Wattis Institute News

Posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 by Laura Braun

“Who needs bondage? Isolation will do.” Julia Heyward (also known as Duka Delight) is a master at talking dirty. Her words are seductive, to be sure, but more so unctuous and often defiled. In performances and videos made between 1971 and 1984—the purview of her first monographic survey, curated by Jamie Stevens—she lends an incantatory cadence to skeins of metonymy, rhyme, and alliteration. Buoyed by her southern drawl, language revels in its own slipperiness, a fish the artist is quick to gut.

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Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 by Laura Braun

Just a week before multimedia performer and video artist Joan Jonas received an honorary doctorate from the California College of the Arts, New York Times art critic Roberta Smith called Jonas’ installation at the Venice Biennale, “They Come to Us Without a Word,” “triumphal ... one of the best solo shows to represent the United States at the biennale in over a decade ... an effortless combination of maturity and freshness.”

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Posted on Monday, May 11, 2015 by Laura Braun

We offer a haute welcome to Maison Margiela, which recently celebrated the grand opening of its San Francisco boutique at 134 Maiden Lane. Hosted by Sabrina Buell, Yves Béhar, Alicia Engstrom and Hosain Rahman in honor of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at California College of the Arts, the evening event drew Willie Brown, Sonya Molodetskaya, Norman Stone, Jessica Silverman, Maca Huneeus, Antonio Huneeus, Sarah Somberg, Brad Somberg, Lana Adair, Mary Beth Shimmon, Sabrina Buell, Joel Goodrich, Clara Shayevich and more.

Posted on Thursday, May 7, 2015 by Laura Braun

In her photographs, Josephine Pryde frequently stages determinedly pitched, inscrutable parodies of selfhood. For her first show in a US institution, she presents a series of roughly twenty newly created images of women’s hands in close encounters with their own bodies, as well as with touch screens and touch lamps. Held in suspended states of discovery, these hands are living it up, footloose and perhaps in the midst of one of the “lapses” of self-awareness suggested by the show’s title.

Posted on Monday, May 4, 2015 by Laura Braun

“Yves thinks that men’s fashion is so boring, but that women’s fashion is so interesting,” said Sabrina Buell as she and partner Yves Béhar, the Swiss product designer, co-hosted the opening of the Maison Margiela San Francisco boutique on Thursday, April 23. “He’s obsessed with buying women’s clothes for me, and the line he always buys is Margiela,” she added. “Of all the labels, it’s the most artistic, design-based, and creative.

Posted on Friday, May 1, 2015 by Laura Braun

Jonas has long been an influential teacher—in Amsterdam, Stuttgart and Cambridge, Mass. (where she is now professor emerita at MIT). In 2014 she joined the gallery Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York, and her 2014-15 international schedule includes solo shows in Italy, Sweden and Norway.2 Jonas recently participated in the Taipei Biennial 2014 and performed Reanimation with Moran at HangarBicocca, Milan; the Musée du Louvre, Paris; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 by Laura Braun

Judging by the packed opening of the Maison Margiela boutique, there are plenty of people eager to go on Galliano's journey with him—people who know a thing or two about design, including art consultant Sabrina Buell and award-winning industrial designer, Yves Béhar, who cohosted the opening party with Alicia Engstrom and Jawbone founder Hosain Rahman in honor of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

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Posted on Monday, April 27, 2015 by Laura Braun

But Margiela, with its high-quality style but irreverent edge, fits the bill for the new tech exec, said two of the evening’s co-hosts, Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman and industrial designer Yves Behar of Fuse Project. (Gallerist Sabrina Buell, Behar’s partner, and Alicia Engstrom also co-hosted the party, which honored the CCA Wattis Institute.)

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Posted on Monday, April 20, 2015 by Laura Braun

San Francisco’s art scene is in flux with the departure of artists and galleries driven out by high rents and the closure of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for renovations, making it easy to feel uncertain about the future of art in our tech-centric culture. But optimists say that crisis brings opportunity. Christie’s, the international art auction company, is putting rare pieces by Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha and others on display at Hedge Gallery through Wednesday, April 22, a chance for the public to see major works before they’re auctioned in New York in May.

Posted on Monday, April 20, 2015 by Laura Braun

Curated by students of the Curatorial Studies program at the California College of the Arts, this compact, well-considered gathering of work across many media byMartin Wong is a marvel of what the small-scale and seemingly ephemeral can communicate. The artist, who died in 1999 of complications from AIDS, was moderately recognized in his own lifetime, but has been experiencing a recent escalation of attention, peaking perhaps in Julie Ault’s curation of some of his work into the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

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