Four Summer Art Shows to Brighten Up Your Mind


The first of the summer gallery exhibitions open this week. Our picks include never-before-exhibited works by a major modernist photographer, a sampling of contemporary abstraction from the international scene, and an intriguing exhibition from one of the East Bay’s more unique studios.

Garry Winogrand: circa 1969, at Fraenkel Gallery
Arriving at the heels of a fantastic Lee Friedlander exhibition, Garry Winogrand: circa 1969 continues Fraenkel Gallery’s procession of major modernist photography. A pioneer “street photographer,” Winogrand roamed the alleys and avenues of postwar New York City with his 35mm, capturing happenstance events in all their immediate energy. He has been called the photographer of his generation – a title for which there was very stiff competition.

1969 was an especially red-letter year for the thoroughly prolific artist, Fraenkel Gallery believes, and they have promised a number of never-before-exhibited photographs to demonstrate it. Winogrand is heavily represented in Trevor Traina’s collection, now at the De Young, and will receive a full-fledged retrospective at SFMOMA next year. For all those interested in the history of photography, circa 1969 will be necessary viewing as well.

Garry Winogrand: circa 1969 runs from June 28 – August 18 at Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary Street

Toolbox, at Creative Growth
Creative Growth is a toolbox. The oldest and largest studio for artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities, it strives to be precisely this – a place for its exhibitors to find and utilize the therapeutic tools of outward expression: wood, ceramics, textile, cardboard, pigment, and so forth. The result is consistently stunning, and a bit of thematic reflexivity, examining the process of materials becoming art in this space in particular, should make it all the more so.

Toolbox runs from June 28 – August 9 at Creative Growth, 355 24th Street, Oakland, CA. Opening Reception: Thursday, June 28, from 5 – 8pm

Wolfgang Ganter, Untitled (Vorhang), 2012, Archival digital print, wood, epoxy
39.4 x 59.5 inches; 100 x 151,16 cm Edition of 6. Courtesy of Eli Ridgway Gallery

Wolfgang Ganter: Informel Logic, at Eli Ridgway Gallery
Wolfgang Ganter’s abstract, large-scale photogenic prints at once seem to depict disintegration and decay, and billowing, explosive generation. They are vaguely cosmic, vaguely microscopic, and immediately absorbing.

“What is going on?” is an apt question, as method is key with the acclaimed, Berlin-based artist. For Informel Logic – a reference to Art Informel, a 1950s French movement that ran parallel to Abstract Expressionism – Ganter salvaged discarded film slides from waste collection sites and then subjected them to a process of magnification and chemical manipulation, warping their images and producing unexpected, color-saturated patterns. It is Ganter’s second exhibition at Eli Ridgway Gallery, and as good an entry point as any.

Wolfgang Ganter: Informel Logic runs from June 30 – July 28 at Eli Ridgway Gallery, 172 Minna Street. Opening Reception: Saturday, June 30, from 4 – 7pm

Sara Bright, Fishing, 2012, oil on linen, 14 x 11 in.

Sara Bright and Clem Crosby, at 60Six
About a year after moving from 49 Geary to Los Angeles, George Lawson Gallery is sending a couple of its star artists back up North. The painterly delegates, New York-based Sara Bright and London-based Clem Crosby, will fill new gallery space 60Six with vibrant, highly gestural works in oil. While Bright straddles a viscously applied line between figuration and abstraction, Crosby veers decidedly toward the latter with his signature pulsing grids. Hanging together, they promise to resonate at a frequency all its own.

Sara Bright and Clem Crosby runs from July 1 – July 28 at 60six, 66 Elgin Park. Opening Reception: Sunday, July 1, from 5 – 8pm

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