Embark Gallery Presents “Out of Line”

Eight Local Artists Redefine the Practice of Drawing

For Immediate Release: March 14, 2019

Opening Reception:  Friday, April 12, 2019 | 6-9PM

Ricki Dwyer.  Ghost Print: 203,  2018. Monoprints on archival cotton rag print paper.

Ricki Dwyer. Ghost Print: 203, 2018. Monoprints on archival cotton rag print paper.

“Out of Line” features drawings made with anything but pen or pencil: light, fabric, seeds, architectural drafting software and even heavy metal particles from air pollution. The result is an exploration of boundaries in our lives that would otherwise go unseen. Like ghostly memories of the actions of the artist, the artworks in this show capture the immediacy and intimacy we recognize in traditional drawing. Through their use of innovative materials and techniques, they add layers of complexity to the act of mark making, while still doing the essential work of drawing- to detect and highlight the shape of the world in new and interesting ways.


Calum Craik (SFSU) presents a recorded performance piece wherein the artist draws a large rectangular shape by sewing Hawthorn seeds on a plot of contaminated land due to be developed at Pier 70. Crataegus laevigata: English Hawthorn were used historically to enclose large sections of land in the UK, which displaced the large peasantry which lived there communally. This work alludes to the historical parallels of the British enclosures to land use in contemporary San Francisco.

Ricki Dwyer (UC Berkeley) is a textile artist and weaver whose monoprint studies capture a momentary gesture of cloth. In reference to a history of drawing as documentation and towards a practice considering the vernacular of drapery, it's within the expediency of the printing process that the cloth is used to draw and document its own form.

Sarah Frieberg (UC Davis) uses the line as a tool to uncover unseeable moments of stillness in nature. The instability of the raw materials of tea, mud, egg and honey frees the artist’s control of the line and, when combined with the repetition and simplicity of the work, creates a dynamic tension between the unfettered natural world and our efforts to constrain it.

Ava Morton (CCA) draws in space with found electrical cord, wire, rope, hardware, and plaster to create sculptural forms. The work stems from the legacy of feminist handwork created through repetitive looping, knotting, and sewing. Using found urban materials belies the delicate nature of the craft, and the artist uses their own body as a framework for the skeletal structures, further connecting their practice to the corporeal traditions of feminist art.

Sally Scopa.  All the Oceans,  2018. Pigment scraped from oceans of two world maps on canvas.

Sally Scopa. All the Oceans, 2018. Pigment scraped from oceans of two world maps on canvas.

Claire Rabkin (Mills) frames cloth to delineate translucent doorways all across the gallery space. These ethereal portals, which have previously acted as the set for performance work by the artist, suggest a transitory state. They act as poetic drawings of the familiar past, as well as emblems of a possible future.

Lindsay Rothwell (Mills) has extrapolated a Vanitas painting into an architectural flythrough video, working in a hybrid space they call 2.5D. Utilizing speculative tools, such as architectural drafting software, the artist draft moments from the past provides the viewer access into otherwise inaccessible spaces: personal memories, lost buildings, or in this case, art historical still life paintings.

Sally Scopa (Stanford) scrapes pigment from maps, meticulously separating out each color as it is mined from the document with an X-acto knife. The artist approaches this process as a type of reverse-drawing or reverse-cartography, scratching away the rigid lines and freeing up the colors so that they hang in suspension, suggesting, yet not explicitly defining, other possibilities for representing the globe.

Emily Van Engel (SJSU) collects deposits of air pollution (small granules of heavy metals) and adheres them to a blind contour drawing made by an eraser. The process mimics the way in which society is blindly feeling through the new social, environmental and political realities that are the consequences of climate change, and speaks to the destructive nature of pollution and extraction of resources.                 

This exhibition was juried by Tania Houtzager, Executive Director of Embark Arts.


Participating Artists: Calum Craik (SFSU), Ricki Dwyer (UC Berkeley) Sarah Frieberg (UC Davis), Ava Morton (CCA), Claire Rabkin (Mills), Lindsay Rothwell (Mills), Sally Scopa (Stanford), Emily Van Engel (SJSU).

Press Previews by appointment.

Opening Reception:  Friday, April 12, 2019 | 6-9PM

Hours: 1–6pm every Thursday-Saturday from April 13 - May 18, 2019.

Media Contact:

Angelica Jardini | Curatorial Director

info@embarkgallery.com

Embark Gallery Presents "Laughter and Tears"

Eleven Bay Area artists take on humor as their medium.

For Immediate Release

January 18, 2019

Laughter and Tears showcases a group of eleven artists who use humor and play to engage in a dialogue with and subvert the world around them. Across various disciplines and mediums, they use humor as a tool to think critically about social and political events.

Nathan Kosta.  Conduit.  2018. Archival Pigment Print.

Nathan Kosta. Conduit. 2018. Archival Pigment Print.

Brian Bartz (UC Berkeley) uses technological systems such as Google Maps to explore and articulate a perception of the world at large. Bartz creates interactive video installations to deconstruct how the internet network systems and the cloud alter our perception of supply chains and geological depletion.

Calum Craik (SFSU) is an artist who works in video, sculpture, and installation. His sculptures, assembled using found materials with personal and sociopolitical significance, often take on a poetic and absurd sensibility. The work entices viewers to make connections between the materials and their emotional weight for both the viewer and the artist.

Ricki Dwyer (UC Berkeley) is an interdisciplinary artist who currently works primarily in textile and installation. Through weaving, a medium deeply connected to culture and tradition, Dwyer communicates ideas of temporality and transformation. Is it a palm tree or a stream of pee from behind a curtain?  Whatever viewers imagine behind the curtain implicates them in an act of abstracted voyeurism.

Ricki Dwyer.  I Never Got To Be A Dyke, But I know I'll Get To Be A Fag.  2017.Mixed Media Installation.

Ricki Dwyer. I Never Got To Be A Dyke, But I know I'll Get To Be A Fag. 2017.Mixed Media Installation.

Zoe Eagan-Gardner (CCA) is a sculptor and installation artist whose work brings to mind both Dada and Funk Art. Childlike and somewhat austere, the work inspires stream of conscious thought and imagination. Eagan-Gardner uses sculpture to recount stories of her childhood and coming of age experiences. Her sculptures exist somewhere between being seductive and hilarious.

Neil Griess (Stanford) is an artist who primarily works in painting and sculpture. Through the recontextualization of objects taken from day-to-day life,  his sculptures are an absurd and subversive way of seeing the social structures of the world at large.

Becca Imrich (CCA) is an artist whose work is based in sculpture and installation. Through text, punctuation, and other visual markers, Imrich questions codified structures and systems. Imrich uses her background in sociology to supplement and enhance the conceptual rigor of her work.

Nathan Kosta (SFSU) is an artist who works within the disciplines of photography, video, and sound. Kosta seeks out absurdity in mundane day-to-day moments and creates humor through the lenses of portraiture and found landscapes.

Heesoo Kwon (UC Berkeley) created “Leymusoom,” a continuously evolving religion that supports a feminist utopian worldview. Through performance, sculpture, and social practice, Kwon invites everyone to imagine a world that provides love and support to all of Earth’s creatures.

Leslie Samson-Tabakin (SFSU) is an installation artist who uses whimsy, absurdity, and material seduction to draw viewers in and provoke questions. Her installations feel both familiar and otherworldly and tap into the multilayered experiences and emotions of the human psyche.

Hannah Tuck (SFSU) is an interdisciplinary artist who currently makes video and text based works. In her text pieces, she uses unedited and poignant excerpts from her diary to communicate feelings of fear and anxiety. Her raw installations evoke resonant feelings of familiarity and shared intimacy.

Yiling Zeng (SFAI) is a filmmaker whose work examines ideas of a multivalent identity. In her surreal short film “Carol and Jill,” Zeng explores an immigrant narrative through the relationships between cartoon sea creatures who try to make sense of life on land.

The opening reception of Laugher and Tears will feature a performance titled "Genesis of Leymusoom" at 7:30pm. This performance is about the genesis of the feminist religion, Leymusoom. Originally written by Heesoo Kwon, the piece was collaboratively developed as a performance by Kwon and six of the believers.

Performers:
Heesoo Kwon
Alvaro Azcarraga
Yujin Hwang
Gen Kasaneiwa
Michelle Kim
Ran Kurumazuka
Reniel Del Rosario

This exhibition was curated by Natasha Loewy and Kristen Wong, winners of Embark’s call for curatorial proposals and MFA candidates at SFSU.

Press Previews by appointment.

Opening Reception:  Friday, February 8, 2019, 6-9PM

Hours: 1–6pm every Thursday-Saturday from February 9 - March 30, 2019

Media Contact: Angelica Jardini | Curatorial Director, info@embarkgallery.com

Embark Gallery offers exhibition opportunities to current and recently graduated Masters of the Fine Arts students in the San Francisco Bay Area. We provide a space for an engaged community of artists, curators and scholars, and we aim to expand the audience for up and coming contemporary art. The juried exhibitions are held at our gallery in San Francisco at the historic Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.







Embark Gallery Presents “Wave Forms”

Six Local Artists Explore Light and Sound from a Cosmic Perspective

For Immediate Release

September 24, 2018


Water, air, space- three universal strata through which to understand the human experience. The intangibility of sound and light waves inspires a poetic response and this exhibition features artwork whose interpretations are fluid - objects that relate to the tides, the planets, and the other unseen forces that govern our world.

Hannah Perrine Mode.  Europa (pouring in from Taurus) , 2018. Ice (Oakland tap water, Antarctic ice core samples, Juneau Icefield glacier water) and cyanotype on filter paper. Detail.

Hannah Perrine Mode. Europa (pouring in from Taurus), 2018. Ice (Oakland tap water, Antarctic ice core samples, Juneau Icefield glacier water) and cyanotype on filter paper. Detail.

Hannah Perrine Mode’s installation Europa (pouring in from Taurus) merges printmaking with scientific research in the field. Using water taken from different locations and the power of the sun through cyanotype, Mode presents a set planetary prints that are, like Earth at present, simultaneously beautiful and fragile. Referencing the rape of Europa as well as Jupiter’s glacial moon, Mode’s work explores how scientific phenomena can be used as a tool for intimate storytelling, cementing this exhibition’s focus on our collective human experience of waves.

Elena Padron-Martin’s work brings us under the water in a deep sea GoPro recording of the Atlantic ocean. In the silent video the viewer is surrounded by calm aqua ripples that give the impression of softness and safety, like being in the womb. As the gaze of the camera looks up to the sun, one can’t help but think of birth - the moment when we emerge from dark water into the light. Across the room, separate from the moving liquid on the screen, is the soundtrack of these ocean waves, further challenging us to consider what role our senses play in how we perceive the world.

Ruxue Zhang.  Our Cosmic Insignificance , 2017. Oil on linen.

Ruxue Zhang. Our Cosmic Insignificance, 2017. Oil on linen.

The work of Laurence Elias is similarly concerned with perception, this time of light and matter. His uniquely fabricated prints of semi-solid geometric shapes are printed on reflective material and hung on the wall at various heights and angles. As one is drawn to the shiny surfaces there is an effect of distortion on our perceived reality. Are they photographs of liquid, solid, or air? Flat or 3-dimensional? The answers vacillate creating a cognitive dissonance and we are reminded of the fallibility of visual perception.

Following this theme into the realm of sound, Amina Kirby presents an auditory experience titled A Click Between Walls. An exploration of sonic phenomenon and relativity, the piece changes as the sound waves bounce between two hard surfaces. What one hears depends completely on their positioning - an important reminder of bias and subjectivity.

Ruxue Zhang is concerned with humankind’s place in the universe. Her illusory paintings of pictures of space have a sense of humor, and seem to suggest the futility of comprehending the vastness of this world and beyond. By replicating photographs of outer space with a decidedly analog process, Zhang also points out the shortcomings of this light-based technology in helping us to understand the bigger picture.

At the conclusion of the exhibition is Alan (Flag-Bearer), an immersive installation by Shirin Khalatbari. Alan means Flag-bearer in Kurdish. The piece is a tribute to Alan Kurdi, the Syrian refugee child who found dead on the shore of Mediterranean Sea on September 2015. The somber subject and ghostly presentation acts in this exhibition as an exploration of death as the ultimate void or vacuum in which there are no more waves, only total absence of sound or light.

This exhibition was juried by Leila Grothe, Associate Curator for the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art.

Participating Artists: Laurence Elias (CCA), Shirin Khalatbari (SFSU), Amina Kirby (Mills), Hannah Perrine Mode (Mills), Elena Padrón-Martin (SFAI), Ruxue Zhang (CCA).

Press Previews by appointment.

Opening Reception:  Friday, October 26, 2018, 6-9PM

Hours: 1–6pm every Thursday-Saturday from October 27 - December 8, 2018.

Media Contact: Angelica Jardini | Curatorial Director | info@embarkgallery.com



Embark Gallery Presents “Taking Temperature”

For Immediate Release

August 15, 2018

10 Local Artists Respond to the Environmental and Political Complexities of the Climate Change Crisis

Tashi Wangdhu. Nature Reflection, 2018. Oil on canvas. Photo courtesy of artist.

Tashi Wangdhu. Nature Reflection, 2018. Oil on canvas. Photo courtesy of artist.

Taking Temperature is a group exhibition presented in tandem with Coal + Ice, a documentary photography exhibition and climate festival coming to Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture this Fall. Co-curator of Coal + Ice and Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas, along with independent curator Jillian Schultz, selected ten artists whose work is concerned with the consequences of climate change. On both a personal and global scale, how have these shifts affected landscapes, cultures, and communities? What are the implications of living in a country whose government actively denies climate science? Themes include extreme weather events, apocalyptic scenes from the present and future, the refuse created by consumer capitalism and, overall, an urgent plea for environmental activism.  

The artists of Taking Temperature address these issues poetically, exploring the emotional impact of a rapidly changing world and capturing those feelings with varying aesthetic approaches. For example, Darcy Padilla’s haunting images of the devastating aftermath of last year’s Northern California wildfires are authentic, yet otherworldly. The strange scenes show what happens when suburban sprawl pushes communities to the edge of nature and human arrogance continues to test the boundaries of the environment. Padilla’s unedited photographs reveal the result- a startling new reality.  

Darcy Padilla. Untitled, 2018. Framed Archival Pigment Print. Photo courtesy of artist.

Darcy Padilla. Untitled, 2018. Framed Archival Pigment Print. Photo courtesy of artist.

Mika Sperling brings us to the other side of the globe, to Norilsk, a mining city in Northern Siberia where temperatures reach as low as -67°F. Climate change has led to the thawing of permafrost here, leaving buildings at risk of collapsing and creating potential leaks in the pipelines of the Siberian tundra which would ruin the local economy. Through a striking video exploration of industry there, Sperling reminds us that global warming also leads to the suffering of the individual, and is to the detriment of disenfranchised communities throughout the world.

Conceptual sculpture, creative photography techniques, carbon prints of endangered tree species, tapestries made of recycled and reclaimed fabric, and larger than life depictions of a natural disaster are some of the other offerings you will find in the exhibition.

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Participating Artists: Noah Greene (UC Davis), Amber Eve Imrie (Stanford), Darcy Padilla (UC Davis), Alana Rios (SJSU) Joseph Robertson (SFAI) Stephanie Sherriff (Stanford), HyeYoon Song (CCA), Mika Sperling (SFAI), Tashi Wangdhu (Mills), Eve Werner (SFAI)

 

Press Previews by appointment.

Opening Reception:  Friday, September 7, 2018, 5-8PM

Hours: 1–6pm every Thursday-Saturday from September 8 - October 13, 2018.

 

Media Contact: Angelica Jardini | Curatorial Director | info@embarkgallery.com

Embark Arts offers exhibition opportunities to current and recently graduated Masters of the Fine Arts students in the San Francisco Bay Area. We provide a space for an engaged community of artists, curators and scholars, and we aim to expand the audience for up and coming contemporary art. The juried exhibitions are held at our gallery in San Francisco at the historic Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.

Embark Gallery Presents “All Welcome: The Clay Days Experiment”

For Immediate Release

July 10, 2018

Matthew Goldberg Explores the Possibilities of Community Art Making

Boomer, 2018. Ceramics.

Boomer, 2018. Ceramics.

All Welcome marks our first Community Spotlight exhibition in which Embark features the work of a group, collective, class or other kind of community. Clay Days began as a solution to the problem of affordable studio space in San Francisco, an offering of place to fellow artists in need. Goldberg had the room (and the clay) and all anyone had to do was show up and create. What started as a humble gathering of friends grew, organically and exponentially, into a program that acted both as a democratizing force in a competitive and often hierarchical art world, and an important facet of Goldberg’s own practice.

For Goldberg, Clay Days became a way to delve into the infinite possibilities of the medium, through shared experimentation and investigation. He also acted as the facilitator and the instructor, helping his brood to understand how learning, teaching and collaboration can affect artistic output. Sharing in the making process was essential to the project, the communal effects of making together almost reaching spiritual heights.

As he says, “A ceramics practice is tactile and therapeutic. Clay reveals the secret liquid state of all things – that material can slip between states of matter – that water informs shape. This is as much an artistic medium as it is a way to navigate the world.”

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This exhibition is unique in that the work of all participants is exhibited on an equal plane. Clay has historically been the material that shifts between art and artisan, fine art and craft. To conflate that old tale, Clay Days accepts both professional artists, amateur makers, and non-makers equally. High and low have been flattened – the classroom and medium democratized, as have the often unapproachable walls of the fine arts gallery.

What similarities and themes occur when all ideas and techniques are validated? When the barriers of access are consciously diminished as much as possible? And, in a city whose history of radical art-making is rich while its displaced artists are decidedly not, what could be more radical than an experience that is affordable?

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Press Previews by appointment.

Opening Reception:  Friday, July 27th, 2018, 5-8PM

Hours: 1–6pm every Thursday-Saturday from July 28 - August 25, 2018

Media Contact: Angelica Jardini | Curatorial Director | info@embarkgallery.com

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Embark Arts offers exhibition opportunities to current and recently graduated Masters of the Fine Arts students in the San Francisco Bay Area. We provide a space for an engaged community of artists, curators and scholars, and we aim to expand the audience for up and coming contemporary art. The juried exhibitions are held at our gallery in San Francisco at the historic Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.

Embark Gallery Presents “Elizabeth Bennett: In Context”

For Immediate Release

July 10, 2018

Artist Elizabeth Bennett Uses Words to Create Humor and Poignancy

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In this Spotlight Exhibition, Embark presents the textual work of artist Elizabeth Bennett. In these works, Bennett explores the most effective means of giving language a physical form. Using various processes, materials, and scale, Bennett adds layers of meaning and power to concepts expressed in writing.

Several large banners of printed text have been soaked in water, obscuring and blurring certain parts. Bennett affixed these huge sheets of paper to a pier in Eastport Maine, allowing the tide to rise and melt the ink off of the paper. By allowing this natural process, the artist gives the powerful words new connotations. In Dr. King and the Declaration (pictured above) the ocean has significantly washed away the quotation on the right from the Declaration of Independence implying the wearing way of this truth, and echoing the silence spoken of by Dr. Martin Luther King on the left.

Left:  Banana , 2017. Screenprint on brown paper bag.  Right:  Product Haiku , 2017. Print.

Left: Banana, 2017. Screenprint on brown paper bag.  Right: Product Haiku, 2017. Print.

In the two series Grocery Stories and Product Haikus, Bennett’s search for meaning in the overwhelming banality of capitalism is taken to the point of comic absurdity. In the former, the humorous and self-deprecating text is screen printed on plain brown shopping bags. Placed on pedestals, the work juxtaposes the mundane encounters with the prestige of fine art exhibition. The posters created for Product Haikus pull images from advertising and rely on the farcical idea of making meaningful poetry out of brand name products.

In these and several other works, Bennett manipulates language and form to evoke both laughter and somber meditation from her viewers.

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Press Previews by appointment.

Opening Reception:  Friday, July 27th, 2018, 5-8PM

Hours: 1–6pm every Thursday-Saturday from July 28 - August 25, 2018

Media Contact:  Angelica Jardini | Curatorial Director | angelica@embarkgallery.com

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Embark Arts offers exhibition opportunities to current and recently graduated Masters of the Fine Arts students in the San Francisco Bay Area. We provide a space for an engaged community of artists, curators and scholars, and we aim to expand the audience for up and coming contemporary art. The juried exhibitions are held at our gallery in San Francisco at the historic Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.

Embark Gallery Presents “Home | Maker: Reactions to Definement”

For Immediate Release

May 20, 2018

 

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 16, 2018, 5-8PM.

Home | Maker: Reactions to Definement

Ryan Carrington and Lynn Dau Explore the Nuances of Domesticity and Labor

Ryan Carrington. Bake Sale, 2017. Plywood, neckties, pie tins.

Ryan Carrington. Bake Sale, 2017. Plywood, neckties, pie tins.

In our second annual Spotlight exhibition, Embark is pleased to present the sculptural work of Ryan Carrington and Lynn Dau as they investigate notions of traditional gender roles through artistic labor, humor, and surreal presentations. Taking recognizable and arguably mundane objects and creating spectacles, Carrington and Dau tackle the promises and realities of the “American Dream” as it pertains to idealized family life and economic disparity.

Labor is essential to Carrington’s work, which is comprised of wood, brick and other materials obtained straight off the shelves of Home Depot. Carrington probes the distinction between Blue and White collar occupations by mimicking the labor-intensive work of construction, shining a spotlight on the performative nature of masculinity, and using the trope of the “uniform” to make dynamic connections that resonate across different communities.

Ryan Carrington. Oven Mitt, 2017. Brick and mortar.

Ryan Carrington. Oven Mitt, 2017. Brick and mortar.

Taking the familiar scene in Americana of the barbeque or backyard cookout as a starting point, Carrington creates a fantastical world by remaking objects out of unexpected materials and playing with size and form. For example, in Oven Mitt, the useful and protective tool is enlarged and carved out of brick and mortar. Though due to expert craftsmanship and finishing the glove still appears soft, the construction-like materials render it heavy and useless. The surprising juxtaposition lends levity to the piece, but there remains an underlying commentary on the weight of domestic labor.

Dau’s work moves us inside of the home, exposing the fallacy of “perfect family life” through her use of household items made to go awry. Silverware explodes out of pots and pans, with knives and forks even propelling themselves straight into the walls. The banality of housework, the endless and often thankless task of motherhood, and the shattered dream of a fairytale marriage are all conveyed.

Lynn Dau. Domestic Apocalypse, 2016. Found objects.

Lynn Dau. Domestic Apocalypse, 2016. Found objects.

In Domestic Apocalypse, the task of doing the dishes becomes a symbol for frustration. The scene is that of a natural disaster, caught at its apex, a detonating expression of underlying emotions and unsaid truths. In Dau’s surreal installations,  once one gets past the novelty of the impeccable creation, there is something almost sinister lurking underneath. Her work is both constructive and ruinous. Again we see the complexity of the themes of labor and societal expectations deftly captured in the manipulated objects.

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Press Previews by appointment.

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 16, 2018, 5-8PM.

Hours: 1–6pm every Thursday-Saturday from June 16 - July 14, 2018.

 

Media Contact: Angelica Jardini | Curatorial Director | info@embarkgallery.com

 

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