Mark Bradford's mid-career survey is a comprehensive collection of the last ten years of his monumental paintings and speculative multimedia work. The imposing exhibition spreads throughout the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [through June 17] and the nearby Yerba Buena Center for the Arts [through May 27].
In the Downey suburb of Los Angeles, the Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall is surrounded on three sides by a public golf course. It is these kinds of unlikely juxtapositions-and the ways in which communities and individuals navigate them-that motivated artist, writer and curator Weston Teruya in creating the work for his current solo show, part of the "2x2 solos" series at Pro Arts in Oakland, Calif.
The artist re-cast the above situation for The Gracious City at Its Neighbor's Edge
(2010), a delicate work in paper that resembles both an architectural model and a collage hanging precariously from a yellow sawhorse. From the entropic suspension, we make out familiar iconography of construction and circulation-a yellow parking bumper, barrier gates-here transformed into artifacts. In Teruya's world, cement cinder blocks, a golf scorecard, sawhorses, and metal folding chairs are rearranged and rescaled, and alternate between design and support.
In the wildly popular television drama about advertising executives in 1960's Manhattan, Mad Men, the main character Donald Draper tells one of his mistresses, "the love you want was created by guys like me ... to sell nylons." Images in mainstream media have long been driven and mediated by political, social and economic motivations. Notions of race and beauty, like the false love Draper struggles with, have also been influenced and molded by images that inundate the visual landscape. In her essay, "Racial Time, Racial Marks, Racial Metaphors," Coco Fusco reminds us that not only does the visualization of race have political power but that there is also a mainstream, multimillion-dollar entertainment industry that has continuous economic interests in the visual representation of race. The stakes are high: Images do not just record race and beauty; they have a hand in its production, too. In "Black is Beautiful", his current show at Roberts & Tilton Gallery
in Los Angeles (June 13, 2009-August 1, 2009), Hank Willis Thomas
considers beauty as a politicized act by surveying the prevalence of African American pin-up models in the media. Read More
History has a certain way of being selfish-the past is often understood through its inequities and linear narratives, static lines marching forward that are capped by dates, deaths, and wars -- by way of the winners and occasionally, the losers. Personal and collective trauma can be difficult, if not impossible to articulate, as many are left out (sometimes, on purpose). When those who have lived through history are gone and the voices of their retelling have long faded past fables and cautionary tales, how will those lessons be recounted? Will they fall into the vast fissures of histories lost? In "History in the Making," on view at the Seattle Art Museum, artist Titus Kaphar's sculptural paintings challenge canonical representations of history and memory by collapsing past into present. Read More
We are not new to the idea of building homes -- places that make us feel like we "belong" there. Yet recently, the media has been inundated with television shows, magazines, websites and blogs dedicated to the idea of creating a "home" for oneself or family. One might repaint a neighbor's living room on a home makeover show, or have one's closet raided by the fashion police turned pseudo-celebrity. In the west, our identities have always remained connected to physical space. But for San Francisco-based artist Stephanie Syjuco
, the sense of belonging hangs in limbo, positioned in relation to -- though sometimes in reaction against -- her distant homeland in the Philippines. This is a place she has an ostensible relationship with through birth but feels disconnected to when she is actually there. She is a tourist at home. Read More