Wattis Institute News

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2014 by Laura Braun

Mark Schinwald gives inanimate objects personalities of their own: they have good moods, bad moods, nervous tics, and psychological baggage. His paintings, sculptures, and installations have “issues,” in the way that most relationships do. Conversely, he also imagines a world where a state of mind could give rise to an object. “What if,” the work asks, “a moment of anxiety could generate a neck brace?” Clearly, this gives a whole new meaning to what we say when we talk about prosthetics.

Posted on Monday, December 1, 2014 by Laura Braun

This is an impossible body.Some parts are painted, some are bagged, some stand straight, and others are perched up high.A network of metal rods holds them together, forming a central nervous system that allows each painting, sculpture, or piece of architecture to function as a dispersed limb of a single organism. As such, they belong with and fold into each other. Objects migrate into paintings, and bodies find a way to slip into objects.

Posted on Monday, December 1, 2014 by Laura Braun

Established in 1998 at the California College of the Arts, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art is a venue for exhibitions as well as a place for research. Exhibitions focus on one artist at a time, with the current exhibition showcasing the work of Austrian artist Markus Schinwald. A joint venture with SFMOMA, this site-specific installation features sculptures made from Chippendale-style table legs that wrap around poles as well as modified 19th-century paintings.

Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 by Laura Braun

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in partnership with the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts will present Markus Schinwald, on view at the Wattis Institute from September 9 through December 13, 2014. This exhibition by Austrian artist Markus Schinwald (b. 1973) marks his first major commission for a U.S. institution. The site-responsive installation will include an architectural intervention that changes the physical and psychological potential of the gallery, providing a display apparatus for Schinwald’s paintings and sculptures.

Posted on Monday, November 24, 2014 by Laura Braun

Before California College of the Arts in San Francisco hired Anthony Huberman to direct its Wattis Institute, he was invited to co-curate the 2014 Liverpool Biennial exhibition.

I met him there, in the Beatles’ hometown, just before the biennial’s July press preview, thinking -- correctly, as it turned out -- that the Liverpool show might give an inkling of his plans for the Wattis.

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Posted on Friday, November 7, 2014 by Laura Braun

Slung around a brass pole, a leg motions coquettishly. Curved and angled just so, the dark wooden leg flirts and beckons. At the CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art, a transmutation takes place. Table and chair legs seduce and 19th Century figures sport metallic appendages and prostheses, wearing their anxiety and neuroses. Markus Schinwald’s exhibition at the Wattis is a decidedly bodily affair. His work boldly imagines a kind of animism that blurs the perceived separations between man, object, space, and emotion.

Posted on Friday, November 7, 2014 by Laura Braun

Constraint, alteration, impediment: The figures that populate the work of Markus Schinwald are subjected to a range of psychophysical distortions, to strange bendings and bindings through which the Vienna-based artist summons a world weirdly ductile in both form and affect. Schinwald works with painting (uncannily détourned nineteenth-century portraits, seamlessly overlaid with rendered prosthetics), sculpture (contortions of elegantly flailing cabrioles), video, choreography, costume and set design, and architectural intervention.

Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2014 by Laura Braun

The 41-year-old artist, who also has a history of turning the blank slate of a gallery into a personalized space that blurs the line between bodies and objects and makes the visitor a part of the art, has his first major museum commission in the United States at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. The site-specific show is presented in partnership with theSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art and is part of the museum’s “New Work” series featuring works by innovative contemporary artists.

Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by Laura Braun

Joan Jonas is finally getting her due. As we plunge headlong into the digital age, the visionary work in video and performance by this downtown New York stalwart seems to become only more relevant. She will represent the U.S. in next year's Venice Biennale, but in the meantime you can acquaint yourself with her earlier work in a major survey exhibition at Hangar Bicocca in Milan [opening Oct. 2], plus a series of public events reconsidering her career at the California College of the Arts' Wattis Institute in San Francisco [through May 2015].

Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 by Laura Braun

Austrian artist Markus Schinwald likes to start with an already created work and add on. For example, in his first major U.S. show at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, he has retooled Chippendale-style table legs, making them into sculptures that crawl up the walls or wrap around bronze poles. He also buys 19th century paintings and adds things to them – jewelry, braces, head coverings or chains. 

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