Glossary attended the press preview yesterday for the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. We took pictures of tempting highlights for our 2nd Review as Pictures.
Berkeley Art Museum + Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA – pronounced Bam P.F.A., Bam for short)
Grand Opening to the public
Sunday January 31, 2016
2155 Center Street, Berkeley, CA. 94704
The museum began in 1963 when it received a gift by Abstract Expressionist artist Hans Hofmann, which included forty-five of his paintings and $250,000 to build a gallery. Although we will miss the original Brutalist museum built by Mario Ciampi in 1970, the new space is also architecturally progressive, and with many contemporary considerations.
Fun fact: The new museum was the previous home of the UC Berkeley printing plant, built during the Works Projects Administration (WPA) in 1939. (pictured below) The 1945 UN Charter was printed there.
Bosting several galleries and two state-of-the-art film theaters, the new museum is—to put it very plainly—fantastic.
The building is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro of The Broad and the Stanford Art and Art History fame, among others. The architecture for BAMPFA is comfortable & fresh: super high ceilings and subterranean access makes the space open and invites curious personalities to explore; split level ramp floor plan that encourages easy meandering, with cross platform views into other galleries & plenty of opportunities to lean and ponder. The café is upstairs, with excellent people watching from up high and the Carla and David Crane performance space that also acts as resting and socializing area when not in use, and if that is not enough, there is a huge video screen outside of the museum for everyone to enjoy.
BONUS: it is closer to BART than any other museum in the Bay Area—only one block away!
Attention to detail really makes the space feel like it cares about art and visitors: tons of natural light (!); end–grain parquet floors add warmth in contemplative and darker display rooms; open floor plan in main gallery and lots of breathing room between pieces; Café Babette is integrated into the space upstairs so you can snack and look at art at the same time; considerate and conscientious use of the pre-existing building.
Thoughtful finishing touches: Custom joinery by master craftsman Paul Discoe of Oakland, using wood from Canary Island Pines removed next to the building to make room for the new addition. Twenty three new trees were planted including Chinese pistache, ginkgo, hornbeams and honey locust.
Future programming highlights: Twelve artist led family art workshops per year, free tours for elementary schools, drop-in Art Lab for hands-on learning, film, conceptual art and works on paper study centers by appointment, 450 film programs + concerts, performances and lectures.
There was a lot to see in the new inaugural Architecture of Life group exhibition. “Architecture—as concept, metaphor, and practice—illuminates aspects of life experience: the nature of the self and psyche, the fundamental structures of reality, and the power of the imagination to reshape our world,” the press release states.
It is an excellently curated selection of works. In the Ben Shivers shed in the main gallery, a piece of steel from the new construction was Included—a nice touch. The show is quite lyrical, with many noticeable threads and pattern throughout, including extremely delicate lines, stellar abstraction and poignant minimalism.
Glossary is glad they decided to come to the Bay Area in 2011 with the intention of staying—and they have stayed. The people, the way they think, and the art is what keeps us here. Our art world is getting excited for 2016 and the things that make art in the Bay Area worth recognizing. The opening of both 500 Capp Street and BAMPFA this January is a great start.
BAMPFA Hours beginning February 3rd, will be 11 am to 9pm, Wednesday through Sunday
$12 general admission, students $10. FREE FIRST THURSDAYS
See www.bampfa.org for more details.
Glossary presents the first Review as Glossary with the work of Erik Parra. Review as Glossary are "reviews" that define conceptual or visual language associations with the work. They unpack vocabulary, building ways to contextualize art while leaving room for readers to assess the merits and aesthetics of the work on their own terms.
mid century modern
The Mid-Century modern movement in the U.S. was an American reflection of International and Bauhaus interior design movements focusing on simple lines and functionality devoid of decorations. Open floor plans, large windows, post and beam ceilings, and minimal use of walls in favor of interior architecture encouraged views of room through multiple vantage points. Integrating the outside with the inside was also a priority, creating a sense of unity with the environment and a holistic lifestyle. With the family in mind, the spaces were meant as areas that would enhance socializing, communication and transparency — as opposed to privacy.
Ideal pertains to a person or thing conceived as embodying such a conception or conforming to such a standard, and taken as a model for imitation. From Late Latin idealis "existing in idea," from Latin idea* in the Platonic sense. Senses "conceived as perfect; existing only in idea," is from the 1610s.
From Latin idea, a word in philosophy, the word (Cicero writes it in Greek) and the idea taken from Greek idea "form; the look of a thing; a kind, sort, nature; mode, fashion," in logic, "a class, kind, sort, species," from idein "to see," from PIE *wid-es-ya-, suffixed form of root *weid- "to see" (see vision).
In Platonic philosophy, "an archetype, or pure immaterial pattern, of which the individual objects in any one natural class are but the imperfect copies, and by participation in which they have their being."
The meaning "mental image or picture" is from the early 1600's (the Greek word for it was ennoia, originally "act of thinking"), as is "concept of something to be done; concept of what ought to be, differing from what is observed." [Century and Etymology dictionary]
Borrowed from Latin factīcius. Compare the inherited Old French form faitis as well as the doublet fétiche, borrowed from Portuguese. The English translation of Factice is Fake.
A still life (p. still lifes) is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate* subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural (human or animal skulls, raw meat, fruit, piles of grains, and other foodstuffs, fresh or withering cut flowers, plant cuttings or leaves, branches, dead hunting game or other animals ready for slaughter including rabbits, birds and cloven creatures or their body parts, water droplets, rocks, or shells) or man-made (breads, baskets, drinking glasses, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, candles, letters, pens, furniture and so on). Traditionally subjects of paintings, still lifes are also used in sculpture, photography and dioramas. Still lifes are oftentimes allegorical and contain symbolic references, particularly to life itself.
* inanimate, adjective
- not alive, especially not in the manner of animals and humans
- showing no sign of life; lifeless.
"According to modern concepts, control is a foreseeing of action whereas earlier concepts of control was used only when errors were detected. Control in management means setting standards, measuring actual performance and taking corrective action." (edited wiki) The word control when used as a noun dates back to the late 1500's. As a verb, it's past begins in the 1500's. From Anglo-French contreroller "exert authority," from Medieval Latin contrarotulus "a counter, register," from Latin contra- "against." Later usage implies a sense of domination or directness in the term. "Control Freak" is a 1960's term, referring to those who march with the mainstream corporate status quo individual who tend to be inflexible about certain behavior by others who may be trying to control a situation or person too much, particularly art and creative or politically motivated people.
- a state or condition of mental uncertainty or excitement, as in awaiting a decision or outcome, usually accompanied by a degree of apprehension or anxiety.
- a state of mental indecision.
- undecided or doubtful condition, as of affairs:
- the state or condition of being suspended.
From Anglo-French suspens (in en suspens "in abeyance," c. 1300), Old French sospense "delay, deferment (of judgement).; "state of mental uncertainty with more or less anxiety" (mid-15c.) [Etymology dictionary]
It is also a genre of novels, stories, film, etc., attested from 1951 (and to which Parra relates) .
From Latin ascensionem (nominative ascensio) "a rising," noun of action from past participle stem of ascendere "to mount, ascend, go up." Ascension in the religious sense refers to the rise of Jesus or Muhammad to Heaven while he was still alive.
review as dialogue:fog design+art // panel discussion // "The Changing Face of San Francisco's Art Scene"
Glossary is pleased to present the first in our series Review as Dialogue. There is very little (if any) media coverage on panel discussions or artist talks that often accompany exhibitions, be it at galleries or at museums. Glossary is tending to this need.
On Sunday January 17th at 1pm, Glossary feverishly took notes during a panel discussion at FOG Design+Art Fair. The topic was "The Changing Face of San Francisco's Art Scene." Notes were taken in-situ, and are not literal transcriptions of audio, but rather points that were touched upon.
Alison Gass, associate director for collections, exhibitions, and curatorial affairs, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
Jonn Herschend, co-founder, The Thing Quarterly
Deborah Rappaport, co-founder, Minnesota Street Project
Claudia Altman Siegel, Altman Siegel Gallery
FOG Design+Art Fair
January 14–17, 2016
Fort Mason Festival Pavilion
It is small here, exposure to other art worlds is hard. Repeated shows give an overview over time of an artist's trajectory - here there are less shows so it is more difficult to get a sense of what artists are doing. Fairs offer exposure to more audiences that SF cannot provide.
I came to SF for the Bohemian and punk rock/DIY ethos, to make work and to make our own history. In a way SF still provides that, you can take risks here and you can be protected. The isolation is real - there is a ceiling.
SF provides the ability to take risks. The rent we provide is below market rate so that galleries can take risks too. We operate in triage mode - moving quickly to provide a much needed solution. "For profit not planning on making a profit" [is crazy] We need a new term for something that is not the traditional for-profit model, other than crazy."
Is SF changing? What is the change?
"The change is real. Artists have left." The ones that stay are being dynamic and looking for unique ways to make money and talk about their work.
Is there something that galleries and museums could do?
What do you love?
SF has grown up and relating to the art world as an international center, a center of art business. We have six tech companies and other corporations such as Chevron and Wells Fargo - gentrification is a problem, but there is also "new formed wealth. Fairs offer educational platforms for local people to see more of the art world. Culture can be a product of all of this."
"We couldn't make the fuss we are making if we didn't feel that art was something that the city should support." I have been thinking about philanthropy differently - and am divorcing myself from the IRS categorization of profit. For profit allows us to do what we need to do, even though we are not making a profit. Everything we earn will be folded right back into the projects. Our mission is to increase the likelihood of success for everyone involved.
Audience member Natasha Boas
We are missing a stepping stone, which is the artists' space. The Lab and SOEX offer a space for practice and career making. How can we have more of that - is it being addressed enough?
I agree we need more of that. Artists, and students of art programs need to take initiative to participate in these spaces - including acquiring student memberships to spaces - artists need to support these things too.
We are appealing to others who have the means to offer more alternative models such as those. I feel that we [people with monetary means to invest in the arts] sometimes fall into 2 categories: Benefactors or Investors. Instead we should say to ourselves: "This is a problem I want to solve." [and then do it].
Audiences are also important.
New York and LA have communities that create hype around them. We need more of that here - we need more criticism and writing.
SMALL PORTION OF AUDIENCE CLAPS
1% of the population cares about art. . .
Can there be more integration between different mediums? But we don't want to water it down.
People say things like, "The tech industry doesn't buy art." We keep talking about how these people don't show up to things, ask why they aren't buying art, and then we wonder why they don't or why they don't want to talk to us - So can we blame them? Why not present this as, "You are brilliant (tech person) - How can you add to this conversation?"
Audience member asks how we can build a better SF art "scene" and to nurture and educate collectors.
The art world is becoming more and more global, more multi-faceted.
We spoke to a lot of collectors when we were envisioning our space. The ways art is viewed and engaged with is changing - with fairs and online exposure. What was preventing us then of just creating an app? Things change, and we are trying to work with those anticipated changes and fill needs. It's that people, particularly artists need a brick and mortar space - they need to show their art.
Viewing art can be a daily thing - people need places to go - to get out and engage with the world, with art.
I was talking to the Director of Art Basel Miami - he asked me about my collectors. More than half of my collectors are local. Fairs are getting more interested in curating galleries into the fairs that exhibit local work and are building their own communities rather than relying on fairs.
Artist in audience states that more critical dialogue is needed - that art writing is the lasting word of the show after it is over.
It is getting better but more is needed.
We encourage writers to come to our spaces and to also talk to us about what we are doing.
Audience member asks about school involvement.
We are thrilled to be working with SFArtsEd. Arts education is crucial because it introduces children to something potentially fulfilling, especially if they are struggling in other areas such as math or science and potentially helps them improve in other areas as well.
Greater funding is needed to support museums that want to integrate education more fully into their programming and get students to their locations.
Time ran out, and the talk concluded with generalized thanks.
Other conversations while wandering the fair:
Better leadership is needed to create a cohesive art scene.
We need more writers, there is a publication crisis - not enough covering several SF shows per issue.
Artists provide a fruitful voice for art criticism because they understand how art is made.
The fair is a success; exposure to a lot of new audiences, opportunity to showcase design-based artists.
//Glossary magazine inaugural exclusive//REVIEW AS PICTURES: DAVID IRELAND. Smithsonian Falls, Descending a Staircase for P.K. @ San francisco Art Institute
Glossary is honored to inaugurate the magazine with our first art review featuring an
*Exclusive* Review in Pictures of David Ireland's Smithsonian Falls, Descending a Staircase for P.K., originally installed April 8–May 9 in 1987 at San Francisco Art Institute.
Glossary visited the SFAI Walter and McBean Galleries during installation on January 8th, 2016 to witness this historic work while it was being made - apropos of Ireland's conceptual maxim: "You can't make art by making art," he said.
For Ireland, daily routine oftentimes became epic ritual, thus melding life with the act of creating. Objects and art became fused with daily activities, transforming the banal into poignant memories/stories/gestures, replete with meaning grounded in their seemingly incidental making. For our inaugural review Glossary witnessed the installation of Smithsonian Falls with Ireland's objectives in mind. We are humbled to photograph this monumental and ephemeral piece to share it with you.
Thursday January 14, - Saturday March 6, 2016
Walter & McBean Galleries. San Francisco Art Institute
The piece is now being reinstalled in conjunction with the restoration of Ireland's iconic/stunning 500 Capp Street (The David Ireland House).
The last layers of the staircase intervention are being poured to finalize a process that began mid-December. The top coat will be a smooth layer of fine concrete over the rough vermiculite/concrete foundation. Getting the perfect consistency was key, dependent on the mixture setting time before pouring. The base of the stairs is spreading. . . .
Also on view is Angel Go Round (1996), temporarily relocated from diRosa in Napa, where it is part of their permanent collection.
Ireland seemed to be present in all of the mundane tools & materials resting about the scene; the objects unclear whether they were part of the archive, or part of what was taking place.
Special thanks to curators Constance M. Lewallen and Hesse McGraw, cinchpr., & SFAI installation staff Robin Beard, Kaitlin Trataris and Oliver Holden. All images January 8, 2016, Leora Lutz & Glossary Magazine, courtesy of SFAI Walter and McBean Galleries and the estate of David Ireland.
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