Contemporaneous Extension


best coast?

I just returned from San Francisco on Sunday and have been trying to catch up from my week vacation. The left coast was somewhere between a twilight zone of urban comparative studies and a gooey rush of romantical people and places. I made it to the SFMoMA and a few gallery shows around town, here are some excerpts.

Although I can’t actually find an image of the work I saw initially (from Sequence 9, On the death of my father from 1951), I can thank the SFMoMA for opening me up to Minor White. He was also just included in the AbEx exhibition at the MoMA in NYC, and I am absolutely enamored with his tendency toward gestural, inanimate objects and sweeping, cinematic landscape. He finds shooting stars in the mundane with special attention to light. Also, as one of the founders of Aperture and an avid traveler, I look forward to seeking out more of his work.

Minor White, 'Haags Alley, Rochester,' 1960, Gelatin silver print, 9 1/8 x 8 5/8" (23.1 x 21.9 cm).

Minor White, 'Peeled Paint,' 1959, Polaroid negative, 9 1/2 x 7 3/8" (24.1 x 18.7 cm).

Minor White, 'Two Barns and Shadow,' 1955, Gelatin silver print, 9 3/4 x 12 15/16" (24.8 x 33 cm)

Minor White, 'Intimations of Disaster, no. 25,' 1949, Gelatin silver print, 13 5/16 x 3 3/4" (33.8 x 9.5 cm)

Minor White, 'Intimations of Disaster, no. 25,' 1949, Gelatin silver print, 13 5/16 x 3 3/4" (33.8 x 9.5 cm)

Wasn’t too acquainted with Rauschenberg’s photography, but I love this one.

Robert Rauschenberg  Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V), 1952; photograph; suite of five gelatin silver prints, 20 in. x 80 in. (50.8 cm x 203.2 cm);

Robert Rauschenberg Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V), 1952; photograph; suite of five gelatin silver prints, 20 in. x 80 in. (50.8 cm x 203.2 cm);

The Rouen Cathedral painted by Monet is one of my favorite series in art history. The dedication to light and the way it melds so fluidly with the aura of the image, the tones, and the implication of time passing in art is so satisfying. I enjoyed Lichtenstein’s play on the idea. Hand-painted and particularly paralyzing, I think they’re super successful and feel a connection to them, to a facet of Lichtenstein’s work I didn’t think existed.

Roy Lichtenstein Rouen Cathedral Set V, 1969; painting; oil and magna on canvas, 63 5/8 in. x 141 7/8 in. x 1 3/4 in. (161.61 cm x 360.36 cm x 4.45 cm);

Sol LeWitt’s mosaic murals are stunning and a day-brightener for commuters and pedestrians alike. The SFMoMA had a few of his pieces that were particularly out of character to me, consisting of darker hues, less movement, and closed forms. This was a favorite.

Sol LeWitt Wall Structure Blue, 1962; sculpture; oil on canvas and painted wood, 62 1/4 in. x 62 1/4 in. x 9 3/4 in. (158.12 cm x 158.12 cm x 24.77 cm);

Barry McGee has been an artist who constantly finds his way into my peripheral. I think his use of pattern, graffiti tactics of languid text and quick yet emotive characters is oftentimes hilarious and always aesthetically pleasing. The piece he had at SFMoMA actually protruded from the wall in a wonderfully bulbous half-hour glass formation. His use of bright orange and yellows really set it off!

Barry McGee  Untitled, 1996; installation; mixed media, dimensions variable;

Barry McGee Untitled, 1996; installation; mixed media, dimensions variable;

I hadn’t seen anything by Shaun O’Dell prior to my journey. His work is really challenging, utilizing a wide range of patterns and inverted natural imagery that is really quite pleasing. My first of many favorites.

Shaun O'Dell, 'Primitive Contract for Metropolis Consumption vortex', 2004, Ink and Gouache on paper, 26 x 35"

Been so long since I’ve seen a Richter portrait, this is a great one.

Gerhard Richter, 'Portrait Müller,' 1965, 80 cm X 60 cm, Oil on canvas.

Another photographer I hadn’t heard of but am extremely glad I found. I’m a sucker for good reflection shots…

Wright Morris, 'Front Door, Home Place,' 1947, gelatin silver print

Simple but lasting, Strand’s receding depth is a winning combination with the emphasis on horizontal lines in the barn’s construction. Beautiful.

Paul Strand, 'Barn, Gaspé,' 1936, gelatin silver print, 4 11/16 in. x 5 7/8 in. (11.91 cm x 14.92 cm)

Paul Strand, 'Barns and Sheds, Louiseville, Quebec,' 1936, gelatin silver print, 7 7/16 in. x 9 1/2 in. (18.89 cm x 24.13 cm)

Harry Callahan is another new discovery, quite dramatic.

Harry Callahan, 'Chicago, 1949,' 1949, gelatin silver print, 7 1/2 in. x 9 7/8 in. (19.05 cm x 25.08 cm)

Mark Rudewel was a great discovery, a modern photographer shooting the West that really does it justice. His shots are barren, with a twinge of the olden days and an a great understanding of line.

Mark Ruwedel, 'Central Pacific / Union Pacific #9,' 2005, gelatin silver print, 7 1/2 in. x 9 9/16 in. (19.05 cm x 24.29 cm)

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