Thursday, September 13, 2007

GGP 2: Hiroshi Sugimoto at the deYoung

The New York-based Japanese photographer, Hiroshi Sugimoto (click here for his website), plays with the fine lines between painting and photography, not to mention reality and illusion.

The portrait of Queen Elizabeth above, for instance, is a huge, hyperrealistic photo of Madame Tussaud's waxworks version of the monarch.

His first major museum exhibit was assembled by the The Hirshhorn Musem in Washington, D.C. and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and is currently installed in the basement of the deYoung until September 23rd.

Though I'm not a big fan of the museum, I'd urge you not to miss this exhibit because the huge prints are spectacular, the lighting is dark, mysterious, glowing, and reproductions don't do the work justice. (To check out small prints from the exhibit, click here, but again, you need to see them in person.)

Upstairs Deborah Oropalla plays with some of the same themes, combining Photoshopped photos of "sexy women dressed as pirates, generals, leaders" and actual historical figures.

It's not as interesting as Sugimoto's work, but it has its own slightly psychedelic charm.

Not even remotely charming is the "Peter Max and the Summer of Love" exhibit.

A couple of dozen prints are hung haphazardly around what looks like a community college recreation area next to the basement bathrooms, and though I'm not a Peter Max afficionado, his work doesn't deserve to be presented in such a shoddy manner.

Update: According to Tyler Green at "Modern Art Notes" (click here), the lousy job of curating was done by none other than Peter Max himself, so I guess he does deserve the shoddy presentation.

In the museum tower, which can only be accessed via elevator...

...there was a great view of the new California Academy of Sciences, with its "eco-rooftop" which looks more interesting than the rest of the building.

In yet another consumer incursion into what was until recently a noncommercial space, another gift shop filled with crap has been installed in one corner of the tower.

I stayed long enough to take the above faux Gerhard Richter photo... match the large canvas in the soulless Wilsey Court.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interior and exterior tours...gots to get me to the park more often...


AlbGlinka said...

I must go museum hopping, thanks for the tours... there's this Works on Paper show at the Legion of Honor that I hear is excellent. Not sure if you're into that kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

i've always been an admirer of Japanese woodblock prints. Their is a simplicity of line and a sparseness of detail that suggests mystreries untold.