December 15, 2018June 23, 2019

Ordinary Objects / Wild Things

Since the seventeenth century, the still-life genre has attracted artists keen to describe in visual terms the ordinary objects of everyday life. Early in the genre’s history, verisimilitude was a primary concern in assessing the still life’s success, but in today’s artistic practice, it is no longer a categorical requirement. Over the past fifty years, artists from a broad range of stylistic perspectives have approached and expanded the genre; the artworks selected for Ordinary Objects / Wild Things exemplify this diversity. Some of the objects populating this group of prints conform to our traditional expectations. But static objects are not the only things that populate these prints. In many, these same articles have turned “wild,” redesigned for unconventional and unexpected use. Artists such as Claes Oldenburg and Jasper Johns have made a habit of deploying ordinary objects to these unruly, extraordinary ends.

The exhibition heavily features Bay Area artists and those working at California-based print publishers. Additional artists include Ruth Asawa, Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jill Sylvia.

Image: Claes Oldenburg, John Slivon (printer), Multiples, Inc. (publisher), Crown Point Press, "Floating Three-Way Plug (Archive Proof for)" (detail), 1976. Color spit bite aquatint, etching and soft ground etching on Arches 88 paper, Image: 1073 x 825 mm (42 1/4 x 32 1/2 in.); Sheet: 1248 x 976 mm (49 1/8 x 38 7/16 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Crown Point Press Archive, Gift of Kathan Brown, 1991.28.97. © Claes Oldenburg