Wednesday, August 8, 2007

stamp art in San Francisco

A site which keeps bringing me back is San Francisco Art Openings. Even though it has been about 20 years since I lived in SF, I still see images from galleries I know, or at least from galleries on streets I once roamed. The site is wonderful too because they check out both the high and the low.

For instance, just this one page gives us works from Gregory Lind, a gallery on Geary which, to loosely paraphrase Gregory, shows works from a perspective of looking at the cosmos. This is the gallery which shows Barbara Takenaga, who I am interviewing later this month.

Then as you scroll down you see this fab show on art event posters at 871. It looks just incredible. I’ve got a few of those myself, along with a growing art announcement postcard collection.

But what really drew my attention was The Multiplicity/ Multiplicidad show at SoMarts Bay Gallery. Wow. The show celebrates a very specialized area of mail art, stamp art. Back in the day, artists not only used the mail as their gallery, they also made their own stamps to confuse the postal system. I recall it well as I was lucky enough to receive these kinds of missives in the late 70s. I have whole pages of stamps by Buster Cleveland (see above), who might be one of the greatest innovators of this genre.

And how wonderful it was to see pictures of Anna Banana! As the post says, Anna is the grand matriarch of mail art (though like Eunice Parsons, I have a weird relationship with that word, matriarch. It's a double-edged sword…). Anna was the one to deliver Vile and then, Femail Art. Anna is a legend and I would have loved to have been at that opening.


Steven LaRose said...

I am looking forward to the Barbara Takenaga interview. I saw her paintings for the first time at last years Jupiter Fair in Portland. Very cool.

Anonymous said...

Same with me. I was mesmerized.

Later that day at the Affair, I ran into a good friend who was dismayed at the quality of some of the work. She said: "What are they going to show next year? 12 year olds??"

Then I said to her: "Let me show you something to make you feel better. It's not all like that..."

We entered into the Gregory Lind room and I turned to her. She said: "You don't even need to tell me, Eva. I know exactly what you're talking about."

That is how much Takenaga's work stood out.


Steven LaRose said...

A lot of people complained about all the empty space in the paintings and the apparent chic of drawings etc. (at the fair). I can understand, in fact, I am still very defensive of this because my paintings today fit right into that category. . . but, of course, I can't change my quest (says the East-Going-Zak).

Did you see those Seth Koen sculptures too? I think they were at the Lind space.

Eva said...

I just checked them out and yes, I do remember them. The color and simplicity is nice....
That gallery has done a few shows with textiles in very inventive ways.