Jeanne Gerrity

  • picks April 19, 2019

    Laura Figa and Ellie Hunter

    The human figure is mostly absent from the minimalist markings, assemblage sculptures, and layered photographic images in Laura Figa and Ellie Hunter’s “Doppia,” yet the hum of the animate carries a powerful charge in the space. Both artists obliquely engage with the body and its coalescence with man-made materials. In Figa’s three graphite drawings, shapes with slight variations are repeated in groups of two, four, and seven, arranged on the paper like musical scores. Close examination reveals that these abstracted forms are more freighted with meaning than they first appear; each represents

  • picks March 01, 2019

    Michael Richards

    Symbolism rooted in the body and flight dominates this arresting exhibition of Michael Richards’s work, mostly from the 1990s. Jets puncture a cast of the artist, become entangled in barbed wire, or plummet toward a bull’s-eye in striking, representational sculptures. Airplanes are metaphoric vehicles for an escape from a racist society, but their destructive capacities are also apparent. Richards was killed on September 11, 2001, after spending the night in his studio in the World Trade Center, and his artwork—which can be seen as either prescient or eerily coincidental in light of this

  • picks October 10, 2018

    Woody De Othello

    A large, wall-mounted, blush telephone with cartoonish keys and a conspicuous fleshy tongue for a receiver is delightfully farcical, while a glazed puce vase with humanoid knees tucked up on the seat of an oversize, wavy, cardinal-red chair carries an air of loneliness. Paired with bright representational paintings, the anthropomorphized household objects rendered in ceramic form in Woody De Othello’s debut solo exhibition charm in their absurdity yet remain cryptic in their subject matter.

    A recent graduate of San Francisco’s California College of the Arts, Othello channels a rich Bay Area legacy

  • picks November 06, 2017

    “An Idea of a Boundary”

    The title of this group exhibition derives from a passage in Ursula K. Le Guin’s science-fiction novel The Dispossessed (1974) describing a low, unassuming wall that acts as an absolute border between two planets. The ten artists featured here contend with boundaries that delineate both physical and psychological divisions. Several of the modest photographs in Park McArthur’s Leads, 2016, document thresholds at Chisenhale Gallery in London with door saddles that may look innocuous to some, but may be obstacles for people who use wheelchairs. Gina Osterloh’s film Press and Outline, 2014, also

  • picks June 05, 2017

    Emily Wardill

    The title of the central work in Emily Wardill’s solo show here, I gave my love a cherry that had no stone, 2016, is a nod to the paradoxes that dominate the exhibition. Body and machine are indistinguishable. Past and future overlap. Absence and presence coexist.

    In the video, a male dancer lurches and sways around the lobby and theater of a Portuguese museum at night, shot by a drone-mounted camera and a hand-held one that jerk and soar through the modernist interior. The nostalgia for the utopian future built into this architecture contrasts with the mechanical movements of the cyborg-like

  • Erica Deeman

    “And you are not the guy and still you fit the description because there is only one guy who is always the guy fitting the description,” Claudia Rankine repeats four times in Citizen: An American Lyric (2014) a narrative poem that grapples with the insidious and indelible effects of widespread racism. The image of the American black man is unequivocally linked to this country’s racist history, and with “Brown,” her first solo gallery show, British-born artist Erica Deeman joined a centuries-old initiative seeking to counter negative images of African American men in the public consciousness.

    The

  • picks July 05, 2016

    “The Grace Jones Project”

    “Grace Jones is everything I ever wanted to be as an artist . . . an experimental, progressive, avant-garde shapeshifter,” Xaviera Simmons asserts in one of this show’s wall labels. Contextualized by original album covers, fashion shoots, and music videos, the exhibition examines the influence of the model, actress, and singer on twelve contemporary artists. The powerful beauty and bold sexuality of the transgressive pop star defied heteronormative gender conventions and celebrated blackness during the 1970s and ’80s, when many of these artists were coming of age, and the works in the exhibition

  • picks October 14, 2015

    “Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s–Now”

    In 1970, Bonnie Ora Sherk sat placidly in various locations around San Francisco. Her resultant “Sitting Still” series, 1970, small-scale performances that were at once personal and subtly political, is exemplary of this exhibition’s focus on simple acts in public spaces. Here, work by more than twenty female artists ranges from iconic posters by figures such as the Guerrilla Girls and Jenny Holzer to recent projects by local artists such as Amy Balkin and Favianna Rodriguez. Among several new commissions is an arresting graphic mural by Susan O’Malley on the exterior of the museum that declares

  • picks August 04, 2015

    “Against Automatism”

    An astute visitor entering Fused Space—a two-year-old venue hosted by designer Yves Béhar and curated by dealer Jessica Silverman—might notice three small organic forms clinging to fluorescent lights like insects drawn to a glow. The tiny delicate structures are cast-bronze lavender stems patinated with iron by K.r.m. Mooney, one of seven artists in this visually eclectic group show of works loosely united by a focus on the intersection of the human body and the industrial world.

    Like Mooney, Jason Benson combines natural and mass-produced materials—snail shells, cardboard, and plastic twist

  • picks June 01, 2015

    Shana Moulton

    A box containing a small Walkman-like plastic device emerges from a computer screen and into the hands of Shana Moulton’s anxious alter ego, Cynthia, in the video MindPlace ThoughtStream, 2014. This machine is the central element in the artist’s comical multipart exhibition “Picture Puzzle Pattern Door,” which includes recurring images of Cynthia by the Pacific Ocean, audio clips from TED talks testifying to life-changing experiences, and videos of multiple Shakiras gyrating in an Activia yogurt commercial—symbols of Cynthia’s quest for spiritual enlightenment and a flawless appearance. Outside