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Catharine Clark Gallery: Andy Diaz Hope | Content Void Content / Kara Maria | Haywire - 12 Sept 2015 to 17 Oct 2015

Current Exhibition

12 Sept 2015 to 17 Oct 2015

Catharine Clark Gallery
248 Utah Street
San Francisco, CA
CA 94103
North America
T: +1 415 399 1439
F: +1 415 543 1338

Andy Diaz Hope, Antiprisim, 2015
Wood, mirror, glass, aluminum leaf, solder, video
70 x 23 x 20 inches

Artists in this exhibition: Andy Diaz Hope, Jon Bernson, Kara Maria

Andy Diaz Hope | Content Void Content

September 12 – October 17, 2015
Saturday, September 12 : Opening reception with the artist 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Artist talk and exhibit walk-thru 3:00 pm 

Catharine Clark Gallery presents Content Void Content, an exhibition of new work by Andy Diaz Hope in our main galleries, and a collaborative media room project with Jon Bernson. On view September 12 – October 17, 2015, Content Void Content features mirrored sculptures which combine ancient mathematics, traditional craft, and modern technology to explore unlikely sources of transcendence. An exhibition of new paintings by Kara Maria titled Haywire exhibits concurrently in our viewing room. Andy Diaz Hope, Jon Bernson, and Kara Maria will be present for the exhibition opening on Saturday, September 12, from 2-5 pm.

The exhibit occupies three separate yet interconnecting spaces in the gallery, reflecting the interplay of spirituality, science, and change which Diaz Hope explores in Content Void Content. The title of the show is ambiguous: “Content” can connote satisfied and satiated; held within or included; and more recently, refers to information made available by a website. “Void” can also be interpreted in different ways, specifically in the context of “content”. All of these meanings can be applied both to the title and the works in the exhibit depending on the personal biases and persuasions of the viewer, adding to the rich complexity underlying Diaz Hope’s latest creations. The triptych Beautiful Void anchors the front gallery, and demonstrates the piercing, arresting aesthetic Diaz Hope has honed since debuting his work with glass and mirror in Infinite Mortal in 2010. Three circular wall sculptures, based on mandalas or halos, contain at their center a mirrored void (or portal) reflecting ad infinitum. Based on the geometry of Islamic muquarnas, and also on early representations of divine light, the works serve both as contemplative spiritual guides, as well as reminders of the role that science plays in transcendence. Diaz Hope takes this idea of transformation through repetition to a new level with Antiprism, an installation of glass, metal, and video in the darkened middle gallery space. Originally created as part of Jon Bernson’s Vessel XII residency at the de Young Museum, the work is the artist’s humorous response to an internet-centric world, where ‘content aggregation’ is king—and the new and unique is almost invisible. Tasked with the improbable job of creating an interstellar navigational device, Diaz Hope instead created a retro-futuristic machine that employs a compilation of hyperspace and interstellar travel video clips gleaned from Hollywood movies to navigate the heavens and beyond. The video montage projects onto a rotating crystal within the sculpture to dazzling effect—a sardonic commentary on aesthetics outweighing use value. The media room exhibit, Beautification Machines, builds on Diaz Hope and Bernson’s 2014 collaboration, which is now part of the permanent collection at the Nevada Museum of Art. The new work doubles down on the mission of corralling the vitriol of the partisan news media with a multi-media sculpture consisting of two neutralizing poles—one with live feeds from FOX, the other from MSNBC news. Voiding partisan content, for the contentment of all, this counter-intuitive installation creates a meditative environment out of subject matter originally filled with emotional manipulation and political agenda.

Andy Diaz Hope has exhibited both nationally and internationally in venues such as the Museum of Art and Design (New York, NY); Palo Alto Art Center (Palo Alto, CA); the International Museum of Surgical Science (Chicago, IL); Museum of Contemporary Art (Denver, CO); National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne, Australia); London Crafts Council (London, UK) and many others. His work is part of the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); 21c (Louisville, KY); Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Springs, CA); the Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, CA); and the Museum of Art and Design (New York, NY), and The Nevada Museum of Art (Reno, NV). Andy Diaz Hope currently resides in San Francisco and has been exhibiting with Catharine Clark Gallery since 2005.

Jon Bernson is a San Francisco musician, writer, and multimedia artist who has released more than twenty albums under the following names: Ray’s Vast Basement, Window Twins, THEMAYS, and Exray’s (whose music was featured in David Fincher’s Academy-Award winning film, The Social Network). He is a columnist at Decoder Magazine, co-founder of the Howells Transmitter record label and resident sound designer at Tides Theatre. Bernson also founded the Urban Music Program at the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center, where he has taught electronic music and recording to youth for fifteen years.


Kara Maria

September 12, 2015 – October 17, 2015

Catharine Clark Gallery presents Haywire, an exhibition of new work by Bay Area artist Kara Maria. On view September 12 – October 17, 2015, Haywire features paintings which blend abstract and representational traditions in a visual dialogue about the bizarre, precarious, and yet alluring state of our environment.

Maria’s latest body of work brings to the fore her talent for borrowing from the broad vocabulary of contemporary painting, blending geometric shapes, vivid hues, brush marks and stains with flashes of representational elements to address social and environmental dilemmas. The animal subjects in Haywire range from the reviled to the revered— and convey an edgy vibe about the convoluted state of the natural world. Paintings completed during her 2015 Recology Artist Residency feature creatures as common and abased as the trash heaps in which they thrive—rats, mice, seagulls, crows and raccoons. In contrast, the awe-inspiring Polar Bear, Black Rhinoceros and African Penguin in her newest works are rare and exotic, endangered or near extinct. All the animals, both those that humans abhor, and those we yearn to save, are portrayed with equal inherent poise, beauty, and penetrating presence. Her figures pose complicated questions about what humans value and why. The gravity of waste and hypocrisy, and the irony of creating habitat for what we revile and killing what we treasure, is heavy in Haywire. Yet Maria possesses a unique ability in her abstract aesthetic to liberate space, depict expansion, fragmentation, folding and growth, giving the work lightness and humor. There is room in Haywire for viewers to imagine a narrative without a foregone conclusion.

The physical environment and materials accessed by Maria at Recology are key elements in the artist’s latest innovations with abstraction. Using found stretched canvases, including amateur paintings and digitally printed, mass produced artwork from IKEA, Maria overpainted the works with recycled acrylic paint from the Household Hazardous Waste program. The disjointed shapes and vibrant colors reflect the churning and frenetic environment of the sorting facility. Literally using trash as her canvas, Maria incorporates familiar influences from the 1970s pop-culture of her childhood such as Lite Brite, Colorforms, Spriograph camouflage patterns and Japanese graphic novels. She captures repetition and rhythm, often using comic book imagery to represent the invisible—sound, surprise, shock. The original works in Haywire reflect Maria’s tenacious refusal to be constrained by any one painting discipline, and her acute eye for the turbulent and disquieting connections between humans and nature.

Kara Maria is a visual artist working in painting and mixed media. Pushing the limits of sensational imagery, her work reflects on highly charged political topics—feminism, war, the environment. Her subject matter has included small renderings of various cuts of meat, interventions in acrylic paint on vintage handkerchiefs and pornographic playing cards, and large-scale, pop-inspired paintings. Maria’s approach employs a brightly colored palette that serves as an inviting façade to the political critique and environmental concerns manifested in her images of nuclear reactors, military weapons, pornographic figures, and radiation symbols. Kara Maria received her BA and MFA from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley). She has exhibited work in solo and group shows throughout the United States at venues including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Cantor Center at Stanford University; the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas; the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art; and the Katonah Museum of Art in New York, among many others. Her work has garnered critical attention in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Art in America. Maria has been awarded artist residencies at the Montalvo Arts Center, Recology Artist in Residence Program, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and at the de Young’s Artist Studio. She has been a recipient of many awards and honors, including a Jury Award from Artadia, an Eisner Prize in Art from UC Berkeley, and the Masterminds Grant from SF Weekly. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento; the San Jose Museum of Art; the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University; the di Rosa in Napa; Mills College Art Museum in Oakland; and the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, among others. In 2015, Maria had a solo exhibition at the Reynolds Gallery at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. In 2016, she will have solo exhibition at the University Art Gallery at California State University, Chico; a catalogue of the exhibition will be published. Kara Maria lives and works in San Francisco, and has exhibited with Catharine Clark Gallery since 2001. 


Catharine Clark Gallery
248 Utah Street
(Between 15th & 16th)
San Francisco, CA 94103

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