Press Releases News

Posted on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 by Brenda Tucker

Jeanne Dunning is the fall 2005 Capp Street Project artist in residence at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. In this exhibition, Dunning elaborates on her continuing investigation of representations of formlessness that evoke disturbing corporeal associations. Centering around a series of large-scale photographs depicting a monochrome color field (composed of smashed stewed tomatoes), Dunning's installation explores boundaries between the sublime and the grotesque, while playing on our perceptions and misperceptions of images connoting physical vulnerability.

Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 by Brenda Tucker

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents world-renowned Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo in conversation with Polish artist Artur Żmijewski on Wednesday, November 30, at 6 p.m. in Timken Lecture Hall at the California College of the Arts San Francisco campus, 1111 Eighth Street.

This special event kicks off an exhibition of Żmijewski's 39-minute film "Repetition" (2005), a documentary recording his reenactment of Professor Zimbardo's 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment.

Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 by Brenda Tucker

Monuments for the USA

Exhibitions organized by the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at California College of the Arts are traveling throughout North America and making an impact on contemporary art. The CCA Wattis Institute and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, have coorganized an exhibition by prominent Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn titled "Utopia, Utopia = One World, One War, One Army, One Dress." It is on view in Boston through January 16, 2006, and will open in the Logan Galleries at the CCA San Francisco campus in March 2006.

Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 by Brenda Tucker

Jessica Resmond, Billboards

The California College of the Arts Alumni Council presents "Aesthetics of Ecology: Occupying Space for Sustainable Living," an exhibition featuring work by artists, designers and architects that has an emphasis on sustainable living. The exhibition is on view November 16–December 8, 2005, in the Oliver Art Center's Tecoah Bruce Gallery on the Oakland campus of California College of the Arts, located at 5212 Broadway. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 by Brenda Tucker

Tom Friedman, Untitled (A Curse)

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents "A Brief History of Invisible Art," an exhibition that will bring together artworks from the past four decades that place an emphasis on the conceptual and communicative possibilities of the work of art, while bypassing its seeming requirements of visibility and materiality. Organized by Ralph Rugoff, director of the CCA Wattis Institute, "Invisible Art" is on view November 30, 2005–February 21, 2006, in the Logan Galleries on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts.

Posted on Friday, October 7, 2005 by Brenda Tucker

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents "Utopia, Utopia = One World, One War, One Army, One Dress," an exhibition of new work by Swiss-born, Paris-based artist Thomas Hirschhorn. This multilayered project explores the current world situation, permeated by military conflicts and violence, through the metaphor of camouflage, which has been adapted from battlefield uniform to street fashion statement. Coorganized with the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Boston, "Utopia, Utopia" is a dynamic environment comprising sculptural works, wall graphics, film and video footage, vitrines and maquettes. The exhibition is on view March 10–May 13, 2006, in the CCA Wattis Institute's Logan Galleries on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts. The exhibition is free and open to the public. (The ICA presentation of the exhibition opened September 21 and is on view through January 16, 2006.)

The conceptual leaping-off point for "Utopia, Utopia" is the prevalence of camouflage in contemporary culture and politics—as a style of dress on the streets of SoHo and as an emblem of battle in the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. On the level of fashion, camouflage signifies toughness—an affectation that draws attention to the self. In contrast, soldiers wear camouflage to disappear, to better function within the group or army by removing themselves from view. Hirschhorn sees this as an allegory for the dystopia of current events, asking what it means when a costume of war becomes a look or a style. The artist takes this fashion trend to the extreme, creating a utopian world of equality whereby military camouflage becomes the clothing of everybody on earth.

"Hirschhorn's work, like the best of philosophy, helps us to grapple with and more deeply understand the world we live in," says Ralph Rugoff, director of the CCA Wattis Institute. "Challenging yet also accessible, 'Utopia, Utopia' engages the dark side of our society while reaffirming art's power to illuminate the condition of contemporary culture."

Hirschhorn is known for energetic installations that reference philosophy, politics and pop culture. His multifaceted constructions often combine ephemeral materials, such as aluminum foil, cardboard, plastic, plywood or pages torn from magazines, with a wide array of cultural references and theoretical texts. For "Utopia, Utopia," Hirschhorn exaggerates traditional display elements from museums, combining abundant signage, illustrations, interpretive material, mannequins, vitrines and artworks.

"With its sprawling presentation and charged political content, 'Utopia, Utopia' seeks to engage visitors on many levels, literally and figuratively surrounding them with ideas," says Nicholas Baume, ICA chief curator. "Its dramatic presentation and aggressive design represents a collision of aesthetics and politics."

Philosopher Marcus Steinweg provides the major textual component of the installation design. A publication designed in collaboration with the artist documents the exhibition and includes writings by Hirschhorn and art historian Pamela M. Lee about camouflage, subjectivity and war. The publication is free to visitors.

Thomas Hirschhorn was born in 1957 in Bern, Switzerland, and lives and works in Aubervilliers, France. After studying graphic design at the Schule für Gestaltung in Zurich, Hirschhorn moved to France and joined Grapus, a Parisian collective of communist graphic designers. Since abandoning design for visual art in the mid-1980s, he has exhibited internationally, with major works included in the 1st Biennial of Johannesburg (1995), the Venice Biennale (1999) and Documenta XI (2002).

Established in 1998, the CCA Wattis Institute serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of leading-edge local, national and international contemporary culture. Through exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, performances and publications in the fields of art, architecture and design, the CCA Wattis Institute fosters interaction among the students and faculty of California College of the Arts; art, architecture and design professionals; and the general public.

Generous lead support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and by Judy and Bill Timken. Major support has also been provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation. Additional generous support provided by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe and the CCA Curator's Forum.

Posted on Monday, October 3, 2005 by Brenda Tucker

In celebration of Switzerland's rich architectural heritage and the unveiling of the new de Young Museum by Swiss architectural firm Studio Basel of Herzog & de Meuron, four Swiss-based architectural schools will participate in "Inventioneering Architecture" at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. The month-long celebration will include a lecture series featuring prominent Swiss architects and an interactive exhibit housed in a custom-designed 131-foot-long cross-section of the Swiss Alps, designed to allow visitors to stroll the platform while viewing architectural models and visuals on overhead screens and display panels. The exhibition dates are October 3 through 27; the five lectures are scheduled on Monday evenings throughout October. All events take place at CCA at 1111 Eighth Street in San Francisco. "Inventioneering Architecture" is presented in collaboration with swissnex, the University of California Berkeley Department of Architecture, and CCA.

"Inventioneering Architecture" will showcase the various Swiss schools' approaches to teaching architecture. Leading architects from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich (ETH); Accademia di Architettura, Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), Mendrisio; Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL); and the Institute of Architecture at the University of Geneva will present the lectures on October 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 in Timken Lecture Hall at CCA.

"We want to expose the Swiss method of architecture instruction to other cultural contexts," explains architecture professor Marc Angélil, ETH Zürich. "This exhibit provides an exciting opportunity to share our perspectives, gather feedback and evaluate what we are doing."

"In Switzerland, architecture and related coursework is taught primarily by practitioners, rather than academics," Angélil added. "While America leads the industry in crucial theoretical work, our focus extends beyond design to incorporate a variety of integrated disciplines such as sociology, engineering, construction, landscape design and urban planning."

A catalog, featuring essays and projects by renowned faculty members and students, accompanies the exhibition. The exhibit will also include computer terminals where visitors can submit their impressions. The Swiss Alps structure, imported from Switzerland, was designed specifically for this event using computer aided design tools. After San Francisco, the exhibit travels to Houston and cities in China, the United Arab Emirates, and Buenos Aires.

The exhibit and lecture schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, October 3, 6:00 p.m.: "Inventioneering Architecture" exhibition opening reception, with a lecture at 7:00 p.m. by Marc Angélil, ETH Zürich
  • Monday, October 10, 7:00 p.m.: Lecture by Andrea Deplazes, ETH Zürich
  • Monday, October 17, 7:00 p.m.: Lecture by Inès Lamunière, EPFL
  • Monday, October 24, 7:00 p.m.: Lecture by Valerio Olgiati, Accademia di Architettura, USI
  • Monday, October 31, 7:00 p.m.: Lecture by Dirk Hebel and Jörg Stollmann, ETH Zürich

The exhibition will remain open through October 27. Lectures and exhibition entry are free and open to the public. Exhibition hours are Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. For more information, visit or call swissnex at 415.912.5901.

Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 by Brenda Tucker

Stephen Beal, provost of California College of the Arts (CCA), is pleased to announce several new faculty appointments for fall 2005.

Designer Yves Bé;har Is New Chair of Industrial Design

Internationally recognized designer Yves Bé;har has been named the new chair of the Industrial Design Program. Bé;har brings to the college a collaborative and integrative approach to the design process, combined with extensive knowledge of contemporary design practice. Bé;har is the founder and principal of the San Francisco–based design studio fuseproject. He is renowned for his innovative design of products for Birkenstock, Herman Miller, Microsoft, Nike and other industry giants.

Artist Brian Conley Chairs Graduate Fine Arts

Brian Conley is the new chair of the MFA Program in Fine Arts. Conley, whose work employs a range of disciplines to explore our perceptions of humanity, nature, technology, language and consciousness, exhibits his work widely throughout the United States and Europe. In addition to his art practice, Conley is the founding coeditor of Cabinet magazine.

Academy Award Winning Director and Acclaimed Artist Join Media Arts Faculty

Rob Epstein, one of the most acclaimed nonfiction film directors today, is this year's Viola Frey Distinguished Visiting Professor. As well as teaching in the Media Arts program, Epstein will assist the program in exploring curricular innovation. Epstein won his first Oscar for the classic documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk," and a second for "Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt." He has also received three Peabody Awards, four Emmys, and a Guggenheim fellowship.

Artist Kota Ezawa also joins the Media Arts faculty this fall and will teach undergraduate and graduate courses. Ezawa was recently honored at the Shanghai Biennale for his work in digital animation, investigating recent history and current events. His work was featured in the recent exhibition "Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast and Contemporary Art," seen at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and three other major West Coast venues.

New Faculty Hires in Painting Program

CCA's Painting Program welcomes four new faculty members to tenure-track positions.

Linda Geary's work has been seen in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including "Bay Area Now 3" at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and "Being There: 45 Oakland Artists" at the Oakland Museum of California.

James D. Gobel comes to CCA from CSU San Bernardino, where he was an assistant professor of painting and served as director of three university galleries. His work has been shown widely, including a solo show at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the group show "100 Artists See God" at the Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Laguna Museum of Art, CA; and Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

CCA alumnus David Huffman (BFA '86, MFA '98) has had recent solo shows at Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery in Los Angeles and the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University. His work in the group shows "Black Belt" and "Freestyle" at the Studio Museum of Harlem received wide critical acclaim.

Jordan Kantor comes to CCA from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he was an assistant curator in the department of drawings and curated the exhibition "Drawing from the Modern, 1975–2005," on view this fall. Kantor has a PhD from Harvard University in history of art and architecture; he publishes and lectures extensively on contemporary art.

Visiting Artists

A number of prominent visiting artists and scholars will be teaching at CCA this fall, including New York performance artist Andrea Fraser, award-winning writer Julie Orringer, sculptors Jane Bruce and Mary Shaffer and playwright/screenwriter/performer Paul Magrid of The Flying Karamazov Brothers.

About the College

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (formerly California College of Arts and Crafts) is the largest regionally accredited, independent school of art and design in the western United States. Noted for the interdisciplinary nature and breadth of its programs, CCA offers studies in 19 undergraduate and 6 graduate majors in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design and writing. The college offers the bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of arts, bachelor of architecture, master of fine arts, master of arts and master of architecture degrees. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,600 full-time students.

Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 by Brenda Tucker

Twenty-five Oakland families have been working at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center in Chinatown since June 23 to create artwork for the second phase of 100 Families Oakland: Art & Social Change, a multi-phase community art project, sponsored by F. Noel Perry and the Center for Art and Public Life at California College of the Arts. The families have been working with professional artists and students from California College of the Arts (CCA) for 10 consecutive Thursdays to create individual and collaborative art projects.

Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 by Brenda Tucker

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents "General Ideas: Rethinking Conceptual Art 1987–2005," an exhibition that considers the legacy of conceptual art in works produced by a generation of artists born during or close to the first phase of conceptual art production (1965–1975). Organized by Matthew Higgs, adjunct curator for the Wattis Institute and Director of White Columns in New York, "General Ideas" is on view September 15–November 13 in the CCA Wattis Institute's Logan Galleries on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts.