The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Author: Marisa Ware

This past Saturday, San Francisco's Modern Eden Gallery opened its group show "Menagerie," an animal themed exhibit benefitting the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Works by artists Chelsea Brown, Robert Bowen, Helice Wen, Archer Dougherty, Mary Syring and a dozen or so others were on view and will continue to be until March 4th. The works range from dark pieces resonating occult themes and populated by wildlife, to whimsical and even kitschy cartoonish critters that pull inspiration from pop culture. View more images of the artwork and opening night photos after the jump. Marisa Ware 

Painter and tattoo artist Laura Buss (known as "Tex" in the tattoo realm) recently opened her show "Bundles" at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco in conjunction with the group show "Woodland." Part artistic endeavour and part archaeological investigation, "Bundles" peels back layers of time and earth to discover the remains of humans and cultures that have come before. Artifacts lie alongside animals and bodies, mystery entwines with the stark reality of death, and beauty is delicately drawn from the harrowing effects of decay. Hi-Fructose inquired further about Buss' fascination with burial sites, archeology, and cultures from the distant past in the interview below. "Bundles" and "Woodland" will be on display until January 16th, 2012. - Marisa Ware

For those in San Francisco, this is your last week to view the merged images of painter Pakayla Biehn's solo exhibition at Gallery Hijinks. In this show, Biehn continues the double exposure theme of her previous work, revisiting the cognitive distinction between realism and abstraction. She utilizes the suggestive combination of critical and substantial realism with dream-like transfiguration of the natural world. She displays the unique potential to capture her subjects in inextricable moments that appear to straddle two worlds at once, that in which we exist and another slightly beyond our comprehension. Hi-Fructose caught up with the artist to ask her a few questions about her work and current show, which will be on display until November 5th. - Marisa Ware

New York-based artist Sam Wolfe Connelly opened his first solo show “Semiprecious” at Spoke Art gallery on Saturday, October 8th in San Francisco. Populated by wistful, delicate women with pensive, faraway eyes, “Semiprecious” is based around the amorphous narrative of being left by someone. Inspired by grave robbing and underground mining, Connelly’s drawings evoke a sense of nostalgic sadness, or the soft struggle of trying to remember a beautiful dream once you’ve awoken. - Marisa Ware

On Saturday, September 24th, Varnish Fine Art gallery triumphantly celebrated their reopening in a new location at 16 Jesse Street in downtown San Francisco. The opening was a display of the gallery’s resilience, after being closed down in January of 2010 due to an Eminent Domain demolition involving the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. At least a dozen other businesses were closed down as part of the project.

The show, the first in a series of two, titled simply Relaunch Part I and Relaunch Part II, consisted primarily of paintings ranging from the whimsical to the seductive and dark, with a few charcoal drawings as well. The artists included Nathan Spoor, Annie Owens, Jennybird Alcantara, Laurie Lipton, Chuck Sperry, Dylan Sisson, Aunia Kahn, Robert Bowen and Isabel Samaras, to name a few. The second show, open from November 12th to January 7th, will be a group show of sculptures in a variety of media. - Marisa Ware

On the night of Friday, September 23, PangeaSeed, in conjunction with the Spoke Art gallery in San Francisco, presented ‘Sink or Swim,’ a shark themed show of an eclectic mix of works by artists such as Dave Kinsey, Mike Stilkey, Shark Toof, Skinner, Paul Chatem, Kevin Earl Taylor, Dan May, Clint Wilson, Rhys Cooper and Tapecat. A line of over 100 people stretched down the block as people waited to get their hands on a coveted Josh Keyes’ print. 'Sink or Swim' ends its weekend run later this evening, Sunday September 25th, with a closing party, non San Franciscans will get their chance to purchase the remaining original works, and prints, in the weeks to come via PangeaSeed. - Marisa Ware

In a group show that opened on Friday, the David B Smith Gallery in Denver broughttogether five artists with differing mediums that shared a unitive theme of exploringthe human relationship with nature in one way or another. From large installations thatcover numerous city blocks to images made from scotch tape on chalkboards, thevarying work peered into the changing face of the natural world resulting from humanimpact.“All of the artists that are here relate their work back to nature, consumption, and theway that we as humans inhabit the earth and use resources,” said gallery owner DavidSmith. - Marisa Ware

Los Angeles-based painter Kris Lewis opened his most recent show at the David B. SmithGallery in Denver on May 20th. Lewis masterfully blends traditional portraiture with a stylizedmodern edge, resulting in emotion laden subjects brimming with mystery and depth. Hi-Fructosecaught up with the artist to ask a few questions about his work. - Marisa Ware

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