Jackson Davidow

  • Mary Ann Unger, Across the Bering Strait, 1992–94, Hydrocal, steel, pigment, graphite, dimensions variable. Photo: Bradley Wakoff.

    Mary Ann Unger

    Curatorial narratives about artists who died prematurely sometimes make the mistake of magnifying the significance of illness. The life and work of an artist—often one who is being rediscovered after years at the margins—can become wrongfully overdetermined by the tragic circumstances surrounding their death.

    Because Mary Ann Unger (1945–1998) passed away at the age of fifty-three after a thirteen-year battle with breast cancer, one might be tempted to treat the artist—whose distinctive abstract sculptures and works on paper examine transcultural histories, imagery, and environmental issues—in

  • Barkley L. Hendricks, Self Portrait with Black Hat, 1980, digital C-print, 37 x 27".
    picks April 14, 2022

    Barkley L. Hendricks

    It is not surprising that Barkley L. Hendricks (1945–2017) excelled at photography, or that his pictures were often source material for his flamboyant and intimate paintings of Black life in the years after the civil rights movement. Yet the relationship between the two media across his magnificent and beloved oeuvre has only recently been discussed, sparked by the posthumous discovery of some of his previously unknown photographic work. Hendricks’s exhibition at the Rose Art Museum, “My Mechanical Sketchbook”—a reference to the artist’s name for his camera—presents a focused assortment of

  • Arthur Tress, Shell Beach Elementary School, Shell Beach, Ca., 2020, digital scan of 120 mm photograph.
    slant October 14, 2021

    Portfolio: Arthur Tress

    ARTHUR TRESS, PRESENT. At the onset of the US lockdown in March 2020, the San Francisco–based photographer Arthur Tress began to chronicle the closed buildings, deserted playgrounds, and overgrown yards of nearby schools in Northern California. Seventeen months later, the resulting series, introduced here and titled “In Recess,” consists of more than 15,000 black-and-white photographs of 125 elementary, middle, and high schools, from Bodega Bay to Pismo Beach. Devoid of children playing hopscotch, spreading gossip, and gobbling down snacks, his eerie pictures, oscillating in affect between the