Sean Talley at Jancar Jones Gallery: Spare Meets Sparer

Sean Talley at Jancar Jones Gallery, June 6 – 28, 965 Mission St. Suite 120, between 5th and 6th Streets, San Francisco, 94103, (415) 281-3770,, Thu-Sat 12-6

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The Jancar Jones Gallery itself deserves an award for its supporting performance in Sean Talley’s first solo show. The art and the exhibition space happen to be complementary exhibitions in restraint.

Talley’s silkscreen prints on paper (in editions of two and five) are distant cousins to Ellsworth Kelly’s primary colored shaped canvasses and Kazimir Malevich’s stark colored graphic shapes on white background from his Suprematist period.

The clean backgrounds of these prints are startlingly pure. Printed geometric shapes like “Yellow Triangle” and “Orange Rectangle” make their white paper vibrate with energy. Stand outs in the show include: “White Rectangle” (delicate white on white) and her companion, “Black Rectangle.” “Green Curve,” is an exquisite tease. Framed, $250-$550, floating mount.

Talley's resume and blog list primarily video work. This is the artist's first experience with printmaking and traditional visual art, though the influence of his nine-to-five job as a graphic designer shows through. Talley honed his printmaking skills after receiving his BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute by taking classes at the Mission Cultural Center.

Smallest Gallery in San Francisco

Jancar Jones Gallery is a diminutive 75 square feet of exhibition space that feels like a perfect reproduction of a whitewashed Chelsea warehouse space in miniature.

965 Mission Street is a funky building that time forgot between downtrodden Sixth and burgeoning Fifth Streets. Designed in 1909 by “starchitectAlbert Pissis for the California Casket Company, you’ll feel like you’re entering a Dashiell Hammett novel as you wait for JJ to buzz you in. (Other famous Pissis- rhymes with crisis- buildings are The White House department store on Sutter and Grant, now Banana Republic, and The Emporium, now Bloomingdale’s.) Once you’re inside, follow the reassuring signs through labyrinthine hallways to the gallery suite. A half flight of stairs services only this petite space, and makes it bigger by doubling as a foyer.

Ava Jancar is the daughter of Tom Jancar of Jancar Gallery in Los Angeles, who showed such artists as Richard Prince in the 70s and has a new space that launched in late ’06 (Richard Prince is the guy who made the Marlboro Man into a work of art). Young Jancar received her BA in Art History from UCLA and completed one year of her MFA in Curatorial Studies from SFAI before they cut the program (Curatorial Studies was later reinvented as Exhibition and Museum Studies). She splits her time between her new business and her job as an assistant at Jack Hanley Gallery on Valencia and 14th.

Jancar met her business partner, Eric Jones, through the SFAI network after graduation. Jones received his BFA in the SFAI New Genres program. In addition to being responsible for the pristine look of the Jancar Jones Gallery, he is the Store Graphic Artist at Whole Foods.

Artists who have shown at JJG since its opening include Lucas DeGiulio (group show in March), whose work was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial and was a finalist for the 2008 SFMOMA SECA Award.

Jancar and Jones describe their aesthetic as clean and precise, not too flashy, and leaning towards non-representational: decidedly post-Mission School and perfectly in keeping with their jewel-box of a gallery.