For the past forty years Peter Koch has cultivated a cross-media dialogue between art, philosophy, and literature. HARD WORDS is thirty-seven prints assembled from re-configured photographs, historical documents; manuscript journals and newspaper engravings; accompanied by short legends (one and two syllable messages) by the artist and hand-set in antique lead and wood type. The prints are accompanied by selected texts appropriated from the journals and letters of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Ross Cox, William T. Hornaday, L.A. Huffman, Elers Koch, and others.
Imaginations features the paintings of Oakland artist and UC Berkeley alumnus Bill A. Dallas. Often incorporating a mixture of calligraphy, figure studies, and abstract painting, Dallas’ work is also heavily influenced by jazz music.
David Linger's work takes the form of thin, translucent porcelain panels, often in large-scale works composed of multiple elements. The panels contain halftone photographs in black underglaze, overprinted with intaglio embossment of original text. His 1968 trip to Leningrad introduces us to the fragility of the human condition and opens up the viewers’ mind to the fundamental elegance of the un-extraordinary.
As staff photographer for the Oakland Tribune between 1968-1982, Kenneth P. Green Sr. captured in the still image some of the most dramatic and dynamic social changes occurring not only in Oakland, but in our time. His work reflects the best of both photojournalism and photography – a chronicle of the here and now, and a collection of personal portraits that illustrate the timeless, human side of the people involved. This exhibition highlights early photographs taken at DeFremery Park in Oakland, a center for community organizing, an important base for the Black Panther Party and for the nascent Black student movement that was taking place at Laney and Merritt Colleges.
With their iridescent shapes emerging from blue or red backgrounds, Eva Bovenzi’s paintings at one moment suggest outer space, at another the sea. The forms described are similarly ambiguous: they could be tiny or enormous. Like apparitions from a world that is both familiar and unfamiliar, these forms seem caught in the ephemeral moment between appearing and disappearing. They are mysterious messages: letters from emptiness.
Taking inspiration from Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “As Once the Winged Energy of Delight,” Kathleen Thompson’s recent work emphasizes the vibration of color. Combining references to flowers and natural elements with the use of fluorescent paint, Thompson’s work is not just an abstraction of nature but a bridge to a timeless place.
Darril Tighe’s watercolors explore abstraction as a means for expressing a range of emotions through color, layering of washes and choices about composition. Tighe’s complex color combinations suggest a quality of translucence and evoke a state of reverie and reflection, through which the viewer is momentarily transported, and then returns, enriched.
Matthew Mullins’s large scale watercolor paintings feature private collections, archives and storage facilities, mostly associated with the natural sciences. Fascinated at the amount of material they house, Mullins envisions these spaces as giant curio cabinets housing the souvenirs of people and experiences we’ll never know.
Opposites attract. We yearn for stability and security, but our desire for variety and adventure invites risk. We know that setting goals and sticking to them will get results, yet we give in to the pleasure of breaking rules we ourselves have deliberately crafted.
Body of Light features the stunning photography of Jean-Paul Bourdier, Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley. Bourdier's colorful images of painted bodies in a desert landscape are a combination of painting, photography, sculpture, body art, land art, performance, design, gymnastics, dance, and acrobatics.