This Valentines Day, a new exhibition opened at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA).
It was Marion Gray: Within the Light, and it was located in the museum’s Gallery of California Art. It was truly an insight of the Bay Area’s art community through four decades, while putting a spotlight on a few artists, and even provided very interesting stories along the way. One such photograph was one of artist Karen Finley performing a piece titled A Suggestion of Madness. While the photo was great, the story behind it was a real eye-opener, as it stated that Finley read an excerpt from her father’s suicide note (which probably had to take a lot of nerve to do that).
There were plenty of other key works in Within the Light, which had images of very interesting and surreal performances. They include the opening of the exhibition Avedon at the Berkeley Art Museum, which pretty much served as memories of the museum’s avant-garde interior, now that location has recently closed. Another was Contraband, which brought attention to a 1975 tragedy in San Francisco, yet kind of look like a dress rehearsal for the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and a performance by artist William Twiley, which looked like something between a poetry reading and a happening. Within the Light is on view until June 21st.
OMCA had three other exhibitions; one that recently opened almost two weeks before Within the Light, and two that will be on view until late Spring. Fertile Ground was in collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which showcases the history of California art. Perhaps the essence of this exhibition lied in the period during and around the Great Depression, as they had along with works from artists including Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Sargent Johnson, the works had the most powerful messages, including John Langley Howard’s haunting The Unemployed, which drew an all-too familiar dilemma concerning the homeless. Patrons has until late April to view the exhibition.
The other two exhibitions were fairly short, but still interesting to check out. One was Bees: Tiny Insect, Big Impact, which basically told the history of the insect throughout the Bay Area, the various species, and how they contribute to food. The other was Sunshine and Superheroes, which showcased highlights of San Diego’s Comic-Con, including an attendee pass filled with buttons, and memorabilia of superheroes including Batwoman and Superman. Bees is on view until September, while Sunshine and Superheroes closes at the end of May.