East Bay Monthly: Bay Area Figuration and More in Four RAC Shows
Dewitt Cheng from The Monthly stopped by our galleries to review our fall exhibitions. You can see the original review here and we’ve posted it below:
by Dewitt Cheng
With SFMOMA closed for construction and the Berkeley Art Museum about to close and move to new digs, what’s an art-lover to do for visual sustenance? The Richmond Art Center has been on a programming roll recently, notably with sculpture, and four shows that started on September 14 promise to keep up the momentum.
Three of the shows examine Bay Area Figuration, one of our region’s main claims to art-world fame. Closely Considered — Diebenkorn in Berkeley follows up on the recent major show by the California painter at the deYoung Museum, with smaller shows at the College of Marin and San Jose State University. This show, curated by Berkeley painter Jan Wurm, focuses on works on paper from Diebenkorn’s Berkeley years, 1953-1966, some never exhibited before, along with works by contemporary Bay Area Figurationists Elmer Bischoff, Joan Brown, Frank Lobdell, Nathan Oliveira, David Park, and James Weeks. Several related events are scheduled.
Luminous Space: Paintings by Tom Holland follows a solo show at the Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica a year or two ago. Holland’s abstract constructions, both wall-hung and free-standing, of folded, bolted aluminum or fiberglass, colored with epoxy paint, merge painting and sculpture, bringing the Cubist collage tradition, enlivened by Abstract Expressionism, into the industrial age.
Frank Lobdell: The Tamarind Prints examines the abstract painter’s residency at the Los Angeles print atelier in 1966, when lithography was being revived as a fine-art medium for its unique ability to record texture, tone and gesture. It was at Tamarind that Lobdell developed the imagery later finalized in his huge painting of Picassoid bone forms, “Summer 1967,” which hung in Stanford’s art building for years, quietly intimidating callow undergrads.
Finally, Social Discourses: In Print presents sociopolitical work from the collections of Bay Area artists Art Hazelwood, Jim Nikas and Jos Sances that proves that art and artists, contrary to postmodernist dogma, can oppose the status quo. All four shows run through November 16.