For all its contributions to literature, the Beat generation of artists is above all known for its lifestyle–the addled, erotic, for-the-moment mania that blasted the foundations of conservative 1950s America and paved the way for full-fledged counterculture movements in cities like San Francisco and New York.
As though to prepare us for the upcoming art onslaught that is ArtPad SF and ArtMRKT, an unusually great number of galleries open their doors this week with new shows. As always, the work is as diverse as it is intriguing. We've sifted through the lot; here are our top eight recommendations.
Brooklyn duo Skewville bring their "urban playground" aesthetic to White Walls, Corden Potts shows Michael Crouser's famed bullfighting series, and two other galleries reach milestones worth celebrating. Stop in.
It certainly feels like spring in the SF art world this week, with internationally renowned color fiend Markus Linnenbrink showing a brilliant batch of new work at Patricia Sweetow Gallery, and big-league art dealer George Krevsky hosting his annual tribute to the start of baseball season.
“I feel like the world is a place I bought a ticket to,” the photographer Garry Winogrand is quoted saying in Garry Winogrand, now at SFMOMA. This unprecedentedly comprehensive exhibition, consisting of hundreds of snapshot photographs taken between the early 1950s and the time of the prolific artist’s early death in 1984, offers viewers a ringside seat to the unique spectacle of American society as it mutated over the course of those incredible decades–an opportunity not to be passed up.
Four gallery exhibitions stand out this week; they present work in ink, of flowers, about time and wielding text. Of course, these single-word summations are grand oversimplifications that barely scratch the surface of how the eight artists in the Chinese Cultural Center's Moment for Ink breathe new, contemporary and even non-Chinese life into a traditional medium, or how Canadian painter Graham Gillmore's phrasing achieves such controversial edge. For that, read on, then see the shows yourself.
Kael Alford and Thorne Anderson are photojournalists rather than fine art photographers, per se. But, as is not uncommon when image-makers far exceed the expectations of their genre, the art world is where they have wound up. Eye Level in Iraq, their collection of photographs documenting the US-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath, is one of the most compelling exhibitions the De Young Museum's young photography department has shown.