The students from SoMa's Bessie Carmichael Elementary, against my better judgement, were to ones to push down the level detonating... whatever was going to mark the groundbreak of SFMOMA's planned two-and-a-half years of closure for massive renovations expansions this morning.
When glitter cannons took the place of the further obliteration of the building behind Supervisor Jane Kim and the museum trustees with their hard hats and decorative shovels, I breathed a sigh of relief. I should have known any cultural institution with the foresight to build a DIY graffiti wall made of cookies wouldn't allow minors to be injured.
In noir, it’s the clichés that play best: the hardboiled Private Eyes with sharp reflexes and the hardhearted women with secrets to keep. Archetypes, almost, they stand in for something larger than themselves, larger than us, extravagantly idealized Everypersons colored with just enough of the mundane to seem believable, each tawdry crime scene standing in for a twisted version of the American Dream gone horribly awry.
In Dan Harder’s "A Killer Story," playing at the Berkeley Marsh through May 18, the detective, Rick (Ryan O’Donnell) cuts a familiar figure in a shabby suit, wise-cracking his way through seemingly endless interrogations of his clients, the dame and the duped business partner, both of whom have cause to suspect the other of treachery. Throw in a missing man, a ground-breaking scientific discovery, and an undercurrent of sexual licentiousness, and stir them together with a swizzle stick, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a martini of “Killer” suspense.
VISUAL ART Traveling juggernaut Christian Marclay: The Clock touches down at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this week for the latest stop along its endless summer tour of major world museums.Read more »
We were a bag of mixed artfan emotions when SFMOMA sent us a peek at what the museum will look like in early 2016, when the renovations that will shutter its doors in June are complete. The bad: our city's preeminent modern art museum will be sorely missed -- after all, who else would have let us bring Boychild, Lil Miss Hot Mess, and Lady Bear to run amok in the upstairs cafe on a Thursday night? (Memories.) But, the good: there is a lot of good. Read on for the highlights of what we can expect from the museum's new incarnation, and what's going to be happening while we wait. Read more »
VISUAL ART The new Jasper Johns retrospective currently on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opens not with his seminal 1955 painting Flag, but with one much less well known from 1956, a painted object titled Canvas. That work is made from a wood stretcher frame and canvas panel turned around to face the wall, the entire back of the thing covered in gray encaustic. Above it on the wall is a quotation from Johns, "I've always considered myself a very literal artist."Read more »
To celebrate the incredibly engaging Cindy Sherman retrospective at the SF MOMA (through October 8), we asked four of San Francisco's premier drag performance artists to re-enact four of Sherman's iconic portraits. It's all about looking twice -- or in Sherman's case, four or five times -- and we wanted to see how many layers of gaze her work could hold.
VISUAL ART Cindy Sherman is nearly always described as a groundbreaking postmodern photographer and pioneer. The mostly excellent, just-the-hits traveling retrospective currently visiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is carefully curated to justify that praise. All the high points of Sherman's prolific career are here, and her virtuosic scrambling of photographic conventions and assumptions are shown in high relief. As an act of institutional pedagogy, it's certainly effective if not exactly revelatory.Read more »