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Past Exhibitions Summary

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January 31st - February 24th, 2007

MMGalleries is pleased to announce the first exhibit of the new year by introducing three new artists, David Buckingham, Robert Larson, and Will Marino, and reintroducing Don Porcella. All of the artists in the show work with archeological finds of our modern culture, transformed into new concepts.

The bulk material of Will Marino’s pieces is made up of old dartboards that he finds at flea markets and at the local bars where he plays darts. In his work, the long paper strips that compose a dartboard are first uncoiled, then rewound and
either packed into frames, or wound into discs, bowls, cones, domes, and arches. When the concentric rings of a dartboard are rewound, new patterns emerge--intricate spirals and circles, numbers and text that create landscapes, patterns, constellations, and abstract compositions. With this improbable, discarded material, Marino creates painterly images and objects that reference the movement and flow of water and air, the sparkle of a night sky, mathematical obsessions, chance and probability. Will Marino lives in Santa Cruz and is the recipient of the 2006 Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship, Santa Cruz, California.

Will Marino, "In the Air", 2003, paper dartboard and metal, 24 1/4 x 21 3/4 in"

Robert Larson collects the materials and images for his work feet on the ground, eyes scanning the terrain, scavenging the surface of the urban landscape for evidence of its inhabitants’ activities: empty cigarette packages and matchbooks,
chewing gum wrappers and bottle caps. He then transforms his archeological finds, at times by assembling them into tableaus reminiscent of Warholian pop, other times by cutting and removing layers of the eroding surfaces of these symbolically imbued images and materials, to reveal a different history and content. In his work, urban landscape, artifact, and pop culture are all inextricably intertwined in an examination of shared cultural identity and urban experience.
Robert Larson lives in Santa Cruz and is also a recipient of the 2006 Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship, Santa Cruz, California.
Robert Larson, "Orange Slow Burn",1997-2007,
Zig-zag rolling papers on linen, 16 x 17"
Don Porcella was born in Modesto, California and lives and works in New York City. In… He co-founded Artists in Motion Art Collective, a group of artists who created funk-art fashion, sculpture, and furniture from recycled and reclaimed materials. This experience informs his current work, in which he cuts and reassembles road signs, package material, and furniture. Sometimes the refractive paint and the danger colors of a Stop signal are rearranged into a new whimsical sign; or a wooden chair is reduced to a two-dimensional piece, sawed down into small parts and reassembled onto a panel, or again a pallet’s markings are turned into a board game. Porcella earned his BFA Degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and worked as artist assistant to David Salle and Miriam Schapiro. Don has shown extensively in New York, California, and Paris, France.
Don Porcella, "Chair", 2001, One wooden chair, 25 x 25"
David Buckingham is a metal sculptor, and works exclusively with found metal, beautiful battered remains scrounged up out in the high desert of Southern California. All colors in his work are original, as found, as he’s proud of declaring that “he is no painter.” Yet, his work displays a considerable pictorial sensibility to color ranges, visible in his color studies, in his Pop signs from cartoons, in well known movie lines, or in his replicas of famous guns, to scale and historically accurate. Buckingham describes his work as primal, powerful, and provocative. David Buckingham recently sold out solo shows both in Chicago and in L.A., where he resides.

David Buckingham, "Symbionese Liberation Army Slogan", 2006, welded metal, 49 x 35 x 3"
November 3, 2006. Michael Martin Galleries is pleased to announce the opening of X-06, its first exhibition curated by the new co-directors of the San Francisco gallery, Marina Cain and Kit Schul te. The show will run from December 2, 2006 through January 13, 2007.

X-06 is a group show featuring works by gallery artists Rex Ray, Henry Jackson, Linda Karshan, Justin Quinn, Michael Velliquette, and Vidvuds Zviedris, and introducing four new artists: Shell Cardon, Connie Connally, Katherine Nova Williams, and Ina Abuschenko.

The Dallas, Texas painter Connie Connally will show new work inspired by her travels to the Cinque Terre, in which she develops a painterly dialogue and a personal language of marks, shifting colors, forms and gestures.

Katherine Nova Williams’s oil paintings mainly focus on spatial relationships: expansion and contraction, structure and dilapidation, accumulation and deterioration in vivid oil colors and metal leaf. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Nova Williams now resides in Carlsbad, CA.

Shell Cardon's paintings are languid, powerful and intense. Shell creates her work by pouring, layering and manipulating latex paint to translate fleeting moments into color, texture and movement. Each painting may have 4 to 20 gallons of paint on the surface. Shell Cardon studied at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, and maintains studios in both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The sharp-edged, cut out gouache and paper on glass “Rondos” from Ina Abuschenko appear to be groping with a new identification of the circle in a contemporary painting. Ina is a German-Russian artist who extensively studied figure and still life before becoming an abstract painter. Her works are today mainly monochromatic.

Presenting an assortment of his works on resin, Rex Ray will astonish and delight old and new collectors alike with the array of colors and patterns, geometric and organic shapes of his botanical arabesques in paper collage and resin. This San Francisco artist’s collages, paintings and drawings have been exhibited in major museums and galleries worldwide.

Henry Jackson, known for his sensuous pigment, oil, and wax paintings, will exhibit a selection of his multi-layered works, that seem both to reveal and dispel the human figure, while they ultimately grapple with issues of presence/absence, memory and desire. Jackson has received a number of prestigious awards, and his works are in several public as well as private collections.

Linda Karshan’s abstract graphic notation expresses intuitive emotional and mental processes. In Linda Karshan’s works lines have become independent. Through her highly refined drawing ability and structured use of forms, Linda Karshan achieves with a minimum of artistic means a maximum of intensity and expression.

Justin Quinn’s pieces, a combination of graphite drawings on hemp and dry point intaglio prints, repeatedly explore chapter 44 of the novel Moby Dick, entitled “The Chart”. In this chapter, Captain Ahab compulsively draws and redraws nautical charts in his nightly monomaniac quest for the white whale. By repeating a spiraling, swirling labyrinthine structure, Quinn places himself in the role of Ahab who continually redraws his charts, which travel nowhere, and only go into himself.

Michael Velliquette works with archival, colored card stock and glue to create what are best described as low-relief paper sculptures. These works are entirely hand-cut using only scissors and an x-acto knife. These images have myriad meanings such as self-contemplation, the nature of change, and our relationships to others, and suggest worlds of the infinite.

A recent graduate of Detroit1s Center for Creative Studies, Vidvuds Zviedris will show his intensely sensual abstract expressionist oil paintings displaying a luscious use of color and vigorous brush strokes. Vidvuds, a Latvian painter based in Chicago, is a fast-emerging artist and a strong promise in the world of abstract expressionism.

A reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, December 2, from 2 - 4 p.m. at Michael Martin Galleries.
Connie Connally, "Breakwater Mist", 2006,
oil on canvas, 16 x 18"
Katherine Nova Williams, "Insomnia", 2006,
oi l on canvas


Shell Cardon, "High Dive", 2006, 48 x 60",Acrylic
Ina Abuschenko, "Rotes Rondo", 2004/05, g
ouache, paper, capaplex and acrylic glass

Neopopular Demand- new works by Fahamu Pecou
Sept. 20th - Nov. 20th, 2006

Atlanta based artist Fahamu Pecou opens his exhibition Neopopular Demand at Michael Martin Galleries in San Francisco. Spot the superstar and his entourage at the opening reception on September 20th from 6-8pm, as they unveil his canvases at his first San Francisco appearance.

Pecou’s recent body of paintings in his series, NEOPOP, explores the phenomenon of contemporary propaganda, the cultural context and significance of media and marketing and how they are both disconnected and relevant to fine art. Thinking through the process of media propaganda brought him to his current work with magazine covers. Magazines are the embodiment of the psychology behind marketing and advertising. Playing on the public's psychological reaction to media and on preconceived ideas about who should be in them, he began projecting his image and ideals on the covers of magazines. He further abstracted the concept by juxtaposing his own character's in-your-face, hip hop bravado on fine art publications.

Pecou has been called “an emerging artist to watch” by the Studio Museum in Harlem. Dallas Morning News describes his work as “a cool clash of opposites, one triggering sensory reactions, the other provoking thought.”

"Fahamu in your Mouf", acrylic on canvas, 60 x 78

Wanderlust- David Magnusson, Steve Wrubel, Steve Hough
May 18th - June 20th

Photographers David Magnusson and Steve Wrubel turn their trained lenses to artistic endeavors on their travels around the world, celebrating foreign landscapes and inspiring a sense of Wanderlust. Successful in the commercial arena, these two photographers travel in to new realms with their distinguished artistic ventures. David Magnusson’s tiled photographs bring to mind the mute observation of the outsider in a foreign landscape. The unique process and materials used in Magnusson’s work, along with the division and reconstruction of the image, serves to remove these photo-based images from the world of traditional photography. His has been exhibited in Southern Exposure Gallery’s juried exhibition, 2003, and at Modernbook Gallery, Palo Alto, and joins us from his studio in San Francisco.

David Magnusson "Flgger's Folly", inkjet print resin, wood

Steve Wrubel: Kona Palms One, Two, Three, 15 x 17.5",
Triptych lambda prints mounted

Steve Wrubel takes a break from shooting in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico, Italy, Hawaii and the American Southwest to share his recent travel image innovations. Wrubel’s first one-man show, “Delicately Tough”, was a
triumph in Boston at the Kidder-Smith Gallery in 2004. He returns to the Bay Area, a place called home along his exhaustive travels to exhibit a series of large format works that impart a glimpse into Wrubel’s extraordinary lust for life and the open road.

Steve Hough provides us with the sorbet between rich courses with his pieces that share the smooth aesthetic of Magnusson and Wrubel, and further seduce the eye with color-shifting car paint and a meditative illusion of the movement of rippling water.

Steve Hough, "Lexus Lotus", color changing , 30 x 60"
car-paint on carved/sanded plastic panel

Rex Ray, New Work
February 16- April 14, 2006

The widely celebrated, prolific San Francisco artist Rex Ray opens an exhibition of new works at Michael Martin Galleries. You have seen this colorist’s botanical arabesques: he has caught your eye all over San Francisco in the most sophisticated locales, including the Slanted Door and the W San Francisco. Rex Ray’s stunning design genius has brought him to the attention of the most judicious culturati: he has designed for David Bowie, Matmos, Bill Graham Presents as well as Apple, Sony Music, City Lights Publishers, among many others. His collage work, paintings and drawings have been exhibited in major museums and galleries world wide, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Michael Martin Galleries, Gallery 16, New Langton Arts, and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions.

Rex Ray’s exhibition at Michael Martin Galleries will feature the breadth of his works, from his slick resin pieces, rich canvases to an installation of hundreds of his collage source material, previously installed at the Yerba Buena Center. A favorite of savvy collectors and design aficionados, join Rex Ray and his long time gallerist Michael Martin at the Artist’s reception Thursday, February 16 from 6pm to 8pm. If you miss this event, make your appearance at a closing party at the W San Francisco, Thursday, March 30 from 7-9PM

Rex Ray, "Untitled", 76 x 120 ", paper collage on linen

Henry Jackson, New Paintings
November 9th - December 16th 2005

Although Jackson is typically known for using the Human form as his catalyst for exploration, his new paintings suggest further complexity in his figurative ambiguity.Landscapes mutate between environmental and figurative fragments that seem void of human content or reference but rather suggest the fertility of nature and it's unsettling energy.Oil and raw pigments suspended in wax add to the unfolding history of imagery shrouded in diaphanous layers of medium.

Henry Jackson was born in San Francisco and graduated from the Calfornia College of Arts and Crafts in 1986 with a BFA in painting. He currently resides in San Francisco. Jackson has not only exhibited with Michael Martin Galleries, but
he also participated in solo and group shows at Trillium Press in Brisbane, The Broadbent Gallery in London, , Conduit Gallery in Dallas and Toomey Tourell and Limn Gallery in San Francisco and Smith Anderson Edition in Palo Alto. In addition, Jackson has received a number of prestigious awards, and his works are in several public as well as private collections.


June 9th- July 8th 2005

A collaboration between HMG and Ampersand International Arts, the exhibit features painting, sculpture, works on paper, video and mixed media curated by three artists. Whether through irony, awe, empathy, detachment or fear, all works in SPRAWL examine a range of visual interpretations of the urban and suburban landscapes.

painting, sculpture, work on paper, photography, video, mixed media

Clark Buckner, Matthew Cusick, April Gertler, David Hamill, Val Imus, Jason Jagel, Jason Kleidosty, Steve Lambert, Sean Mc Farland, Jeff Morris, Ben Peterson, James Sansing, William Swanson, JP Villegas, Lee Walton, Heidi Zumbrun

SPRAWL is collaboration between Michael Martin Gallery and Ampersand International Arts, who invited California artists Robert Gutierrez, Amanda Hughen, and Jennifer Starkweather to curate a group show based on the core of their own artwork. The exhibition will be held at the Haley Martin Gallery in San Francisco, and is on view from June 9 – July 8, 2005.

SPRAWL will also be exhibited at Ampersand International Arts’ sister space in Paris, France in the Spring of 2006. Robert Gutierrez, Amanda Hughen, and Jennifer Starkweather have curated SPRAWL based on ideas present at the core of their own artwork. They have included artists whose works address issues of
man-made environments, isolation, alienation, and defining and controlling space and reality in the American cultural context . The exhibition features painting, sculpture, work on paper, photography, video, performance, and mixed media.
Whether it is through irony, awe, empathy, detachment or fear, all the work in SPRAWL examines a range of visual interpretations of the urban and suburban landscapes. The exhibition features painting, sculpture, work on paper, photography, video, performance, and mixed media. Whether it is through irony, awe, empathy, detachment or fear, all the work in

SPRAWL examines a range of visual interpretations of the urban and suburban landscapes.


For Example
December 4-31, 2003

"For Example"
A show of recent work by architects, artists, designers, and writers teaching first-year Core studios at California College of the Arts

Guest curator: Jane Martin, California College of the Arts

All proceeds from sales of artwork go to support the MMG Foundation's Community ArtReach Program focused on bringing art and visual literacy to San Francisco's elementary school students. The thirty creative professionals showing in For Example are collaborators in the education of first-year students at California College of the Arts (formerly California College of Arts and Crafts). As teachers of studio practice in the Core program, we impart skills and concepts, and facilitate artistic exploration for students of all majors. Practicing in a variety of media from drawing and sculpture to video, design, and architecture, the faculty teaching in Core represent CCA's eighteen undergraduate programs. Many of us also teach within a specific discipline, at upper-division undergraduate and graduate levels. In the Core classroom, we often refrain from showing examples of our work to students in order to sidestep the issue of stylistic mimicry -- to support students' engagement in their own creativity, rather than encourage production in the manner of their instructor. There is, however, value in acknowledging the presence of the lessons we teach in our own work. Frequently, what we emphasize in the classroom connects very directly to what we do in our own studios. To that end,
this brochure offers three lenses for viewing the work in For Example: Technique, Concept, and Outside Influences. These encompass an emphasis on the mastery and innovation of methods, cultivation of ideas forming the basis of
creative investigation, and acknowledgment of inherent characteristics and personal curiosities that serve as guides and motivators. While these and other aspects are present in each piece, the artists' statements are an invitation to
look more closely at select thoughts, issues, and generating forces behind the work.

The presence of this show in the Michael Martin Galleries is of particular relevance as it is the mission of the MMG Foundation to support arts education at the elementary school level within our community. Many thanks to Michael
for her contagious enthusiasm for extending the promise of the arts to our children -- a critical link to our collective creative future.

Jane Martin
California College of the Arts


Hans Dieter-Schaal
November 6-November 28, 2003

Hans Dieter-Schaal works as an architect, scenic designer, sculptor, exhibition designer/architect, landscape architect, and writer. He lives in Attenweiler, Germany and designed the San Francisco Opera's new production of The Barber
of Seville.All proceeds from the opening-night event and sales of artwork throughout the exhibition will go to support the San Francisco Opera's education programs, which reach over 40,000 children and adults annually, and Michael Martin Gallery's Adopt-a-School program focused on teaching elementary school children to think, learn and communicate through art education.

Co-sponsored by: SF Opera, MM Galleries, Toki Designs, Delicious Karma, SFMOMA, Gallo, Speedway Printing


Trillium Press
June 3-28, 2003

Prints and books by Trillium artists

TRILLIUM PRESS (www.trilliumpress.com), a group show, features works completed at Brisbane's Trillium Press since the year 2000. Trillium is a fine-art printmaking facility specializing in innovative, collaborative, multi-modal printmaking. Beginning in 1979 with hand lithography, Trillium has expanded to include silkscreen, intaglio, digital, and monotype. They print with artists at many different levels of career achievement, which is an unusual business model for a print shop. Late-career and emerging artists are all welcome. Each project is designed around the artist's individual vision.

Featured artists in this show will include Rex Ray, Henry Jackson, Enrique Chagoya, Tom Lieber, Kara Maria, Richard Barnes, Bathsheba Vechte, and Jeremiah Maddock. There will also be books by Heather Wilcoxon, Sandow Birk
(Inferno), William Wiley, Nathan Olivera, Tucker Nichols, and Inez Storer/Marie Dern.

The show will also feature works by Trillium Fund awardees Jason Jagel, Kirko, Jose Guinto. Hillary Williams, and Kathy Aoki. Over the years, Trillium has provided one scholarship per year for promising art students. The Trillium Fund has been receiving donations to augment this program since April 2002 and now awards eight scholarships per year. The idea is to give up-and-coming artists access to materials, techniques, and expertise that are usually only available to artists at the peak of their careers. In 2002, this scholarship, given to a senior at the California College of Arts and Crafts, resulted in his being awarded a full scholarship to Columbia for graduate school.

Please join us June 19 at 7 p.m. for the next Talk on Townsend, our Salon series, featuring guest speakers Richard Lang (president of Trillium Press), David Salgado (Trillium's founder and master printer), and Phil Sanders (Trillium's collaborative
printmaker). Lang will discuss the effects of science education on his own art and on art-making in general. Salgado and Sanders will talk about printmaking techniques such as monotype, lithography, and intaglio, as well as the concept of a limited edition and the ways in which digital technology is opening up a new world of printmaking.


Paint Junkies
April 1-May 29, 2003

PAINT JUNKIES, a group show, features the work of emerging and established artists who have in common an incurable addiction to paint. Continually experimenting and probing the boundaries of the medium, they perpetuate its grand tradition and celebrate its wonderful physicality.

Charles Eckart, established San Francisco painter, creates works that are multicolored, highly textural, and nearly abstract. His most recent "Ground Cover" series is inspired by direct observation of landscape.

Constance Harris' (San Francisco) paintings constitute a private ritual of markmaking. Using oil and wax, she develops an integrated, landscape-like fabric that is heavily layered and saturated with color. Her materials are sensuous and capture the light in unique ways; each painting appears to change with the time of day and the direction of the light.

Henry Jackson (San Francisco) uses oils, dry pigments, and wax to create his multilayered paintings. The finished works are dark and only vaguely figural, evoking more of the subject's soul than the physical body.

Ricardo Mazal's (New York) paintings depict transformative moments—the cusp that separates order from disorder, location from location, or one time period from another. He appears courtesy of Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery.

Carole Pierce (San Francisco) paints soft-focus landscapes that are filled with a sense of memory and longing, suggesting but never revealing a human presence in the scene.

Arngunnur Yr's (San Francisco) paintings are on one level an ode to nature (in many cases Iceland's majestic landscape) but they are also about the vision of ourselves that we, as humans, project onto nature.

Vidvuds Zviedris (Chicago), originally from Latvia and a recent graduate of Detroit's Center for Creative Studies, is a fast-emerging artist in the world of abstract expressionism. His paintings are almost overpoweringly luscious and thick.


February 7-March 25, 2003

Call it the art of understatement. A lost art, perhaps, in today's info-glutted world. A respite from the garish, the overpowering, the coarse, the media-saturated. Some of the artists in this show, like Linda Karshan (London), Rebecca
Haseltine (San Francisco), and Ritsuko Ozeki (Tokyo), utilize both a minimalistic, abstract style and a great economy of media. Karshan rarely uses anything but pencil on white paper to create her drawings. Most are ostensibly abstract, but sometimes call to mind a close-up view of woven cloth, or a cellular-level view of plant matter. Haseltine says she often draws with both hands, with her eyes closed. Drawing in darkness, perhaps ironically, is a way for her to engage more fully with the world within and without -- a total immersion in herself and her surroundings, transferred onto paper. But her drawings are also about things that remain ineffable, shadowy and hidden. Ozeki, a master of intaglio printmaking, also works mostly in monochromatic black-and-white. Her images are mostly of domestic scenes and pieces of intimate apparel; looking at her prints is a little like peeping in someone's window.

Other artists in the show, like Philippe Jestin (France) and Amanda Hughen (Berkeley), approach the title theme in a different way, employing unconventional and potentially messy materials but in a strictly controlled way; Jestin's mesquite charcoal is dirty and difficult stuff to work with, but his finished mosaic-sculptures are all about clean lines and understated textural detail. Their surfaces resemble polished wood, but they are infinitely more fragile than wood, with each tile painstakingly sanded down to fit seamlessly into the whole. Hughen, currently an MFA candidate at U.C. Berkeley, makes use of everything from wood to Plexiglass, resin, and contact paper to create her "construction- paintings." Each finished work includes both hand- and machine-made elements, and examines, in both a literal and metaphorical way, the essence of surface and structure.

Munson Hunt's (Santa Fe) mysterious, monolithic sculptures seem at first to follow in the abstract, minimalist tradition of Brancusi. But unlike Brancusi, who worked primarily in metal and loved perfect, regular surfaces, Hunt works in wood, shining her sculptures to a high gloss that shows off every crack, knot, and other irregularity.

Chongbin Zheng's (San Francisco) paintings are abstract in the western art-historical sense, but created using traditional Chinese ink techniques. Enigmatic and shadowy, their multiple layers seem controlled and uncontrolled, referential and non-referential, intentional and completely accidental.