woman in a diving posture that, when attached to a bright orange nasturtium, makes her appear to be hang-gliding.  In Feat, we see a tiny track and field competitor leaping feet first over a large hydrangea-like blossom.  Direct shows a small figure conducting life’s symphony with an enormous green fern. Life‘s challenges and vicissitudes go on.

Enrich by Kenna Moser

Kenna Moser used to live in Palo Alto, as ARTSHIFT readers will recall, and in 2004 she moved to the Pacific Northwest. She now creates her meticulous little miracles in a studio on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound.  She is represented by the Gail Severn Gallery in Idaho and the Sue Greenwood Gallery in Laguna Beach, California as well Seattle’s Grover Thurston Gallery where her work was featured in the month of May.  The works can still be viewed in the Grover Thurston Gallery through June, 2011.

GUSTAVO MARTINEZ IN SEATTLE

Posted by erin on June 4th, 2011


Graduate Work Soars in University of Washington Shows

by Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

Parts of Kirby vacuum cleaner, early aircraft technology and bat wings lift Gustavo Martinez’ fantastic creature upward to emerge from the clay earth.

Over a period of years, we have watched Gustavo Martinez use ceramics to track his own life path from his roots in Mexico as he traveled north to Central California and his mixed media installations at San Jose State University, where metaphors for movement forward from an historic culture included railroad tracks and pots and potsherds.  Most recently, investigating symbols from native cultures throughout the Americas, Martinez has focused on animals — possibly taking off from the Quetzalcoatl story — that particularly embrace the concepts of rebirth, transformation, and flight. Finally, flight itself as a concept seems to have drawn the artist into the present, allowing for meditations on what our human journey is all about and why we want to fly to the heavens.

The wings of Martinez’ untitled creatures expand with their shadows.

In his graduate work at the University of Washington, the earlier pieces seemed to grow upward from the earth on spindly apple wood legs.  They embraced androgyny; a creation god with a pregnant belly, has large hands ready to work, but it is still hiding behind a MesoAmerican mask.  An awkward bird creature, full-figured with feminine contours but whose wings have yet to spread, drags its prodigious feathers behind.

In Euphoria, at the Henry Gallery, Gustavo Martinez allows his flying form to draw energy from the clay and minerals of the earth.

As his tenure in the graduate program draws to a close, Martinez’ final work truly breaks through to another level of confidence and takes off.  He revisits his love of line and the drawing he had worked into the surfaces of his ceramic sculpture, and takes it a step further into constructs of welded aluminum tubing, weaving a network of struts, ribs, veins and claw-like fingers into his hybrid creations.  In two of the three galleries where his last works are shown, these lacy forms cast a drama of shadows on the white walls, forming a continuum from the silvery aluminum to the space that dissolves into and beyond the walls.  The viewer will see references to bird wings, bat winds and dragon-fly wings. In my favorite piece, a Kirby vacuum cleaner part becomes a bird’s head that emerges from a ceramic ruff that contains three old style aircraft cylinders as might be situated around the propeller. There is alchemy working hand in hand with technology. The entire creature is rising from the earth, a well-worked, mighty mound of clay that is the artist’s source.

Martinez’ birdlike hybrid ceramic creature is still dragging its plumes.

Martinez supports his large sculpture and its relationship to line work with some interesting drawings in one of the student galleries.  The most informative is probably a giant, yet crude, green architectural form, rendered in expressive brushwork that appears to be a Tower of Babel.  Indeed, using whatever means and technology available, we are determined to get closer to the heavens. We envy and emulate the life forms that fly.

ARTSHIFT TOURS THE SAN FRANCISCO ART FAIRS

Posted by erin on June 4th, 2011

Taking a Peek at the Way Our Neighbors Celebrate the Visual Arts

By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

Signe Mayfield, Kathyrn Funk and Kenna Moser at artMRKTSANFRANCISCO

What better excuse to take Artshift, San Jose to San Francisco, than three art fairs on one weekend?  What is an art fair anyway?  Who will be there?  How will our Silicon Valley artists be seen? Kathryn Funk, Artshift’s Editor, and I headed up the peninsula with a lot of sweaters and coats only to discover San Francisco was sunny and warm. Beautiful!  Our first stop – the artMRKTSANFRANCISCO – a “contemporary and modern” art fair in the Concourse Exhibition Center, at 7th and Brannon.

The artMRKT production was a pretty professional affair. Like many a convention, vendors  – galleries in this case – set up their displays in temporary booths.  Sixty seven sites provided a wide range of well-presented art, some of it very elegantly and some in salon-style, with dealers succumbing to the irresistible desire to cram as much art as possible into a small space.  The range of bars and food options, not available at the other fairs, were welcome to foot weary viewers.

Dionece Sandoval of San Jose’s  Zero1 Festival and Kathryn Funk confer on the scene at artMRKT.

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Beverly Rayner at Gail Gibson Gallery, Seattle

Posted by erin on May 18th, 2011

Illusionistic Devices: Things are Not What They Seem to Be

By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

Beverly Rayner: A Traveling Mesmerist’s Toolkit, Prussia, Ca 1900,  2010

 

Eyes and what they reveal, what they conceal, transmit and collect have long fascinated Beverly Rayner and she uses them to talk about our fears and foibles.  Coming from the world of photography, she also has an abiding interest in the notion of illusion.  An eye behind a lens, an image from three-dimensional reality flattened onto photographic paper and devoid of color is just the beginning.  In the world of art and politics, hypnosis and the paranormal, things are never what they seem. Reality is manipulated and illusion is perpetrated as truth.

Rayner likes to play with words and their double or indeterminate meanings, as many of her titles reveal.  She states that, in many cases, words and vocabulary become the inspiration for a specific piece, as she develops a series.  Her titles suggest that much of her work is satirical and full of social observations.  This show reflects a lot of current concern for increasing invasion of privacy and the ever-increasing collection of data, and methods that allow outside powers to control us or manipulate our minds and behavior.

In her show at the G. Gibson Gallery, Illusionistic Devices, Rayner presents work from different series and themes, but most call up states of mind and emotions that can be individual or collective. These emotional states derive from our illusions.  Rayner’s Museum of Mesmerism, a portable collection of real and apocryphal tools and symbolic artifacts, presents historical curiosities in aged wooden boxes and on worn red velvet, suggesting the reverence and extensive use they may have had.  An epoch is recalled, perhaps one hundred years ago, when Madame Blavatsky reigned and mesmerism and mystical practices entertained and preoccupied a certain class in Europe.  Watch out, indeed!  In this series, Rayner uses the subtle distortion of eyes behind lenses and eyes embedded in resin to evoke the irresistible power of the hypnotist. We can be deceived by our own eyes and overrule logic when confronted with an effective illusion.

A Traveling Mesmerist’s Tool Kit, Prussia, ca 1900, (2010), contains an eye peering through a lens, a magnet, a tortoise shell comb and hair pin both of which are wavy, a bottle of vapors, and two pendants for hypnotism, one of which features a cat’s eye behind a lens at the end of a chain, and the other, a foggy photograph that only shows two hands at the end of a short string of graduated pearls – a very purposeful and scientific-looking collection.  Also from the collection of the Museum of Mesmerism, An Illusionist’s Portable Conjuring Theatre, 1863 (2010) is a collection of photographs of period faces and figures in an ambiguous architectural setting set in a yellowed resin column that is like an emanation.  I imagine a séance, the breeze of a beloved deceased in diaphanous veils that enters and passes through the darkened site.  The medium delivers a message from the other side.  We are reduced to chills and tears.

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New Works by Susannah Israel

Posted by kfunk on May 18th, 2011

at Black Bean Ceramic Art Center

By Ted Fullwood

Though there aren’t any of Susannah Israel’s cups, teapots, or other such vessels in her show of ceramic sculptures at Black Bean Gallery (closed April 22), she is playing with variations on the meanings of “vessels.”

Cove by Susannah Isreal

Cove by Susannah Israel

First, there are the boats as vessels.  The boat sculptures suggest like imagery by Max Beckmann.  Both artists work in the Expressionist style and both have a Fauvist-like tendency to abut complementary colors.  Both Israel and Beckmann use the boat, specifically a crude rowboat, as a representation of their personal narratives.  According to Israel’s statements, part of her narrative is the death of her partner, artist Bill Lassell.  It’s too easy to interpret Israel’s boat pieces as a statement of feeling left adrift after a personal loss, so I won’t.  The boat pieces, Israel’s strongest work in the show, seem to be tableaux form Israel’s dream life.  The figures, often accompanied by animals, are generally expressionless and lack individuality, as though seen through a haze.  The boat motif gives the works a feeling of forward propulsion as well the sense of a side-to-side buffeting in the waves.  In the piece “Cove” the boat is full of water; it’s buffeting is from both the interior and exterior.

Stampede by Susannah Isreal

Stampede by Susannah Israel

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Of All the Things, She Counts

Posted by kfunk on April 21st, 2011

Bane:  works on paper by Fanny Retsek

Art Ark Gallery, San Jose, California, April 2011

By Susan O’Malley

Ever since she can remember, Fanny Retsek has felt a deep connection to nature. This may seem odd for someone who grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, but for Retsek, her reverence for the earth is entwined with her identity. “Every day I am awed and inspired by the beauty of nature and how we are part of a larger interconnected system.” The flow of this remarkable network, however, is constantly threatened and disrupted. Humans, driven by fear and greed, strive to control both nature and each other. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the wars in the Middle East, the endangered Wyoming toad, whooping crane and North American wolf – all of these incidents highlight the toxic footprint humans are leaving on our planet. In her work, Retsek draws connections between these global and local stories, and in doing so, reflects on who we are. “What we do to the earth and to other species is ultimately what we do to ourselves.”

"If We Don't Care"

If We Don’t Care…..

More often than not, the shortsighted, faster and cheaper solution outweighs the long view to solving the multifaceted problems we face today. In her drawings and prints, Retsek wrestles with our species’ complex relationship with the natural world and each other. Inspired by research and the intrinsic beauty of nature, the softly colored landscapes depict reoccurring motifs that define Retsek’s visual vocabulary. The repetitive process of drawing, stamping, and printing signifies a way of counting for Retsek. She tallies numbers that correspond to various statistics she encounters in the news or in her research. Fields of windmills, helicopters, birds, wolves and frogs create landscapes that suggest the interconnections and tensions between animals, land and humans. For the artist, making art is an act of meditation; it is a necessary process in order to grapple with the world in which she lives.

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THE EMBROIDERED ART OF LEO CHIACHIO AND DANIEL GIANNONE

Posted by erin on April 20th, 2011

The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles Shows Argentine Artists, Chiachio and Giannone

by Erin Goodwin-Guerrero


Chiachio and Giannone’s Inquietante Escena (Exciting Scene)

The first US solo show of Argentine National Prize winning artists, Leo Chiachio and Daniel Giannone is currently on exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.  Their works range from altar-like installations to richly embroidered autobiographical and legendary narratives to small, embroidered domestic objects such as tea towels.  The imagery shows the artists themselves, often with Piolín – their dachshund – as role players in biblical tales, international cultural rituals and folk practices, and as protagonists in contemporary political dialectics. Often, as in Inquietante Escena (Exciting Scene), it is all mixed together in a scene with elaborate costuming from Japanese Kabuki theatre, the lush color and textural qualities of embroidery, and the comical insertion of two Westerners and a dachshund.  On other occasions the message can become sparse, clearly satirical and a bit angry, as in  Sebastianos, (The Saints Sebastian).  Mostly, the mood of their adventures is one of tenderness and love as seen in Marineritos (The Young Sailors), still at sea, their future as full of possibilities as the great night sky above them.

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