NOW THROUGH OCTOBER 25, 2013
Long known for it powerful abstract paintings, NIAD Art Center has a secret… a cadre of its artists also produce an amazing and vibrant body of work that, well, looks at bodies. Following in the painterly footsteps firmly established by the first generation of Bay Area Figurative painters, NIAD’s artists have found numerous ways to re-invigorate the tradition. Featured in the show will be paintings and works on paper – some recent, some from our archives — from Billy White, Eddie Braught, Sylvia Fragoso, Kevin Randolph and Erica Martinez.
Kathleen King’s painted constructions begin with scraps of wood found in streets, building sites, and dumpsters. The artist creates an abstract vocabulary with spray-painted markings, gradated color, and blunt geometry that explores the relationships between the urban environment and the emotions and behavior of its inhabitants. Taking a psycho geographic approach, King wanders transitional East Bay neighborhoods, corresponding in earnest empathy with phenomena and objects encountered, cultivating an awareness of the ways in which everyday life is conditioned and controlled, as well as the evidence that control can be subverted.
Earlier this year, we created a pop-up shop that offered free slightly used but very readable contemporary literature (and some classics, too). We asked Maurice Stradford, one of our artists, to create the signs. Due to a misunderstanding he made signage that read “The Maurice Stradford Free Bookstore.” We went with it, and the store was hugely popular. So, we’re gonna do it again, but as with everything we do, this time it will be bigger. The newly re-vamped The Maurice Stradford Free Bookstore will offer loads of great contemporary lit and free artist zines from around the country. That’s right, free. And because we owe Maurice one for the signs, we’re going to put up a mini-retrospective of his colorful and figurative pencil drawings as well.
(featured image: Shirley How, “Untitled” (detail), acrylic on canvas 9 x 12″ unique 2013)