On Saturday, Copro Gallery pulled back the black curtains for “Suggestivism: Chronology” (previewed here), curated by Nathan Spoor. This is the fourth installment of “Suggestivism”, Spoor’s moniker for fantastical, figurative work that ‘suggests’ to be more than it seems. In the 1890s, art historian Sadakichi Hartmann defined it in his writings as a style “of poetic mysticism and psychological intensity.” Spoor chose 42 contemporary artists whose work shares a surreal, poetic-like quality, such as Aron Wiesenfeld, Chet Zar, Nicoletta Ceccolli, Dan May, Hsiao-Ron Cheng, Naoto Hattori, Charlie Immer, Gregory Jacobsen, Sarah Joncas, and more.
Cameron Stalheim creates mixed-media sculptures that indulge the stuff of nightmares. His most recent work, and then I saw Colby on the Street and my fantasy died, is a striking depiction of a collapsed merman taking his last breaths. Several times longer than human height, the sculpture confronts us with an image of death: in this case, the death of our collective childhood fantasies (who didn’t want to live among the mermaids when they were young?).
Jeremy Fish’s solo show “Yesterdays and Tomorrows” at San Francisco’s FFDG has a carefully planned installation. Black lines on the gallery’s left wall outline a cartoon thought bubble that houses almost 20 years worth of drawings; on the parallel wall of the narrow space, mural-scale paintings hang inside the hollow outlines of cartoon bunnies painted directly on the room’s surface. But at the opening night of “Yesterdays and Tomorrows,” it was difficult to even get close enough to see these meticulous details. A huge crowd had amassed to celebrate an informal retrospective of one of San Francisco’s most well-known artists from the past two decades.
Though the starting point of his work stems from complex ideas surrounding our perception of reality, Bruno Novelli makes these intellectual concepts an afterthought in his candy-colored abstract paintings. His work gives visual pleasure first and foremost. Novelli (who sometimes playfully stylizes his last name as 9li) recently presented a new series of paintings titled “Materia Radiante” at David B. Smith Gallery in Denver.
On Saturday at Mark Moore gallery, Rob and Christian Clayton aka Clayton Brothers brought together an expansive body of eclectic work, “Open to the Public” (previewed here). The exhibition includes everything from miniature drawing, painting, sculptures, interactive video and an installation that is like a twisted child’s playroom. The brothers credit their thrift shop “mecca”, the Sun Thrift Store in Sunland, CA as the visual inspiration.
Since Kamea Hadar and Defer collaborated last February on a mural in Honolulu for Pow Wow Hawaii, the two artists have joined forces in the studio for a new series of paintings currently on view at 1AM Gallery in San Francisco. Hadar’s portraiture and Defer’s otherworldly calligraphy complement each other almost seamlessly, as demonstrated by their most recent joint effort, “Paradise Lost.”