• “Paul McCarthy’s Low Life Slow Life”

    CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art
    1111 8th Street
    February 8–April 5, 2008

    Curated by Jens Hoffmann and Paul McCarthy

    Fresh from cutting a cultural swathe across Europe with shows in Munich, Stockholm, and London, among other cities, Paul McCarthy returns to his home base, California, but disguised as a curator. Organized in collaboration with Wattis director Jens Hoffmann, whose recent curatorial gymnastics have pounded new life into flabby exhibition protocols, the show gathers and refracts McCarthy’s early memories of art, from roughly 1960 to 1970. (A second part, opening February 2009, brings us up to date.) Look for experimental films (by Andy Warhol, Stan Brakhage, and Bruce Connor), Vietnam photographs, issues of Life, and works—some in photographs, as McCarthy first encountered them—by Henry Moore, Marcel Duchamp, Yves Klein, and two Tony Smiths (one, McCarthy’s former teacher).

  • “The Way That We Rhyme: Women, Art, and Politics”

    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
    701 Mission Street
    March 29–June 29, 2008

    Curated by Berin Golonu

    With feminism surveys on both the East and West coasts, 2007 seemed like the Year of the Woman in the art world. Thankfully, that “year” may not be over come 2008, which promises yet more exhibitions exploring feminism in all its expansiveness. This Bay Area show ostensibly features the collaborative practices of younger women artists, but its participants, whether embracing trans-identifications or blurring the lines between artist and activist, restlessly question such categorization. Accompanied by a nontraditional catalogue— a “handbook” featuring extensive contributions from the artists—the exhibition comprises more than thirty works. The listening station of riot grrrl music seems kind of hokey, but any show that brings together the knitted protest works of Lisa Anne Auerbach, a performance by Nao Bustamante, and an installation by drag queen Vaginal Davis seems perfectly irreverent.