Visitors enjoy the 2011 MFA Graduate Exhibition at the Winery SF on Treasure Island.

East Meets West: Artadia Awardees 2009
Thursday, July 14 - Saturday, September 10, 2011
Walter and McBean Galleries
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco,

East Meets West is a group exhibition of the 2009 Boston Artadia Awardees, curated by Mary Ellyn Johnson, Assistant Curator at the Walter and McBean Galleries, as part of the New Voices section of SFAI’s Exhibitions and Public Programs. The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm.

The New Voices initiative and the nonprofit organization Artadia share the goal of encouraging young curators, artists, and activists by providing them with spaces and strategies to present their projects. Artadia Awards are determined through a jury process that engages nationally prominent curators, artists, and critics with the work of local artists and regional art scenes. East Meets West features seven Boston-based artists: Claire Beckett, Ambreen Butt, Caleb Cole, Raul Gonzalez, Eric Gottesman, Amie Siegel, and Joe Zane. The show is part of the Artadia Exhibitions Exchange program, a groundbreaking initiative to foster dialogue and exchange among artists, peer organizations, and arts communities around the country. Current partner cities are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Artadia Awardees 2009 Boston

Claire Beckett: In the series In Training and Simulating Iraq, Beckett provokes people to think about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our responses as a society to these events. In Simulating Iraq, Beckett presents photographs made on military bases within the U.S., in fabricated spaces designed to mimic Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ambreen Butt: Working from the rich imagery of mass media and archival resources, Butt’s visual vocabulary references issues of war, violence, resistance, gender, and power struggle. Educated in the tradition of Persian and Indian miniaturist painting, Butt uses evocative female figures to create a complex vision of traditional and contemporary cultures colliding. 

Caleb Cole: Cole presents selected work from his Other People’s Clothes series. For this series, Cole creates stories for strangers based on narratives of isolation and desire, imagining their private life and how they construct their identity. Cole then reconstructs these private moments in photographs, beginning with an outfit or piece of clothing (either bought, found, or borrowed), then choosing a location, and finally embodying the character in a silent moment alone.

Raul Gonzalez: For this exhibition Gonzalez will create a site specific mural work titled El Humo Limpia todo excepto…  (The Smoke Cleanses everything but…). Inspired by dusty border towns and visions of the Old West, the epic scroll-like mural depicts scenes from violent newspaper headlines, spaghetti westerns, cultural stereotypes, and the samurai prints of Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Decapitated heads, roosters wielding pistols and knives, and an assortment of undesirables litter the landscape that Gonzalez refers to as Tranquilandia.

Eric Gottesman: In a photographic series entitled Studio Karmen and the video Another Beautiful, Gottesman documents his interaction with photographer Ahmad Taher al-Sefferini, in Amman, Jordan, whom he first met in 2006. Ahmad’s photography studio was established in 1970, and he has made his own backdrops for the local residents to pose in front of, including a hand-sculpted recreation of Sefferin, Ahmad’s childhood village in Palestine.

Amie Siegel: Siegel’s three-part work Black Moon is composed of the video Black Moon, a partial remake of Louis Malle’s 1975 film of the same title; a series of photographs derived from the hole punches, or black moons, typically cut by the motion picture laboratory into the first frame of action in a film negative; and a 2-channel video installation that places an original 1975 interview with Louis Malle about his film against a shot-for-shot version in which the artist herself plays Malle.

Joe Zane: The audience is the most important part of Zane’s work. In the pieces Wish your way to the Whitney, I’m so fortunate to get to make my art, and Gold Star, Zane reflects upon the experience of receiving an award (Artadia), and takes advantage of the exhibition’s location at an art school to deliver a message to students.

SFAI’s exhibitions and public programs are made possible in part by the Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund. The Artadia Exhibitions Exchange is made possible through lead funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts. Additional support is provided by two anonymous family foundations, Judith Alexander Foundation, The Graue Family Foundation, Houston Endowment Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, and many generous individuals.