Welcome back for Part 2 of my San Francisco artventures. I finally encountered one of the reclaimed parking lot spaces I’ve been reading about on Untapped Cities. I love a good parklet. This was a particularly adorable “porch” for a restaurant in the Haight.
Also in the Haight, I found one of my secret crushes – odd bathroom graffiti. Yep, that’s my pink camera strap. I’m totally professional.
But seriously, I did make it to the SFMOMA to see some of the highlights I’d been hoping to catch. First up, the Parra piece was awesome. It’s huge and bold and strategically placed. Worth a visit for sure. I wish there has been more Parra pieces to see!
I stopped into the Paul Klee/Josef Albers comparative exhibit. The museum tried to explain and showcase the similarities in the focus of these seemingly unrelated artists. It was kind of a cool concept, for sure. And the pieces were great.
I got the chance to go to Alcatraz for the first time this go-around, and one of my favorite parts (besides the creepy fog and birds all over the island) was the room with old movie posters near the gift shop.
The middle, sort of orange block poster is one of my favorites ever – thank you Saul Bass.
And lastly, on a mostly related note, we visited a fantastic winery called Artesa in the Napa Valley. Not only did they have great wine (available for retail in a lot of states) but they also had an incredible spread of land overlooking the Valley and incorporating some unique architectural, water and sculptural elements. I also got to spend some quality time with our fabulous hosts from Modern Commissary. Thanks guys, y’all are amazing tour guides!
I’ve made it back from the beautiful weather on the West Coast, and though I really enjoyed the cooler temps, I am thrilled to see humidity again. Is that weird? I don’t care, I love it. Anyway, this is not a post about the weather.
I did have an opportunity to get to see a lot of the fabulous art I had hoped to see while I was in San Francisco, but that will be for Part 2. I had a few art surprises that I’d like to share first. My cohort, Em2, and I met up with some of my East Coast ex-pat friends for phenomenal tacos at Tacolicious in the Mission. Somewhere between the BART and the restaurant, we happened upon an alley (Clarion Alley) full of amazing street art. In doing a bit of digging, there’s a little info on the history of this space at Wikipedia. Turns out this is the Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) which, in short, is a collaborative mural project among a community of artists with positive messages and bohemian vibes. I found a bit more info here. And a few more of my pics are here.
Last Wednesday I set out the SFMOMA only to find that they are closed on Wednesdays. So I took a different street back to the hotel and chanced upon an incredible photo exhibit at the Catharine Clark Gallery on Minna Street. They were showing pieces by Ellen Kooi. I love the scale and the sort of muted, yet brilliant colors of her work. The images are both peaceful and a bit jarring in a really intense way.
Image from Ellen Kooi website.
Through mid-August, the SFMOMA will be hosting the 7 Ans de “Moirage” – a play on words combining “7 years of marriage” with the technique called “moire.” These pieces can be seen on the garage windows on Minna and Natoma streets. The pieces are a collaboration of artist/partners Claire Pasquier and Ian Padgham. A little more info and some pics at the SFMOMA blog. Sorry team, I failed to grab a pic of this one! Stay tuned for San Francisco artventures, Part 2. Yep, artventures. I totally went there.
So rumor has it I’m headed to San Francisco for a work trip next month, and I am excited to get a little time with my favorite Modern Commissary duo from Oakland while I’m there! I am planning to sneak out and get a little time with some art while I’m in the neighborhood. My picks are below, but I’m sure the MC team will have some more local perspective on what to see while I’m in town!
SFMOMA is hosting exhibitions on Josef Albers/Paul Klee, Buckminster Fuller and Parra, all of which I want to see. If you’re not familiar with Parra, I suggest you visit his website. He’s an amazing and bold illustrator from Amsterdam. I want to go there and find his show posters to steal.
Image from Parra’s website
And frankly, if you aren’t familiar with Josef Albers, you had better get familiar. He’s one of my favorites, so I’m biased. He was a brilliant color theorist and authored a (THE) series of color theory books, which have been fairly recently remastered and re-released. There’s also a 2012 book about the man himself, which I have not yet read, but have heard good things about.
The De Young will be hosting a Chuck Close exhibition I wouldn’t mind seeing. And hopefully I can catch the Man Ray/Lee Miller exhibition and Marcel Duchamp at the Legion of Honor, since they open while I’m there.