Art Picks, May 2010

Posted on May 5, 2010 – 2:16 AM | by OldManFoster
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Recent Work
Tim White
Elliott Fouts Gallery
May 1- June 4
Reception: May 8, 6 – 9PM

First, a disclosure:  I’ve been friends with Tim White for a long time.  We’ve worked together, played in bands together and were roommates for something over five years.  Though this familiarity might make me a bit biased, it also gives me pretty good insight into what made White into the artist he is today.  It certainly gave me a good view of his work ethic; I can remember him getting up at 6AM so that he could paint still lifes in the near-perfect dawn light and still make it to work on time.  Light has been a focal point of White’s work as long as I’ve known him.  This is no surprise, given his fascination with Edward Hopper and Gerhard Richter, two painters in whose work light plays such a key role. White generally paints from photos these days, working from unposed and random-seeming snapshots of friends, musical instruments and his dominant subject, the western landscape.

White’s subject matter has remained remarkably consistent over the past decade and a half. Freeway at Sunset, a picture that will be in the Fouts show, is reminiscent of a smaller freeway painting (now lost) that White completed while he was at Sac City College in the early nineties.  White’s subjects have remained consistent because his obsessions and concerns have remained consistent.  The West – the concept, the physical reality and the myth – is central to White’s art. This fascination-bordering-on-obsession gives White’s art a depth that is lacking in most local artists – especially landscape painters.  Where lesser artists might ignore the banal realities of today’s sprawl-clogged western landscape in favor of the picturesque, White prefers to paint somewhere in the margins of both.  Though his paintings don’t often depict recognizable ‘western’ themes, nearly all of them have something that speaks of the region, even if it is only the ‘big sky’ that is so common in cowboy lit.

White himself is from the Midwest.  Relocating to Sacramento just out of high school, he embraced his adopted turf with the fervor of a convert. He has dug deep into the ethos of the west (White published his own western history zine, plays in a country music band and spends most of his spare moments exploring Nevada ghost towns) and discovered firsthand the disparity between the stereotypes he grew up with and his own experience in the contemporary west. While his work occasionally contains a nod to the epic Frontier myth, it is at its strongest when capturing the details of White’s own west – his friends, his neighborhood, the view out the windshield on the way to work.  In depicting the actual Sacramento life he lives – parking lots and traffic jams intact – White’s work speaks eloquently, and honestly, of a west that truly is.

4749 J Street
Hours: Tues – Fri 11AM – 6 PM, Sat – Sun 11AM – 4 PM

Youngsuk Suh
Center for Contemporary Art Sacramento
May 27 – June 27
Reception: June 12, 6 – 9PM
Artist’s Lecture: May 27, 7PM

Looking at the photographs that make up Wildfires, Youngsuk Suh‘s show that opens later this month at CCAS, it’s hard to say which is more intriguing, the formal sophistication of the images, or their content.  Suh’s instincts for composition are so consistently, well,  perfect, that it almost seems as if he must be following some simple formula that makes laying out a picture a straightforward mathematic equation.  And it’s not that the images themselves are uncomplicated- Suh’s smoke-filled vistas rarely feature the compositional no-brainer of the single focal point.  Then there are the compelling stories the images tell: a swimmer wades in a lake that reflects a murky red sky.  A remote field of wildflowers seems to strain toward a blown-out sun. A suburban home is wrapped in a haze that echoes the covers protecting the cars in the driveway.  Whether one reads the photos as ominous warnings or displays of blissful ignorance, the images are striking documents of the edges of disaster.

1519 19th St, Sacramento
Hours: Thurs by appt; Fri – Sun, Noon – 5PM

125th Anniversary of the Crocker
Crocker Art Museum
May 8, Noon – 4PM

The Crocker Art Museum was established on May 6, 1885, when Margaret Crocker presented her family’s art gallery building, grounds, and art collection “in trust for the public.”   To celebrate this incredible gift, city leaders organized a Floral Festival honoring Margaret Crocker and the Crocker family.  Commemorating the 125th anniversary of this act of civic munificence, the Crocker will hold a celebration that hearkens back to that first Floral Festival of 1885. Living history interpreters portraying the Crocker family will greet visitors as they arrive and various special events are scheduled throughout the day.  Festivities will include a trick roping demonstration, performances by Folklorico Latino de Woodland, demonstrations of floral arranging and cake decorating (and tasting), special tours featuring the Museum’s architecture and floral-themed artworks, and a visit from banjo-ologist Gordy Ohliger. Best of all, admission for the day is only $1.25!

216 O Street, Sacramento
Hours: 10AM – 5PM Tues – Sun; 1st & 3rd Thurs until 9PM

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  1. 2 Responses to “Art Picks, May 2010”

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    By doug biggert on May 5, 2010 | Reply

    3 nice reviews of three do not miss shows. thanks. i read it here first.
    one request or quibble, is it possible to include a day of the week on special offerings, say yougsuk suh’s may 27 lecture. if it is a day i am free, i can make a calender notation (actually a note on the wall, but if i am working, i will know now. hey, let us do what we can for those feeble minded and calender challenged.
    thanks. sharif of the delta

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