There’s Reality, And Then There’s California, Organized By Jessica Snow
The title of the exhibition, loosely based on an Edward Abbey quote, suggests a world of visionaries, imagination seekers, day trippers, tricksters, and wanderers. In California, where water, sun, mountains, trees, cities and people comingle and morph endlessly—a state of fantastical dreams and the momentary terror upon waking, a landscape of beauty and danger, a paradise becoming ruinous by degrees, it’s here along the furthest shore of possibility that the cool collides with epiphany in material form. California has provided ample imaginative fodder for artists, and the artists I’ve selected for this show tell tales with painted landscapes where one might feel at once the comfort of home and hopelessly lost, both anchored in the real and fetched-out afar, whether they’re riding a storm, a wave, a freeway, or a whim —each responding to the land with a uniquely singular vision.
Works from both the neurodiverse artists at NIAD as well as neurotypical California artists are featured in “There’s Reality, And Then There’s California,” including Angela Campbell, Deatra Colbert, Luis Estrada, Jon Fukui, David Huffman, Tracey Kessler, James Heartsill, Scott Hewicker, Jesus Salas, Jennifer Beedon Snow, William Swanson and Marie Van Elder.
Jessica Snow is an artist, educator, and curator based in San Francisco. This is the second group exhibition she’s curated for NIAD Art Center.
Put-Ons: Dan Nelson
Remixing a practice that has involved shapes, silhouettes, and symbols with the t-shirt format he uses in his apparel brand experiment Custom Flotilla, the objects in Dan Nelson’s “Put-Ons” series reveal, disguise, and perform. They are flat sculptures made of thin plywood and fabric, paint, gold leaf, fishing net, found artwork, and more. Each one is named after a song and, like a song, creates a self-contained world where object and viewer can try on an idea or emotion, or put on an attitude or a persona. They form an exciting bridge from Nelson’s past conceptual work to a new, material-first approach. They have stepped into the Superman phone booth as representations and emerged as identities, turning the cultural symbol of the t-shirt inside-out.
Neurotyplcal artist Dan Nelson has exhibited regularly throughout the Bay Area, including shows at Boontling, Swarm, ProArts, and Compound Gallery. In addition to creating objects and sound pieces, he is also the author of the hilarious essay-turned-into-book, All Known Metal Bands (McSweeney’s).
This is Dan Nelson’s first solo show at NIAD Art Center.
“There’s Reality, And Then There’s California” and “Put-Ons” are on view June 1-29, 2019 at NIAD Art Center’s galleries, 551 23rd Street in Richmond. Closing reception is Saturday, June 29 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm with a DJ set from HORSE.