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Thao Nguyen Phan: Dangerous Optimism Ocula Conversation Thao Nguyen Phan: Dangerous Optimism Tessa Moldan, Brussels

With Monsoon Melody on view at WIELS, Brussels, her largest solo exhibition to date, Thao Nguyen Phan discusses her transition to film to explore colonial legacies and ecological destruction in Vietnam.

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Frieze Los Angeles: Shows to See Ocula Report Frieze Los Angeles: Shows to See Tessa Moldan, Los Angeles

Los Angeles' art scene has a lot to offer during Frieze Los Angeles, with galleries, non-profits, and museums gearing up for the fair's second edition between 14 and 17 February 2020. In this Ocula Lowdown, Tessa Moldan lists a selection of the city's must-see shows.

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Jaki Irvine's Manifesto on Life at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin Ocula Insight Jaki Irvine's Manifesto on Life at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin Apoorva Rajagopal, Dublin

Ack Ro' , Jaki Irvine's reflection on the fragility of life at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, is an 'ambitious, holistic installation' staged like a 'wild disarray of interconnected yet fragmented pieces'.

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San Francisco Art Guide

USA

Previous Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Giuseppe Penone, Foglie di bronzo / Leaves of Bronze at Gagosian, San Francisco
12 September–30 November 2019 Giuseppe Penone Foglie di bronzo / Leaves of Bronze Gagosian, San Francisco
Contemporary art exhibition, Richard Prince, High Times at Gagosian, San Francisco
30 May–23 August 2019 Richard Prince High Times Gagosian, San Francisco
Contemporary art exhibition, Robert Therrien, Robert Therrien at Gagosian, San Francisco
21 March–11 May 2019 Robert Therrien Gagosian, San Francisco
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Laws of Motion at Gagosian, San Francisco
14 January–9 March 2019 Group Exhibition Laws of Motion Gagosian, San Francisco
Contemporary art exhibition, Edmund De Waal, the poems of our climate at Gagosian, San Francisco
20 September–8 December 2018 Edmund De Waal the poems of our climate Gagosian, San Francisco

Galleries In San Francisco

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Institutions

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Ocula Magazine

Wang Gongxin Ocula Conversation Wang Gongxin Laura Thomson, Melbourne

The pioneering video works of Wang Gongxin heralded the rise of the video art movement in China, and he remains a force in Chinese contemporary art today. Born in Beijing in 1960, he belonged to the first generation of art students after the Cultural Revolution and trained as an oil painter in the Socialist-Realist style. In 1987 he was...

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Rich Mix: A Report From Art Basel In Hong Kong Ocula Report Rich Mix: A Report From Art Basel In Hong Kong Stephanie Bailey, Hong Kong

It’s all about being global at Art Basel. Such were the sentiments delivered at the Art Basel in Hong Kong press conference this year, in which Art Basel Director Marc Spiegler noted how the launch of ABHK in 2013 was the moment Art Basel went “truly global.” In fact, “nowhere else in the world will you see such a rich...

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Pascal De Sarthe Ocula Conversation Pascal De Sarthe Anna Dickie, Hong Kong

Pascal de Sarthe sits in his Hong Kong gallery office surrounded by art books – hundreds of them. They line the walls and they are piled up on his desk, and each book is thoroughly thumbed. In stark contrast to the looming bookshelves are three computer screens, which face de Sarthe at his desk – making him appear more a trader of...

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Max Gimblett Ocula Conversation Max Gimblett Anna Dickie, Beijing

What a strange and wonderful place to meet the painter Max Gimblett – in the hutongs of Beijing. It was as a student of art history in New Zealand that I first came across the work of Max Gimblett. Although the artist has been based in New York since 1972, is now a citizen of America, and has exhibited regularly there (including in the...

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Bill Henson Ocula Conversation Bill Henson Anna Dickie, Hong Kong

Faced with the daunting, but intriguing challenge of interviewing one of Australia’s most distinguished artists, Bill Henson, I did the contemporary obvious – I googled him.  The result was, as one would expect, slightly polarized. His recent withdrawal of work from the Adelaide Biennale following a police complaint had...

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Hou Hanru Ocula Conversation Hou Hanru

Born in 1963 in Guangzhou, China, Hou graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing in 1985 (BA) and 1988 (MA). Formally a critic and curator based in Paris, he was recently the Director of Exhibitions & Public Programmes and Chair of Exhibition Studies & Museology at the San Francisco Art Institute from 2006 to 2012. Hou is a...

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Adrian Wong Ocula Conversation Adrian Wong

Adrian Wong is an artist, born and raised in suburban Chicago, who left to pursue undergraduate studies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wong completed his first Masters degree in developmental psychology, splitting his time between the Bay Area and Armenia, where he was studying the development of metacognitive awareness in residents of the...

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Richard Prince and the New Meaning of High Art Related Press Richard Prince and the New Meaning of High Art 31 May 2019, The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — The large, brightly colored canvases sparkled beside the white walls of the Gagosian Gallery downtown. Larry Gagosian, the art world's megadealer, stood toward the back of the room in blue jeans and loafers while the star of the evening, Richard Prince, the artist perhaps best known for tweaking iconic images and pushing the...

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Imagine Yourself a Spider, or a Softball Catcher, in Two Wattis Shows Related Press Imagine Yourself a Spider, or a Softball Catcher, in Two Wattis Shows 24 January 2019, Sarah Hotchkiss

In the back gallery, Rosha Yaghmai’s Miraclegrow shrinks the viewer even further still—to the size of a house spider traversing the artist’s tiled bathroom floor. These shifts in perspective are made possible by the fact that Stingily has newspapered over not just the street-facing windows, but the gallery skylights as well, eliminating all...

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San Francisco’s New Transit Center Features Public Art by Jenny Holzer, Julie Chang, and Ned Kahn Related Press San Francisco’s New Transit Center Features Public Art by Jenny Holzer, Julie Chang, and Ned Kahn 7 August 2018, Hyperallergic

With their lobbying efforts beginning in 2006, the San Francisco Arts Commission convinced the intergovernmental agency developing the center to commit $4.75 million to on-site public art. Ranging from designed floors to interactive fountains, this funding supported work by James Carpenter, Julie Chang, Jenny Holzer, and Ned Kahn. These works are...

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John Akomfrah Discusses Channeling J.M.W. Turner and Disasters at Sea Related Press John Akomfrah Discusses Channeling J.M.W. Turner and Disasters at Sea 11 June 2018, Hyperallergic

When he was four years old, artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah came to London from Ghana with his parents. Because of their anti-colonial activism — they worked with Kwame Nkrumah, who became the country’s first prime minister and president after Ghana’s liberation from Britain —their lives were in danger. The family lived near the Tate, and...

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Julie Mehretu Talks Music, Manifest Destiny, and Her Massive Mural for SFMOMA Related Press Julie Mehretu Talks Music, Manifest Destiny, and Her Massive Mural for SFMOMA 6 October 2017, Hyperallergic

In her latest work, HOWL, eon (I, II) (2017), commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Mehretu set out to explore the vast landscapes and violent history of the American West. The two paintings now hang in SFMOMA's lobby, accessible to the public free of charge. Mehretu worked on the vast canvases flanking the museum's stairway,...

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At Last, a Space For the Philippines at the Asian Art Museum Related Press At Last, a Space For the Philippines at the Asian Art Museum 31 August 2017, KQED Arts

While browsing the labyrinth of the Asian Art Museum near Civic Center station, it's very possible that viewers might look through centuries worth of art from the Asian diaspora before finding the two small rooms dedicated to the special exhibit currently on view, Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories . Tucked away in a back gallery...

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Body talk: YBA Sarah Lucas meets modern master Auguste Rodin Related Press Body talk: YBA Sarah Lucas meets modern master Auguste Rodin 18 July 2017, Wallpaper*

A battle of the gaze is on at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco, pitting an old dead French man against a punky British woman. The artists in question are Auguste Rodin, the modern master known for his sensuous, eroticised studies of the female form, and Sarah Lucas, the subversive YBA feminist, known for her androgynous pantyhose...

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All the things we cannot know: Kenneth Baker on Sophie Calle in San Francisco Related Press All the things we cannot know: Kenneth Baker on Sophie Calle in San Francisco 13 July 2017, The Art Newspaper

The French artist Sophie Calle's work almost always satisfies my basic requirements: that art has something to look at plus something to think about. She has worked across many media, but image, text and performance, often sub rosa, remain her principal instruments. She shows how dramatically viewer engagement and depth of content may vary when...

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Recent Events

Contemporary art exhibition, UNTITLED, ART San Francisco at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
17–19 January 2020 UNTITLED, ART San Francisco
Contemporary art exhibition, Untitled. SF 2019 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
18–20 January Untitled. SF 2019
Contemporary art exhibition, FOG Fair 2019 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
17–20 January FOG Fair 2019
Contemporary art exhibition, UNTITLED. SF 2018 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
12–14 January UNTITLED. SF 2018
Contemporary art exhibition, FOG Design + Art at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
10–14 January 2018 FOG Design + Art
Contemporary art exhibition, FOG Design + Art at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
12–15 January 2017 FOG Design + Art

Despite being home to a tech boom that has skyrocketed rents out of reach for even six-figure-salary programmers, San Francisco continues to host a healthy, well-rounded art scene, with many major arts institutions and non-profits dotted across the city.

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In the east of the City by the Bay, Dogpatch has not been touched by gentrification until relatively recently. An historically industrial neighbourhood cut off from the rest of the city by an interstate highway, Dogpatch is now a creative hub where you can find institutions such as the Minnesota Street Project, which hosts galleries, artists, and other not-for-profit spaces across three warehouses. Down the block from the Minnesota Street Project is the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts (MFA), a relatively new institution centred around the McEvoy Family Collection. Though initially an exclusively photography collection, it has expanded to media of all kinds and includes the work of heavy hitters such as Diane Arbus, Alex Katz, and Wayne Thiebaud.

West of Dogpatch is the Mission District—the centre of San Francisco's nightlife and host to a range of galleries. In this neighbourhood, the non-profit Southern Exposure (SoEx) is dedicated to supporting artists of the Bay Area and beyond. Nearby, KADIST—another non-profit—is focused on the development of contemporary art through collaborations with artists, curators, and other organisations. The KADIST collection holds a wide range of contemporary artworks, and the foundation also has a hub in Paris. Residing alongside these institutions in the Mission District are dealer galleries such as Hosfelt Gallery, Catharine Clark Gallery, and Ratio 3. Northwest in the NOPA neighbourhood (an abbreviation of North of the Panhandle) is CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions—a dealer gallery with an extensive and expansive public programme that includes but is not limited to dinners, tours, talks, and offsite exhibitions.

North of Dogpatch and the Mission District is San Francisco's lively SoMa neighbourhood. An abbreviation of 'South of Market [Street]', SoMa is the city's SoHo-esque hub. Northern SoMa is home to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)—one of the largest museum of modern and contemporary art in the country. Across the street from SFMOMA is the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), which supports art committed to social change, and around the corner is San Francisco's local chapter of dealer gallery Gagosian.

In southern SoMa, the core mission of SOMArts—like the YBCA—is to support socially conscious art. SOMArts facilitates programmes by and for marginalised artist communities, including annual themed exhibitions such as The Black Woman is God, which focuses on spirituality in the African diaspora. Further south of SOMArts, in Protrero (between Dogpatch and the Mission District), is the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. An exhibition venue and research institution attached to the California College of the Arts, the Institute describes itself as a 'laboratory for testing the future of contemporary art' and is home to a cutting-edge programme of experimental works.

North of Market Street, the Tenderloin neighbourhood is the least gentrified area of the city, and is home to the Jessica Silverman Gallery and the unconventional artist-run publication THE THING Quarterly, amongst other galleries and institutions. North in Chinatown are the experimental contemporary art galleries CAPITAL and Et al., and rounding out the range of art programmes the city has to offer, Art Market San Francisco arrives each April with contemporary and modern works offered by local, national, and international galleries.

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