to all the art I saw last year

My "top nine" Instagram images last year were, as usual, mostly other artists' work.

It'd be cool to flip that some year (although, isn't Instagram doing away with likes?), but in the meantime, it made me realize I/we (since I usually drag my kids along) see a lot of great art each year!

In fact, we've already been to SFMOMA once this year, since my membership was renewed as a Christmas gift. Before I get into 2020 shows, however, I thought I'd do a 2019 round-up of art I saw (implying there will at some point be a post about art I made).

First up, Masako Miki at BAMPFA:

Next: Making (It) Work - a show about juggling art and parenthood, one of my favorite topics and theoretically the subject matter of an eventual second season of my podcast - at one of CCA's galleries on the Oakland campus.

Althea Murphy-Price, Goody Girl no.2, 2018

Then we saw Altered States at Bedford Gallery (they put on four fantastic, family-friendly shows each year - we make a point to go to every one).

Kids watching Klea McKenna's ALMA

That was followed by the much-anticipated Vija Celmins show at SFMOMA. I was familiar with her work from grad school but really pleasantly surprised by her replicas of natural objects from specific sites (I have a thing for copies/replicas and duplicates, specifically).

Hans Hoffman is another artist I thought I knew pretty well but discovered a lot of pieces I'd never seen before at The Nature of Abstraction exhibition at BAMPFA.

For Spring Break we traveled to Joshua Tree, spending a day that week in Palm Springs, including time at the Palm Springs Art Museum, where I discovered several artists' work I wasn't previously familiar with, including Sonia Falcone:

Sonia Falcone, Campo de Color (Color Field), 2017.

Later in the spring we finally hiked the portion of San Francisco's Presidio that's home to several Andy Goldsworthy pieces:

Also around this time I attended a reading by Austin Kleon at a local bookstore and got ALL the books signed. This counts as "art I saw," right?

During the first week of the kids' summer break, we visited the Cartoon Art Museum for the first time.

Looking through A Fire Story by Brian Fies was incredibly powerful.

Next up, another show at the Bedford Gallery - Tradition Interrupted. I was especially intrigued by the work of Ramekon O'Arwisters.

In June we traveled to Washington, DC, where we visited the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.

We also, of course, saw Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans' Memorial:

Later that same trip we traveled slightly south to Virginia for my niece's high school graduation. While there, we visited the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. By far the highlight of that museum trip was seeing Theaster Gates' Glass Lantern Slide Pavilion, created in 2011, in person:

Man, do I love his work. In June, I went to the retrospective of another one of my favorite artists, Suzanne Lacy, first to the portion at SFMOMA, sans kids:

And later to We Are Here, the portion at YBCA, with kids. This part of the retrospective was all about Lacy's Oakland-based project The Roof Is On Fire, which I wrote about, briefly, here.

Around 4th of July I took the kids back to SFMOMA for two shows in particular: the mail art show (snap+share: transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks), which made me desperately want to update and teach my 2007-09 class - Art from Ephemera: Mail Art to the Internet. Sigh.

So much good work in that show. From there we went on to the Andy Warhol exhibition, which the kids thoroughly dug.

Later in July we took a day trip to Sacramento, visiting the Crocker Art Museum for the first time, primarily to see the work of painter Richard Jackson.

I also had my first actual Artomat experience there (I learned about the "Artists in Cellophane" when I was in grad school. My dream job is to open a cafe/gallery/reading room and get an Artomat for the space).

Right before the school year started, it was back to the Bedford Gallery for BlowUP II: Inflatable Contemporary Art. The kids were big fans of this show, as you might expect (even if slightly disappointed that they couldn't actually hug the art this time).

Shortly after school started, I visited the gallery at Kala Art Institute for the first time in ages (last time was when I worked as an administrator for the Achenbach Graphic Arts Council, pre grad school) for their show of 2018-19 residency projects. My favorite was Dahn Gim's Untitled (Peace of You).

In September, on my final day of unemployment-by-choice before I began my current paid gig, I went to the Richmond Art Center (another first!) to see the work of fellow art podcaster Nicole Mueller.

In November, we made it to the final Bedford Gallery show of the year, Off Menu: Contemporary Art About Food. My favorite piece was this one, The Processed Twenty, by Ruth Santee.

It's a nice piece to end with, don't you think (as we begin the 20s)? 

But wait, there's more! It's not exactly something I saw, but rather a little thing I made (which provides a nice segue to my next post about art I made in 2019, assuming I get around to writing that at some point soon) in response to the decade zine challenge proposed to the world by Malaka Gharib (a challenge that was also accepted by Austin Kleon, mentioned above, which is how I saw it). Here's mine:

I've really enjoyed following her (mostly on Instagram) over the past week. Check out her latest effort - a podcast episode and zine YOU CAN DOWNLOAD AND PRINT about how to create an art habit. If indeed making art is good for your mental health, this will be a good habit to develop this year, don't you think?

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