February 27, 2018

Artwork For Bedrooms

California College of the Arts (CCA)

Colter Jacobsen. Waterfall Mask, 2000. Courtesy the artist.

Curated by California College of the Arts’ 2018 class of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, Artwork for Bedrooms tells the story of eight artists living in San Francisco between 2000 and 2008. This is a period of the San Francisco art scene that, until now, has been mostly framed by the Mission School. Artwork for Bedrooms draws a new and parallel narrative of the same moment of young artists who were similarly invested in “poor” materials, but who put them to work in more abstract, fragile, or conceptual ways.

Where the Mission School was often loud and immersive, the works in Artwork for Bedrooms are self-contained and demand close looking. Picture precise abstractions on found paper, paintings on rocks and dry leaves, or every key on a vintage typewriter hammering away at a single character, producing an intense black dot. Imagine notes between friends, lovers or heroes, or artworks tucked into a notebook, or folded up in a backpack.

These works were made in a city already transformed by the tech industry. Rents were drastically on the rise and many subcultural spaces closing. Nascent forms of social media were starting to change how people interacted. As they challenged themselves to transform rough materials into serious art, the artists featured in the exhibition grappled with how these developments were affecting their minds, sex lives, and the city where they lived.

The title of the exhibition, Artwork for Bedrooms, refers to the intimate premises where many of the works were made, and where some were first publicly shown. The title also signals the personal character of the work. Informed by conversation and research with the artists, many works on view were originally gifts, trades or collaborations among the artists in the show, such as Colter Jacobsen’s Waterfall Mask, a photograph of a masked Sarah Cain. Alicia McCarthy will recreate a sculpture shown at Jack Hanley Gallery in 2003, a landmark work for artists in the show.

Artwork for Bedrooms is curated by CCA’s 2018 class of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice including Maddie Klett, Zhaoyu Lin, MK Meador, Cristiane Ulson Quercia, Rosa Tyhurst, and Qinyue Xu.

Catalogue and oral history
Featuring exhibited artists, the oral history expands into their vibrant community of artists, gallerists, musicians and poets, including Tariq Alvi, Devendra Banhart, Amanda Eicher, Matt Gonzalez, Jack Hanley, Xylor Jane, Kevin Killian, Donal Mosher, Darryl Smith, Margaret Tedesco, and others.

About CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice
CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice is a two-year program designed to give students a deep understanding of art, artists, galleries, and museums in order to empower their work in the art world. Its learning environment is highly interdisciplinary, offering students exposure to industrial and graphic design, architecture, visual culture studies, and conversations around sustainability in order to inform their developing practice. Alongside faculty, students work with visiting artists, writers, curators, and other museum professionals from large-scale institutions to emerging nonprofits. The acclaimed CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is an invaluable resource for the program and the site for students’ culminating exhibition.

Faculty, Past and Present
Dena Beard, Rene de Guzman, Anthony Huberman, Claudia La Rocco, Leigh Markopoulos, Marina McDougall, Fiamma Montezemolo, Julian Myers-Szupinska, Kristina Lee Podesva, Kim Nguyen, Renny Pritikin, Marina Pugliese, Rita Souther, Jordan Stein, Jamie Stevens, Astria Suparak, Elizabeth Thomas, Sarah Thornton, James Voorhies, Dominic Willsdon

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