Wattis Institute News

Posted on Monday, June 20, 2016 by Laura Braun

"It's going to get really hot," artist Sam Lewitt says when standing amongst in his most recent works. Thirty minutes before our meeting, Lewitt activated a series of custom-designed flexible copper heating circuits—a form and material that he first explored for previous solo exhibitions at The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and Kunsthalle Basel. Though the copper-clad etchings coated in thin plastic were already at a temperature of 114-degrees Fahrenheit, they would soon be converting the incoming electrical energy into 170-degrees of dissipating heat.

Posted on Monday, June 20, 2016 by Laura Braun

LA-based artist Laura Owens explores the concept of the painted canvas in a playful, thought-provoking way: she has hidden 10 paintings behind elaborate, handmade wallpaper forcing us to wonder whether the true art is hidden or staring us right in the face.

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Posted on Monday, June 20, 2016 by Laura Braun

She moved to San Francisco 21 years ago on a lark, after studying art and art history at Skidmore College in upstate New York. She stayed to work at Capp Street Project, an artists’ residency program, and at California College of the Arts after it subsumed the project, before moving to SoEx in 2002.

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Posted on Monday, June 20, 2016 by Laura Braun

This exhibition is a newly adapted iteration of Lewitt's More Heat than Light project, initiated by the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, and Kunsthalle Basel, where heating circuits were installed in a similar manner. At Swiss Institute, maxing out the electrical load strains the temperature regulation system, yet the heaters struggle throughout the day to raise the surrounding temperature, creating what the artist describes as a "weak local lineament" of the conditions of circulation.

Posted on Monday, June 20, 2016 by Laura Braun

Less Light Warm Words is a summer show that may cause you to leave feeling dehydrated—temperatures inside the installation can shoot well over 100 degrees. When I visited, it was bright and sunny outside—a nice, hot, 85-degree June day. Inside the Swiss Institute’s cavernous space, no lights were on, but it was even hotter than it was outside. (When the project debuted at San Francisco’s CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in September, it was called More Heat Than Light.

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 by Laura Braun

When Hillary Clinton came to town last September, they cohosted a breakfast for 150 influential guests. When Marni and Maison Margiela asked Sabrina to host dinner parties to launch their new downtown stores, she told Marni she’d do it if they made it a benefit for the Berkeley Art Museum (she’s on the museum’s board), and she got Margiela to make theirs a benefit for the Wattis art institute.

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 by Laura Braun

A number of long-running local institutions have decided to ignore the tides altogether and continue producing top-notch programs. In her new show at the Wattis Institute, California College of the Arts’s kunsthalle-style exhibition space and study centre, Laura Owens has covered the gallery walls with an intricate screenprint collage that combines motifs from earlier paintings – checkerboard patterns and colourful strokes from a digital paintbrush – along with fragments of spam emails from online horoscope generators and self-help guides.

Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 by Laura Braun

Laura Owens’s Ten Paintings—her first solo institutional show in the US since 2004—occupies both of the gallery spaces at The Wattis Institute with a multi-media exhibition that asks viewers to consider the imperceptible or undisclosed elements behind her work, both literally and figuratively.  In the larger front gallery, Owens does not disappoint with her technical bravado: a dizzying wall-to-wall installation of non-repeating wallpaper panels and interactive sound pieces, for a start.

Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 by Laura Braun

From Kadist, I followed Hou and Jouanno to Southern Exposure, Laura Owen’s solo at the Wattis, and openings at Minnesota Street Projects, an ingenious gallery-incubator meant to help patch up the city’s art community.

Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 by Robyn Wise

Installation view of Pryde’s 2015 exhibition at CCA Wattis Institute

London’s Tate Britain recently named artist Josephine Pryde a 2016 Turner Prize finalist for her CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts exhibition Lapses in Thinking by the Person I Am (May 5–August 1, 2015).

Artists Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, and Helen Marten are also on the shortlist.

The prestigious award is given annually to a British artist under the age of 50 for “an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work” held during the preceding year. The winner will be announced in December based on merit of the work for which the artist was nominated.

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