Electric Works: Brisbane's Trillium Press Is Reborn

What a location! This former machine shop on the corner of Eighth and arty Minna streets will be easy to find in the Yellow Pages. Former Trillium Press partners haven't changed the name from the Buzzell Building's former incarnation. Big curved orange steel tracks are suspended from the ceiling and dangle pulleys overhead; they used to hoist large motors from one side of the building to another but now serve as inspiration for a George Lucas Star Wars creature. The gallery has inherited opaque sandblasted street-facing windows from the pervious inhabitants; the result is insulation from the gritty neighborhood surroundings and a pristine art-viewing environment.

Trillium Press now Electric Works is most famous for letting the artists they collaborate with do just about anything they want. If you wanted to bring back the puffy-changey-googly-eyed sticker as fine art this would be the place to do it. Their equipment is state of the art; huge electric printing press machines shaped like coffins on legs sport sleek names like Pegasus, Columbus, Triton and Valkyrie.

Principal Richard Lang has collaborated with many famous artists since the publishing program was founded in 2000. The names Enrique Chagoya, Nathan Oliveira and William T. Wiley should whet your appetite to peruse the online gallery: http://www.sfelectricworks.com/gal/gal.php
Tucker Nichols and Katherine Sherwood have the honor of the inaugural show. May 11–June 23

Electric Works; 130 8th St. San Francisco, CA 94101 (415) 626-5496, open Monday-Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Saturday: 10:30 am - 4:30 pm, http://www.sfelectricworks.com/

Nichols, Tucker: Brainy Placemat Doodles

This series of lunch room placemat art, “Placemats,” will tempt you to borrow your kids’ crayons at the dinner table. It will make you say out loud, “I could have done that.” Except you couldn’t, because you didn’t spend eight years total studying Chinese art history at Brown (BA '93) and Chinese painting at Yale (MFA '98). Don’t confuse the short phrases with naivete or simple- mindedness. His brainy doodles are iconic symbols of modern life and his captions are succinct poems. His past installation wall paintings are modern day ancient Chinese landscape paintings.

Tucker’s work resonates because it is a return to low tech in this high tech world. Seeing Tucker’s hand drawn pen and ink cartoons and wall drawings allows the viewer to relax, let down his guard, and be a part of the moment or a part of the joke, whichever the case may be. It doesn’t hurt that he is also a tall, handsome guy with a winning personality. At the Electric Works opening he held court with a throng of friends and fans around him all at once. Locals will appreciate that Tucker's work has been featured in McSweeny's and The Believer. He has shown a few times at his good friend Charles Linder's gallery, Lincart. Subscribe to his blog at http://www.tuckernichols.com/

Confidential to Art History geeks: I felt great relief when I read Tucker’s review of the 2003 Philip Guston retrospective at SFMOMA. Sometimes a mound of giant cherries is just a mound of giant cherries. http://www.stretcher.org/archives/r1_a/2003_09_02_r1_archive.php

This show $40-$750

Sherwood, Katherine: This Is Your Brain On Archival Digital Pigment Print

Katherine Sherwood’s story is remarkable. The lifelong artist and Cal Professor suffered a stroke in 1997 at the age of 44 and then her art got even better. After the stroke she taught herself how to paint left-handed and her work evolved, becoming freer and more fluid.

Amorphous, glossy vivid color dances around real medical xrays of brains and magnified genes. The bright red and noxious greens are remarkably harmonious. The mysterious organic forms are reminders of our primordial soup origins. Science geeks will not be alone in finding these works intriguing.

Well established before her illness, the awards and shows continued to flow after that: The 1999 SF Art Institute’s Adaline Kent Award for an outstanding, yet under-recognized California artist; inclusion in the Whitney Biennial 2000, and the 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship Award for contributing to our nation's educational and cultural well-being, to name a few.

She received her B.A from the University of California at Davis and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has been a Professor of Art at Cal since 1989, now teaching an innovative course she designed called Art, Medicine & Disability. In San Francisco she is represented by the Paule Anglim Gallery.

This show $1400-$1800