CROSSING OVER: Enrique Chagoya's 2007 etching 'Border Patrol on Acid' shows in the fall exhibit 'From Their Studios,' opening Sept. 16 at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford.
Fall Arts Guide 2009
A STRONG Mexican flavor permeates the fall arts season. MACLA, the center for Latino arts, celebrates its 20th year with a big party on Sept. 4 as part of First Friday along South First Street. The event features music by band Quetzal and coincides with the opening of La Reconquista, a show by Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Mexican-American brothers who jam together blown- and flame-worked glass creations with found objects to create complex mashups of pre-Hispanic ritual art with Catholic icons and pop-culture flotsam and jetsam. The brothers often create large-scale installations that convert ancient structures into treasure troves of surreal kitsch, such as the Aztec stepped pyramid covered with tuck-and-roll naugahyde that they constructed inside MACLA in 1996. This potent, nothing-is-sacred stew of symbols is compelling and provocative—so much so that in 1995 a vandal smashed some de la Torre pieces at another MACLA show. When was the last time a work of art had the power to inspire the masses like that?
Josť Miguel Covarrubias (1904–1957), another astute reviver of pre-Hispanic arts, will be saluted during the Mariachi and Mexican Heritage Festival, with help from History San Josť. Born in Mexico and moving to New York in the Jazz Age, Covarrubias was prodigious talent—caricaturist, painter, set designer, author and anthropologist. He drew cartoons for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, studied Balinese, American Indian and Meso-American cultures and, of special interest in the Bay Area, painted six murals for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. After years in storage, the murals were sent to Mexico for restoration. Four of the murals (and some other samples of Covarrubias' art) will be displayed at San Jose's City Hall starting Sept. 22, their first public appearance in many years.
One of the best collections of Mexican art in California used to be housed at the Mexican Museum in San Francisco's Fort Mason. The museum closed in 2006 in anticipation of moving to a new home. To keep some of the museum's remarkable collection before the public, the Palo Alto Art Center is presenting Treasures From the Mexican Museum: A Spirited Legacy (opening Sept. 26), which samples selections from the museum's holdings in pre-Hispanic, Colonial-era, modern and folk art. Artists represented will include Orozco, Posada, Rivera, Tamayo and and Covarrubias.
One of the leading artists in our area exploring the Mexican-American experience is Enrique Chagoya, who teaches at Stanford. Chagoya, like the de la Torres, is a master Osterizer of symbols from different eras and cultures. In "Illegal Aliens Guide to America" (2006), for instance, a scantily clad cantina dancer wearing an Aztec headdress addresses a shrine to a bleeding Jesus. This work and others by a baker's dozen of Stanford art instructors are part of an intriguing show coming to the Cantor Art Center in September called From Their Studios. In addition to Chagoya, the exhibits exposes works by photographers Robert Dawson and Lukas Felzmann, painter Kevin Bean (who contributes a potent meeting of Lincoln, Jesus and Julie Andrews in "Sound of Music" drag), sculptor John Edmark and video artists Jan Krawitz and Gail Wight.
In other art news, the San Jose Museum of Art plans to double down on MACLA by celebrating its 40th anniversary. The occasion will be marked with a gala dinner and party on Oct. 17 at the Fairmont Hotel. For the fall, the museum offers three exhibits devoted to big names: a current display of Alexander Calder mobiles, jewelry and works on paper; an exquisite collection of small-size early Ansel Adams prints; and a look at the print-making skills of Chuck Close, famous as a painter of wall-size photo-realist portraits.
BLOWING GLASS AND MINDS: 'Mitosis' gives an idea of the wild glass constructions of the de la Torre brothers.
366 S. First St., San Jose; Tuesday–Friday, noon–7pm, Saturday, noon–5pm; 408.271.5155.
Working in White: Runs through Sept. 19.
Exsitu, Insitu, Spanish artist Sam3 creates shadow pieces on urban walls: Runs through Sept. 19.
Cantor Arts Center
Stanford University; closed Wednesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm, Thursday till 8pm; 650.723.4177.
From the Bronze Age of China to Japan's Floating World: Runs through Oct. 18.
From Their Studios: Sept. 16–Jan. 3.
Frank Lobdell Figure Drawings: Nov. 11–Feb. 21.
De Saisset Museum
Santa Clara University; Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–4pm; free; 408.554.4528.
The Art of Richard Mayhew: Journey's End: Sept. 26–Dec. 4.
A Sense of Place: Location/Inspiration, works in various media by William Keith Hernrietta Shore, Nathan Oliveira and others: Sept. 26–Dec. 4.
The Eclectic Eye: Works From a Private Collection, a mix of big-name artists from an anonymous donor: Sept. 26–Dec. 4.
De Anza College, Cupertino; Monday–Thursday, 10am–4pm; 408.864.8836.
In Between: The Tension and Attraction of Difference, group show about shifting perceptions: Sept. 29–Nov. 25.
History San Josť
History Park, 1605 Senter Road, San Jose; Tuesday–Sunday, noon–5pm; free; 408.287.2290.
She Made It!, local arts and crafts: Runs through Sept. 27.
Home Front, Santa Clara Valley during World War II: Runs through Jan. 31, 2010.
Wayne Jiang, paintings by SJSU grad—Nov. 27–May 2010.
510 S. First St., San Jose; Wednesday–Thursday, noon–7pm, Friday–Saturday, noon–5pm; free; 408. 998.ARTE.
La Reconquista, works in glass and mixed-media by Einar and Jamex de la Torre:
Sept. 2–Oct. 24, artists' talk Oct. 15.
Twentieth Anniversary Block Party: Sept. 4, 6–11pm.
Gen N, young and midcareer artists on the idea of growing up bilingually: November–December.
Community School of Music and Arts, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View; Monday–Friday, 9am–7pm, Saturday, 9am–3pm; 650.917.6800.
Brian Wasson, sculptures: Runs through Sept. 21.
Kevin Bean, paintings: October through November, reception Oct. 16 at 6pm.
Eduaro Carrillo, paintings, and Francisco Pancho Jimenez, sculptures: Opening Dec. 11.
Montalvo Arts Center
15400 Montalvo Road, Saratoga; daily 11am–3pm; 408.961.5800.
Ruin Map, local Vietnamese-Americans and Japanese-Americans explore deep memories in woodblock prints displayed throughout the community: Runs through Dec. 31.
Enjoy Your Time, samples from photo and video projects by Connie Samaras: Runs through Sept. 6 in the Project Space.
The Mexican Tapes, a video series about border issues by Louis Hock: Sept. 11–Nov. 1 in the Project Space.
Mingwei Lee: Grandfather's Incline, an outdoor installation: Nov. 6–Jan. 3.
Ingram Marshall/Jim Bengston, a performance piece combining sound collages and projected photographs: Nov. 21 at 8pm in the Carriage House.
Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Rd., Palo Alto; Tuesday–Saturday, 10am–5pm, Sunday, 1-5pm, plus 7–9pm Thursday; 650.329.2366.
Radius 2009; Stephen De Staebler; Danae Mattes: All three shows end Aug. 30.
Treasures From the Mexican Museum: A Spirited Legacy: Sept. 26–April 18.
Great Glass Pumpkin Patch, display and auction of art glass: Sept. 29–Oct. 4.
San Jose City Hall
Downtown San Jose, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
The Lost Murals of Covarrubias, presented by San Josť Mariachi and Mexican Heritage Festival and History San Josť: Opens Sept. 22–March 2010.
San Jose Museum of Art
110 S. First St., San Jose; Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm; 408.294.2787.
Alexander Calder: Color in Motion, mobiles, jewelry and works on paper: Runs through Dec. 13.
Todd Schorr: American Surreal: Runs through Sept. 16.
Variations on a Theme, works by contemporary artists: Runs through Feb. 7, 2010.
Ansel Adams: Early Works: Sept. 5–Feb. 28.
Chuck Close Prints, Process and Collaboration: Oct. 6–Jan. 10.
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
520 S. First St., San Jose; Tuesday–Sunday, 10am–5pm; 408.971.0323.
The World According to Joyce Gross: Runs through Oct. 25.
Fabric Tattoos, the Spirit of the Mola: Runs through Oct. 25.
High Fiber Under Five, sale of fiber art: Oct. 30–Nov. 8.
Still Crazy, an exhibit of crazy quilts: Nov. 17–Feb. 7.
San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
560 S. First St., San Jose; Tuesday–Friday, 10am–5pm, Thursday till 8pm, Saturday, noon–5pm; 408.283.8155.
Ice Floe, an installation by Christel Dillbohner: Runs through Sept. 20.
NextNew Green, environmental art: Runs through Sept. 20.
Fall Exhibition and Auction: Oct. 2–24.
Repurpose, artists working with recycled material: Nov. 7–Jan 23.
Theodora Varnay Jones: Nov. 7–Feb. 20.
Natalie & James Thompson Gallery
San Jose State University, Art Building, San Jose; 408.924.4328
Manufactured, objects that combine and question art, craft and design: Runs through Sept. 25.
Collaborations: Robert Hudson and Richard Shaw, two Bay Area sculptors: Oct. 6–Nov. 6.
Pre-Postmodern Swiss Posters: Nov. 17–Dec. 18.
Triton Museum of Art
1505 Warburton Ave., Santa Clara; Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm, Thursday till 9pm; 408.247.3754.
Patricia Bengston-Jones, Life Journey Motion, sculptures: Runs through Sept. 27.
Aki Mori, Rain, photographs: Runs through Oct. 4.
Contemporary Still Lifes: Runs through Sept. 7.
Pastel Society of the West Coast: Runs through Sept. 27.
A Closer Look, Terry Kreiter, Darrell Phelps, Lynn Todaro: Oct. 10–Dec. 6.
Terry Acebo Davis: Oct. 5–Nov. 29.
Kerry Vander Meer: Oct. 10–Nov. 29.
451 S. First St., San Jose; 408.256.6250.
Polar Identity, group show by CADRE New Media: Runs through Sept. 11.
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