At NIAD : March Exhibitions//

Books, Man, Organized by Mike Monteiro

“Books, man. My biggest fear in life is not having a book on me. Ever since I was a kid I’ve needed a book on my person. Whether going for a train ride, or sitting in a waiting room, or on a plane to my grandmother’s house. A book made everything tolerable. I was even willing to go to church because there were books in front of each pew, shoved in wooden boxes which also contained the odd ripped up note or dried wad of gum,” explains Mike Monteiro. “We judge each other by the books we keep. If I walk into someone’s home and don’t see books I get suspicious. 

Societies are defined by the books they leave behind, continues Monteiro. But sadly those are just a subset of the stories those societies have allowed to be told. The real truth about societies exists in the books we attempt to keep others from seeing. The BEST books, the VERY best books are the ones in this exhibition. The ones of which there are only one. The ones where a story is passed from the human being who made it, to the human being who is seeing it — one at a time.” 

Included in “Books, Man,” are artist books from Ann Meade, Arista Dawson, Sara Malpass, Karen May, Michael Nuñez, Dorothy Porter, Maria Radilla, Dorrie Reid, Bubba Trieber, Jonathan Valdivias, Jonathan Velazquez, Michael Walker and Billy White.

This is the second group exhibition Mike Monteiro has organized at NIAD Art Center. Monteiro is a San Francisco-based designer and an artist and he knows the difference between the two. He is old enough that a few things hurt. He grew up in Philadelphia. And he’s written three books. 

Recent Works From Sara Malpass

Sara Malpass continues to create her intriguing stream-of-consciousness lists, but recently she has begun to pepper the paper with symbols – hearts or sometimes flowers – that appear to personalize while at the same time abstract her choice of words to list.

Igual Que Yo/ Same As Me: Kat Geng

In Kat Geng’s latest series of assemblages, she appropriates the language of comics – in the form of speech bubbles from El Condorito to Batman – to offer a loose, and at times seemingly discordant, narration of her mixed media objects. Sourced from Bogotá, Brooklyn, The Bay Area and The Berkshires, the everyday objects that make up these eclectic compositions represent a collection of cultural influences as diverse as the media and raw materials that accompany them. “Igual Que Yo/ Same As Me” is Geng’s encoded reflection on the making, unmaking and remaking of identity through material and the written word.

Kat Geng is a Colombian-American artist based in New York City and San Francisco. Geng uses play – as a practice and an outcome – to imagine objects with renewed purpose in her colorful mixed media sculptures and installations. With a conceptual foundation and a dose of humor, Geng adopts discarded belongings and gives them fresh context through unexpected pairings often sprinkled with scribbles, scrawls or gestural brush strokes.  

After earning a B.A. in Art History from Bard College, Geng received her objects training in art conservation at The Williamstown Art Conservation Center, MA. Geng has recently had solo exhibitions at Royal Nonesuch Gallery in Oakland and Black & White Projects in San Francisco and was a Counterpulse Artist Activator in 2018.  

Record Revival: Christian Vassell

Back in 2013, when NIAD artist Christian Vassell first began creating work at the Art Center, one of his initial projects was to paint monochrome acrylics — slathered to an almost cake-icing consistency – on found 33 rpm albums. With the increase in popularity of vinyl record collecting, it seems like a great time to revisit a selection of Vassell’s premiere work.

NIAD is located at 551 23rd Street in Richmond California. The exhibitions are on view from March 4-28, 2019. Opening reception is Saturday, March 16 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm with a DJ set from Bill Zindel.