Art highlights of my trip to Northern California

I’m trying to process my one-week vacation. It’s been so long since I got away from the computer for such long periods of time. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad, but I’m leaning toward good.

I spent about four days on the Northern California coast in The Sea Ranch. It was a family vacation with some obligations, a little shopping, and a lot of coordinating. No art time. But the most amazing thing I saw there was the The Sea Ranch Chapel. This is a gem of a petite building. BIG ideas in such a small space designed by James T. Hubbell. It’s definitely worth a trip out of your way to visit.

Then we headed down the coast and spent a day and a half in San Francisco. We went to the Japanese Tea Gardens (as I am a fan of the Japanese aesthetic, tea, and gardening), the de Young Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I had been to the last two places previously, but not since the de Young had been rebuilt.

These were some of the highlights for me:

Kiki Smith’s site-specific installation at the de Young: Near
This still haunts me and inspires me. It is perfect for the space and I’d love to pop in on it every week. [Much better photo here–halfway down the page.]

Grantwood

Grant Wood’s Dinner for Threshers at the de Young
Classic. [Collection of the de Young Museum, San Francisco]

Guise: Recent Prints by Deborah Oropallo at the de Young
Fascinating! I would never have gone just for this special exhibit, but I’d definitely go back for it. Oropallo overlays contemporary photos of women in provocative poses and outfits with 17th and 18th century portraits of men. The transparent layers make for a mind-bending experience.

Matisse: Painter as Sculptor at SFMOMA
I’ve never been a huge fan of Matisse as a sculptor, but I’m a raving fan of his paintings. And this exhibit did a fantastic job of showing how the two really went together for the artist. It makes me want to encourage more of my clients to break into new mediums in order to enhance their current strengths.

New Work: Felix Schramm at SFMOMA
Way cool constructed deconstructed walls, ceilings, and floors. Perfect for a city haunted by the destruction of earthquakes.

Philip Guston’s Red Sea; The Swell; Blue Light
I’ve been enamored with Guston ever since I saw his retrospective years ago at the Fort Worth Modern. I always enjoy running into more of his work.

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