Friday, March 27, 2015

Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California

I went and saw the show "Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California" at the Oakland Museum of California last week. I really enjoyed this show--a co-production with with currently shuttered, and therefore currently mobile SFMOMA--for many reasons, but most particularly because it meant I got to see some old friends and familiar faces from the SFMOMA collection. And it reminded me how much I love the stuff in that museum, and how much I miss going there and seeing these artworks. Well, the new museum opens next year, and this show should tide me over for a little while at least. It's about 4 Bay Area artist communities: the WPA and visiting Mexican muralists in the 1930s, The California School of Fine Arts in the 40s and 50s, UC Davis in the 60s and 70s, and the Mission School in the 90s through to the present day. Just as a matter of personal taste, I liked the second and the fourth sections best, but the whole thing was very cool. Thanks OMCA!

Above, Diego Rivera

Frida Kahlo

Debora Remington

Clifford Still

Mark Rothko

James Weeks

Richard Diebenkorn

Elmer Bischoff

Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud again

Margaret Kilgallen

Chris Johanson

Alicia McCarthy

Barry McGee

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Poem Series About the Summer of 2006 Conitues Today on Poetry Thursday

June 7, 2006
This morning was another one of those mornings

with the sun shining
straight up the street at me
as I walked down it

The result being
that the whole sidewalk
gleamed like metal

and every scrap of paper
shard of glass
drop of water
manhole cover
and even
some strange bright green moss growing out of a crack
shone like the purest sparkles

image source is here

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


As I mentioned briefly here, I was among a large team of people who worked on the book @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, companion volume to the astonishing art show. I went and saw it back in October, and a few images from that visit are rehashed below, but I'm excited because events have conspired such that I get to go see it again tomorrow before it comes down next month. Woo!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Le Bestiaire

Mabel is always coming up with Halloween costumes. I believe she currently has multiple ideas in the running for each upcoming Halloween until she's about 9. Frequently they are amazing things--an anchor! a gargoyle!--where the first thing I think when she says it is: that's amazing, and the very next thing I think is: how would we ever do that? Which is where this amazing project comes in. First brought to my attention by Pattern Pulp, this collection of children's costumes is part of an exhibition curated by Ionna Vautrin, called Le Bestiaire that "gives children the chance to slip into the skin of all kinds of animals, from the very tame to the very wild." Part of the Biennale internationale design de Saint Etienne 2015, this show included the work of: Brichet Ziegler, Ionna Vautrin, Perrine Vigneron and Gilles Belley, Louise de Saint Angel, Anne Lutz, Joachim Jirou-Najou, Felipe Ribon, Les Graphiquants, Twice, Helkarava, Bonnefrite, Malika Favre, Amélie Fontaine, and Leslie David. I know what I want to be making come October!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Yellow Hat on Boxing Day

Regular readers of the Cabinet may by now be beginning to guess (from this post, this other one, and now today's) that I recently unearthed a cache of baby Mabel polaroids from the winter of 2010--images that were diligently scanned and captured by my archivist dad on his site (and this makes the perfect opportunity to proffer him my perpetual but likely-too-infrequently-expressed gratitude for being the keeper of these vital records for the past four-and-a-half years) but that, because back then the polaroid project was daily rather than weekly and so I had a greater abundance of photos than a weekly blog post could ever keep up with, I never actually presented on this site before in all their adorable baby glory. Think of that! These days, whenever I see a wide-eyed (for for that matter a sleepy) baby cruising around on its parents chest in a carrier like this, I nearly swoon with nostalgia and cute-overload. And here's why.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Bjork / McQueen / Matisse

The Bjork show at the MoMA is getting pretty universally panned, but I don't really care--I still wish I could see it. But alas I don't have any plans to travel to nyc anytime real soon. I wonder if it will end up lodged in my memory on the short and infamous list of New York Art Shows I Am Super Bummed I Missed. The first and foremost and forever-always of which is, of course, "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" at the Met back in 2011 (and currently at the V&A in London). More recently "Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs" was added to that list. Whether the Bjork show makes it onto this mental role-call will only reveal itself with the passage of time.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Still-Relatively-New Poem Saga About the Summer of 2006 Carries On Today

June 6, 2006

I walked through
the dreaded mall
on my lunch-hour
to go get soup and stamps
and found there was
a new bakery in there
full of pretty bread
Nice looking stuff

image source is here