New book Paradigm Shifts chronicles recent exhibitions and public programs at SFAI
The San Francisco Art Institute is proud to announce the release of a new book Paradigm Shifts: Walter and McBean Galleries Exhibitions and Public Programs, San Francisco Art Institute (2006-2011), which collects images, texts, and ephemera from SFAI’s exhibitions and public programs over the past six years. During this time and under the direction of internationally renowned curator Hou Hanru, the Walter and McBean Galleries have developed an innovative approach to curating and public programming.
A book launch and signing with Hou Hanru will take place at Independent Curators International in New York on Saturday, March 10 during The Armory Show.
In 600+ pages of color images and text, Paradigm Shifts reflects a vision and strategy that brings contemporary art practice into dialogue—and confrontation—with the effects of globalization on our cultural lives and daily existence. The book is organized into sections that illustrate the five axes of investigation that guide SFAI’s programming: Global Figures, New Models of Culture and Art Production, Pacific Perspectives, Acting Out in the City, and New Voices.
Using the Walter and McBean Galleries as the nucleus of this global dialogue, SFAI’s exhibitions and public programs address urgent questions facing both the local and the international art community. Emphasizing the processes of research, production, and collaboration, the program unfolds in the tension between critiques of established models of institutional representation and experiments with new paradigms of curatorial practice. This opens up a perspective that transforms the local art scene into a globally significant force with renewed relevance. Paradigm Shifts functions as both documentation of and debate surrounding this ongoing evolution.
Paradigm Shifts features texts by Hou Hanru and Assistant Curator Mary Ellyn Johnson, as well as images and information from over 25 exhibitions, including solo exhibitions with artists Sarkis, Allora & Calzadilla, Jens Haaning, Adel Abdessemed, Yan Pei-Ming, Dan Perjovschi, On Kawara, and Shahzia Sikander, and group exhibitions such as World Factory, Geography of Transterritories, and Everyday Miracles (extended).
Compiled by Hou Hanru with Mary Ellyn Johnson, and designed by Frida Cano, a master’s student in SFAI’s Exhibition and Museum Studies program, and MFA student Lara Peso, the book was generously supported by Gallery Paule Anglim and Kadist Art Foundation.
Paradigm Shifts is available for $40 and can be purchased at the Walter and McBean Galleries, or ordered by calling 415.749.4550 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Curators
Born in Guangzhou, China, Hou Hanru is a prolific writer and curator. He received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Coming to California via Paris, where he lived for sixteen years, Hou has brought a significant international voice on cultural difference to San Francisco. Hou is a contributor to international art journals including Art in America, Flash Art, Art and Asia Pacific, and Yishu, and regularly writes for catalogues and books on contemporary art and culture. In addition to his programming at the Walter and McBean Galleries, Hou has undertaken curatorial projects including the 10th Istanbul Biennial, 2007, and the 10th Biennale de Lyon, 2009; in 2013, he will curate New Zealand’s 5th Auckland Triennial. Hou is also a consultant for several cultural institutions including the Solomon Guggenheim Museum, Deutsche Bank Collection, Kadist Art Foundation, the Times Museum (Guangzhou), and the Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai).
Mary Ellyn Johnson has been the Assistant Curator for Exhibitions and Public Programs at the San Francisco Art Institute since 2004. She came to San Francisco from rural Minnesota by way of the London Consortium, where she earned an MA in Cultural Studies. Her curatorial endeavors at the Walter and McBean Galleries have included East Meets West: Artadia Awardees 2009 Boston, and We Remember the Sun, an exhibition of contemporary West Coast artists dealing with the mirage of California’s utopian history. Prior to SFAI, Johnson worked as an Assistant Librarian at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.