January 16 – March 2, 2014
Curated by Weston Teruya, part II of the Artist Annual, FEATURE, highlights the work of 8 exceptional artists chosen from the 200+ participants in ARRAY. Participating artists include: Marcela Florez, Toni Gentili, Joanna Kao, Jane Norling, Ann Schnake, Pallavi Sharma, Leigh Wells and Ealish Wilson.
Weston Teruya, Sole Juror for "Feature" Show, Kenneth Baker for SF Chronicle click to read...
How an Exhibition Juror Chooses What the Public Sees, Kenneth Baker for SFGate click to read...
Not Alone, Sarah Burke for East Bay Express click to read...
FEATURE represents an exciting risk on the part of the Berkeley Art Center. The exhibition highlights the work of a select group of eight artists drawn from the rich survey of single pieces presented in the annual members’ exhibition, Array. Supporting larger projects or a series of artwork by any artist based on the provocation of one small piece is tricky. But it is an act rooted in genuine faith in the Center’s artists, their practices, and ideas. While there was no time in jurying this show for studio visits with potential artists, this also opened the door for unexpected links to emerge between artists. Through those connections, Feature builds on commonalities and helps to identify some of the artistic themes in our artistic community.
In narrowing down the group of artists, a web of connections between their practices became more apparent. All eight artists share an investment in thoughtful material experimentation that allowed their piece to stand out in the broader members’ show. While they work in different media, they each conveyed a clear sense of intention behind the way they shaped their pieces, made formal choices, and even named their work. But the dialogue between artists also extended to their thematic investigations. Several of the artists explore the textures and conditions of place and belonging. These works range from Jane Norling’s paintings and digital landscapes or Joanna Kao’s collaged glass panes to Marcela Florez’s and Pallavi Sharma’s very different investigations of the stakes of movement across geopolitical boundaries and the creation of home. And while Ealish Wilson’s installations revel in architectural and craft experimentation, they rise out of her own travels and research into different textile cultural traditions. Others have turned inward to look at the body and its environment, including Toni Gentilli’s transmuted photographic prints examining the chemistry of the body and Ann Schnake’s installations and performances that find the visceral impact of environmental and economic decline. Leigh Wells’ works on paper echo some of the bodily forms of Schnake or the collage surface of Kao, but she ultimately creates work that quietly evades any concretization of content.
FEATURE is built on the unwavering belief that the selected artists have a commitment to their craft and concepts that is sustained across their work and that deserves our support. Not only does this show give a sense of the richness and depth of the work being produced in the region, but also begins to create linkages across disparate practices.