Object Permanence: Contemporary Still Life Painting At CK Contemporary

#154, Oil on linen, 39.50 x 51 in 2018 by David De Biasio
#154, Oil on linen, 39.50 x 51 in 2018 by David De Biasio

Movements in art have come and gone over the past five-hundred years, yet the genre of still life has remained ever-present. Based in a rich tradition which emphasizes adept artistry and perceptual acumen, the success of the still life relies on the ability of the artist to faithfully re-present his subject while at the same time create an artwork that reveals more than simply the objects depicted. This selection of painters build upon this history, creating hauntingly realistic tributes to truth, beauty, and the sublimity of the human experience.

Still lifes are more than solely works of beauty; historically the genre has always reflected the contemporary values of its society. This exhibition highlights this introspection, with each artist creating specific, yet timeless, tributes to the world we live in. The paintings are self-reflective, combining traditional ideas of vanitas with contemporary concerns—revealing that life, objects, and even the artworks themselves are transient. These concepts emerge in De Biasio’s lush oils of ripened fruits paired with artifacts of man-made detritus, which serve to anchor them firmly in the current day. Beck’s objects have had lives, not only hinting at the untold stories of their past, but also making space for themselves in our collective sentimental psyche, creating underpinnings of social and political themes in his version of deteriorating nostalgia. Conor Walton’s “bread and butter” paintings also examine the vanitas tradition while his more allegorical compositions hint at ecologic and economic attitudes. Ottorino De Lucchi’s exquisite dry brush watercolors as well as Bo Markenholm’s and James Hollinsgworth’s faultless oils, explore ideas of abundance and the pristine through a contrasting minimalistic model.

The success of these works comes from the artists’ ability to truly observe—to see their subjects not simply as moments in time, but as symbols for something beyond the ordinary. Still life continues to be an essential, and ever-evolving genre. This is attributable to the ambitious and forward-thinking works presented in this exhibition. Through their keen observation and impeccable skill, these six artists are progressing the genre, and painting as a media, into the future.

Object Permanence: Contemporary Still Life Painting
Exhibition Dates: Through October 31, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 6pm – 9pm

CK Contemporary
357 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Robert Irwin At Chinati Foundation Marfa


On Saturday, July 23, 2016, from dawn to dusk, the Chinati Foundation/La Fundación Chinati will open a new large-scale artwork by Robert Irwin. Sixteen years in the planning, this long- awaited installation further elaborates Donald Judd’s vision of Chinati as a singular place for contemporary art and is the first major addition to the collection since the opening of the Dan Flavin project in 2000 and the opening of the John Wesley gallery in 2004. Irwin’s largest work to date, it represents the culmination of his decades-long investigation into the act of perception through poetic manipulation of space and light.

While Robert Irwin is recognized as one of the outstanding artists of his generation, much of his past work was created and installed on a temporary basis. His new project for Chinati is the only permanent, freestanding structure that has been conceived and designed by Irwin as a total work of art. In 1999, Irwin was invited to create a work for the site of a long-abandoned army hospital adjacent to the museum’s main campus. Over the ensuing years, Irwin developed and refined a design that was informed by the open conditions of the derelict building, the surrounding landscape, and the sky overhead. The completed work fuses indoors and outdoors, art and architecture, the past and the present, nature and the man-made, and creates an ideal complement to Chinati’s permanent collection.

Donald Judd collected and supported Robert Irwin’s art and hoped to include it at Chinati. This ambitious project realizes that goal and will also contribute to the growing reputation of Marfa, Texas as one of America’s unique cultural places.

What Irwin has contributed to Chinati is an artwork in the form of a building, with light and shadow as its primary subjects. The original building that occupied the site was a dilapidated C-shaped concrete structure, lined on all sides with a long sequence of windows that surrounded a central courtyard. It sat on a gentle slope and when Irwin first visited, the building’s floors had been removed, raising the window sills to eye level and offering what Irwin later described as a “Dutch landscape-like view” of the surrounding West Texas land and sky. He chose to cut the newly constructed building into the existing slope to retain the same physical relationship.

As visitors enter from the street, gravel-lined walkways offer an option of directions. Antechambers to the right and the left are open to the sky—referencing the historic structure’s previous ruined state. The building is formally divided in half, with one side dark, the other light. Inside, transparent scrim walls are stretched taut from floor to ceiling in black or white respectively, bisecting each long wing and capturing the always-changing natural light, appearing opaque one moment and transparent the next.

The connecting corridor has a progression of scrim walls that sequentially cross and fill the space, with an enfilade of doors for passage. The courtyard has been transformed into a garden defined by concrete paths running along Corten steel-lined raised beds with two rows of Palo Verde trees. Niches with benches flank the central planter, where Irwin has created a tableau of large basalt columns. The surrounding fields of grasses, wildflowers, mesquite, scrubs, and cactus are left in their natural state.

In 1973, Robert Irwin discussed his artistic principles in words that aptly describe his approach to this new work for Chinati:

The sculptural response draws all of its cues (reasons for being) from its surroundings. A quiet distillation of all this—while directly experiencing the site—determines all the facets of the sculptural response: aesthetic sensibility, levels and kinds of physicality, gesture, dimensions, materials, kinds and level of finish, details… whether the response should be monumental or ephemeral, aggressive or gentle, useful or useless, sculptural, architectural, or simply the planting of a tree or maybe doing nothing at all.

Opening Weekend

The inauguration of Robert Irwin’s new work for Chinati will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2016, from sunrise to sunset. The building is located at the corner of Bonnie and South Yale Street in Marfa, Texas. Everyone is invited to attend. There will be a free community-wide barbecue dinner with Mariachi music at the Arena from 6:30 until 9:00 PM, and a public talk about the development of Irwin’s work at the Crowley Theater in downtown Marfa at 3:30 PM. Selected works from The Chinati Foundation’s permanent collection will be open throughout the weekend, and there will be a sunrise viewing of Judd’s works in mill aluminum and works in concrete on Sunday morning.

Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin was born in 1928 in Long Beach, California. He attended Otis Institute and Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Although Irwin began as an abstract painter and exhibited his work at the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, in 1970 he began to pursue a more philosophical and critical inquiry and his work shifted away from traditional paintings and objects to focus on a new type of environmental or experience-based art Irwin called “conditional”—room-filling installations that reconfigured light and space, created in direct response to existing architectural situations.

Neon At Transmission Gallery Oakland


Transmission Gallery is presenting an invitational exhibition of Neon Art featuring work by Bill Concannon, Roger Daniells, Meryl Pataky, Shawna Peterson and Bruce Suba. These artists work in the realm of physics and alchemy, harnessing neon, argon and, sometimes, krypton in colorful display and controlled light. As veterans of working with these noble gasses, often in the commercial world, they’ve taken the opportunity to play with glass, chemical elements, power sources and other materials to execute their own creative visions.

Exhibition Dates: June 3 – July 23, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, June 3, 2016 from 6 – 9pm
Closing Reception: July 23, 2016 from 2 -5pm

Transmission Gallery
770 West Grand Ave.
Oakland, CA 94612

Jason Middlebrook At G16 In San Francisco

Jason Middlebrook
Jason Middlebrook
    This is the first West Coast solo show by Jason Middlebrook, a California native, in over a decade. His work has been the subject of major exhibitions and public projects around the world, most recently at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary art and Site Santa Fe. The Gallery 16 exhibition will include 20 of Middlebrooks’ signature towering “Plank” paintings. These are geometric abstractions painted directly onto cut trunks from the local mill in Hudson, New York. Middlebrook’s weds the geometry of modern abstraction with the lines of wood grain to, in his words, “create a tension between something organic and something man-made.”

    Jason Middlebrook // The Small Spaces in Between
    Exhibition Dates: March 25 – May 6, 2016 //
    Opening Reception: MARCH 25TH, 6-9 PM with live music by Marc Capelle

    501 3rd Street
    San Francisco, CA 94107

Munich: Nate Boyce At Kunstverein München

Nate Boyce
Nate Boyce

Polyscroll is a series of vertically-oriented videos, which Boyce has been producing since 2014. For the duration of his exhibition in the Schaufenster, each video in the series will be screened successively on loop. During the day, the simulated light conditions will contrast those created naturally by the sun. At night, the absence of natural light or any reflection in the glass will accentuate the three-dimensional quality of the scrolling polychromatic imagery, elastically shifting forms, and the alien dimensions Boyce modeled to contain it all.” – Kunstverein München

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Polyscroll ist eine Serie hochformatiger Videos, die Boyce seit 2014 produziert hat. Während seiner Ausstellung im Schaufenster wird jedes Video dieser Serie nacheinander als Loop gezeigt. Tagsüber werden die simulierten Lichtbedingungen der Videos einen Kontrast zum natürlichen Tageslicht bilden. Demgegenüber werden nachts die Dunkelheit und die fehlenden Lichtreflexe auf der Scheibe dazu führen, dass die dreidimensionalen Qualitäten der nach unten gescrollten bunten Bilderwelten, die ineinander übergehenden Formen und das befremdliche Format, das Boyce als gemeinsame Klammer gewählt hat, umso deutlicher in Erscheinung treten.

Nate Boyce: Polyscroll I, II, III, IV
Exhibition Dates: February 2 – March 13, 2016

Kunstverein München
Galeriestrasse 4 (Am Hofgarten)
80539 Munich