Sunday, July 28, 2013

Not to be missed: Richard Diebenkorn

A drive into San Francisco from Oakland can be a big deal with traffic. I try to take public transit when I can. But since I had a business appointment in the far reaches of the city, I piggybacked a trip to the de Young Museum to see Richard Diebenkorn, the Berkeley Years, 1953-1966.

I love Diebenkorn's Bay Area Figurative and Ocean Park series. I even feel a special affinity since he was an alumni of both my high school and college. Ah, if only I can paint as well as he did!

This exhibition highlights the breath of his work from abstract (often landscape-like) to figurative and back to abstract for those 13 years he lived in Berkeley. It showcases 130 works - oil paintings and many smaller mixed media pieces on paper, most rarely shown before. Most just wonderfully luminescent! Terrific brushwork and underlying textures hinting of changes. Diebenkorn worked improvisationally. He often sat for hours looking at his painting before re-doing areas his canvases.

Due to copyright issues no photography was allowed (nor can I but you can browse through the museum's website for more information including a fewYouTube clips. His daughter's reminiscing is an especially illuminating view of his life and character.

Going home, I got stuck on the freeway for about an hour because the bridge was closed for removal of a suspicious package. That probably won't happen to you, so if you're in the area, don't miss this! Exhibition closes September 29, 2013.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wire diversions

I've long admired Mari Andrews' sculptures ever since visiting her studio a number of years ago. Now am looking forward to her exhibition Over, Under and Inside Out at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art

Mari Andrews' Hold
Propensitus Gravitas detail
Mari Andrews' Propensitus Gravitas
Two years ago she offered a one-day workshop called Paperless Drawing - Wire Sculpture at the Richmond Art Center. But the timing didn't work. This year I had another chance so I broke with my nose-to-the-grindstone routine.

After learning about wire - types, gauges, tools, knots - I played, adding other paraphernalia to wire, to create these two small sculptures:

I'm still having fun toying with their orientation.

It was a terrific diversion from the rigors of piecing. Maybe I'll make one every day week month. Oh, heck, just make another one . . .  whenever . . . then another . . .