Art Picks, January 2011

Posted on January 6, 2011 – 1:30 AM | by OldManFoster
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The Color of Light
Paul Jenkins
Crocker Art Museum
Through February 20
‘Lunch & Learn’ talk; January 20, Noon

With all the holiday hub-bub this one sneaked in under the radar of many – including me.  Lucky it’s up for a while- this show is worth seeing for fans of intense color work and mid-century abstraction.  Jenkins has all the New York ab-ex credentials you could want – he knew Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko and his work got the seal of approval from ‘God’ himself, Clement Greenberg.  For all that, Jenkins isn’t quite on the same track as the main group of Abstract Expressionists.  While his work has the same energy and lack of recognizable imagery as the rest, his approach to the work (a wet on wet technique that yielded translucent, splashing waves of color) was unique for the time and anticipates the Color Field movement.  Jenkins’ work also differs in its seeming physicality – his paintings, though wholly abstract, convey a strong impression of being solid.  Jenkins is a master colorist as well – his bright, high-contrast palette features eye-catching color play that may seem familiar to fans of local artist Gary Pruner.  Don’t miss the January 20 lunchtime talk about a signature work in the show, Phenomena Intervening Mantle.

216 O Street
Hours: Tues – Weds 10AM – 7 PM, Thurs 10AM – 9 PM, Fri – Sun 10AM – 5PM

American Gothic: Regionalist Portraiture from the Collection
Nelson Gallery
January 15 – March 13,
Open house: January 15, 11AM – 5PM

The Nelson kicks off their new space in the Richard Nelson Hall with a bang: a big (125 pieces!) show featuring the cream of the University’s collection: Whistler, Andy Warhol, Nathan Olivera, Deborah Butterfield, Bruce Connor, Bruce Nauman, and a special emphasis on the Davis 5 (Roy de Forest, Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, Manuel Neri and William Wiley.)  Guest curator Lee Plested has taken the ‘portrait’ aspect liberally- these works refer in some way to the human form, but are not necessarily portraits in a traditional sense.  The show opens with an all day ‘Open House’ which will feature 22 local arts figures who have been invited to speak about a work in the show, and Plested will give a walking tour of the exhibit from 11:30AM – noon.

Richard Nelson Hall, UC Davis
Hours: Mon – Thurs 11AM – 5PM, Friday By Appt, Sat – Sun 2 – 5PM

Faces of Art
Russ Solomon
January 27 – March 4
Reception: January 27, 5 – 7PM

The Sacramento region may have no better friend to art than Russ Solomon.  Best known as the creator of the Tower Records empire, Solomon has been a fervent supporter of Sacramento artists at least since he ponied up the dough to help found the legendary Artists Cooperative Gallery in the late fifties.  Keen-eyed visitors will also note the Solomon name on tags throughout the Crocker, and most recently, he and wife Patti opened their home (and incredible art collection) to visitors for a major fundraiser for the Center for Contemporary Art.  If his steadfast support of Sacramento arts is well-documented, what is less known is that Solomon has also been an avid photographer for nearly sixty years.  This installation of over one hundred portraits of people from the local art scene [full disclosure- I’m honored to be one of them] is – amazingly – Solomon’s first-ever exhibit of his own work.

Sacramento City College, 3835 Freeport
Hours: Noon – 4PM, Mon – Fri, and by appt  (916) 650-2942

Short list:

Light Matters
Christina Seely and Gretchen Skogerson
Center For Contemporary Art Sacramento
January 6 – February 13

Work from two artists inspired by artificial light. Seely’s LUX is a photo series capturing brightly illuminated cityscapes. Skorgerson’s video work, Drive Thru (screened at the last Whitney Biennial) documents the effect of natural disasters on man-made environments. Don’t miss Christina Seely’s lecture on January 13 at 7PM.



1519 19th Street

Three Way Mirror
Ali Diaz, Kelsey Schnack and Savannah Macias
Bows and Arrows
Opens January 8

Local boutique Bows and Arrows has a knack for finding impressively engaging younger artists – which should really come as no surprise since owners Olivia Coelho and Trisha Rhomberg are both exhibiting artists themselves.  This month they’ve got a trio of emerging artists on hand; Schnack is a photographer; Diaz and Macias present strongly surrealist-influenced collages

1712 L Street





Out There
Gordon Cook
Nelson Gallery
January 15 – March 13

Twenty-two years after Cook’s first show at the Nelson, curator Bill Berkson has put together two dozen of the late artist’s works, with an emphasis on his landscapes.

Richard Nelson Hall, UC Davis

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