sfai news

July 24, 2012

SFAI Showcases Recent Accomplishments of Faculty Tony Labat, Brett Reichman, Aaron Terry, and Zeina Barakeh

The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious contemporary art colleges, is proud to showcase the recent accomplishments of four members of its esteemed faculty.

Tony Labat, Director of MFA Programs
Personally invited by Director Jorge Fernández, Cuban-born Tony Labat exhibited a solo work for the first time in 11th Havana Biennial earlier this summer. His installation brought art to the people in, perhaps, one of the most accessible locations in downtown Havana: the Pavilion de Cuba. Labat enlisted local artisans to create an oversized pool table designed in the shape of the Cuban archipelago. Alongside the table, he erected bleacher seating, a working bar, and a large chalk wall to keep score and serve as an evolving record of the public’s engagement with his piece. Labat’s pool table became a center for dialogue among locals, artists, and tourists about Cuban and Cuban-American artists and artwork.

11th Havana Biennial took place from May-June of this year.

Brett Reichman, Faculty, Painting
Brett Reichman’s oil on canvas A Painting That Tells a Story (1997) is among the works currently on display in Contemporary Painting, 1960 to the Present at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). This exhibition of works from the museum’s permanent collection explores the continuing vitality of painting over the last 50 years. Galleries are organized around historical moments, geographic centers, and formal issues. The final painting in a series of allegorical works symbolizing lost innocence and the perils of gay sexuality, Reichman’s A Painting That Tells a Story is emblematic of the AIDS era in San Francisco and the shifting cultural landscape surrounding HIV/AIDS in the late ‘90s. The work is installed adjacent to other notable paintings born out of queer activism, including those by David Cannon Dashiell, Martin Wong, and Jerome Caja. This exhibit also showcases works from artists Joan Brown and Elmer Bischoff who mentored Reichman when he was an MFA candidate at UC Berkeley. Reichman describes his inclusion in a painting survey of this magnitude as one of the most gratifying moments of his career.

Contemporary Painting at SFMOMA runs until August 12.

Aaron Terry, Visiting Faculty, Printmaking and New Genres
Aaron Terry’s URBAN YETTI installation is a central component of the urban landscape exhibition Reimagine: That Which We Know But Don’t Realize, now on display at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco. As the latest “Room for Big Ideas” exhibit, Reimagine features three artists—Terry, photographer Joan Osato, and artist and musician Khalil Anthony—and explores the ways in which people simultaneously create and conceal meaning in landscapes, and how that process defines them in relation to their environment. Offering an alternative visual history of the Bay Area, Terry’s massive yetti installation has internal viewing chambers facing east and west, an elevated platform to provide a heightened perspective on the work, and surroundings composed entirely of supernatural flora and fauna.

Reimagine: That Which We Know But Don’t Realize at YBCA is on display until September 16.

Zeina Barakeh, Director of Graduate Administration
Zeina Barakeh is among 24 contemporary female artists selected by the Rutgers Institute for Woman and Art to participate in The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society. This fall program of exhibitions and events features artists from the Middle East and the Middle East diaspora, and examines the complex social, theological, and historic issues that shape the state of Middle Eastern women. Commenting on binary divisions, Barakeh’s installation of manipulated passports from three generations of a Palestinian-Lebanese family interrogates concepts of displacement, factionalized communities, and nationhood. Barakeh will discuss her work, along with other artists from the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, at the showcase’s main symposium: The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art and Society in the Middle East Diaspora. Barakeh’s installation will remain on view for two months at Princeton University’s Bernstein Gallery. Later in the fall, Barakeh will be discussing gender and politics in the Middle East on a panel organized by Stanley N. Katz, Director for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

The Fertile Cresent: Gender, Art, and Society programing takes place from mid-August to mid-January at several venues in Princeton and New Brunswick, New Jersey. For detailed information about the date and times of the symposium, panel, and exhibition in which Barakeh is a participant, please visit: http://fertile-crescent.org/events.html