A painting of four pink-skinned people with shoulder length wavy black hair. Their bodies are staggered. Starting with the person in the left corner, shown in profile, each person turns progressively more to their left until the person on the right faces away from the viewer. Scattered clouds in a light blue sky over a red sea fills the horizon in the background.

Sasha Zirulnik: Young Hearts Run Free

It’s high time now, just one crack at life
Who wants to live in, in trouble and strife
My mind must be free
To learn all I can about me
—Candi Staton, Young Hearts Run Free (1974)

There’s something in the goddam air. The poignant and quietly powerful work of Brooklyn-based artist Sasha Zirulnik, illuminates this moment of personal and societal introspection. The paintings and sculptures on view in Young Hearts Run Free, Zirulnik’s debut exhibition at Nationale, were all made during the pandemic and the current racial justice uprising. Shifting materials and moods, from playful found object sculptures to pensive self-portraits on canvas, reveal the artist’s deep dive into her creative practice as a form of survival. 

Perhaps the best place to feel free is the sea. Each sculpture on view in Young Hearts Run Free incorporates seashells, whether visible or hidden, collected by the artist from the beaches of New York. Zirulnik’s use of seashells, and the process of collecting them, connects her both to the natural world, and to ancient cultures who also found beauty and meaning in gifts from the sea. “I choose to work with seashells because they symbolize life, death, and the natural world in which our ties to nature have become increasingly frayed.” 

Seashells exist in what Zirulnik calls the “liminal” space between land and water. They have an enduring and mythical quality that is reflected in Zirulnik’s work. Her sculpture Venus, with its organic forms and shells for breasts, head, and pubis, could belong in an ancient spiritual site or in a contemporary space. For Dali, the small, playful sculpture with a butterfly face and a delicate body made of shells, plaster, and paper mache has a similar timeless quality. An homage to the surrealist artist who delighted in fantastical scenarios, For Dali feels as if it could scurry away on its three column-like legs at any moment. 

In the sculpture Hard Times in New York Town, one of a series of self-portraits in the exhibition, the artist’s head is shown on its side, a black ringlet, clipped from a former lover, falls down her face. The eyes appear almost hollow, but when you look closely you can see deep set shells. Hidden from the viewer is another shell inside her closed mouth. The title, borrowed from a Bob Dylan song, says it all; feelings of defeat, claustrophobia, and grief permeate. Profile is another self-portrait, but this one is an almost tessellation-like painting of the artist’s profile set against a bright blue sky evoking a sense of hopeful calm. In Young Hearts Run Free, Zirulnik reminds us that when hard times fall, as they inevitably always do, art and nature will save us all. 

Sasha Zirulnik was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated in 2017 with a BFA in sculpture. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has shown and curated exhibitions in New York and California. Young Hearts Run Free is her first exhibition at Nationale and in Portland, OR. 

 

 

 

Black graphic symbols on a light grey background. The symbols are made up of diamond shapes and triangle-ended rectangles.

Tannaz Farsi: A More Perfect Union

The American flag is an object, an image, and an idea signifying a shared history that tethers the bodies of citizens to the edges of this land.
Who does this belong to? What do we rally around?
Who is considered a citizen? For how long?
Under what circumstance does one become suspect?
What is sacrificed in order to belong?

HOLDING Contemporary is pleased to present new spatial works by Tannaz Farsi. A More Perfect Union opens on Thursday, November 19 and runs through December 19, 2020. Gallery hours are noon – 5:00 pm, Thursday – Saturday. A conversation between Tannaz Farsi and curator Lucy Cotter will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2020 at 5pm PT on Zoom. Meeting ID: 855 192 711 Password 060467.

In her practice, Farsi uses text and material to create contingent works and installations rooted in diasporic (immigrant, refugee) identity, history, and language. A More Perfect Union consists of both amorphous and structured artworks that reflect on questions of citizenship in the United States during a significant time of unrest and months of living at a public distance and close domestic proximity amid widespread protests simulcast on streets and screens. A More Perfect Union, is a phrase extracted from the preamble to the US Constitution, and in this exhibition, intended to acknowledge structural failures that show the distance of our everyday reality to the imagined democratic experiment outlined in the founding document of this country. Farsi’s installation of words, actions, and repetitions stand in as markers of rage, fear, and sorrow, as well as a collective aspiration for change.

Tannaz Farsi’s practice is a configuration of objects and images that address the complicated networks around the conception of memory, history, identity and geography. Drawing from historic cultural objects, feminist histories, and theories of displacement evidenced by long-standing colonialist and authoritarian interventions into daily life, her project-based works propose a different means of representation regarding non-western subjects and objects that obstruct singular and conventional means of identification. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and supported through residencies including Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, MacDowell Colony, Santa Fe Art Institute and the Rauschenberg Foundation. Her work has been acknowledged by grants and awards includings a Hallie Ford Fellowship in 2014 and a Bonnie Bronson Fellowship in 2019. Born in Iran, Farsi lives and works in Eugene, OR where she is on the faculty at the University of Oregon.

A marble sculpture that resembles a benign, almost blooming flower, but the pointed tips of the spiraled corolla mimic fingers pressed together to quickly, sharply pursue an object. Finally, above the base of the piece, there's a small hole.

Love Letter to Yoko Kubrick

A marble sculpture that resembles a benign, almost blooming flower, but the pointed tips of the spiraled corolla mimic fingers pressed together to quickly, sharply pursue an object. Finally, above the base of the piece, there's a small hole.
Yoko Kubrick, The Capture of Persephone, 2020. 32x 20 x 20 inches, statuary marble of Carrara.

Western culture loves Greek mythology. We retell their stories in countless different ways, from literature to Hollywood movies. But what if a deity or its associate lesson were portrayed as abstractly as the element of life and nature they chaperone? San Francisco sculptor Yoko Kubrick meets this challenge through her transformation of narrative archetypes into symbolic figures of stone and marble.

Myths entice through their description of the gods’ paradoxical combination of super human power and very human nature, complicating what defines a human. It’s risky to lose the reality of our limits, but we mortals cannot help reimagining ourselves. By not explicitly depicting her subjects, Kubrick extracts from the viewer the longing to be greater than what we are.

Her sculptures seem as though they’re infused with potential energy, imbued with a sense of being in the process of morphing from one thing into another. They speak not only to the enduring relevance of Greek mythology, but to a truth about humans: we are creatures of change, always moving even when we are not.

I see this in her piece The Capture of Persephone (2019). The sculpture resembles a benign, almost blooming flower, but the pointed tips of the spiraled corolla mimic fingers pressed together to quickly, sharply pursue an object. Finally, above the base of the piece, there’s a small hole. Though the sculpture’s referent isn’t immediately apparent, the title provides its Greek inspiration, hinted in a flower for Persephone’s domain or her ensnarement, and the hole, which may symbolize the portal between the Underworld and the earthly world. Kubrick’s sculptures satisfy the looker, while still giving more to imagine.

A mixed media work of two human-ish figures rendered in a quilted blanket, embellished with acrylic paint. The figures' forms are abstracted, wiggly, and made of brightly patterned fabric. Flowers and butterflies surround them.

Snail Shell: Maria Guzmán Capron & Rachel Hayden

pt. 2 Gallery is pleased to present Snail Shell, a collaborative exhibition of new work by Maria Guzmán Capron and Rachel Hayden. The exhibition juxtaposes Hayden’s acrylic paintings with Guzman Capron’s textile wall sculptures to investigate the relationship between physiognomy, emotional state, and the idea of home.

Guzmán Capron’s composite figures exist in a state of movement and flux. Their heads often contort against their bodies, with expressive gestures and faces that are open to interpretation. Meanwhile, Hayden’s subjects gaze back at the viewer, fixed and motionless in the center of the canvas. Each artist uses repeated images and textures and reassembles them in different ways in various works. Guzmán Capron uses fragments of old clothing, drapery, and textile to create figures and frames that withhold them. Hayden’s composes and recomposes motifs of butterflies, anthuriums, celestial bodies, and faces as a means to understand psychological space.

In shimmering, vivid tones of cadmium orange, light phthalo green, and light ultramarine, Rachel Hayden rearranges recurring images, documenting her transformative journey from anxiety to joy. Flowers, butterflies, and rainbows often grace her transcendental paintings, floating in space atop lush horizons full of twinkling stars or deep allusions to twilight. These symbols of beauty and transformation are grounded by faces, sometimes in clear human forms, others in composite images with the flowers and butterflies. While the symbols are light objects indicative of joy and beauty, they do entail struggle and perseverance to reach that moment of joy – the butterfly must transform from the caterpillar, the rainbow must wait out the storm and the flower must blossom.

 

Collaged image of a person embracing someone kneeling from behind in a park setting.

Wardell Milan

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present new work by Wardell Milan. The gallery’s second solo show of the New York-based artist will be on view from October 29 to December 23, 2020.

The exhibition features Milan’s ongoing series “Death, Wine, Revolt,” which combines photography, drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture to explore themes of over-indulgence, destruction, and revolution. While earlier series such as “Parisian Landscapes” looked inward, to personal questions of freedom and desire, Milan made the works on view in response to the turmoil of the global moment.

In several large-scale works, Milan uses enlargements of his own photographs of specific locations—the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Martin Luther King was assassinated, or the city of Venice—setting his images in dialogue with historical sites of racist violence or political rebellion. Populating the works are a range of human figures, often nude, whose bodies are pieced together from fractured drawings and photographs, and overlaid with blue and white paint. Some groupings suggest erotic coupling or violent encounters, and many arrangements are based on photographic sources. In 2020, Los Feliz, Los Angeles, Milan positions five figures in white Ku Klux Klan hoods against his own photograph of the city’s hills. The arrangement of bodies is based on a found image of a Klan social gathering, and presents the white nationalists in a bland, contemporary California suburb. In The Parade, the arrangement of figures echoes Diane Arbus’s Untitled (7), from her final body of work made in a home for the developmentally disabled in New Jersey.

Also on view are a selection of smaller works, including white-on-white cut paper collages depicting hooded Klansmen, and paintings from Milan’s ongoing series of tulips. While earlier flower paintings were inspired by the 17th-century Dutch tulip craze, the new works deconstruct the flowers, transforming them into chaotic arrangements of petals and leaves, hinting at the dissolutions the past year has wrought.

Wardell Milan (b. 1977, Knoxville, Tennessee) studied photography and painting at the University of Tennessee and Yale University. His works are in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Denver Art Museum; Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; UBS Art Collection; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. Milan’s work was the subject of the 2015 monograph between late summer and early fall, edited by Cay Sophie Rabinowitz and published by Osmos Books.

 

 

A crumpled piece of paper stained shades of blue from saturated cobalt to bright turquoise. The paper appears to have been tightly crushed, then reopened, revealing many folds.

Andrea Brewster: Frozen Moment

Created out of wet formed vellum paper, Andrea Brewster’s new body of sculptural work entitled “Frozen Moment” explores the delicate, yet energetically dynamic processes of the natural world and the chaotically creased geography of crumpled paper. Brewster states, “If life is in unceasing movement, then perhaps art pauses and captures a single frame of that perpetual film. Life is stilled, frozen for a moment, thereby implying the possibility of a context, which is stable and unchangeable; where time and limitation have no meaning.”

OCTOBER 23 – NOVEMBER 28, 2020
Gallery open Friday & Saturday, 12-6, or by appointment
475 25th Street, Oakland, between Telegraph & Broadway, (510) 701-4620

 

 

Love Letter to Bean Gilsdorf

Bean Gilsdorf, HC, 2018, polyester, wood, paint; approx. 61 x 36 x 30 in.

A veritable pile of wrists! Or else a sunken tripod. Fabric caricatures of political figures with enough slump, bulge, and dip to render them under-recognizable. Leggy indexes of history (illegitimate), where “history meets spin” and everything that is in and of earth animates from within.

Bean Gilsdorf’s work is animation’s “squash and stretch” principle embodied: raising the dead by infusing life, translating fleshliness into motion. Except, in Gilsdorf’s case, the freedom from formal or accurate representation infuses the materials with a savvy, strategic stiffness. Making visible the irony of infusing a symbol as such, Gilsdorf assails principles of representation—a mockery of the gravitas that would ordinarily accompany US history.

Indexicality begins with graphic representation, or a visual allegory in lieu of the real thing. Records of natural movement—consider footprints—index/trace motion as a graphic representation. Cartoons, on the contrary, allegorize by design. Consider the gag: cartoons punish their protagonists for their commitment to rational thought and realism. 

Gilsdorf’s business of gags defamiliarizes and recontextualizes images, but not merely to resuscitate them as such. Gilsdorf reminds us of the infinite capacity images have for resuscitation. In the words of Johanna Burton, who expands on this notion of defamiliarization: “If there was or is critical promise inherent in destabilization, it is most usually understood as always already counterbalanced, capable of serving or producing subtle ‘cynical reason’ or overtly catering to capitalism.” Gilsdorf literalizes the always-already counterbalanced; what better way to commemorate than with floppy satire?

Installation view of Cross Section, 1956, Franz Kline, and Untitled, 1954, Philip Guston, in the home of Virginia Wright.

City of Tomorrow: Jinny Wright and the Art That Shaped a New Seattle

Virginia “Jinny” Wright (1929-2020) played a pivotal role in the cultural development of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Along with her husband Bagley (1924–2011), Jinny (as friends called her) wanted to make Seattle and the Northwest a premier venue for the arts, generously supporting numerous cultural institutions including SAM. City of Tomorrow tells the story of the future-focused initiatives spearheaded by Virginia Wright. Landmark modern and contemporary paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs from the illustrious Wright collection are complemented by historical ephemera that trace formative moments and initiatives, including the organization of the Contemporary Arts Council that brought major contemporary exhibitions to the Fine Arts Pavilion in the 1960s before SAM had a department of modern and contemporary art. You’ll follow Jinny’s intuitive eye and journey of discovery starting in the 1950s as it led her from celebrated to lesser-known artists of the moment, all of whom are now icons, including Carl Andre, Helen Frankenthaler, Philip Guston, David Hammons, Jasper Johns, Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, and many more. Yet this is just the beginning of the story as Virginia Wright championed and funded works in public spaces around Seattle and beyond and spearheaded initiatives to benefit the entire region.

A close-up photograph of a sculpture by Emma Robbins featuring a grid of king, queen, and jack playing cards from a Fire Rock Casino deck. The figures on the cards are different Indigenous characters. The cards have a porcupine quill protruding from each face, and quills line the edge of the grid.

We have teeth too: Natalie Ball, Jordan Ann Craig, Emma Robbins, and Amanda Roy

We have teeth too showcases powerful works by Natalie Ball, Jordan Ann Craig, Emma Robbins, and Amanda Roy. Curated by Natani Notah

Originally inspired by the work of Amanda Roy, the title of this show serves as a double meaning. We have teeth too is first and foremost an exhibition exploring what it means to be human and thus serves to disrupt Western notions of purity by focusing on various intersections of identity. On their own and together, the works included in this exhibition inspire a collective call to action, which is rooted in deep connections to community and conversations about representation in the arts. Contemporary pieces span a wide range of mixed media including sculpture, painting, and photography with ties to the complex histories of portraiture, quiltmaking, Indigenous quillwork, and regalia.

We have teeth too features an interdisciplinary selection of current works that fearlessly touch on human rights violations across North America. New sculpture calls attention to the ongoing fight for educational institutions to repatriate Native remains to the communities they were wrongfully taken from, while delicate works on paper bring more awareness to the detrimental effects of radon poisoning happening in the Southwest today. Side by side, this collection of artwork challenges us to see how we can turn lines of division into genuine pathways that lead to greater social accountability and more meaningful connections that exist beyond the binary.

In the face of incredible pushback, women of color have often been the backbone of historical movements and important change. Artists such as the ones featured in this exhibition have undeniably been instrumental in the progression toward justice. We — Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) — have literally stood on the front lines for centuries demanding respect for the land, our loved ones, and our livelihoods. It is my hope that We have teeth too reminds everyone that BIPOC are fully human, and despite both past and present circumstances, we possess the right to smile when we are victorious and bite back when our future depends on it.

Natani Notah


We respectfully acknowledge that the Berkeley Art Center is on the traditional native land of the Chochenyo Ohlone people, who have stewarded it throughout the generations.
Learn how you can acknowledge ancestral lands.

 

 

 

A drawing over a yellowed, torn newspaper page. The article has a central portrait, which the artist has illustrated with smokey black lines that fill in the eyes and mouth of the face and swirl around the page.

Christopher M. Tandy: SJÁ: GHØSTS

Glass Rice is proud to present SJÁ: GHØSTS, Christopher M. Tandy’s sophomore solo exhibition with the gallery. SJÁ:GHØSTS is the third chapter of an overarching collaborative project called SJÁ. Taking its name from the Icelandic word for “see”, SJÁ is a continuously evolving and expanding project that seeks to explore new ways of presenting and experiencing reality.

In SJÁ: GHØSTS, a hanging sculpture entitled In the Silence (Everything Dances) spans the entire gallery window. This rusted and decaying conglomeration of salvaged materials bejeweled with quartz and pyrite, marks the path – acting as a portal. It beckons us into Tandy’s world, where he has divided the gallery’s rooms into two distinct spaces separated by a veil.

The front room presents a new series of charcoal drawings. Through channelled markings, spirits take shape on multi-layered pages of vellum or Mylar, and on Icelandic newsprint from the early 1900’s. Figures and shapes build off of and into each other, while apparitions come to the forefront. This can be seen in The World is a Veil, where a latticework of undulating marks from two sheets of Mylar coalesce to form a singular shape splitting apart or perhaps mirroring the other. Tandy takes this one step further with The Eldritch Light by taking century old paper and imbuing channeled spirits into and on top of pre-existing ghosts who have dwelled in the pages long before.

Accompanying the drawings in the front room are a series of newly forged talismanic wands. In these, Tandy brings together an amalgamation of organic materials such as inherited bone, wood, crystals, minerals, and other foraged objects that he transforms through unique charging methods, including burying and burning.  Their names and the potency of these wands  come forth as whispers during the forging process. Sky Breaker, one of the nine wands in the exhibit, brings together selenite, spectrolite, quartz, bone, pyrite, graphite and imbued wood. Each of these elements bring a unique property to the wand vibrating and humming with power and purpose.

By passing through a veiled threshold into the back room, we delve deep into SJÁ: GHØST’s altered reality. In an immersive installation, Tandy uses site specific interventions, experimental video and sound designed in collaboration with Evan Meyer to make visible a world where spirits prevail. The installation incorporates Super 8 film footage from the first chapter of SJÁ, where the artist performed rituals appearing as the Raven. Combining footage from these past rituals together with otherworldly found footage, Tandy builds a foundation for a ghostly realm that is many layers deep.

GHØSTS continues his exploration of how we see reality and the many realms it spans across. In this exhibit, as in other chapters of SJÁ, Tandy illuminates the chasms between us and unseen worlds adjacent to ours. A world that is fueled by ancient spirits, queer magickal energy and enveloped by profound darkness.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

​Join us Saturday, October 3rd from 11 am – 7 pm for the opening reception. In accordance with local measures to keep us safe, our gallery will be open with limited capacity for the opening reception. Please email us at info@glassrice.com to reserve a time to see the exhibition. While you may come at your own leisure, be advised that there may be an extended wait. Reservations are highly encouraged. Masks required and hand sanitizer on entry.