A Cunning, Punning Election Message from William T. Wiley:
William T. Wiley, Don't Vote to Forget, 2012, watercolor and ink on paper, 12 x 9 inches
"& So, Don't Vote to Forget! Cause this time it will make since..."
When Redistricting Becomes Gerrymandering: Can Districts Be Drawn Equitably?
Tonight — Thursday, October 29 at 5 pm PST
Lordy Rodriguez, Texas 33rd, 2020, ink on paper, 35 x 60 inches
Join us via Zoom for an examination of the redistricting process, how gerrymandering can be detected through mathematical models, and a discussion of what constitutes a fair, non-partisan determination of district boundaries.
Panelists include Julia A. Gomez, attorney at ACLU of Southern California; M. Andre Parvenu, 2010 California Citizens Redistricting Commissioner; Dr. Ellen Veomett, Professor of Mathematics at Saint Mary's College of California; and artist Lordy Rodriguez
. Moderated by Dianne Dec.
Register for the panel discussion here
Liliana Porter, Brancusi, 2008, photograph, 11 x 15 1/4 inches
juxtaposes incongruous objects, heavy with references to art history, in a witty and formally simple — but masterfully complex — play on the existential conundrum: which came first, the chicken or the egg?
True to her roots in the magical realism of literary Latin America — José Donoso, Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges — and the conceptual art of the 1970s, Porter asks us to consider the nature of “reality,” the veracity of images and how we understand the world.
The simple meaning here is that as the little bird reflects on the origin of its existence, we’re asked to spend a moment examining the significance of our own being. But what the bird/viewer engages with is an image of a representation of an object — a post card reproduction of a sculpture — and not Porter’s representation of an egg, but that of another artist — Constantin Brancusi. There are so many layers of depiction and appropriation, that you lose track of the “real”… like a room of mirrors casting your image back and forth ad infinitum.
This work reflects a world where images proliferate — where most of what we “know” is mediated.
Left: Tyrell Collins; Right: Christian Houge
Left: Peter Wegner; Right: Angelina Pwerle
William T. Wiley, Tools and Trade, 1978, colored pencil, felt-tip pen, and ink on canvas, 77 1/2 x 87 1/8 inches;
Collection SFMOMA; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Janss
William T. Wiley: Con-Fusion-Ism
on view through June 2021
Over his fifty years in California, William T. Wiley
has forged an art of disorientation, trickery, and enigma. Some works combine abstraction with representation, or painting with drawing, in ways that confound perception. Others pile words and images into elaborate puzzles or meditate on singular objects of mystery.
A pun used in his painting Tools and Trade
— "Con-fusion-ism" — captures Wiley's philosophy of whimsical befuddlement. It also reflects his interest in the Eastern traditions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. His streams of consciousness align with Zen Buddhism's embrace of indeterminacy, while his alter ego Mr. Unatural represents the union of simplicity and wisdom in Eastern thought. Dressed in a pointed headpiece at once dunce cap and wizard's hat, Mr. Unatural is what Wiley calls a "Zen fool," both guileless and enlightened.
Wiley borrows from Surrealism and Dadaism, but no one style runs through his work. The common thread, instead, is an impish absurdity. Or perhaps his pun in Tools and Trade
can be read as its own art movement: Confusion-ism. Each piece invites the viewer to decode references, unscramble wordplay, and probe for hidden clues, but their riddles rarely have resolutions. Rather, they offer what Wiley once called "the drift" or "the scent" — a gist that hovers at the horizon of comprehension.
Driss Ouadahi: Revisited Spaces installation view
Influenced by his lived experience as an émigré, Driss Ouadahi
has developed a unique visual vocabulary. In his sixth solo exhibition at the gallery, he uses a synthesis of structural design and modernist grid painting to explore the social, political and psychological aspects of boundaries and the possibility of transcending them.
Lordy Rodriguez: Polar Democracy installation view
For his sixth solo exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery, Lordy Rodriguez
applies his ever-developing, cartography-inspired vocabulary to two new bodies of work. The first memorializes historic and contemporary efforts at peaceful demonstration, while the second investigates United States gerrymandered districts.
Late Summer Minestrone Soup
My friend Teresa taught me how to make this soup in the kitchen of her masseria in Puglia, Italy with vegetables we picked from her garden. It’s the perfect way to use your end-of-season or farmer’s market produce, though it’s adaptable to whatever is seasonal and your personal tastes. You can make a small pot or an enormous one, so use the quantities below for proportions and increase as desired. Like most soups, it tastes even better when it’s a day or two old.
3 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper
1 15 oz can (or 1 ½ cups homemade) cannellini beans*
rind from parmesan cheese**
1 bunch leafy greens
8 little potatoes
1 ½ quarts water*, vegetable or chicken stock
olive oil for sautéing
green beans, snapped into inch long pieces
rice or farro
All the vegetables get chopped into pieces small enough so a couple of chunks will fit in each big spoonful. Over medium heat, in a large pot, sauté onions, fennel and carrots in olive oil. Once they begin to soften, add finely minced garlic and sauté three more minutes. Then add chunked bell peppers (I like red and yellow) and stemmed and quartered red, yellow and/or orange tomatoes. Raise the heat a bit. When the tomatoes have started to break down, add reserved water or stock, then the parmesan rind, a bay leaf, and beans, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the chunked potatoes and other hard vegetables as well as any grain. When they’re tender, add the softer vegetables – green beans, peas, etc. and the pasta. When the pasta is almost cooked, add the leafy greens and fresh herbs. Serve with good bread.
*I use dry beans, which I cook ahead, in salty water and a couple of bay leaves to almost-but-not-quite done. Reserve the salty bean water to add to the soup later.
**I choose my hunks of parmesan at the grocery store based upon which have the most rind, and stockpile them waiting to make this soup. The more parmesan rind, the better the minestrone.
William T. Wiley, Don't Get Skeered, 1988, woodcut with hand-coloring and collage on paper, 16 x 58 inches, $3,100
Closing, like we began, with a word from the artist-poet-philosopher William T. Wiley
, this time in the form of a 1988 woodcut with unique drawing, painting and collaged elements.
“Now Chillin Dont Get Skeered 4 Ritz Time N Stuff…"
"How Do You Know Your Not Already Dead?”
And though death looms large in the composition, Wiley’s comedic wordplay re-focuses our fear of mortality, reminding us of the importance of living life to our fullest potential. Happy Halloween!
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