Art Picks, December 2009

Posted on December 1, 2009 – 3:55 PM | by OldManFoster
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Cluster 7 by Allan de Souza

Cluster 7 by Allan de Souza

Seeing As Believing: Phosphene Visions
Axis Gallery
December 5 – January 24

In some ways Axis is the most ambitious gallery in town.  In August they had a show curated by Janet Bishop of SFMOMA, and this month they bring in Koan Jeff Baysa, an internationally known  critic and curator who has curated shows for the London Bienalle, the Whitney Museum, and the United Nations.  The exhibit coincides with Baysa’s lecture at CSUS and participation in a panel discussion at CCAS (next door to Axis).  The 15 artists that Baysa selected for the show appear to have only sensibility in common- many work in new media and most seem to share an interest in the intersection of art and existence.

1517 19th Street, Sacramento
Sat – Sun Noon – 5PM; or by appt.



sign02Signs of the Times
Richard Gilles
B Sakata Garo
December 1 – 31
Reception: December 12, 6 – 9PM

This must be the Season of Gilles or something.  Fresh off last month’s Strange Attractors show at Axis, here Gilles presents Signs of the Times, a show of large-scale landscape photos that is more in keeping with his past work.  Like Almost Home-less and The Highway Remembers, this latest body of work conveys the loneliness and disconnection often found on the roadsides of contemporary America.  Add in the now near-universal theme of economic distress and you have the recipe for Gilles’ latest series documenting the rough side of life in the USA.

923 20th Street. Tues – Sat: Noon – 6PM

thiebaud_van_1989Wayne Thiebaud
Library Gallery, CSUS
December 3 – March 6
Reception: December 3, 5 – 8PM

While Wayne Thiebaud is best known- and rightly so- for his painting, it’s interesting to remember that he initially set out to be a cartoonist.  Though he abandoned that goal early in his career, he never lost interest in making works on paper (printmaking is about as close as fine art gets to cartooning) and it’s probably no coincidence that the artist has been making prints for just about as long as he’s been wielding a brush.  December will see the public debut of a collection of the artist’s print work that was gifted to CSUS in 2004 by a pair of anonymous donors.  Gallery Director Phil Hitchcock is thrilled to have the collection on display, noting that the only other major 20th century painter to have a comparable body of print work is Pablo Picasso. The 150-piece collection contains work from 1948 to 2004 and has examples of nearly every technique in the printmaker’s arsenal, from woodcut to drypoint etching to chine colle.  Most of the work features the artist’s signature themes- food, and SF and valley landscapes. Look carefully and you may see hints of Thiebaud the cartoonist, notably a distinct Harold Gray (Little Orpahn Annie) feel in ‘Van’ a drypoint etching from 1989. Thiebaud’s son, Matt Bolt, will exhibit his paintings in the adjoining annex gallery December 3 -January 23, and the two artists will share the December 3 reception.

6000 J Street, Sacramento. Tues – Sat, 10AM – 5PM

Short List

Jessica Murrieta, untitled

Jessica Murrieta, untitled

Tragedy of the Optimist: an Opera in Two Acts
Jeff Felker & Jessica Murrieta
Bows and Arrows
December 4 – December 31

Two fashion illo-influenced emerging artists share a show.  Murrieta’s draftsmanship has been maturing quickly, and her quiet washes benefit from the stronger linework.  Felker’s oils tend toward the outsider/naïve, with flattened colors and gothic themes.

1712 L Street, Sacramento

Short Center Annual Show
Tangent Gallery
Opens December 12

Sacramento’s Short Center was founded over 30 years ago to help developmentally disabled adults realize their personal potential.  Arts training has been a key part of the program since the beginning, and some of Sacramento’s best-known artists, including Steve Vanoni and John Berger, have woked there.  The art produced by Short Center students can be nothing short of amazing, and their annual show is always a delight.

2900 Franklin Blvd, Sacramento

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