Greg S. Flood

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Art Writing

Report from ArtMRKT San Francisco – Part 2

ArtMRKT San Francisco really stepped up its game this year and put on a spectacular showing for the art consuming public. Represented were both well established dealers and also those galleries who are just emerging or are beginning to establish themselves. There was also a special section for Stephen De Staebler, whose works is always a must see. The following is part two of my journey through the fair.

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Robert Arneson at Brian Gross Fine Art, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Robert Arneson at Brian Gross Fine Art, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

Brian Gross Fine Art had a large booth this year and put on a beautiful display of work. A whole display of small bronze works by Robert Arneson headlined the booth. Among the works on display was a self portrait in the round full of holes covering most of the face and the top of the head. Inside is a light bulb shining out, as if one could see the creative moment happening within the mind of the artist through the work. One other notable work by Arneson on display was the scale model, also in bronze, of a public art piece that was never realized a full scale. It is made up of 15 self portraits of Arneson that are balanced in pairs on planks placed on the tops of the heads below them. (see image in slide show) This was done in four different layers by Anreson and he also made it so that each plank spins around. This added element adds the wry humor to the work which was a signature of the artist’s style.

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Freddy Chandra at Brian Gross Fine Art, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Roy De Forest at Brian Gross Fine Art, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Dana Hart-Stone at Brian Gross Fine Art, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Robert Sagerman at Brian Gross Fine Art, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Linda Fleming at Brian Gross Fine Art, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

Other works on view were a beautiful Freddy Chandra piece, which the artist was thrilled to show me; a gorgeous Roy De Forest in his signature bold colors and hand carved frames; a beautifully printed work by Dana Hart-Stone; a heavily layered oil painting by Robert Sagerman; and a small geometric sculpture by Linda Fleming in her signature cut out style.

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Rogelio Manzo at Jack Fischer Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

Coming around the corner near the back of the exhibition hall I came upon the booth for the Jack Fischer Gallery. Always impressive, Jack Fischer’s selections for the fair did not let down. On prominent display were works large and small by Rogelio Manzo. Manzo paints portraits of men and women with cruelly disfigured faces, not unlike something out of a horror film. What keeps them from being just a display of the grotesque are two important elements in each composition. The first is his attention to detail in the clothing, which is such that one can only assume that Manzo is as interested in the clothing we wear as much as he is about our faces. The other element is that despite the disfigurement, Manzo always leaves a pair of plum, luscious lips for us to grab onto. This element, especially, makes his work sensually alluring while also being repellent to the eye.

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Michele Pred at Jack Fischer Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Michele Pred at Jack Fischer Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

Looking around the booth, one could not fail to notice the works of Michele Pred. On display were two works from her show at the gallery last fall. One was the umbrella with scissors hanging from it, which was ominously guarding the entrance to the booth. The other was the cross made from red Swiss army knives. I also later found her large American flag piece from the same show on display near the entrance to the fair, which was also available from Jack Fischer.

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Lauren DiCioccio at Jack Fischer Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

One other artist of note being shown by Jack Fischer was Lauren Dicioccio. Dicioccio is known for taking a section of the New York Times and sewing it into a white muslin sleeve. From there she needle points a part of the photo on that page. The work on display in the booth this time shows the next evolution of this, where Dicioccio has recreated the entire cover of a national geographic magazine in fabric and needlepoint.

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James Sterling Pitt at Eli Ridgway Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

On the far right hallway of booths, not far from those supporting non-profits, was the space for the Eli Ridgway Gallery. This up and coming gallery emerged four years ago and has set a remarkable track record for its edgy shows and conceptual bent. This year Eli Ridgway put on a large display of sculptural work by James Sterling Pitt. Pitt’s sculptures serve as a visual archive of his memories, much like a journal. These abstract works are at once light and playful, but also imply a deeper meaning through their construction.

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Wally Hedrick at EVER GOLD GALLERY, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Wally Hedrick at EVER GOLD GALLERY, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Wally Hedrick at EVER GOLD GALLERY, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

Another gallery that emerged recently in the San Francisco scene is the EVER GOLD GALLERY. Evergold has made its mark by showing not only new and upcoming artists, but by also putting on retrospectives of historic periods from Bay Area history. The most recent of which was on the Beat Generation. For the fair EVER GOLD GALLERY proprietors Gregory Ito and McClintock showed works from the Beat era artist Wally Hedrick. Hedrick was a critically important figure in the Beat movement. Besides his own work, his credits to the Beat movement include getting Allen Ginsberg to read his famous poem 'Howl' publically for the first time at the Six Gallery in 1955. The works by Hedrick that were on view are from a series he did later in life, wherein he painted advertisements from newspapers and catalogs from the 19th and early 20th century. The products he chose, like an ad for a book of ‘Hebrew Jokes’, all seem either quaint or entirely humorous to us now. This dark humor was a perennial theme in Hedrick’s work throughout his career and it was fully present in the works on view at the fair.

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Jeremiah Jenkins at EVER GOLD GALLERY, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Jeremiah Jenkins at EVER GOLD GALLERY, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

In keeping with being on the cutting edge, while showing a great deal of humor in their gallery program, EVER GOLD GALLERY also staged an Occupy Art Fairs installation by Jeremiah Jenkins, entitled ‘The 0.00000032%’. Dressed in a tuxedo, Jenkins sat in a lawn chair front of a small, makeshift version of a house painted in primary colors and surrounded by a small white picket fence. Signs attached to the fence referenced those of the occupy protesters and one in particular was leaning against the house, which read ‘I am the 0.00000032% Occupy Art Fairs’. While a humorous moment in the commercial center of a fair, it also is a challenge to the way the commercial side of the art world is run, but not too loudly in this case.

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Sherin Guirguis-Duwamah at Frey Norris Contemporary and Modern, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

Frey Norris Contemporary and Modern had an impressive set of works on view this year by Egyptian artist Sherin Guirguis-Duwamah. Employing delicate cut outs and explosive shapes of paint in her works, the artist has made a series of works that subtly explores the political upheavals that have rocked her country in the last year.

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Raimonds Staprans at Hackett Mill Dealers and Advisors, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Manuel Neri at Hackett Mill Dealers and Advisors, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Robert Schwartz at Hackett Mill Dealers and Advisors, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Frank Lobdell at Hackett Mill Dealers and Advisors, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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David Park at Hackett Mill Dealers and Advisors, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Alex Katz at Hackett Mill Dealers and Advisors, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Nathan Oliveira at Hackett Mill Dealers and Advisors, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

Hackett Mill Art Dealers and Advisors filled their booth with blue chip works by well established artists. This year’s selection from Bay Area figures included a massive Nathan Oliveira painting, two small works by David Park, an impressive Raimonds Staprans architectural landscape, a heavily worked drawing by Frank Lobdell, and a small sculpture of a bird by Manuel Neri made of wire and cardboard. There were also works by Alex Katz and Robert Schwartz among those from other regions of the US.

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Richard Diebenkorn at Paul Thiebaud Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Paul Wonner at Paul Thiebaud Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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William Theophilus Brown at Paul Thiebaud Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Wayne Thiebaud at Paul Thiebaud Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Wayne Thiebaud at Paul Thiebaud Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

The Paul Thiebaud Gallery had wide array of works on view from their stable of artists. Prominently displayed was a medium sized painting by Richard Diebenkorn from the 1960s. Other notable works included watercolors from Paul Wonner and William Theophilus Brown, and two signature paintings by Wayne Thiebaud. One was a small still life of a cupcake and the other a vertical landscape of the hills in San Francisco.

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Stephen De Staebler at ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Stephen De Staebler at ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

This year’s fair set aside an area that specially featured the works of Stephen De Staebler. This well known bay area ceramicist passed away just last year, and this is a fitting tribute to him, despite the commercial nature of the fair. The majority of the half a dozen or so works were made of bronze in monochrome matte black, with one ceramic piece. While De Staebler’s ceramics are well known for both their deconstructed figurative forms and polychrome glazes, the bronzes allow the viewer to evaluate the use of his deconstructed forms in a more formal way because of their matte black finishes. Working in bronze allowed De Staebler to elongate and attenuate his figures in ways that are not possible in clay, giving them a lighter and more fragile feeling in many cases. His work is a reminder that all things decay and fall apart, despite how much we work to keep them the same.

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Geoff Hargadon at Le Basse Projects, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

Every time I attend an art fair, I always find a number of artists who I have not come across before. This year’s surprises included Geoff Hargadon’s signs that read ‘Cash for your Warhol’, which has a purchase program behind it apparently, at LeBasse Projects. This is perhaps the smartest use of Andy Warhol’s work since Warhol himself was making them, and is also reminds us of all the financial troubles that are plaguing the world right now. I cannot think of another work of recent memory that so embodies the moment we are collectively in.

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James Kennedy at Mindy Solomon Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Elaine Bradford at Jenkins Johnson Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Stephen Aldrich at Foley Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

Other discoveries include the abstract paintings of James Kennedy found at the Mindy Solomon Gallery, a crocheted serpent with deer antlers coming off of the wall by Elaine Bradford at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery, and the impressive collages of Stephen Aldrich being presented by the Foley Gallery.

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Lalla Essaydi at Jenkins Johnson Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

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Lalla Essaydi at Jenkins Johnson Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco 2012 (Images Courtesy of the Gallery, Greg Flood and Richard Reisman)

One other artist of note that I discovered for the first time was that of Lalla Essaydi. Essaydi’s photographs of Middle Eastern women in traditional dress with Arabic writing across them or in a exquisitely tiled courtyard leave the viewer lingering to bask in the radiant beauty of the images and leaves us full of desire, not for the women, but for the dreamy world in which they exist. Lalla Essaydi’s photographs can be found at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

Dark and eerie, funky and humorous, cool and conceptual, or reserved and established, my journey through allowed me to both discover some artists and to look anew at others. ArtMRKT San Francisco had an excellent showing in its second year and I look forward to seeing what it delivers for its third edition.

#ArtMRKTSF #BrianGrossFineArt #FreddyChandra #LowerHatersGallery #RobertArneson #RoyDeForest #RobertSagerman #DanaHartStone #LindaFleming #JackFischerGallery #RogelioManzo #MichelePred #LaurenDicioccio #EliRidgwayGallery #JamesSterlingPitt #EVERGOLDGALLERY #JeremiahJenkins #WallyHedrick #FreyNorrisContemporaryandModern #SherinGuirguisDuwamah #HackettMillArtDealersandAdvisors #HackettMill #DavidPark #NathanOliveira #RaimondsStaprans #FrankLobdell #RobertSchwartz #AlexKatz #RichardDiebenkorn #PaulThiebaudGallery #PaulWonner #WilliamTheophilusBrown #WayneThiebaud #StephenDeStaebler #LeBasseProjects #GeoffHargadons #JamesKennedy #MindySolomonGallery #ElaineBradford #JenkinsJohnsonGallery #FoleyGallery #StephenAldrich #LallaEssaydi

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