Susan R. Kirshenbaum

art and life - both the cherries and the pits

SF ART FAIRS – NOT MIAMI BUT OUR SPECIAL FLAVOR

Susan KirshenbaumComment

Fog Art & Design and Untitled were art fair highlights in SF this past weekend. What a dramatic departure from the experience we had at Miami Art Week (see my last blog post). Just being able to pop in for a couple of hours at my local shows was a real treat. Having one ticket for one price for multiple days of each show was something I enjoyed taking advantage of (although they required two tickets, one for each fair). I attended on a few different days and saw a couple of interesting art talks too. 

There were also special art events taking place simultaneously at the Minnesota Street Project and the new, local East Cut Art Fair with a handful of participating galleries: Chandra Cerrito Contemporary (Oakland), George Lawson Gallery  (San Francisco), Seager Gray Gallery (Mill Valley), and SLATE Contemporary (Oakland). I wanted to get to these shows (and parties!) too but I didn't make it. Do tell me what you thought if you got there!

Fort Mason is always such a beautiful venue. I love the light on the water. The new SFAI Graduate Art School that shares the Cowell Theatre Pier now is an exciting visual art addition here. 

Fort Mason is always such a beautiful venue. I love the light on the water. The new SFAI Graduate Art School that shares the Cowell Theatre Pier now is an exciting visual art addition here. 

Here are a few of my personal top-notes from Fog and Untitled:

PEOPLE

People watching was very good (for SF). The crowd at Fog appeared to be more buyers where the crowd at Untitled appeared to be more artists.

DISPLAY

Display, especially at Fog, was beautiful.

SHUTTLES & PARKING

Things are picking up here. There were shuttles to take you to various art events!  Free parking was easy to find, too.

COST

It’s still relatively expensive at $30 per ticket (just slightly less online). Tickets were good for multiple days but not multiple venues. Not much is free at Fog or Untitled except art and design  publications so we all loaded up on them.

VENUES

Beautiful! But for newbies, the venues needed more directional signage.

FOG VS UNTITLED

The work was funkier at Untitled, slicker at Fog as was the crowd. Compared to Art Basel and Miami Art Week, there was far less figurative work (my area of particular interest).

And at Fog, there's that strong emphasis on design – especially hand-crafted and vintage home furnishings. More than last year? Next time (always thinking about that) - I’d love to see more shows come to SF  to keep building our week out to a San Francisco Art Week! Let's bring in Form (sculpture and jewelry art), Design (separating design from art is not a bad thing), and the new all-women’s art fair: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/arts/design/an-all-woman-art-fair-during-art-basel-miami-beach.html?_r=

Speaking of women and art, the panel Women Rising (at Fog on Thursday), was quite strong and inspiring. Planning by YBCA in collaboration with SFMOMA for shows featuring living/working women artists include one of my personal mentors, Suzanne Lacy.

But the recent stats on numbers of women showing in galleries and institutions were disturbingly low and the Bay Area is as weak as the rest of the USA.

San Francisco's magical Palace of Fine Art - a fantastic art fair venue.

San Francisco's magical Palace of Fine Art - a fantastic art fair venue.

David Ireland performance art piece at Untitled.

David Ireland performance art piece at Untitled.

An inspiring talk by Theaster Gates, Artist as Social Activists, was followed by an uninspiring panel discussion based loosely on the same topic.

An inspiring talk by Theaster Gates, Artist as Social Activists, was followed by an uninspiring panel discussion based loosely on the same topic.

Untitled SF reflects a local fashion flavor twist.

Untitled SF reflects a local fashion flavor twist.

Untitled SF reflects a local art fashion sensibility.

Untitled SF reflects a local art fashion sensibility.

By Chiharu Shiota, these ghostly large photographic images reach into gauzy floating panels from both sides at Untitled.

By Chiharu Shiota, these ghostly large photographic images reach into gauzy floating panels from both sides at Untitled.

The video portion of this gallery-wide installation. All pieces are for sale individually. At Untitled in the Zilberman Gallery (Istanbul and Berlin) work by Burcak Bingol.

The video portion of this gallery-wide installation. All pieces are for sale individually. At Untitled in the Zilberman Gallery (Istanbul and Berlin) work by Burcak Bingol.

A thick layered ceramic chunk is part of the installation.

A thick layered ceramic chunk is part of the installation.

Individual elements are all related to the theme.

Individual elements are all related to the theme.

ARE YOU IN THE BAY AREA 1/19-1/20? Don't miss these art events!

SNAP!

Reception 1/19 from 7-9pm and 1/20 noon-3pm

Two-day juried show & sale - all art is $199

Arc Studios and Gallery on Folsom St., SF

and

PARADISE LOST

Reception 1/20 from 6-9pm

An invitational group figure show

Back to the Picture, Valencia Street

 

 

 

 

These are gem-like underwater-looking ceramic sculptures at Fog.

These are gem-like underwater-looking ceramic sculptures at Fog.

Here's a fun Fog booth filled with over-sized ceramic objects from another era.

Here's a fun Fog booth filled with over-sized ceramic objects from another era.

Such creepy elegance in this glass snake candelabra. At Fog.

Such creepy elegance in this glass snake candelabra. At Fog.

I saw these at Fog - I simply love these darkly humorous candle holder sculptures!

I saw these at Fog - I simply love these darkly humorous candle holder sculptures!

This Fog booth had a master collection of ceramics and furniture, plus someone I observed who knew just what they were doing when it comes to arranging objects in the most elegant way. 

This Fog booth had a master collection of ceramics and furniture, plus someone I observed who knew just what they were doing when it comes to arranging objects in the most elegant way. 

Ceramics and steel with a fantastic reflection. Each of these pieces was simply luscious. At Fog.

Ceramics and steel with a fantastic reflection. Each of these pieces was simply luscious. At Fog.

I know I was attracted this day to circles and pink. This piece feels just right to me. At Fog.

I know I was attracted this day to circles and pink. This piece feels just right to me. At Fog.

A painted pink dot wall makes for a delightful background for these perfect prints at Fog.

A painted pink dot wall makes for a delightful background for these perfect prints at Fog.

Here in the Starn bamboo furniture. Here I am in pink, too, surrounded by the bamboo gallery show and a delightful gallerist at Fog Art & Design 2018.

Here in the Starn bamboo furniture. Here I am in pink, too, surrounded by the bamboo gallery show and a delightful gallerist at Fog Art & Design 2018.

At Fog you could see this huge and sumptuous diptych is marbleized and spread on canvas.

At Fog you could see this huge and sumptuous diptych is marbleized and spread on canvas.

Geoffrey Pugen's work, called Wellness III, was shown Untitled. There were several in this series that appealed to me - although I saw a great many collages - this monoprint technique is rougher and more painterly, yet digitally printed. 

Geoffrey Pugen's work, called Wellness III, was shown Untitled. There were several in this series that appealed to me - although I saw a great many collages - this monoprint technique is rougher and more painterly, yet digitally printed. 

Seen at Untitled, this painting is composed of cut and scratched paint and canvas.

Seen at Untitled, this painting is composed of cut and scratched paint and canvas.

I enjoyed this painting at Untitled which is hard-edged perfectly wed with elements of light and softness. By Michael Boyd, Bijou, 1970, Eric Firestone Gallery.

I enjoyed this painting at Untitled which is hard-edged perfectly wed with elements of light and softness. By Michael Boyd, Bijou, 1970, Eric Firestone Gallery.

ART BASEL MIAMI - INITIAL THOUGHTS

Susan KirshenbaumComment
Weaving combined with a variety of other techniques.

Weaving combined with a variety of other techniques.

MIAMI MARATHON

So excited to share my first Art Basel experiences! But, as predicted by experienced Art Basel aficionados, I’ve been sick in bed with a cold for a week. Not a surprise after the literal art marathon in Miami last week. But I’m still considering returning next year, and possibly for years to come. We have nothing to compare (so vast and grand) in San Francisco. So for me and for you, I’m writing up some tit bits of what I learned and observed, some trends that I noticed, and a few side comments about the people, food and drink.

This summary should help put a trip together for next year, even though there are always changes. I’m hoping to draw in my friends and family, as well as gallerists, curators, jurors, artists, collectors, and fun-seekers who attended, to share their experiences and insights here too.

The fairs are a marathon because there are so many (23+), and there's so much traffic to navigate. One wants to do and see as much as one can, so it’s hard not to over-fill the days and nights. Traveling with a pack (ranging from 3-10), with a van and a driver on some days, helped to keep us on a schedule.

Colorful couple in the center reminded me of the 80s.

Colorful couple in the center reminded me of the 80s.

People wear their artwear, and just about everything else too.

People wear their artwear, and just about everything else too.

What not to do

Wear uncomfortable clothes and shoes. Most likely will be wearing the same thing day and night (unless you can figure out a midway R&R stop). The floors are mostly concrete. There are very few chairs or rest and recharge areas. Don’t waste your money on fair-bought champagne and water. The temperature varies wildly – it’s quite warm but it gets chilly when it rains. So you can pack light but bring weather gear. Don’t rent a car, get sunburned, drink too much alcohol. If you can afford it, a driver and vehicle is a great addition.

What to do

Fly direct. Take a flight into/out of either Miami OR Ft. Lauderdale. Pack light. Stay somewhere central or at least close to some shows. Prepare in advance. Try to be well rested to begin with. Study up on the different fairs and galleries. Have a schedule in mind. Don’t try to coordinate with too many people. Follow a plan but remain flexible. Spend most of your time with the art...don't get too sidetracked into parties and beach scenes. Study a map and plan your time accordingly. Take Uber, Lyft, taxis, etc. Wear a small-ish light-weight backpack that converts to a shoulder bag. Collect invitations to VIP events and areas. Take advantage of their lounges.

WHAT TO Bring

Business cards, phone chargers, rain gear, a bathing suit, a notepad and pen (take notes), artwear, a change of comfortable shoes, and layers. Bring and drink water. Eat breakfast. Stop to eat a quick lunch and dinner. Bring snacks like nuts and bars. Eat “on the Beach” and get a real Cuban meal. Also Miami pizza is very good and so is the coffee.

Our art posse stops to figure out next moves during the last night - at the Wynwood Art Walk.

Our art posse stops to figure out next moves during the last night - at the Wynwood Art Walk.

Don’t miss

Design Basel (has a separate fee).

Form

One full day, on either a Thursday or Friday, at Art Basel

Wynwood Art Walk at night

PULSE

ArtMiami

Scope

INK

ICA

Rubell Collection

The Rubell Collection always proves alarming. Work by Frank Benson, 2011.

The Rubell Collection always proves alarming. Work by Frank Benson, 2011.

Faena (the gorgeous hotel) is worth a visit to see the golden mastodon.

Faena (the gorgeous hotel) is worth a visit to see the golden mastodon.

Brunches and parties

We had a great time at Casa Lin's brunch but missed all the others. They are worth going to for a chance to meet people and talk, relax, and fuel up.

"You are what you eat" is a piece of student performance art in the Casa Lin garden.

"You are what you eat" is a piece of student performance art in the Casa Lin garden.

I think I could have missed Aqua and NADA. Read details: https://news.artnet.com/market/art-basel-miami-beach-guide-1032611 

Materials, techniques, topics and display trends

We (my little art posse) saw lots of variations of layers and reflections, on clear acrylic, Mylar, Lucite, etc. Another popular shiny substrate we saw lots of is Resin. Techniques from fiberarts were very popular, including weaving, knitting, crochet, and embroidery. Plus we noted lots of stitched canvases and patterned fabric used as a canvas. Some used buttons or bones or beads - traditional materials identified with women's work.

Wax was used in these book art pieces by Jessica Drenk, 2017, Galleri Urbane Dallas.

Wax was used in these book art pieces by Jessica Drenk, 2017, Galleri Urbane Dallas.

Figurative - Deconstructed

I look for figurative work as that's what I do and I want to see what's out there. I like these surreal figurative works by Dario Maglionico.

I look for figurative work as that's what I do and I want to see what's out there. I like these surreal figurative works by Dario Maglionico.

Elaborate 100% embroidered artwork.

Elaborate 100% embroidered artwork.

Woven mens' belts appear very heavy and solid.

Woven mens' belts appear very heavy and solid.

Weaving all types of materials was a big theme this year. This is an example of an unusual material woven together to great effect. I noticed people using raw linen now, too. And there were a number of pieces made with delicately etched and scratched metal.

Graphite sculpture

This artist had quite a few pieces in quite a few shows. Each is mundane subject matter and perfectly rendered in life-size.  605 E. 132nd St., Bronx, by Adam McEwen, 2016, The Modern Institute

This artist had quite a few pieces in quite a few shows. Each is mundane subject matter and perfectly rendered in life-size.  605 E. 132nd St., Bronx, by Adam McEwen, 2016, The Modern Institute

Paintings were often on fabric used as a paint surface, including heavily patterned fabric. Many pieces were presented as a series or an installation with sculpture and other artforms. It was not uncommon to see multiple panels making up a single work. There were also lots of shaped canvases, especially round ones. Super-realism lives on. So does pretty - with birds, butterflies, flowers, fairies, patterns, and luscious colors. People like to interact with the art. So many selfies and photo ops for eachother. With the kinetic pieces you could play around. With the reflective pieces you could catch sight of yourself.

IMG_3897.JPG
A large circle composed of used clothes tightly packed together. By Manish Nai, Kavi Gupta Gallery.

A large circle composed of used clothes tightly packed together. By Manish Nai, Kavi Gupta Gallery.

Fabric and clothing have become an art material. Wallpaper has become an extension of the art for sale.

Beautiful and fun, yes? Works by Jason DeMarte, shown by Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM.

Beautiful and fun, yes? Works by Jason DeMarte, shown by Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM.

Quilting has reached a complex art form. This was a very popular series.

Personal story-telling combined with old world quilting taken to new heights. Family by Bisa Butler.

Personal story-telling combined with old world quilting taken to new heights. Family by Bisa Butler.

Collage of every type, in tiny to grand scale. Old masters redux is always in. Layers and layers with shadow-play and reflections and along with optical illusions were a noticeable trend. 

Monofilament + acrylic paint are combined in this very handsome piece by Chris Dorosz, R.O.S.H. Series, 2017, Muriel Guepin Gallery.

Monofilament + acrylic paint are combined in this very handsome piece by Chris Dorosz, R.O.S.H. Series, 2017, Muriel Guepin Gallery.

3-D printing was used to create a wall of these small sculptures. When I saw them they were all being packed up since they'd just been purchased. Mister Nobody is by Igor Gusev, Voloshyn Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2017.

3-D printing was used to create a wall of these small sculptures. When I saw them they were all being packed up since they'd just been purchased. Mister Nobody is by Igor Gusev, Voloshyn Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2017.

Installation art and composed vignettes. Heavy patterns for backgrounds. So many grids. New uses for lint and felt. And it's glitzy Miami and Miami Beach, so of course so much silver and gold leaf. Performance art popping up here and there was a refreshing change.

Installation + performance art were the scene at this booth. Not an easy way to spend the four or so art fair days.

Installation + performance art were the scene at this booth. Not an easy way to spend the four or so art fair days.

Cut paper and books

This fantastic book is carved like rock with a portal entry.

This fantastic book is carved like rock with a portal entry.

A mosaic of sorts, made of ceramic chips with a subtle image in the center. More obvious in the photo than in life. By Park Sung Wook, 2017.

A mosaic of sorts, made of ceramic chips with a subtle image in the center. More obvious in the photo than in life. By Park Sung Wook, 2017.

Scenes from the graphic design world: letterpress, typography, signage-style words and messages. Words and statements. Not my favorite.

Scenes from the graphic design world: letterpress, typography, signage-style words and messages. Words and statements. Not my favorite.

What they wore (or didn’t) - Women

Lots of skin and major underwear showing; beachwear – diaphanous white; running/workout gear; ripped pants; white; sneakers or really high heels, and long and short together...

There's a letterpress studio set-up in the background and a concrete installation to the right of this pair.

There's a letterpress studio set-up in the background and a concrete installation to the right of this pair.

More scenes from the graphic design world: PMS colors and large digital duotones and and monotones.

More scenes from the graphic design world: PMS colors and large digital duotones and and monotones.

More trends: monochrome as a theme, manipulated photos, video inserted, deconstruction, burning and smoke as an art-making tool, concrete, sparkles, mirrors, hair, body parts, and hermaphrodites.

IMG_3650.jpg

Crumpled

In conte crayon on rag paper, Crushed Roses, 2017, by Josph Stashkevetch, Von Lintel Gallery, LA, CA.

In conte crayon on rag paper, Crushed Roses, 2017, by Josph Stashkevetch, Von Lintel Gallery, LA, CA.

And the trends continue: being black, black women and families, climate change, pretty, guns, breasts, penises, and mundane objects made of precious materials.

IMG_4118.jpg

 

Painted and graduated walls

Design Miami - this was a beautiful series of sets...

Design Miami - this was a beautiful series of sets...

What's next?

SF is trying! Note what's coming up January 11-14 - our own Fog Art and Design Fair, joined for the first time this year by Untitled-SF at Pier 70, All on the same dates SF Art Week? .  https://untitledartfairs.com/san-francisco/ and https://fogfair.com/

Want to dig deeper? Find out about women artists at Miami Art Week. https://hyperallergic.com/416340/timely-exciting-work-by-women-artists-at-miami-art-week/?

Patterns in Paintings and Textiles

Susan KirshenbaumComment
My second dress prototype is now in the collection of interior designer Vicki Simon.

My second dress prototype is now in the collection of interior designer Vicki Simon.

Red Hair Curly and Straight is a life-sized scroll on silk crepe de chine. There are four in this series.

Red Hair Curly and Straight is a life-sized scroll on silk crepe de chine. There are four in this series.


WHAT TO DO WITH THE SCARF

Don't you always need to get better at tying a scarf? I do. I make them, collect them, and wear them. But I still have "French person envy" when it comes to styling my scarves...So I've searched for some helpful tips. There are loads of them, including demos. Great for travel. And ideal for extra warmth, a splash of color, and a pop of style. Here are two helpful links on more ways than you might imagine: http://www.instyle.com/how-tos/how-to-tie-scarf-gifs 

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeC2ZC6Us_8

THE ART SCARF

Have you seen my art scarves yet? Each one is unique and is made of microbatch fabric. I create the original single digital drawing from a model, then I design the repeat pattern, and have it printed on silk. The scarves are all finished by hand. I sell them at occasional pop-up shows and my art show receptions. They're available online here too. "Buy it and tie it".

Kat needed to buy a scarf for her upcoming trip to Paris. So French!

Kat needed to buy a scarf for her upcoming trip to Paris. So French!

Another friend bought that scarf, pictured to the left (all one of a kind) and she wore it out that same night, tied in this unique way. 

Another friend bought that scarf, pictured to the left (all one of a kind) and she wore it out that same night, tied in this unique way. 

I'm wearing this long 2-sided scarf wrapped once around.  

I'm wearing this long 2-sided scarf wrapped once around.  

One of my silk infinity art scarves, worn by jewelry designer Sunday Tirio. 

One of my silk infinity art scarves, worn by jewelry designer Sunday Tirio. 

Ava Doppelt wears a newly acquired scarf.

Ava Doppelt wears a newly acquired scarf.

"When I discovered making art on the iPad, my world changed."

Never a techy, I've been enjoying re-learning my art making process by navigating new tools, apps, and online resources. Working as a digital and figurative artist I can create an original that has multiple variations, like monoprints, and I can abstract the images further using layers of colors, paintings, drawings, and photos, making complex digital collages. What freedom!

At some point I realized I could also make patterns (using online apps) that I could turn into microbatch textiles and papers. So I started making scarves, dresses, and cocktail napkins  you name it. Beginning with small prototypes, I morphed my textile ideas into large-scale single image scrolls and soft sculpture. All the while learning how to design, make, and sew.

Eventually I created a site-specific installation piece composed of four huge sheer, hanging panels of nude female gesture drawings in colors cascading and overlapping – from chrome yellow to indigo violet (pictured below).

Installation at the Troll House, Pier 26, SF, Aug. 2017

Installation at the Troll House, Pier 26, SF, Aug. 2017

Textile design has changed so much and become so accessible. At some point I also discovered that art on fabric can become body art. Maybe you saw my lycra legging art in a previous blog?

Pure Barre West Portal instructor Kelly wearing my art leggings.

Pure Barre West Portal instructor Kelly wearing my art leggings.

MAD ABOUT PATTERN

I remain fascinated by patterns. They add a stunning complexity to art. At present we are enjoying a Klimt (& Rodin) show at San Francisco's Legion of Honor which presents a wonderful example of the rich use of pattern in painting.

ARTISTS I KNOW

Three contemporary artist friends come to mind when talking about patterns in art.  Pola Wickham is highly skilled in drawing and painting gorgeous patterns, people, and objects. We used to draw together occasionally in her Barcelona apartment on her beautiful old Spanish tile floors. Two artists I worked with as a creative director and who both have a wonderful and whimsical use of pattern in their illustration, design, and fine art are Ilene Lederer and Julie Paschkis

Julie is a pro at turning a little square scarf into a functional headband/sweatband. She wears her scarf rolled tight on her hair (with friend at right wearing a cut paper art crown by Julie).

Julie is a pro at turning a little square scarf into a functional headband/sweatband. She wears her scarf rolled tight on her hair (with friend at right wearing a cut paper art crown by Julie).

DISRUPTIVE Patterns

I've heard that there's something disruptive about wearing my nudes...a sort of discrete secret that might or might not be noticed. I love this!

"My subjects are naked but are completely comfortable in their skins. Are you? Do you want to be? There should be something liberating in seeing my work. It's blunt. Nudity is not an issue. Body love is."

The drawing in the pattern is easier to make out on this art fabric!

The drawing in the pattern is easier to make out on this art fabric!

One of my fav color palettes - I use it often in my work.

One of my fav color palettes - I use it often in my work.

This pattern is waiting to be made into wrapping paper or fabric.

This pattern is waiting to be made into wrapping paper or fabric.

An image from my design studio. I made this pattern into wrapping paper but not fabric (yet). From my Red, White, and Blue series.

An image from my design studio. I made this pattern into wrapping paper but not fabric (yet). From my Red, White, and Blue series.