Ed Aulerich-Sugai featured exhibitions in 2019

Ed Aulerich-Sugai , Xray  series, 1980. Acrylic. 45 x 30 inches.

Ed Aulerich-Sugai, Xray series, 1980. Acrylic. 45 x 30 inches.

KunstWorks is thrilled to announce two upcoming group exhibitions featuring work from the Ed Aulerich-Sugai Collection and Archive: With(out) With(in) the very moment at the San Francisco Art Commission (SFAC) Galleries; and Precarious Lives, presented by the Queer Cultural Center and Creative Labor at SOMArts Cultural Center.

With(out) With(in) the very moment is organized by independent curator Margaret Tedesco for the SFAC Galleries, and will highlight Aulerich-Sugai’s artwork from the late 1980s alongside the work of artists living with HIV today. The show includes selections from Aulerich-Sugai’s series Ghosts and Demons and Power in Storage: Samurai Masks and Helmets, as well as a unique four-panel work on paper from 1988 titled He Cries, She Cries: Homage to our Sisters. This large work presents a moving narrative of anguish at the cellular level. The exhibition runs from April 18–June 22.

Precarious Lives will be the third and final installment of a trilogy of exhibitions titled The Turning, Queerly curated by Rudy Lemcke for Creative Labor. Precarious Lives builds on the foundational work of philosopher Judith Butler’s notion of “precarity.” The term is used in the context of this exhibition as a condition that expresses the fundamental vulnerability of life. Lemcke considers the underlying conditions of human vulnerability as the site of care and futurity realized through the transformational labor of art. The exhibition features a painting from Aulerich-Sugai’s series Xrays, which depicts skeletal images of hands and wrists, and will be on view at SOMArts Cultural Center from June 6–29.

Ed Aulerich-Sugai,  He Cries, She Cries , from  Cells  (1987-1991), 1988. 38 x 25 inches per panel; 38 x 100 inches overall.

Ed Aulerich-Sugai, He Cries, She Cries, from Cells (1987-1991), 1988. 38 x 25 inches per panel; 38 x 100 inches overall.

In 1987, following his diagnosis with HIV-related illness, Aulerich-Sugai began a series of drawings and paintings called Cells, which includes over 100 paintings and drawings. From oil on canvas to mixed media on paper, the work displays a broad range of approaches to color, abstraction, and form. The series represents the artist’s process of “looking at the virus inside,” examining the body at a cellular and molecular level as a step toward regaining control over it.

“Being diagnosed with ARC profoundly affected my life, but I found that telling my family and friends equally traumatized them,” Aulerich-Sugai wrote. “I wanted to show that trauma, and deep sadness in ‘Homage to Our Sisters.’

Similarly, the Xray paintings visualize the structures of the body beneath the skin, making unsettling and ghostly images out of clinical documents.

Ed Aulerich-Sugai (1950–1994) was an Asian American artist, writer, gardener, and AIDS activist. Primarily a representational painter, he drew inspiration from traditional Japanese mythology and iconography, which he transformed through a contemporary lens. His work also draws upon the anatomy of humans and animals to explore the power and fragility of life. Aulerich-Sugai died of AIDS in 1994. A quarter-century later, his work stands as a unique document of his seven-year experience of living with the disease. The oeuvre includes journals, paintings, and works on paper spanning the artist’s career, from the 1970s through the last months of his life.

KunstWorks honors African-American art and history in Berkeley

Between 1940 and 1970, millions of African-Americans left the South, seeking employment opportunities in the North and West. Poverty, lack of educational opportunities, and rigid segregation and discrimination caused the move. Many families established communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially Berkeley, where they could find steady work in shipyards, steel construction, and other industries boosted by the wartime efforts and government job programs.They established businesses, churches, community centers, and city infrastructure, impacting Berkeley’s cultural, economic, and social makeup.

Many African Americans who moved from Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas in this Second Great Migration had reached old age by the late 1970s, when artist Jeannie O’Connor taught photography classes at senior centers in Berkeley. Between 1979 and 1982, O’Connor documented the daily activities of the mostly black senior community, as they gardened, took art classes, exercised, and went on field trips. O’Connor also took portraits of the seniors, and made copies of their family photographs they had brought with them from the South. KunstWorks is working with O’Connor on placing this important visual archive in museums and libraries.

In the 1970s, a Berkeley psychologist Eli Leon (1935-2018) began purchasing quilts made by members of a large community of African-American quilt makers he met at Bay Area flea markets. Most of these quilt makers also belonged to the generation of the Second Great Migration and brought the quilting traditions from the South. Drawn to their irregular, improvisatory patterns, Leon devoted his life to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting this historically significant artwork. His groundbreaking scholarship connected the unique quilting patterns to West and Central African textiles. KunstWorks is working with the Eli Leon Trust to finalize the placement of the collection in major American museums, following Leon’s intent to make the collection publicly available for study and research.

Put-together , pieced by Rosie Lee Tompkins, Richmond, California, 1985. Quilted by Willia Ette Graham, Oakland, California, 1986. Velvet, velveteen, velour, panné velvet, chenille; backed with cotton sheeting, cotton-poly broadcloth. 74 x 82 inches.

Put-together, pieced by Rosie Lee Tompkins, Richmond, California, 1985. Quilted by Willia Ette Graham, Oakland, California, 1986. Velvet, velveteen, velour, panné velvet, chenille; backed with cotton sheeting, cotton-poly broadcloth. 74 x 82 inches.

APAG West Introduction Meeting and Brunch in LA

At Peter Fetterman Gallery (Santa Monica), the new Western affiliate of the American Photography Archive Group—APAG West—held a brunch meeting to introduce the organization to the Southern California community of photographers, archives, and collections. Despite the torrential downpour, steering committee Alla Efimova and Melanie Light led a lively discussion on APAG’s past programming, the future of the organization, and potential programs and events that the community would be interested in. As APAG West continues to expand its reach, we are excited to offer photo seminars, workshops, archive tours, and other unique programs to a larger geographic audience.


APAG Founded in New York over a decade ago, American Photography Archives Group (APAG) is a non-profit membership organization to support photographer’s archives, working photographers, and photographic archivists. Its mission is to help to preserve, document, and exhibit historic photography of the 20th and 21st centuries. Throughout the year APAG meetings provide a supportive and lively forum for exchanging experience and knowledge with others who manage archives and the legacies of modern and contemporary photographers.

APAG West is a new affiliate to extend the same educational and professional opportunities for members in California and the Western States.
www.apag.us/apag-west/

Membership: https://www.apag.us/membership/

Contact: alla@thekunstworks.com
kathryn@thekunstworks.com

Abstraction and Distance: New Paintings in the Carl Heidenreich Foundation Collection

CARL HEIDENREICH,  UNTITLED , N.D. OIL ON CANVAS. 40 X 33.75 INCHES. COLLECTION OF THE CARL HEIDENREICH FOUNDATION.

CARL HEIDENREICH, UNTITLED, N.D. OIL ON CANVAS. 40 X 33.75 INCHES. COLLECTION OF THE CARL HEIDENREICH FOUNDATION.

Included in last year’s additions to the Carl Heidenreich Foundation’s collection are six works, which demonstrate the artist’s shifting focus from representation to the language of abstraction after immigrating to New York after WWII.

In the forward to the 2004 book Carl Heidenreich (Goethe Institut, New York), Dr. Alla Efimova writes about the unique syntax of abstraction employed by Heidenreich in relation to his experience as a refugee:

“Nonrepresentational art served many purposes in the twentieth century. For some it was a way of escaping ethnic marginalization and joining in the visual Esperanto of the international avant-garde. For others it was an assertion of the primacy of inner vision and liberation of the individual. In certain instances nonrepresentation served as a way of rejecting individual creativity and channeling art along paths of design and engineering. And at yet other times artists used it to avoid political connotations of a figurative work. Heidenreich’s late works, however, do not fit neatly into any accepted narrative of twentieth-century Modernism. They are an unusually consistent effort to work through the traumatic experience of immigration.

“Heidenreich recorded one of his first impressions of New York in a watercolor from circa 1942. It is a perspectival sketch of an avenue crossed by an above ground subway line. The artist’s viewpoint is somewhat estranged, detached. He is neither among the people on the street nor ignoring them. The artist here is an onlooker. An oil painting of New York rooftops, dating about a year later, positions the artist behind the windowsill of his apartment. A glass pane and a window frame separate him from the outside. The view is composed of color fields, but the perspectival structure is clearly maintained. The painting conveys a sense of distance; the faraway skyscrapers with brightly lit white blotches of windows stand out against the dusky sky. Heidenreich retreats behind the window that bears marks of its own—a black squiggle on the left side of the work appears to be painted directly on the imagined glass.”

Similarly, Heidenreich’s Window View (c. 1960, shown below) and his Untitled painting (shown above) place the viewer behind a pane of glass or at a distance from their subjects. Window View delineates a cityscape seen from behind the frame of a window. Warm tones of orange and beige separate interior from the vibrant blues, reds, and yellows of the outside world. In Untitled, meanwhile, the purple hues of the window sash and mullions merge with the natural forms of plant life outdoors. Blocks of white paint, like light reflecting off the window, obscure the image of what might exist beyond.

CARL HEIDENREICH,  WINDOW VIEW,  CIRCA 1960. MIXED MEDIA ON PAPER. 32 X 23 INCHES. COLLECTION OF THE CARL HEIDENREICH FOUNDATION.

CARL HEIDENREICH, WINDOW VIEW, CIRCA 1960. MIXED MEDIA ON PAPER. 32 X 23 INCHES. COLLECTION OF THE CARL HEIDENREICH FOUNDATION.

Efimova continues:

“In the paintings and watercolors created in the following two decades, Heidenreich proceeded to paint himself in, to mark and smear the window surface until only faint silhouettes of the outside world can be distinguished through layers and layers of oils, gesso, and wash. In a number of works, a recognizable object shows through, surprisingly, almost accidentally. In a watercolor from the 1950s, a bouquet of pink flowers metamorphoses out of layers of aquarelle. Then the image recedes, as it does in dozens of works in which the recognizable world is scratched out and covered over.”

CARL HEIDENREICH,  UNTITLED  (LANDSCAPE IN WHITE AND BLUE), CIRCA 1961. WATERCOLOR ON PAPER. 21 X 29 INCHES. COLLECTION OF THE CARL HEIDENREICH FOUNDATION.

CARL HEIDENREICH, UNTITLED (LANDSCAPE IN WHITE AND BLUE), CIRCA 1961. WATERCOLOR ON PAPER. 21 X 29 INCHES. COLLECTION OF THE CARL HEIDENREICH FOUNDATION.

“A strong sense of semi-penetrable surface also appears in Heidenreich’s work of the 1960s, the series on Mexico and Alaska. A crumbling stone wall, probably derived from the memory of Mayan ruins, seems to separate the artist from the outside world in the Mexican paintings. A snowy, icy surface, which neither reflects light nor lets it through, stands between the artist and nature in the series of Alaskan watercolors.”

A Week of APAG - December 2018

We have had an exciting week of APAG-related events!

Fourth Annual APAG Seminar

Photography archivists, curators, lawyers, appraisers, collection holders, and conservators gathered at the International Center for Photography in New York City. Along with other panels, presentations, and workshops, Alla Efimova, Loren Miller, and Mary Engel (APAG president and founder) presented projects in a panel titled “Museum Curators: How Do They Find Work for their Exhibitions and Collections?”

Visit the APAG website for seminar details and links.

Dr. Loren Miller, Alla Efimova, and Mary Engel presenting “Museum Curators: How Do They Find Work for their Exhibitions and Collections?,” December 8, 2018. ICP, New York, NY.

Dr. Loren Miller, Alla Efimova, and Mary Engel presenting “Museum Curators: How Do They Find Work for their Exhibitions and Collections?,” December 8, 2018. ICP, New York, NY.

APAG West Event

In San Francisco, APAG West and the Appraisers Association of America hosted a panel on the market for a posthumous photographic collection. Promoters of Arthur Rothstein’s work, Annie Segan and Brodie Hefner presented on his New Deal photographs, social, and artistic legacies. Lindsay Nivens-Frosini discussed issues of valuation and appraisal that come up when working with photographic works. The event was held at Canessa Gallery, in conjunction with the newly opened exhibition, When Government Worked: New Deal Picture Stories by Arthur Rothstein.

Panel: Lindsay Nivens-Frosini, Melanie Light, Brodie Hefner, and Annie Segan. December 6, 2018. Canessa Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

Panel: Lindsay Nivens-Frosini, Melanie Light, Brodie Hefner, and Annie Segan. December 6, 2018. Canessa Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

Sonya Rapoport: An Aesthetic Response at Casemore Kirkeby

Sonya Rapoport: An Aesthetic Response at Casemore Kirkeby

January 12 - January 26, 2019

Opening: Saturday January 12, 6-8pm

In 1970, Berkeley, California based artist Sonya Rapoport was using traditional media to produce paintings on canvas. By the end of the decade she was programming computers to analyze and plot data, creating works on paper that function as portraits of her data body. This wide ranging exhibition of paintings and works on paper reveals the rapid evolution of this prescient artist, one which reflects the transformation of high modernist culture into our present information society.

KunstWorks is pleased to be working with on this special exhibition in collaboration with the Sonya Rapoport Legacy Trust.

Sonya Rapoport,  Lavender Grey , 1973. Pencil, acrylic, and airbrush on canvas, 72” x 142”.

Sonya Rapoport, Lavender Grey, 1973. Pencil, acrylic, and airbrush on canvas, 72” x 142”.

Sonya Rapoport (b. 1923, Brookline, MA; d. 2015, Berkeley, CA) was a conceptual artist best known for a visual language that appropriated the aesthetics of science and digital media. Her work is characterized by groundbreaking experimentation with computers and data collection, collaboration with eminent scientists and experts in the humanities, a fascination with categorization and systems of knowledge, a consistent reinvestigation of her own earlier work, and a profound feminist mission marked by strategic forays into male dominated fields. Her career represents a unique path from high modernist painting to contemporary conceptual and new media work.

Among the first women to receive an M.A. in Painting (UC Berkeley, 1949), Rapoport’s Abstract Expressionist work was given a solo exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in 1963. She went on to explore pattern, painting on printed fabrics and developing a personal pictographic vocabulary using recontextualized stencils. In 1976 Rapoport began drawing on found computer printout paper, eventually leading to her reinvention as a digital artist. Her interactive installations used computer programs to gather, process, and represent data. An integral part of a community of artists experimenting with emerging computer technologies in the early 1980’s, Rapoport had an active role in MIT Press’ art, science, and technology journal Leonardo. Critical recognition of Rapoport’s contributions gained momentum in the last decade of her life.

Rapoport leaves a 66-year artistic legacy that includes works in a variety of media, including paintings, works on paper, performance artifacts, books, videos, and web art. Her name is recognized nationally and internationally through her participation in over fifty major exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennial (2006), Bienal de Arte, Buenos Aires (2002), Zero1 Biennial, Silicon Valley (2012), Violence Without Bodies, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2005), and Documenta 8, Kassel, Germany (1987). She was the subject of late-career retrospective exhibitions at KALA Art Institute, Berkeley (2011), Mills College Art Museum, Oakland (2012), The Fresno Art Museum (2013) and the book Pairing of Polarities: The Life and Art of Sonya Rapoport, edited by Terri Cohn (Heyday, 2012). Her archives are preserved in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.


Casemore Kirkeby
1275 Minnesota Street, #102
San Francisco, CA 94107
415.851.9808

info@casemorekirkeby.com

Gallery Hours 
Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm

https://casemorekirkeby.com/exhibition/sonya-rapoport-an-aesthetic-response/

Jeannie O'Connor's HIV+ Photo Portraits Acquired by the SF Public Library

Jeannie O'Connor,  John, Oakland , 1988. Silver gelatin print, 4 x 5 inches.

Jeannie O'Connor, John, Oakland, 1988. Silver gelatin print, 4 x 5 inches.

Jeannie O'Connor,  Lovers Laughing, Oakland , 1988. Silver gelatin print, 4 x 5 inches.

Jeannie O'Connor, Lovers Laughing, Oakland, 1988. Silver gelatin print, 4 x 5 inches.

In the early 1990s, photographer Jeannie O'Connor was invited to be a guest artist at four Bay Area AIDS centers, including the Center for AIDS Services in Oakland, the Rest Stop and Shanti House centers on Market Street in San Francisco, and the Unity Church in Richmond.. She worked with HIV-positive clients and their families to take self-portraits, for many of them final, with a 4x5 camera using Polaroid film. O'Connor handed the pneumatic shutter-release bulb to the sitters, so they could choose the timing and the pose. The portrait sitters kept the instantly available prints while O'Connor kept the negatives. 365 negatives have now become an important visual testament to the diversity of lives lost.

KunstWorks is pleased to announce that O’Connor’s negatives, contact sheets, proof prints, and Polaroid prints from the AIDS Self-Portraits Collection (1989-1995) were recently included in the collection of the San Francisco Public Library. They will be made available to the public and a portion will become digitally available online through the Library’s AIDS archives digitization grant, “The San Francisco Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic: Digitizing, Reuniting, and Providing Universal Access to Historical AIDS Records.” Learn about the Bay Area’s major AIDS archives digitization project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


O’Connor at the San Francisco Public Library’s History Center.

O’Connor at the San Francisco Public Library’s History Center.

Jeannie O'Connor's work has been shown internationally and was awarded the SECA award by SFMOMA and the Phelan award in Photography. She taught art and photography at California College of the Arts, the San Francisco Art Institute, and Berkeley City College.

O'Connor graduated from UC Berkeley in 1969 with a master's degree in painting. Throughout her career, she has taken portraits, often combining photographic images with paint, pastel, and collage. The 4 x 5 polaroid Type 55 self-portrait process offered a means to work sensitively and responsibly across many situations, including at Creative Growth Art Center and for the California Arts Council AIDS project.

APAG West Seminar a Success

APAG West Seminar a Success

KunstWorks was happy to co-host American Photography Archives Group West’s inaugural seminar. Alla Efimova, Melanie Light, and Alan Selsor chaired the committee to recruit a stellar line up of speakers—curators, photography archive managers, and attorneys—to address the most important topics in advancing the legacies of contemporary photographers. It was a busy day of presentations on photography archives and collections, issues in photographers’ legacy planning, and lively discussions. We are planning engaging events and workshops throughout the year, and look forward to the next year’s seminar in the Fall of 2019.

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Eva Joseph's prints and paintings dazzle

Eva Joseph,  Untitled , ca. 1985. Print. 15 1/2 x 20 inches.

Eva Joseph, Untitled, ca. 1985. Print. 15 1/2 x 20 inches.

KunstWorks is pleased to share the treasure trove of rarely seen prints and paintings by Eva Joseph, the brilliant German-American artist whose work blends Bay Area Figurative painting with midcentury modern graphic design and the technique of Japanese woodblock printing. This website dedicated to her work is an important new resource to understand the artist’s unique contribution to West Coast painting and Bay Area art history.

Explore the website at https://www.evajoseph.com.

Eva Joseph,  Untitled , n.d. Oil on canvas. 36 x 36 inches.

Eva Joseph, Untitled, n.d. Oil on canvas. 36 x 36 inches.

APAG West Announces Inaugural Seminar

We are delighted to announce that KunstWorks Principal Alla Efimova will chair the committee for the first American Photography Archives Group (APAG) seminar to take place on the West Coast.

Many thanks to Melanie Light and Alan Selsor for helping recruit a stellar line up of speakers—curators, photography archive managers, and attorneys—to address the most important topics in advancing the legacies of contemporary photographers. 

APAG West Inaugural Seminar
Sunday, October 14
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
9:30 am – 6:30 pm

View the program for the inaugural APAG West Seminar to learn more about the event. To join APAG as a member and/or register for the seminar, click HERE.

APAGWestSeminarProgramOctober_FINAL.jpg

KunstWorks awarded Berkeley Civic Arts Commission grant for book

Photos and notes are spread out on a table at Nabolom Bakery in Berkeley, where Moira Roth spent time composing her experimental narrative. KunstWorks was recently awarded a grant to transform the project into a publication.

Photos and notes are spread out on a table at Nabolom Bakery in Berkeley, where Moira Roth spent time composing her experimental narrative. KunstWorks was recently awarded a grant to transform the project into a publication.

We are pleased to announce that the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission awarded a grant for developing the book Through the Eyes of Rachel Marker by Moira Roth and edited by Alla Efimova. KunstWorks is working with Roth to publish her experimental novel tracing the life of a fictional protagonist who witnessed firsthand the major events in twentieth-century European history. Mostly unpublished, this lyrical, perceptive, and cautionary tale is more relevant now than ever.

A leading international voice in feminism, performance, and contemporary art, Roth has authored three acclaimed books on art and published dozens of essays in addition to creating her own performance works. She is a professor emerita of art history at Mills College and has taught at various times at UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, and UC San Diego. Roth’s pioneering work on artists ranging from Marcel Duchamp to Faith Ringgold and Rachel Rosenthal won her numerous achievement awards, including the 2006 National Recognition in the Arts Award from the College Arts Association.

First Opportunity to View Aulerich-Sugai Cell Painting from 1988

Ed Aulerich-Sugai,  Cells: C-28 , 1988. Water-based media on paper; 43.75 x 35 inches. Collection of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Ed Aulerich-Sugai, Cells: C-28, 1988. Water-based media on paper; 43.75 x 35 inches. Collection of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

This summer, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive will exhibit a rarely seen work by Ed Aulerich-Sugai in the exhibition Way Bay 2. Never publicly shown, the work represents one of a series of mixed media works on paper produced between 1986 – 1989. The Cells series, including over 100 paintings and drawings, displays a broad range in the use of color, form, and texture. In 1988, Aulerich-Sugai completed the painting currently on display at BAMPFA, Cells: C-28, in response to his diagnosis the previous autumn with HIV-related illnesses. The work represents an interrogation of his illness and the virus weakening his immune system. The painting's composition was influenced by Aulerich-Sugai's study of ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

As the second iteration of an innovatively organized exhibition of art, film, performance, poetry, and archival materials, Way Bay 2 continues BAMPFA's wide-ranging exploration of the creative energies that have emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area over two centuries. The exhibition features almost two hundred works by Bay Area artists and others whose work engages directly with the region’s geographic and cultural landscape and highlights dozens of recent acquisitions. Of these new acquisitions, many bring a focus to the ways women and people of color have contributed their voices to historic cultural moments in the Bay. Way Bay 2 is on view at BAMPFA from June 13 – September 2, 2018.

Sonya Rapoport's work finds new audience in 2018

Sonya Rapoport's work finds new audience in 2018

Throughout 2018, Sonya Rapoport's legacy and spirit of experimentation is being highlighted through a number of exhibitions and events across the Bay Area: San Francisco's Minnesota Street Projects featured Rapoport's drawing in a group exhibition organized by Romer Young Gallery; the Berkeley Art Museum exhibited her work in a major collection show; and in an upcoming musical performance, Berkeley's Kala Art Institute will focus on her Anasazi series as a source for new creative interpretations by composer-performer team Hae Voces.

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Acquisitions at BAMPFA to be shown in upcoming exhibition "Way Bay"

Acquisitions at BAMPFA to be shown in upcoming exhibition "Way Bay"

We are pleased to announce that the work of two artists whose estates KunstWorks has advised will be included in the upcoming show Way Bay at the Berkeley Art Museum. Sonya Rapoport's Survey Chart #19 (1971) and Ed Aulerich-Sugai's Ghosts and Demons: Diptych (1989) will be on display at BAMPFA from January 17–May 6, 2018.

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