Fan Mail: Julia Westerbeke

Julia Westerbeke. Geophony, 2015 (detail); punctured and carved paper; 22 in x 15 in. Courtesy of the Artist.

Using strategies of asymmetry and organic mirroring, Julia Westerbeke explores abstraction as a vehicle of human imagination and a catalyst for subconscious thought. The artist cites science fiction and the biology of natural forms as two of her main sources of inspiration, and her paper-based explorations evoke a certain duality inherent within organic life—the ordinary morphing into the extraordinary, the mundane inspiring spurts of wonder.[…..]

Chen Zhen: Without Going to New York and Paris, Life Could Be Internationalised at Rockbund Art Museum

Chen Zhen, Purification Room, 2000 - 2015. found objects, clay, approx 850 x 1100 x 450cm, image courtesy Rockbund Museum and Galleria Continua, San Gimignano/Beijing/Les Moulins

Chen Zhen, who died (much too young) in Paris in 2000, was a significant artist with a hybrid Chinese and European identity. Although after 1986 he essentially lived and worked in Paris, his personal history and deep cultural roots lay in China, and specifically in Shanghai. From the mid-1990s he returned over and over to a city on fast-forward. Shanghai was undergoing a massive, controversial transformation,[…..]

Makeover at Southern Exposure

Members of Mutant Salon, 2015. Courtesy of the Artists.

From our partners at Art Practical, today we bring you a review of Makeover at Southern Exposure in San Francisco. Author Mary Anne Kluth notes: “At a time of massive change in the demographics and urban shape of the Mission District […] the works in Makeover collectively acknowledge that life can be messy, but encourage or demonstrate ideals of exchange and openness, and emphasize approaching problems with a sense[…..]

Ellen Lesperance: We Were Singing at Adams and Ollman

Ellen Lesperance. We Were Singing, 2015; installation view, Adams and Ollman, Portland. Courtesy of the Artist and Adams and Ollman. Photo: Mario Gallucci.

Not many things are more difficult than articulating love. Displaying a lack of temperance can appear obsessive, while showing any sign of hesitance can be mistaken for a number of unintended things. Every so often, an individual demonstrates the ability to tow the line so eloquently and sincerely that the outcome is a lesson in expert labor. Ellen Lesperance’s exhibition We Were Singing at Adams[…..]

From the Archive – Help Desk: Giving Up?

Thomas Demand, Copyshop, 1999. C-print, 72 1/4 x 118 1/4 inches

Make sure that this is a well-considered course of action and not just a mid-life-crisis maneuver that ends in remorse.


Davina Semo. SHE FOUGHT WITH THE KID WHO THREW ROCKS AT HER DOG, 2015; leather, pigmented reinforced concrete, waxed steel chain; 18 x 18 x 2 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Artist and CAPITAL, San Francisco.

Shotgun Reviews are an open forum where we invite the international art community to contribute timely, short-format responses to an exhibition or event. If you are interested in submitting a Shotgun Review, please click this link for more information. In this Shotgun Review, Colin Fernandes reviews Davina Semo: APPROACH OR ENTER at CAPITAL in San Francisco. APPROACH OR ENTER, the title of Davina Semo’s solo show at Capital Gallery,[…..]

Chris Fraser: Animated at Gallery Wendi Norris

Chris Fraser. Mobile | 0˚, 90˚, 90˚ | Argon and Neon, 2015; powder-coated steel, gas discharge tubes, transformer, argon, and neon; 42 x 21 x 12 in. Courtesy of the Artist and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco.

In addition to their current special issue on the legacy of punk rock, our partners at Art Practical are also blasting into the new season with their annual Shotgun series—ten short reviews by regular contributors that cover the Bay Area art scene. This review, by Danica Willard Sachs, investigates the works of artist Chris Fraser, currently on view at Gallery Wendi Norris. This article was originally published on September[…..]