Wednesday, February 23, 2011

San Francisco


San Francisco sunrise
It was a beautiful day in San Francisco.  A. Paul & I ventured out  mid morning taking in the sights of cable cars and hilly streets on our way to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art ((SFMOMA).

SFMOMA was established in 1935  and is the West Coast's first museum dedicated to contemporary and modern art.  The museum represents a diverse group of master artists, such as Brancusi and Jasper Johns, but also has a strong commitment to lesser known contemporary artists.  In addition to its main museum, SFMOMA retains a strong relationship to Bay area artists in its non for profit  gallery, the Artists Gallery, at the Fort Mason Center.

"The Structure of Light"
Alyson Shotz
Unfortunately, the SFMOMA was in the middle of changing two levels of art exhibits so our visit was limited to the tops two levels of the museum. The two levels housed four exhibits, "The More Things Change" which incorporates works of the past 10 years; "Bill Fontana: Sonic Shadows", a kinetic sound installation; "How Wine Became Modern: Design + Wine 1976 to Now" and a thought provoking photographic exhibit of works exploring the human element of war, tragedy, and human malevolence.

A.Paul (L) & Jeremy Mann (R)

Untitled study by Jeremy Mann
We pondered our visual encounters at the SFMOMA as we walked to the SOMA district to meet up with artist Jeremy Mann at his studio.  Originally from Ohio, Jeremy Mann has called San Francisco home since earning his MFA from the Academy of Art University in 2008. Mann has participated in numerous group and solo shows in San Francisco, Texas, Ohio, and Virginia.

"Composition 75" Jeremy Mann

Perhaps what is most captivating about this young artist's work is his ability to breathe dynamic life to traditional subject matter, using oil paint, rollers, and brayers. Mann's works are frequently seen in the Art Collector magazine and have long been admired by A. Paul & I.  Fortunate for Jeremy, less fortunate for the timing of our visit, we were not able to see any completed works at Mann's studio, as the bulk of his work was shipped out for a show. We were, however, able to see some of his work later in the day at the John Pence Gallery, his representing gallery in San Francisco.  You can see more of this creative artist's works at his website 
Carl Dobsky with his students at the
Safehouse Atelier school.

While visiting his studio, Jeremy introduced us to other artists within the warehouse space.  On the second level, artist Carl Dobsky was fully engaged with a group of students attending his atelier school, Safehouse Atelier, where intense study of traditional figure work coupled with graphic application are taught in transom in an effort to bridge the gap between graphic and fine arts   Dobsky, an accomplished artist in his own rite, also shows at the John Pence Gallery.  You can see both Mann and Dobsky's works at  

Trevor Bayne
Following our studio visit, A. Paul & I decided to take advantage of the good weather and play a bit of tourists giving our minds time to absorb our interaction with Jeremy.  We hopped a cab to Fisherman's Wharf and strolled to Ghiradelli where we stumbled upon an entourage of people waiting for race driver Trevor Bayne, who at the age of 20, is the youngest Daytona 500 winner.  
After a pleasing ice cream stop, we visited two more galleries while in the area.  At the Franklin Bowles Gallery, we met up with Sam McClellan who took time to introduce A. Paul & I to a new exhibit scheduled for an opening this Saturday, February 26th.  The husband and wife team, Lazar & Lazar, reside in Paris, both creating works in distinctly different subject matter.  Margot Lazar's floral masterpieces create a tranquil backdrop to her husband Claude Lazar's edgy urban architectural landscapes.

As the sun began to disappear, the cool of the evening set in but we were thrilled that we had the sun for this day of exploration in San Francisco.  Tomorrow, we hope to squeeze in a couple more venues before heading out to Napa Valley for one day, then continue on our trek up the West Coast beginning with Mendocino.  As we part this evening , we leave you with the sights & sounds of San Francisco.

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