Archive for June, 2009

Kelly Detweiler At Triton Museum of Art

Posted by erin on June 15th, 2009

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Kelly Detweiler’s landscapes are part of his Triton Museum exhibition.

A Familiar Cast of Characters Flips the Calendar Forward
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

Ever since I first saw Kelly Detweiler’s paintings hanging in Eulipia in the seventies, I have been a fan. It took quite a few years before I met the artist and even longer to get to know him as a colleague in the teaching world and as a friend. Through the years his work has borne an unmistakable signature. His wide-ranging stylization of the figure, from cartoony to cubist, his idyllic landscapes often with anthropomorphic animals, and his still lives with witnesses from art history are themes that have sustained his work.

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Still Life with Ghost, by Kelly Detweiler

In his Triton Museum Exhibition, Detweiler talks about working in series, the origins of his work in art history and a rigor learned through his first medium, ceramics. Making vessels heightened the artist’s interest in the role of the ubiquitous vase in historic still lives. Over the years, on a series of small works abandoned by students, Detweiler appropriated, reworked, repainted and continually revisited the vase, playing it against the figure and all the historic elements of the still life, and frequently used collage elements. These small mixed media paintings have been some of my favorites among his oeuvre. And they have lead logically, in terms of process, into Detweiler’s Calendar Series now seen at the Triton. I cannot get enough of these images. I am admittedly biased towards certain aesthetics of graphics and further there are themes in these works that I love.

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Images Transform Utility Doors and Give Downtown a Boost of Energy
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

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Nneka Idika, A Junior at Lincoln High School, was one of the winners for her artwork, A Story in History

Unique and surprising images by San Jose high school students have made the streets of downtown San Jose into an exhibition site. Their twenty five photographs, drawings, paintings and mixed-media works have been blown up and adhered to the many utility doors that open onto the downtown streets. In the process, they have transformed many lengths of otherwise dreary and architecturally unremarkable urban streetscape into a colorful and vibrant experience for passersby. Some of these images have a remarkable relationship to the activities of host businesses or public spaces where they are placed, some are wonderfully mysterious, some seem to address other young spirits on the street, and yet others are simply a special and unique creative statement. From the viewpoint of this art educator, their honest diversity and lack of calculated stylistic postures is a remarkable comment on the open minds and enviable spontaneity of these young artists.

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Sarahi Escorza’s Time is Precious, and Edward Balaoro’s Where to Go? are seen on South First Street behind the Fairmont Hotel.

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TWO VIEWS OF LONG SORROW

Posted by erin on June 8th, 2009

On April 30, 2009, San Jose State University MFA and MA students from Anthony Raynsford’s Contemporary Art Seminar on Empathy and Embodiment took a field trip to the Cantor Arts Center to view the collection and to hear a Stanford Art Department lecture by art historian and critic Michael Fried in Annenberg Auditorium. Nancy Sevier and Joveena Prince offer two different reactions to Fried’s lecture and his showing of Anri Sala’s Long Sorrow a film by the contemporary Berlin-based Albanian video artist.
The Long Sorrow
By Nancy Sevier

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Video still from Anri Sala, Long Sorrow

Art theorist, Michael Fried, treated the public to an animated lecture at Stanford University. Over the years, Fried has concerned himself with the relationship of the artist and the viewer. He is well known for his essay, “Art and Objecthood,” in which he accuses the Minimalists of the 1960’s, of being “theatrical” and dishonest about the means in which their work is seen by the viewer.

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PATIENTLY ENGAGING THE GRANITE

Posted by erin on June 8th, 2009

On April 30, 2009, San Jose State University MFA and MA students from Anthony Raynsford’s Contemporary Art Seminar on Empathy and Embodiment took a field trip to the Cantor Arts Center to view the collection and to hear a Stanford Art Department lecture by art historian and critic Michael Fried in Annenberg Auditorium. Presley Martin presents his impressions of earth artist Richard Long’s 1990 piece, Georgia Granite Circle, included in the exhibition Pop To Present on view at the Cantor Center until August 16th.
Reflections on Georgia Granite Circle
By Presley Martin

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Richard Long, Georgia Granite Circle, 1990
Photo by Presley Martin

Walking quickly through the Cantor Arts Center, I couldn’t help but be struck by Richard Long’s “Georgia Granite Circle.” While there were many works that were interesting and warranted further attention there was no

doubt that I would spend my fifteen minutes with the circle of granite. Having grown up in a scientific family and spending summers in the New Hampshire woods that are strewn with granite boulders I recognized the rocks as granite immediately. Indeed when I sat with the work many childhood memories came flooding back to me. More than anything I could imagine how it would feel to walk across the mass of rocks. I would have to struggle to keep my balance walking on top of the granite chunks as they moved under my feet. As a child I was also an avid rock collector so I was drawn to the many small glinting crystals in the granite. These are good specimens, the kind I would have taken home as a child. Indeed it occurred to me that Richard Long’s main emphasis with this work may be nothing more than a celebration of the childhood joy of rocks. It also made me remember throwing stones into lakes and rivers, where one goal was always to throw the largest stone you could. While all these reactions to the work engaged me and drew me in I wouldn’t say I lost myself in the work, or was embodied in the granite. I definitely empathized with Richard’s and indeed all humans love of rocks.

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SubZERO and First Fridays Meet on June 5

Posted by erin on June 8th, 2009

A MIX OF A BIT OF EVERYTHING and FUN FOR EVERYONE
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

The monthly artwalk known as First Fridays, where galleries in San Jose’s Sofa District stay open late on the first Friday of the month was joined by the SubZERO Festival to bring the flavor of Zero1’s digital art biennale to the street. All joined in the street with crafts booths, robots, gallery exhibitions that spilled outdoors, food, costumes, fundraising, music and fun. Cafes, billiard halls and empty storefronts brought more art inside with an occasional band as well. Artists, patrons and sponsors mingled, all seemingly pleased with the mix of merchandise from ceramics and jewelry to designer couture, and art mixed with entertainment.

The new streetscaping on South First, between Santa Clara and Reed Streets added an upbeat aesthetic to the historically grungy mental image of the Sofa District as an old cast-off sofa at curb’s edge. The purple jacarandas blooming profusely enhanced the ambience. Dining on the widened sidewalks, new planters with greenery and flowers and a new parking plan for south First Street are just part of a larger plan for beautifying and improving downtown San Jose.

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Connie Martinez, Executive Director of 1stAct Silicon Valley (center) tried to ignore her disabled car and a sick cat to enjoy the SubZERO Festival. Ken Kay, of Ken Kay Associates, with wife Jing, returned from China to attend the Festival. Kay is the Urban Architect responsible for the pilot project and redesign of the Sofa District.

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Bill Gould Design Anniversary Exhibition, 2009

Posted by erin on June 2nd, 2009

BGD’s First Figurative Show is Diverse with Strong Narratives.
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

At Bill Gould Design in San Jose, the annual bash that brings clients in for an open house and celebrates Bill Gould’s commitment to the visual arts took a new turn with a new exhibition exploring a figurative theme. Wayne Jiang, Lucy Trager, Charlotte Kruk, Katherine Levin Lau and Eugene Rodriguez all approach the figurative with a slightly different focus. Curator Kathryn Funk began with the intense self-portrait montoypes of Katherine Levin-Lau and quickly decided to show a number of other interesting figurative artists, developing the first theme show in the newly expanded office, fabrication and exhibition space.

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Wayne Jiang’s Self Portrait with Plumeria

Wayne Jiang, whose small scale landscapes of lonely, beautifully and somewhat surreally lit urban nightcapes were superb at Heritage Bank, again delights us in this series of figures in lonely, alienated, situations. Jiang seems to find the moment in a larger narrative when every person is alone; sadness is lurking nearby, yet there is poignancy. His figures are introspective, maybe bored, tired, and sleepy, at the point of withdrawal. Painting mostly darkened situations, with artificial light, Jiang painstakingly and beautifully disperses light throughout a room with reflections on glass, upholstery, walls and the light-and-shadow folds of fabric. The rendering of his own figure in a chair, his face and hands, the bookcase, wall and floor in Self Portrait with Plumeria, is wonderfully soft and three-dimensional at the same time, with an unseen light source on the left. The bookcase, filled with the detail of books and papers, and the night scene in the window behind the figure are more fine elements of this painting. (more…)