Photo Feature: First Annual Potrero Hill Art Walk

by Admin on 09/13/2013

On September 7, the lower Potrero Hill neighborhood experienced a rush of contemporary art audiences partaking in the debut Poterero Art Walk event. Their enthusiasm to see the inaugural art shows and bright new spaces of several recently-transplanted art galleries and art venues was evident. Catharine Clark Gallery, Brian Gross Fine Art, Jack Fischer Gallery, and George Lawson Gallery joined Hosfelt Gallery, FusedSpace, and CCA Wattis in the area from Kansas Street to Potrero Avenue along 16th street, creating a foundational shift in the San Francisco neighborhoods more widely known for their art galleries, venues, and mixed-use spaces.

For its inaugural show, Catharine Clark invited gallery artist and CCA faculty member Anthony Discenza to curate an exhibition of artists associated with the school’s Fine Arts program. “This is the Sound of Someone Losing the Plot” includes artwork by nine of its alumni and faculty: Gareth Spor and Piero Passacantando, Bruno Fazzolari, Josh Greene, Stephanie Syjuco, Patricia Esquivias, Arash Fayez, Lauren Marsden, and Kate Bonner. Curator Discenza focuses on artists whose artistic practice work within “(mis)translations between different systems of working or understanding.” He notes: “I’m interested in the various ways these works play with non-agreements of subject and object, incomplete utterances and thwarted expectations. With this exhibition, I’ve also attempted to articulate something of the complex interrelationship between material practice and more conceptually diffuse methods of working that for me is such a distinguishing feature of the CCA community.” The show will be on view at Catharine Clark Gallery, 248 Utah Street, through October 26.

“Yesterday’s Tomorrow,” a collection of new work by Ed Moses at Brian Gross Fine Art is an illustration of every artist’s inherent interest in experimenting with new techniques and materials. Ed Moses remarks, “I don’t visualize and execute. Every breath is brand new. Don’t think of the future, don’t think of the past, the only factor is now.”  The works on view play with texture and bold color, spontaneous and deliberate gesture, and complexity of surface. The exhibition includes a new series of crackle paintings that incorporate geometry, and huge, multi-panel interchangeable geometric paintings that enable a unique play in creating disparate shapes, creating different experiences and responses to essentially the same work of art.  See “Yesterday’s Tomorrow” at Brian Gross Fine Art, 248 Utah Street, through October 26.

At Hosfelt Gallery, Düsseldorf-based painter Stefan Kürten returns for his sixth solo show, “Tonight and the Beautiful Future” that fills the entire gallery with new paintings on linen or paper as well as small works on paper, “depicting the environments we create in our tenacious attempt to make our lives perfect.” Mid-century homes and quaint bungalows with landscapes post-war Europeans may have seen of the West “evidence the dazzling promise of economic prosperity…” The fantastical, alluring imagery literally glows with metallic gold pigment placed within the foundational layers of the painting. These Utopian environments turn unheimlich by subversive titles like “Velvet Illusions” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” Looking closely enough, audiences can also see trash collecting in the bottom of empty swimming pools, and architecturally pleasing walls are obliterated by graffiti. “Tonight and the Beautiful Future” will be at Hosfelt Gallery, 260 Utah Street, through 12 October.

At Jack Fischer Gallery, Ward Schumaker’s first solo show at the gallery, “Years of Pretty” includes 10 years of painting, bookmaking, collage, and sculpture from 2003 to 2013, illustrating the breadth of the artist’s work. The gallery writes: “His handling of these various media is loose and expressionistic, always bowing to an intuitive approach.” Schumaker’s work evinces his long-time inspiration from artists like Hector Berlioz, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Willem de Kooning. Interestingly, Schumaker has been a resident of the Portero area for 45 years, which adds a heightened, local flavor to this solo exhibition. “Years of Pretty will be at Jack Fischer Gallery, 311 Potrero Avenue through October 12.

“Formal Alchemy” at FusedSpace is the inaugural exhibition of the collaborative venture between Jessica Silverman, the eponymous owner of Jessica Silverman Gallery, and FuseProject founder and designer Yves Behar. The current exhibition, curated by Silverman is a conversation between the three chosen artists about “transformation, utility and the authority of pure form.” All three of the artists in “Formal Alchemy”: Amikam Toren, Nicole Wermers, and N. Dash create visually complex art objects through the intersections of aesthetic design and utilitarian material. Bending the rules of the traditional uses of the material while still maintaining the respect to their inherent properties, Toren, Wermer and Dash elevate the physicality of their design beyond their typical uses into something very special. “Formal Alchemy” will be at FusedSpace through September 20 at 1401 16th Street.

George Lawson’s inaugural show in Potrero Hill, now his second location in San Francisco features new paintings by British artist Erin Lawlor, her second solo at the gallery. Lawlor’s work is characterized by “wide gestural handling, closely valued hues and a balance between emotional tone, evocations of the natural world, and pure painting.” Lawlor sees this new series of work a moment of  release from choosing either figurative or abstraction, free to work within both. She says, “After ten years of figuration and a purely abstract work, now freely oscillate between the two, or neither one nor the other. Landscape, perhaps, rather field painting. Painting as an end in itself, but especially as a vector, the unspeakable or nonexistent elsewhere. Fractal that does not say if it comes from the micro or macrocosm.” Erin Lawlor’s recent paintings will be on view at George Lawson Gallery through October 5 at 315 Potrero Avenue.

Also during the art walk, California College of the Arts’ Wattis Institute provided a sneak peek of their upcoming show (which is now open) “City of Disappearances,” curated by Joseph Del Pesco of the Kadist Art Foundation and Elizabeth Neilson of the Zabludowicz Collection, which imagines a transposition and exchange of the living-imaginary of London conjured in Iain Sinclair’s psycho-geographic book, Anthology of Absence with the fictions and myths of San Francisco. Photographs, videos, painting and sculptures evoke “the personal experience of the individual in the city mixed with cinematic fictions of the city as idea and aesthetic distillations of the glow and texture of the urban.” This conceptual and metaphorical international exchange will play out further when the exhibition travels to London in 2014, where it will be renamed Infinite City after Rebecca Solnit’s almanac of San Francisco. “City of Disappearances” will be at The CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts through December 14.