New Material At Ratio 3

James Sterling Pitt, Untitled, 2019, Acrylic on wood, 8.5 x 9 x 4 inches
James Sterling Pitt, Untitled, 2019, Acrylic on wood, 8.5 x 9 x 4 inches

New Material is an exhibition of new sculptural artworks from three San Francisco Bay Area artists. Featuring objects at varied scales by James Sterling Pitt, sculptural constructions by Ben Peterson, and intricate drawings and minimal sculptures by Mitzi Pederson, New Material highlights various dialogues between recent works from each of its three artists.

Mitzi Pederson presents a series of monochromatic pencil drawings that relate closely to her sculptural practice. Where Pederson’s sculptures frequently form gestures from the inherent and unexpected qualities of their materials, her works on paper deemphasize physical material, instead evoking imagined spaces, passages, and motion. By varying the density and direction of clustered lines, Pederson’s drawings never fully resolve into an image, instead remaining fluid and suggesting space, weight, and texture. Pederson also debuts several sculptures made from thin black rope that interact with the gallery’s architecture, bridging walls to floor, and distending into the viewer’s space, suggesting imagined barriers or masses.

James Sterling Pitt presents sculptures of painted wood displayed atop pedestals and shelves, or mounted to the wall. These new artworks, like his earlier sculptures, originate from drawings and impressions of memory, while introducing layered colors, complex interior spaces, and textures varying from the reflective sheen of alkyd paints to the stone-like finish of modified wood. Guided by intuitive decisions informed by a decade of evolving forms and surfaces, Pitt’s latest sculptures provide a physical account of their making and a record of bodily memory.

Ben Peterson’s newest sculptures introduce varied plaster and encaustic finishes, elaborating on the vocabulary of his past ceramic works, which were painted to appear weathered and patinated. By situating his recent ceramic works on displays built variously from reclaimed wood, modified furniture, and plaster surfaces, Peterson further complicates his work’s references to modernism, design, and architecture. The sculptures reflect and incorporate their display structures, existing equally as architectural models and cultural relics.

New Material is a discourse between sculptures assembled from varied media and derived from disparate approaches. Whether constructed from reclaimed objects, built through gradual layering and reworking, or conjured from drawn or draped lines, the artworks comprising the exhibition suggest an expanded definition of sculptural media, where concept and matter are of equal substance. Throughout New Material, physicality invites interpretation, and the imagined and remembered are made physical.

New Material: Mitzi Pederson, Ben Peterson & James Sterling Pitt
Exhibition Dates: January 16 – March 16, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 19, 6 – 8PM

Ratio 3
2831A Mission Street.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Of Method and Material At Slate Contemporary

 Kerith Lisi's Recollections
Kerith Lisi’s Recollections

Kerith Lisi cuts and re-assembles book covers to create compositions that present a mastery of color theory and speak to the poetic nature of the material she works with. By repurposing old books that would otherwise be recycled, she is able to create something new and unexpected. In his works on paper, Brian Singer explores the printed word as a visual representation of information, attempting to uncover new meaning in what is becoming an outdated form. His process involves cutting thousands of book pages and organizing their edges into alternate views of the texts, exposing geometric patterns and textures. Hadley Williams‘ work is the culmination of her interest in mixed-media exploration and meticulous attention to pattern and arrangement. Williams’ recent works incorporate paper, gouache, acrylic and graphite on canvas. She cuts vintage paper to make a grid of individual units that she then connects with another layer, such as graphite circles, sprayed acrylic paint, circles made of gouache on watercolor paper, or pinholes.

Of Method and Material: Kerith Lisi, Brian Singer, and Hadley Williams
Exhibition Dates: Through February 23, 2019
Opening Reception and Artist Talk + Tour: February 1, 2019 at 6:30pm

SLATE contemporary
473 25th Street
Oakland, CA

Lunch At Wood Tavern

Kradel: Butternut Squash Soup At The Wood Tavern
Butternut Squash Soup At The Wood Tavern

It was a day for comfort food.

While the weather report called for cloudy skies/no rain, there had been spurts of torrential rain throughout the morning. My home on wheels was still missing and my emotions were running the gamut of despondent to hopeful that things were going to work out. A friend and I were meeting up at a cafe on the corner and going on to lunch from there.

Wood Tavern sits on a lively block on the border between Berkeley and Oakland. It’s a block on College Avenue where you could easily not know where you are, or not even know that you walked from one city to the other. Surrounded by cafes, the bakery, the flower shop, a great wine shop, and a produce store, it’s both a neighborhood hangout and a destination.

With no reservation we got there early and were able to grab a table for two. Wood Tavern is spendy and meaty, and as a sometimes vegetarian sometimes vegan who doesn’t eat wheat it’s never been on my radar. I walk by it a few times a week and everyone seems to be enjoying the food, but the one thing I see through the window that makes me drool are the French Fries. My friend L. assured me there would be something else on the menu that a vegetarian might enjoy.

I was very distracted with my own whirling vortex in my brain, so L. ordered for us.

First up was a bowl of Butternut Squash Soup. It was exactly what my brain needed to be distracted from my life. I focused on the quality, texture, and flavors. Super thick and creamy, with a sprinkle of toasted almonds it was a soup meditation.

Next up, was a small cheeseboard. I’m not a fan of bleu, sheep or goat cheese, and the only one left was an aged, white, Wisconsin Cheddar. It came with roasted almonds drizzled with what looked like honey and slices of Honey Crisp apple. The combination of all three elements was an explosion of flavors in my mouth, perfectly paired, perfectly creamy, sweet and spicy.

And then of course the fries!

For just a little while the food and friendship gave me comfort and took me away from my own crazy day and put me in a food coma.

Basket of French Fries at The Wood Tavern
Basket of French Fries at The Wood Tavern

If you are visiting Oakland, this one is on my top ten list for local destination food and cocktails – it has been for a long time just on looks alone. Vegetarians will have limited choices and vegans will feel left out, but it’s a great place for getting together with friends, a lunch meeting, or an evening celebration.

The Wood Tavern
6317 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618

Note: Usually I will not recommend a restaurant that has a television in the dining room. I walked by Wood Tavern the other evening and notice they had a tv facing the bar – special occasion? A one time thing? I do not know. But if you are like me and tvs aren’t your thing while you are out for a beautiful meal, then maybe call ahead and ask.

Chris Dorley-Brown At Robert Koch Gallery

The Corners, a series of photographs by British photographer Chris Dorley-Brown

The Corners is a series of photographs by British photographer Chris Dorley-Brown, whose surreal and off-kilter imagery of his hometown streets of the London Borough of Hackney is comprised of many separate relatively narrow captures taken from the same vantage point over an extended period, sometimes up to an hour at a time. The artist sets up the camera in one location, and tilts and pans around the cityscape to capture the activity on the street, along with it’s unsuspecting protagonists. Once he has returned to the studio, he overlays the resulting moments into one central composition or alternate reality, which initially presents the viewer with a sense of familiarity, but dually takes on a dreamlike tone.

Largely self-taught, Dorley-Brown’s cultural education was formed in east London in the late seventies. In 1984, Dorley-Brown began creating a photographic archive of the streets of Hackney where he lived and worked, and which has been an ongoing impetus and the primary focus of his work.

Exhibition Dates: January 5 – March 2, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 5, 2019, 3:30 – 5:30 pm

49 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

Bovey Lee At Rena Bransten

We Are All Mountaineers - Entry (入), 2018, Chinese xuan paper on silk, 29 x 24"
We Are All Mountaineers – Entry (入), 2018, Chinese xuan paper on silk, 29 x 24″

We Are All Mountaineers is a new body of work by Los Angeles based artist Bovey Lee comprised of intricately hand cut Chinese rice paper. The exhibition title references #WeAreAllImmigrants and it reflects upon the uphill battle facing immigrants under the current administration’s recent policy shifts. The works in the exhibition explore facets of migration: diaspora, lineage, displacement and the rebuilding of home, and familial separation. Drawing on immigrants’ personal experiences, the show affirms our shared desire for a sense of community, societal acceptance, and belonging.

BOVEY LEE: We Are All Mountaineers
Exhibition Dates: January 5 – February 23, 2019
Artist Reception: January 12, 2019 from 5pm – 7pm

Rena Bransten Gallery
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107