Masters of Venice & Ralph Eugene Meatyard [Review]

Masters of Venice | Saturday, October 29, 2011 to Sunday, February 12, 2012 | Ralph Eugene Meatyard | Saturday, October 8, 2011 – Sunday, February 26, 2012 | de Young Museum | San Francisco 

Unlike the Picasso, Warhol, or Impressionism exhibitions that the de Young has presented in recent years, “Masters of Venice” is not very big–only about 50 pieces. But those pieces are extremely famous. One even wonders how the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna let them travel over the ocean, since most of them will soon be 500 years old. Saint Sebastian by Mantegna, Danae by Titian, Susanna and the Elders by Tintoretto, The Three Philosophers by Giorgione–are you kidding me? All of those works stand at the origins of painting as we know it. The Renaissance, after all, was the period when oil painting technique was first mastered, and art became aligned more with the aristocracy than the church.

Jacopo Robusti, called Tintoretto. Susanna and the Elders. ca. 1555-1556. Oil on canvas. Gemäldegalerie of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Image provided by the de Young Museum.

Read more of this post

Exchange and Evolution: Worldwide Video Long Beach 1974-1999 at the Long Beach Museum of Art [Review]

This fall and winter, the museum world in Southern California will be dominated by Pacific Standard Time–a gargantuan initiative by the Getty meant to celebrate the postwar art of the region. Not long ago I headed down south to check it out. My first stop was the Long Beach Museum of Art, which decided to approach the theme quite unconventionally. “Exchange and Evolution” explores not Californian art, but the history of the museum as a hub for video practitioners from all over the world.

Long Beach Oil Rig Island

Photo by donielle, CC BY-SA 2.0

Read more of this post

ArtSeekr: Events October 18 – October 24, 2011

San Francisco has a fair amount of great art events (screenings, performances, lectures, exhibition openings, etc.) happening every week, so we decided to start this wonderful listing column. We at eventseekr blog monitor lots and lots of art venues, but something might still fall through the cracks – so if you know of any cool and under-publicized (or non-publicized) happenings, TELL US!!!

6th ATA Film & Video Festival, Artists’ Television Access, October 19-23. The ATA is a nonprofit space in the Mission dedicated to promoting exploratory film and video (or, as they say now, time-based work). Their annual festival will start with a reception on October 19th. The next two days will feature shorts’ programs zeroing in on the intriguing topics like “the physical and emotional landscapes of our world” and “the archetypal Davids and Goliaths in our experiences” (doesn’t THAT look curious?) There will also be a Super8 workshop on October 23rd, as well as a surveillance-based installation by Sam Manera during the whole month.

Read more of this post

Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective at SF MOMA [Preview]

One of the first times I saw the work of Richard Serra in person was on a warm San Francisco afternoon, when I took a walk from the China Basin neighborhood to Mission Bay. China Basin, with its newly built condominiums, neat cafes, and picturesque floating homes, projects the air of inconspicuous, self-satisfied affluence; this is what you may call an urban Arcadia. Take the 3rd Street Bridge to Mission Bay, and you will get into a massive construction zone, which neighbors various facilities for biomedical research. Some of the buildings don logos of huge corporations such as Bayer. Turn onto a slumberous plaza with cafes and benches, and this is what you will encounter: two giant rectangular slabs made of rusty steel, tilting and facing each other from a 100-foot-plus distance.

Read more of this post