Art Picks, February 2010

Posted on February 1, 2010 – 8:27 PM | by OldManFoster
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Haute Romantics
Verge Gallery

February 11 – March 20
Reception: February 13, 6 – 10PM
Lecture: Paddy Johnson, February 18, 7PM

Cian McConn, Dead With Statue of Liberty, 2009

Cian McConn, Dead With Statue of Liberty, 2009

Sacramento rarely gets the chance to see new work from contemporary East Coast artists, period, so this offering of cutting edge New York artists, including current art stars like Vice magazine heartthrob Ryan McGinley, is cause for celebration.  Curated by the folks at Art Fag City (the top fine art blog in the country right now), Haute Romantics examines the growing subsection of New York artists who are creating work that maps to the ideals of late 18th century Romanticism.   Aside from the aforementioned McGinley, the show features up-and-comers like Cian McConn, Sara Vanderbeek, and Naomi Fisher along with a dozen or so other artists who all share the idea that emotion is an authentic source of aesthetic experience.   I expect great things from this show, based largely on the involvement of Paddy Johnson, Editor in Chief of AFC.  Johnson has quickly earned a position as one of the top contemporary critics in America- Art Fag City, started only a few years ago, now gets more hits than either Art Forum or Art and America’s sites.  While I wouldn’t go quite so far as to call her the ‘Clement Greenberg of the oughts’ she is, so far, the most vital art critic of her generation.

1900 V Street, Wed – Fri 11AM – 6PM, Sat Noon – 5PM

Amanda Lopez

Upper Playground
February 13- March 6
Reception: February 13,  6 – 10PM

Amanda Lopez, a young photographer whose stunning True Stories show at Artifacts was one of the highlights of 2008, returns with her first local show since. Working entirely indoors for the first time, Lopez has composed a new portrait series inspired by the Dia de Los Muertos (day of the dead) celebration.  Lopez, whose earlier work tiptoed a line between street and neo-commercial photography, here leans toward the latter, with carefully controlled settings and dramatically made-up models.  Addressing concepts of death, and by extension, the preciousness of life, the series seeks to highlight the process of human experience.  Lopez’ career is clearly on the ascent, with a near-constant presence in high gloss pubs like VIBE and XXL, while also showing in high profile galleries like 111 Minna, San Francisco City Hall and White Walls.

2524 J Street, Mon-Sat 11AM – 7PM, Sun Noon – 6PM

Maija Peeples-Bright

Solomon Dubnick Gallery
February 13 – March 20

Maija Peeples-Bright, Myself for My Mother, 1967, Oil on Canvas

Maija Peeples-Bright, Myself for My Mother, 1967, Oil on Canvas

Maija Peeples-Bright is one of the most colorful (pardon the pun) characters ever to enliven the Sacramento art scene.  Her bio reads like the notes for a Vonnegut novel, and her list of friends and associates includes pretty much every mover and shaker in northern California art from the last half century.  One of Arneson’s original Funk crew, Peeples-Bright showed in the First Group Mess at the Belmonte Gallery and had annual solo shows at the Candy Store for over 25 years.  Her legendary multi-colored SF Victorian was a hangout for everyone who was anyone in sixties Bay Area art; habitués ranged from Bruce Conner and Jay DeFeo to Robert Crumb and S. Clay Wilson.  Favorites includes work that will cover her whole range: mixed media, ceramics, and oil and acrylic paintings that span from 1967-2010.  Her work defies easy categorization- Bruce Nauman referred to her work simply as “ICONS.”  The New York Art Review took a stab and described it thus: “Her unique style is a fusion of Funk humor, slick naivete and sophisticated primitivism all heavily laced with an indomitable beaming positivism.”  Whatever it is, whatever it’s called, it’s pure Sacramento.  Don’t miss.

Short List

Andri Tambunan

University Union Gallery, CSUS
Through February 25

Andri Tambunan, Blood Shoe, 2008

Andri Tambunan, Blood Shoe, 2008

Photojournalist Andri Tambunan displays a collection of compelling images from Indonesia, China, Tibet, Nepal, and India, covering such events as the 2008 Olympics in China, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Papua, and the terrorist attack in Mumbai.  There will be an Artist’s Reception on Thursday Feb. 4,  from 6-8PM.

6000 J St. Sacramento

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