MATTERS Bill Abright Dean Allison Gale Antokal Joe Brubaker ValĂŠrie Buess Lia Cook Stephen Paul Day Dennis Hare Andrew Hayes Susannah Hays Kate Hunt Kathryn Kain Lisa Kokin Jacqueline Rush Lee Nancy Legge Jann Nunn Alexander Rohrig Jane Rosen Alice Shaw Richard Shaw Catherine E. Skinner Claudia Tarantino Barbara Wildenboer
MATTERS Exhibition Dates: March 1 - March 30 Reception for the Artist: Saturday, March 4, 5:30 to 7:30 pm Front Cover: ValĂŠrie Buess, Small Cloud, detail, telephone directory, rolled and mounted, 11 x 6.25 x 5.5 in Back Cover: Andrew Hayes, Pluck, fabricated and forged steel and paper, 3 x 4 x 6 in Photo Credits:
Dean Allison : Mercedes Jelinek Joe Brubaker: Tim Karjalainen Dennis Hare: Fred Cushing
Stephen Paul Day: Mike Smith Andrew Hayes: Steve Mann Lisa Kokin: Lia Roozendaal
Jacqueline Rush Lee: Paul Kodama Richard Shaw: Alice Shaw
All others taken by the artist
Curated by Donna Seager and Suzanne Gray Direct inquiries to:
Seager Gray Gallery
108 Throckmorton Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 415.384.8288
www.seagergray.com All Rights Reserved
ceramic and mixed media 13.5 x 6 x 5 in
Bill Abright The ceramic sculptures of Bill Abright focus on the interplay between the interior space and the exterior form of the human or animal figure. Curious about what is beneath the surface of things in both the natural and manmade world, Abright creates layers of complex interior spaces suggestive of organs or skeletal structure by combining wheel thrown and hand built ceramic forms into conglomerated recognizable shapes. Notable in Abrightâ€™s work is the balance between dark and light, positive and negative in color, space and in the characters and physical qualities of his subjects. Bill Abright was introduced to clay by Bruce Duke at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton in the late 60â€™s. He completed his graduate degree at San Francisco State in 1974 working with Bud McKee, Stephen De Staebler, Joe Hawley and David Kuraoka. Abright has recently retired from teaching ceramics at the College of Marin in Kentfield, CA since 1975 and has been influential in the lives of many artists. He has exhibited throughout the U.S. and his work is in many private and museum collections including the Oakland Museum of California, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
ceramic and acrylic paint 24.5 x 10 x 8 in
Wildflower, 2015 cast glass 20 x 15 x 11 in
Dean Allison Dean Allison has been making figures and portraits from glass for over a decade. He begins with a life cast of his subject, usually a friend of family member. The final portrait, made in cast glass expresses the fragility and transparency of human experience through a medium that inherently captures those qualities. The artist notes, “I’m thining about the inside/invisible aspect of a person and the outside/ visible aspect that one carries in their physicality and can create or adorns for external display. Glass is the middle ground, the window to look through.” Allison was a resident artist in Penland, North Carolina from 2015 to 2018. He has a Masters in Art, Visual Arts in Glass from Australian National University (2010) and a B. S. in Studio Arts from Illinois State University. (2001). He has taught at The Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey, Bullseye Glass Co. in Portland, Oregon and the Pittsburgh Glass Center in Pittsburgh, PA. He has exhibited at SOFA Chicago, Scope Miami and at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery and the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, WA.
Gale Antokal Aornos 9, 2010
chalk, graphite, ash and flour on paper 40.5 x 33.5 in
Gale Antokal The drawings of Gale Antokal are made with mixtures of white chalk, graphite, flour and ash. Personal history is always present in her artwork, whether straightforward or oblique. This first hand experience might not be the subject matter itself, but a filter through which the artist perceives her subjects. “I am preoccupied with the question of what we leave behind to prove that we have existed,” said the artist. Using photo sources that are original, from books and the Internet as the basis of her work, she constructs a meaning in the work that is not apparent in the photo, in order to anchor memory. Often she situates her work in a place without a vanishing point, with a vague sense of diminution, to further the ambiguity, and create a stateless space, devoid of specific location. “My subjects are in a state of dispersal. They depict natural migration or cultural deportation. Similarly, the materials I use can be brushed away in a moment. These materials, ineffable light dry powders, can be easily dispersed by the slightest movement of air. The finished pieces are vulnerable even after being sprayed with fixative. This is an appropriate metaphor for any culture or life that has potential of being wiped away in a brief historical moment.” Gale Antokal was born in New York, New York, and received her BFA (1980) and MFA from the California College of the Arts in 1984. She is a Professor at San Jose State University in the Department of Art and Art History and Coordinator in the Pictorial area. Antokal held several visiting artist positions and teaching positions including the San Francisco Art Institute, Instructor of Art History at the Lehrhaus Institute, and the American College in Jerusalem. She was an affiliate faculty member in the JSS Italy program in Civita Castellana, Italy in 2015. In 1992 Antokal received a Visual Arts Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Departure Study 2010
chalk, graphite, ash and flour on paper 25 x 32.25 in
Joe Brubaker Joe Brubaker carves wood and assembles found materials to create figurative and abstract sculptures that reflect his concerns with time and the ongoing process of loss and discovery. He transforms shape into object, bringing it into our physical space. In “Black Heart,” Brubaker presents, in his own words, “a post-pop, post-punk contemporized folk art version of an iconic image. The challenge was to revisit the heart form in a fresh and original way, and to retain the power , but reduce the sentimentality and banality of the heart as visual object.” This elegant framework piece is reminiscent of Martin Puryear, whose work has an emphasis on primary structures and a dedication to craft. The entire structure of the work can be seen – inside and out - with its pleasing curves and patina of time. It might be reminiscent of modernist sculpture, simple in shape like Brancusi or Arp, but also of African sculpture, carpentry and shipbuilding. Joe Brubaker was born in Lebanon, Missouri and raised in Southern California. He received his B.A. from Sacramento State University, then attended UCLA where he earned his MA and MFA. From 1980 to 1988 he lectured in Art and Design at UCLA, as well as at Long Beach State from 1982 to 1984. In 1987 Joe moved with his wife and two children to the San Francisco Bay Area. He continued to teach as an Art and Design lecturer at both San Francisco State from 1989 to 1994 and Academy of Art College from 1989 to 1997. He retired from teaching in 1997 to begin full time work on his own sculpture.
Black Heart, 2017
yellow cedar, found objects, milk paint, deer antlers 36 x 42 x 10 in
ValĂŠrie Buess For over 25 years, ValĂŠrie Buess, a Swiss artist living in Marburg, Germany (near Frankfurt), has exhibited around the world Her favorite materials are recycled paper from old magazines, books and phone directories. Shaped by rolling, collage, sewing and folding, they are transformed into imaginative sculpture, each typically created from a single object. In Little Cloud, Buess has created a form using the pages of the telephone directory. She has subverted the original content by rolling pages into quill-like forms, giving the work an organic composition like something that might be found in nature, in this case an appealing floating cloud. Buess enjoys the process of manipulating the paper and finding new forms, often leaving the original content far behind while accidently creating new metaphors discovered in the process.
Little Cloud, 2003
telephone directory, rolled and mounted 11 x 6.25 x 5.5 in
Lia Cook Lia Cook is a fiber artist who combines weaving, painting, photography and digital technology to create her work. Cook’s work attempts to shatter restrictive theories about craft, art, science and technology. Her focus is on the history and meaning of textiles in all cultures and its impact on our humanity. In Presence/Absence Cover and Presence/Absence Duo, the artist incorporates concepts of cloth, touch, and memory. She uses the detail, an intimate moment in time to intensify an emotional and sensual experience, using a digital loom to weave images that are embedded in the structure of cloth. The digital pixel becomes a thread that when interlaced with another becomes both cloth and image at the same time. This woven image brings with it many of the sensual experiences that we associate with cloth, in this case her one hand touching the other or the joining of hands in the opening or closing of a robe. These are small, intimate details of the body that capture a fleeting human expression. In each of these works, the image is woven twice with the right hand image “absent” or hidden within the folds of the cloth, accentuating its fluid nature. Lia Cook combines digital technology and traditional influences in her work using the Jacquard loom and other innovative processes. Her cutting edge work blurs the distinctions between the traditionally disparate media of computer technology, weaving, painting, and photography. Using personal portraiture as a visual base, Cook’s work lingers on the edge of intimate and monumental. Cook is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including several NEA grants, the California Arts Council Fellowship, and the Flintridge Foundation Fellowship. Her work is in the permanent collections of major international museums including the Museum of Modern Art, NYC; the American Museum of Art and Design, NYC; the Metropolitan Museum, NYC; and the French National Collection of Art, Paris.
Presence/Absence Cover, 1999 (above) cotton, rayon, woven 43 x 29 in
Presence/Absence Duo, 1999 (above) cotton, rayon, woven 28 x 24 in
Stephen Paul Day As a New Orleanian, Stephen Paul Day has been doing work about cultures that are based on multi-cultural identities coming together to form a community such as Maroon cultures and hidden slave cultures. The artist had an exhibition at Arthur Rogers Gallery in New Orleans entitled Cabin Land which explored one of these imaginary subcultures. Flora is one of those artifacts that celebrates diversity as an imaginary female goddess, in this case the joy of harvest. Flora was the name of the artist’s grandmother who he saw as a link to his own mother’s love of cooking and giving pleasure through food. The sculpture was created as an homage to an archetypal civilization in which diversity is celebrated and a reverence for food is primary. Bunnys is an exact replica enlarged of a real life artifact from days gone by. Day has amassed a large collection of these matchboxes that were given away for free as advertisement. Bunnys Waffle Shop had 6 locations in San Francisco from 1931 to 1968. Stephen Paul Day lives in New Orleans and works part-time in Berlin Germany. His main studies began at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Paris from 1979 to 1983. He had his first solo show in New Orleans at the alternative Bienville gallery in 1985. In 1986 he received the first of many artist residencies at the Experimental Glass Workshop in New York City. He stayed for six years. During this time, he was awarded a grant to study with Laurie Anderson at the Banff Art Center, worked with Dennis Oppenheim and Jenny Holzer. He began to teach at the Bild-Werk Art Akademy in Frauenau Germany where he currently teaches. In 1993, he and his partner, Sibylle Peretti founded the collaborative group, Club S&S. Their exhibitions include, 1822 at the CAC in New Orleans,Diluvial Hood at the Freies Museum, Berlin, and an unofficial Souvenir Wagon for Prospect-1. Their awards include two Joan Mitchell grants, a Pollack Krasner grant, and a Warhol foundation award.
Stephen Paul Day
Bunny’s, 2017 (above) acrylic on wood, epoxy 29.5 x 17 x 5.5 in
Stephen Paul Day Flora, 2017 (left) cast glass, bronze 15 x 16 x 9 in
Dennis Hare Following in the tradition of the Bay Area Figurative movement, Dennis Hare uses paints, tar, emulsions, lacquers, collaged print fragments, and various discarded objects to create a unique fusion of representational and abstract. Although he resides in southern California, he has had a vibrant career in the Bay Area, showing with such galleries as Charles Campbell, Elins EaglesSmith and Hacket-Freedman. He had his first major retrospective exhibition at the Bakersfield Museum of Art in 2015. Dennis Hare doesnâ€™t just paint canvases, he builds them. The process is a highly physical one. A gifted painter with a keen eye for gesture and setting, Hareâ€™s paintings are marked by an ever-increasing interest in surface. At first, he was building up layers of paint, finding his own authenticity in this representation of reality - not glossy and smooth, but rough and textured. He then began to improvise ways of incorporating more objects into the work. The results are meaty paintings, transforming even every-day events into the complex accumulation of random patterns that converge at every moment.
Dennis Hare Sunset, 2004
oil and mixed media on canvas 60 x 48 in
Andrew Hayes Andrew Hayes works with torches, grinders and raw steel to create works characterized by their sensitivity and grace. In using book pages, Hayes increases the vocabulary of sculpture by adding ephemeral elements of fluidity (pages) that suggest content without using the content as a literal part of the work. In Sill and Pluck, Hayes departs from the book pages to experiment with other forms of paper, incorporating them in entirely new ways. In Sill, thin layers of sensuous blue paper are twisted and mounted on the face a long steel horizontal narrow shelf of steel forming a beautiful contrast between the pliable velvety surface of the paper and the straight strong dark surface of the steel. In Pluck, cream-colored strips of paper hold a suspended shaped steel â€œweight,â€? reminiscent of a pulley system where a heavy object can be lifted by the distribution of the load. The ability of the paper to hold the load suspended creates a sense of magical illusion. Andrew Hayes grew up in Tucson, Arizona and studied sculpture at Northern Arizona University. The desert landscape inspired much of his early sculptural work and allowed him to cultivate his style in fabricated steel. After leaving school, Andrew worked in the industrial welding trade. While living in Portland, Oregon, bouncing between welding jobs and creating his own work he was invited to the EMMA collaboration. This one-week experience was liberating for Andrew and he was encouraged by his fellow collaborators to apply to the Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts. During his time as a Core Fellow, Andrew was able to explore a variety of materials and techniques. Surprisingly, the book became a big part of this exploration. In this work he faces the challenge of marrying the rigid qualities of metal with the delicacy of paper. His work has been embraced by collectors and he has been included in exhibitions and collections at Yale University, Hartford University, the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey and the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum in Mesa, Arizona to name a few. Hayes will have his 3rd one person exhibition at Seager Gray in June of 2017.
fabricated and forged steel and paper 3 x 4 x 6 in
steel and paper 25 x 9 x 6.5 in
Empty Bottle Series: Bottles #6, 1998 silver gelatin photogram 20 x 16
Susannah Hays Susannah Hays (born, September 12, 1959) is an American artist and educator practicing in the fields of philosophy, contemporary photography and book arts. While she is especially known for her work with cameraless and 19th Century processes, her creative work expands to realms of experimentation in all visual media. She teaches courses that focus on aesthetics in art practice, the embodied mind, constructions of space, topologies, artist’s books and visual autobiography. Hays was born in Boston Massachusetts and raised in Connecticut where she lived until she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1978 to attend Mills College. She received a BA in Philosophy from Mills, followed by an MFA in Photography from San Francisco Art Institute and an MA in Design from University of California, Berkeley where she continued her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies. While earning her MA, she received the Eisner Prize for Photography. At the Art Institute, she studied with Doug Hall and Ann Chamberlain. At UC Berkeley she studied with philosopher Alva Nöe, poet Lyn Hejinian, painter Tony Dubovsky and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha. In 2012, she moved from Berkeley to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she currently resides. In her Empty Bottle Series, the bottle was put directly into contact with photographic paper, and then an enlarging light source (a negative enlarger) was refracted through the glass. The image is called a photogram because there’s no camera involved. It’s a light drawing. The image was captured on photographic paper with a quick fifteen-second exposure of light through the glass using the silver gelatin process.
Empty Bottle Series: Bottle #5, 2000 silver gelatin photogram 20 x 16
Three Girls Torrington, 2016
newspaper, encaustic, baling twine, electrical clamps 52 x 34 x 6 in
Kate Hunt Kate Hunt was raised in a town of 900 on the plains of Montana. It is “Big Sky” country. The subtle power of the landscape has influenced her work. Hunt’s work is object oriented. Her materials include steel, twine, boat building epoxy, encaustic, and newspaper. She first started working with newspaper at the Kansas City Art Institute. Her teacher, Joan Livingstone, had her make a “chinese finger trap”, the kind found at carnivals that tighten as you try to pull your fingers out. From there she started building large weavings with newspaper. Her teacher, Dale Eldred, pushed her to think of her work as sculpture. Hunt graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute and Cranbrook Academy of Art. She has been awarded a Montana Arts Council Award and the Gottlieb Grant. She has shown nationally and internationally and her work is in many prominent collections.
Kathryn Kain Kathryn Kain was born in Toledo, Ohio and studied art at the Cleveland Art Institute, Toledo University and Arizona State before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area. She completed a BFA, emphasis on printmaking at San Jose State University. After further study with Kenjilo Nanao and Misch Kohn at Cal State Hayward, she earned her MFA in printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute. Nature, nurture and the deep connection between humans and plants inspire her work. Drawing perishable objects in the vanitas still life tradition, her work often features beautifully rendered fruits, flowers and branches. Selected ephemera, collected images and found papers offer hints of narrative in her drawings and prints. Kain’s monotypes, collages and paintings have been shown across the USA and Mexico. The Fresno Art Museum in Fresno, California presented a solo exhibit of Kain’s work in 2009. This major exhibition featured more than 35 works including large scale drawings with monotype, prints, handmade books and collage panels. There is catalog documentation of this show entitled “Harvesting Myths” Kathryn Kain began her work as artist and master printmaker at Smith Andersen Editions in 1991. Owned by director Paula Kirkeby, Smith Andersen Editions invited artists from around the world to collaborate on unique and experimental monotype projects, led and executed by the artist for more then a decade. Kain has made a variety of books around the Good Girl/Bad Girl theme. Tarnished, refers to silver and to a woman’s “reputation” an archaic concept to be sure, but one that is embedded in our Christian culture. Growing up catholic in the midwest definitely left its mark. She is playing with the idea of the Good girl vs. Bad girl dichotomy and polarity. Her take is to mix them up and lightheartedly point out that the differences are not alway clear. She says, “I feel the Virgin has a naughty side and the Whore has a virtuous aspect. Silver can be black or shining brightly and the Virgin in ecstasy mirrors an orgasmic pleasure while the temple dancers are religious icons.” The book is beautifully printed on Okawara paper with gilded silver leaf.
Kathryn Kain Tarnished
handmade artist book, printed on Okawara paper with gilded silver leaf 17 x 10.25 in pages spreads left
shredded money, thread
37 x 25 in detail above
Lisa Kokin Lisa Kokin is a mixed media artist with a strong bent toward content-driven conceptual work. She has worked in mixed media installation, altered books, fiber, thread, found photos and sculpture has been exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad. She has often worked with shredded money in the past two decades and has brought it out to work with again with her new series, Lucre, a response to the recent presidential election. The series includes both two- and three-dimensional works based on ancient textile fragments and in configurations that evoke architecture and clothing. It is not unusual for Kokin’s work to contain a critique of the socio-political status quo imbued with a healthy dose of levity and a keen sensitivity to materials and process. The Lucre series is no exception. Her work, Brokeade draws its inspiration from ancient fragments of cloth. Brocades in history were often called “Imperial Brocade” because of the inclusion of gold and silver colored thread – a cloth too expensive for the common people. Heads of State are a series of works incorporating wire, shredded money, thread and fishing weights. Sewing and fiber-related sensibilities play a key role in much of Kokin’s work, which she attributes to growing up in a family of upholsterers. Kokin explores irony and memory in her seemingly ephemeral pieces, allowing transiency itself to be immortalized in lasting works of art. Lisa Kokin received her BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA. The recipient of numerous awards and grants, Kokin was most recently given the Dorothy Saxe Award from the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. In addition to her one person exhibition, How the West Was Sewn at the Boise Art Museum, she has been included in group exhibitions at numerious museums across the country, most recently and currently at the Brooklyn Public Library, the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham WA and the Everhart Museum in Scranton, PA.
Heads of State 2, 2016
shredded money, wire, fishing weights
17 x 8 x 7.5 in
Jacqueline Rush Lee
In her Made in China series, Jacqueline Rush Lee developed a form that does not suggest the fragile, delicate qualities expected from paper. Rather, she was interested in how paper can assume many identities. This series, like much of her sculptures with books, is a conceptual play on words and meaning. Utilizing factory-made tortillons from China, she became interested in the curious exchange between makers, and the larger economical and political factors at play in this transaction. A tortillon is a cylindrical drawing tool, tapered at the ends and usually made of rolled paper, used by artists to smudge or blend marks made with charcoal, ContĂŠ crayon, pencil or other drawing utensils. Jacqueline Rush Lee is an Anglo-Irish sculptor from Northern Ireland who lives and works in Hawaii (USA). She has worked experimentally with the book form for over seventeen years. Her artworks are featured in blogs, magazines, books and international press. Selected bibliography include: BOOK ART: Iconic Sculptures and Installations Made from Books; PAPERCRAFT: Design and Art with Paper and PLAYING WITH BOOKS: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Re-Imagining the Book and ART MADE FROM BOOKS, Chronicle Press, 2013 by Laura Heyenga. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction in Ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Hawaii at Manoa 2000. She exhibits her artwork nationally and internationally and her work is in private and public collections, including the Allan Chasanoff Book Under Pressure Collection, NY, now at the Yale University Museum.
Jacqueline Rush Lee (left page) Made in China, 2012 paper, text 18 x 18 x 15 in
Jacqueline Rush Lee (above) Swirl, 2013
paper, text 18 x 18 x 15 in
Nancy Legge Petra 2, 2017 cast bronze 31 x 10 x 4 in
Nancy Legge Over 33 years ago, artist Nancy Legge first encountered the Stones of Callanish, the 5000 year old circles of stone in Scotland. She saw the monoliths as elusively figurative and they became the primary inspiration for her ongoing series of widely collected clay and bronze sculpture. Her navigations in the space between figuration and abstraction yielded a body of work characterized by mystery, power and grace. Legge’s figures look like they would be at home in such ancient environs. They appear to have risen up from the primordial soup or willed themselves into being out of the pliant clay fashioned by the artist’s hands. Legge’s fragmented and totemic sculptures take full advantage of the paradoxical quality of clay such as its humble relationship to the earth, its mutability and its durable yet fragile fired state. In her focused interaction with her materials, she has arrived at that stripped down stark impact that struck her when seeing those monolithic stones so many years before. What remains are the most primal aspects of the human condition – growth and decay, fragility and resiliency and the hope of transcendence. Legge studied at Pratt, the New York Studio School and finally the National Academy of Design, where the opportunity to work consistently with models led to her to the realization that the figure and sculpture was to be her chosen direction. She is currently developing new work in cast and fused glass, inspired by Swedish glass artist Bertil Vallien. While also fueled by the ancient stone circles , the cast glass pieces draw on my interest in smaller prehistoric artifacts – tools, weapons, medical instruments – ordinary things that were an integral part of daily life.
Thyra III, 2016
cast glass 13 x 2.5 x 1.5 in
Thyra IV, 2016
cast glass 13 x 2.5 x 1.5 in
New Punctuation Series, 2016
hand-cut archival microprint paper, nylon, cast plastic 8 x 6 in (variee)
Jann Nunn The content driven artwork of Jann Nunn primarily takes the form of sculpture, largescale sculptural installations, and works on paper engendering both conceptual and poetic sensibilities. Copious research and gut instinct- a marriage of head and heart- inform the decisions in each of her site-related, site-specific, situation-responsive projects. Not unlike words in a poem, material selection along with scale and presentation become greater than the sum of their often-unrelated parts. Every aspect and implication of material usage is carefully considered and specifically relates to the workâ€™s content and context. Nunn uses a variety of materials including welded steel and stainless steel, cast bronze, glass, lead, fiberglass, paper and wood. She has held a life-long penchant for repurposed materials. Frequently disparate materials are employed in a single work to accentuate duality, tension or evoke multifarious interpretations. She leaves no stone unturned in her quest to symbolically convey personal, political or spiritual manifestations with authenticity and relevance. Nunn says, â€œThe driving force behind my work resides in conjoining idea and aesthetic. Often described as a draw-you-in kind of beautiful, my art embodies a strong physical presence with carefully considered and often laborious craft, yet the ideas remain paramount.â€? Jann Nunn has exhibited her work, lectured and held residencies nationally and internationally since 1987. She has a BFA degree from University of Alaska Anchorage, attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and earned an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute. She is currently a Professor of Sculpture at Sonoma State University.
archival microprint paper, bronze, stainless steel 68 x 11 x 11 in
Alexander Rohrig Alexander Rohrig lives and works in magnificent surroundings in the mountains in San Gregorio. After completing his education at the University of California in Santa Cruz, Rohrig took a position as studio assistant to artist and sculptor Jane Rosen in 2009 on her ranch, a beautiful natural preserve high in the California mountains. Under Rosenâ€™s tutelage and with his daily practice of drawing from these extraordinary surroundings, Rohrig developed a drawing style and vision all his own. He was featured in three exhibitions in 2015 and was the subject of an article in Works and Conversation, an insightful chronicle of California art and artists published and written by Richard Whittaker. Earlier this year, Rohrig had a one person exhibition in Gallery 3 that showed his versatility in both painting and sculpture. In his sculpture, Rohrig works minimally and intuitively. He loves the physicality of the materials and the pleasure of touching things. His ingeniously simple stone and marble dog faces are put together often times from left over materials. He assembles the works and with a few lines or chipped in textures somehow unerringly gets at the nature of the animal. As with his structures and landscapes he endears us to his subjects by paring them down to their essential shapes. It is enough for them to be what they are. There is no conceit in Rohrigâ€™s work, no effort to romanticize or project some notion of his own upon them, but instead there is a studied adherence to what is there which give the work its dazzling honesty.
Alexander Rohrig Dalmation, 2017 ink on marble 8.5 x 7 x 4 in
Brooklyn native, Jane Rosen studied at New York University and then the Art Student’s League in the early 70s. She recalls going often to the Egyptian wing of the Metropolitan Museum studying the falcon-headed God Horus, God of the sky. Birds appear in her work as early as that same decade, in the form of abstracted wall-hung heads, which evolved gradually into freestanding figures in the ‘80s. She became interested in raptors through staying with a friend who ran a raptor rescue center in upstate New York, even requiring her students to ‘adopt’ one the birds and help care for it—and draw it--as part of a class requirement. During what was intended to be a sabbatical break, she crossed the country to live for a few months on a friend’s horse ranch near San Gregorio, a few miles south of the Bay Area. In this area of extraordinary natural beauty, she found herself watching the birds—the hawks that wheel and float on the currents of warm and cool air that rise from the ground at different times of day, the ravens and crows, the darting swallows. She remembers seeing a hawk on the first day at the ranch, and hearing a voice in her head saying, -stay and tell my story. For a decade she shuttled back and forth between both coasts, but finally sold her NY loft to settle on her own California ranch. Hawk/Owl, created from Provencal limestone and Chinese Sandstone is iconic Rosen. Perched on his column, the bird is regal, self-possessed. In the northern forest, a lucky observer may spot this long-tailed owl perched upright at the top of a spruce. Rather hawklike in both appearance and behavior, it often hunts by day, a rarity in the owl species. Jane Rosen
Bronze Buddhi 2, 2016
cast bronze with unique patina, edition of 6
18 x 5 x 4 in
Rosen’s Buddhi series, a favorite among collectors are animal spirits, their animal bodies ambiguous, representations of an internal rather than external existence. The heads may be that of various animals – dog, wolf, fox, deer. . . The word Buddhi, coined from Buddha and buddy speaks to her deep identification with animals. In Bronze Buddhi #2 Rosen uses bronze to create a work that captures something lasting and essential in the rising spirits of these animals. Rosen was selected by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for inclusion in their Annual Invitational in New York in 2010 and again in 2015. This prestigious exhibition is juried by some of the greatest artists of our time. A masterful and sought after teacher, Rosen has taught at numerous elite institutions including the School of Visual Arts and Bard College in New York, LaCoste School of the Arts in France, Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. Rosen’s work has been reviewed in the New York Times, ArtForum, Art in America, and Art News. She has been exhibited across the United States and is in numerous public and private collections including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Aspen Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Chevron Corporation, the collection of Grace Borgenicht, JP Morgan Chase Bank, the Luso American Foundation, the Mallin Collection, the Mitsubishi Corporation, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
Provencal limestone and Chinese sandstone
51 x 7 x 9 in
Bellocq/Dodgson 12, 2017
lenticular photograph 5 x 7 in courtesy of Gallery 16, San Francisco
Combining the mid-19th century photographic work of Charles Dodgson with that of early 20th century portraitist E.J. Bellocq, San Francisco-based artist Alice Shaw created this lenticular print. The lenticular technique, developed in the 1940s, interlaces two images and combines them with a lens that magnifies certain parts of the image that are visible from specific angles, thus creating an illusion of depth or movement. Dodgson (more famously known by his pseudonym Lewis Carroll and as the author of Alice in Wonderland) photographed young girls, whereas Bellocq is best known for his photographs of the working women of New Orleans’ Storyville district. Shaw came to see similarities in each man’s portraiture almost by accident. She explains: “I was making collages by mixing photographs that I traced. For example, tracing Dodgson photos and photographs from my childhood, making collages and Henry Darger-like drawings. Only afterward did I see a similarity between Bellocq and Dodgson and recognize that the lenticular process was the best way to demonstrate that similarity.” As for the subjects of her mildly mischievous analogy she says: “Whatever these women and girls might have been, they were definitely muses.” -above text from Glen Helfand, ARTFORUM Alice Shaw is an artist and educator based in San Francisco, CA. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Shaw often infuses documentation with humor and poignancy. She has practiced photography for more than 25 years and she has been adjunct faculty at University of California, Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco State University, The California College of Art and The San Francisco Art Institute. Her book, People Who Look Like Me, was published in 2006.
Bellocq/Dodgson 2, 2017
lenticular photograph 5 x 7 in courtesy of Gallery 16, San Francisco
Cigar Box with Blue Bowl, 2015 glazed porcelain with overglaze details
3 x 15 x 8 in
Richard Shaw Born in Hollywood in 1941, ceramic artist Richard Shaw moved to the Bay Area in the sixties to study at the San Francisco Art Institute and University of California, Davis, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s of fine arts degrees. The son of an artist mother and cartoonist father, Shaw’s artistic sensibilities thrived in the rich atmosphere surrounding San Francisco, where he worked with Robert Arneson, Robert Hudson, and Ron Nagle, among others. Shaw entered school as a painter, but quickly made ceramics his primary medium. The artist has been making and using plaster molds since the sixties, refining his technique over forty years as he explored the possibilities and limitations of clay. He has developed an astonishing array of techniques, including his perfectly cast porcelain figures, hand built and thrown clay objects and overglaze transfer decals, a method he adapted from silk-screening processes. A unique figure in the world of contemporary ceramics, Shaw uses clay to recreate the objects of everyday life, gathering them together into ceramic sculpture that has the power to both amuse and amaze. Humor and irreverence play a large role in Shaw’s work, as he inserts meaning just below the beguiling surfaces of his sculptures. Shaw has benefitted from particularly fruitful collaborations with Robert Hudson, wherein the pair of artists shared studio space as they experimented with new and unorthodox techniques. They also toyed with the functionality of ceramics, creating jars and teapots that stretch the viewer’s ability to imagine the objects in use. Richard Shaw has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions since 1967, and his work is included in major museum collections such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Catherine E. Skinner
Kyugee IV (Bird Screen), 2010
tibetan paper, wax, red thread, bamboo
102 x 50 x 2 in
Catherine E. Skinner Catherine Eaton Skinner works out of her Northwest and Santa Fe studios as a multidisciplinary artist, incorporating painting and encaustic, sculpture, printmaking and photography. Growing up east of Seattle, she then received her B.A. in Biology from Stanford University in 1968, while studying art under Nathan Oliveira and Frank Lobdell. The figure, human and animal, is an important element in her work and acts as a source of inspiration and exploration of identity, spirit and the paradoxes of human existence. Her work explores the natural world, its intricacies and energies that require a fine balance. Often using the Eastern philosophical number of 108, Skinner uses repetition of sacred forms, reiterating both the artistic and the spiritual dissolution of the self into the whole. The five elements – earth, fire, water, air and ether, foundations of the universe - also interact significantly in her work. She says, “My work has been centered on concepts of this balance of opposites, as well as methods of numerical systems and patterning we use to construct an order to our world. Counting and measuring have been our way to bring order to the disorder around us. I have been pursuing a deep investigation of the symbolic number, 108, a number with powerful meanings, especially in Eastern religions and traditions. The repetition of 108 occurs in many of my paintings as background, a regular pattern or a block of forms, usually related to the circle or spiral. I often use a vertical red line or bar symbolizing the energy of life between heaven to earth, as it weaves through our lives, past, present and future. “ Skinner’s work is in numerous private and public collections including Museum of Northwest Art, The Henry Art Gallery, Tacoma Art Museum, Virginia Mason Medical Center and Swedish Orthopedic Institute. She has been accepted in many juried shows, nationally and internationally, exhibited with a solo show in Tokyo, where work was displayed in that American Embassy residence with the Art in Embassies program.
Catherine E. Skinner Birdman I, 2007
kiln cast glass, metal wall mount
11 x 3 x 5 in
Catherine E. Skinner Mka Dangsa IV, 2012
encaustic, mixed media, lead sheeting on panel
28 x 48 x 3.5 in
Claudia Tarantino Claudia Tarantino grew up in San Francisco and received her BA in Art from Dominican College of San Rafael, CA. After many years of supporting herself as a full time production potter, she transitioned into working exclusively in porcelain. Claudia now focuses on trompe l’oeil still life sculptures. A two-time recipient of Marin Arts Council Individual Artist Grants, her work is exhibited nationally and her sculptures are in many private collections and museums. Images and reviews of Claudia’s work have been published in numerous books and magazines. Claudia is an accomplished art object restorer. From 1985 to 2012 she and her husband had a successful art restoration business, Ceramics Art Restoration. Claudia lives in San Anselmo, CA with her husband, artist Bill Abright. They share a spacious studio built under their hillside home. They have two adult sons, Oben Abright and Guston Abright, both artists. Drawing inspiration from the complexity of nature, Tarantino’s sculptures reflect the elegance of the life cycle and the temporary yet enduring nature of life
Claudia Tarantino Enfolding, 2016
3 x 11 x 5 in
She says of her work, “I explore memories, the steppingstones to who we are, and the association of then and now. Boxes of “stuff ” collected and saved, containers and tins of treasures too special to discard, photo albums and journals all link us to the past. We save them, forget them and rediscover them. What we choose to save and how we edit, condense and contain our memories, and those passed on to us, also link us to the future, where we too will become just memories.”
Claudia Tarantino Acorn, 2016 porcelain
4 x 11 x 10 in
Claudia Tarantino Raking Leaves, 2016
3.5 x 10.5 x 7.5 in
Barbara Wildenboer Flux I, 2015
paper sculpture made from maps
21.5 x 21.5 in (framed size)
Barbara Wildenboer Barbara Wildenboer produces sculptures pieced together from delicately cut books, thin strips of paper splaying out from each book’s spine. Wildenboer’s found books are often ones containing maps, atlases, and scientific subject matter, sometimes using images from the book as central elements to her pieces. Imagery, words, and sentences become components of the larger designs, as she crafts new visual narratives from the raw material. Flux I, II and III are part of a series entitled “Something Rather than Nothing” in which Wildenboer departs from the book covers, in this case using map pages to examine order in the universe. She says, “In the Timaeus Plato gives an account of how the universe was formed. It was especially the order and beauty he observed that made an impression on him. Plato focuses on the idea of a divine Craftsman/Demiurge who creates an ordered universe by creating a mathematical order from the pre-existing chaos.” The work references a variety of creation myths that tell individual (but very similar) stories of how the world came into existence. By considering phenomena such as chaos theory, fractal geometry and the interconnectedness of all living things on both macro and micro-level, Wildenboer considers the question of why there is ‘something rather than nothing’? Wildenboer lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa, where she received her Masters in Fine Art from the Michaelis School of Art at the University of Cape Town in 2007. Her latest body of work, “The Lotus Eaters“, toured South Africa after opening at The Reservoir at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein in 2014.
paper sculpture made from maps
paper sculpture made from maps
Flux II, 2015 (upprt left)
21.5 x 21.5 in (framed size)
Flux III, 2015 (lower left) 21.5 x 21.5 in (framed size)
Published on Feb 24, 2017
Full color catalog of the fourth annual exhibition at Seager Gray Gallery focused on artists and their interaction with materials. Twenty-o...