New Exhibitions at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art on View until June 2018
Two new exhibitions at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Ship of Dreams: Artists, Poets and Visionaries of the S.S. Vallejo, and Her View: The Bay Area Figuration of Gail Chadell Nanao, are now on view through June 10, 2018.
Ship of Dreams: Artists, Poets and Visionaries of the S.S. Vallejo
The San Francisco Bay Area has made its own distinctive contributions to the evolution of art and culture in many ways and in particular during the Beat Era. The exhibition, Ship of Dreams: Artists, Poets and Visionaries of the S.S. Vallejo, tells the story of how a decommissioned ferry boat became an important setting in the cultural history of California and the United States. Moored on the north side of Sausalito in 1949, the S.S. Vallejo became the dynamic home and creative incubator for artists, musicians, and literary luminaries. The celebrated list of characters, both famous and infamous, includes Allen Ginsberg, Gordon Onslow Ford, Jean Varda, Wolfgang Paalen, Alan Watts, and their cohorts.
Ship of Dreams: Artists, Poets and Visionaries of the S.S. Vallejo is the first exhibition to examine the spectrum of creative life aboard the S.S. Vallejo from 1949 to 1969. It was a pivotal period in the development of California and American culture with many of its thought leaders gravitating around this singular place on the edge of San Francisco Bay. Their creative works were often inspired by Surrealist and visionary perspectives along with theories of existentialism, Zen, and indigenous and non-Western cultures, as well as other states of consciousness. On display are significant works of art by Onslow Ford, Varda, Wolfgang Paalen, Roberto Matta, Ruth Asawa, Lee Mullican, Fritz Rauh, J.B. Blunk, and others.
This exhibition was developed in collaboration between SVMA and the Lucid Art Foundation, which was established to support artists who explore the concepts of arts and consciousness.
Her View: The Bay Area Figuration of Gail Chadell Nanao
In this first solo retrospective of work by Gail Chadell Nanao, the artist is recognized for her association with the Bay Area Figurative movement of the 1950s, as well as the development of her painting style in her current work. Having studied at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) in the early 1960s with Nathan Oliveira and James Weeks, Nanao’s early work clearly reflects the exuberant brushwork of Abstract Expressionism combined with the resurfacing of the figure as promoted by David Parks and Elmer Bischoff, and thus places her among the second generation Bay Area Figurative artists, such as Joan Brown, Manuel Neri, and Bruce McGaw.
Figurative Studies Master Class with Gail Chadell Nanao
Saturday, May 5, 2018, 9 a.m. to noon
Workshop with artist Gail Chadell Nanao. Participants will work with a live nude model creating studies in charcoal and ink. Members $90, Non-members $105
Gail Chadell Nanao in Conversation with Susan Landauer
Sunday, May 6, 2018, 3 p.m.
Artist Gail Chadell Nanao talks with Susan Landauer, the curator of SVMA’s exhibition Her View: The Bay Area Figuration of Gail Chadell Nanao. Nanao and Landauer will discuss the circumstances of Nanao's life that brought her to San Francisco from New York in 1959, and her emergence, departure, and re-emergence onto the Bay Area art scene. Members $12, Non-members $20
Gerd Stern in Conversation with Neeli Cherkovski
Saturday, May 19, 2018, 3pm
In conjunction with Ship of Dreams: Artists, Poets, and Visionaries of the S.S. Vallejo, Gerd Stern, a major figure among San Francisco’s Beat generation, will talk with Neeli Cherkovski about his work and his experiences as part of the art scene on the S.S. Vallejo. Neeli Cherkovski is a San Francisco poet and biographer. Among Cherkovski's memoirs is Whitman's Wild Children, which looks at twelve Beat poets, including Michael McClure, James Broughton, Bob Kaufman, Allen Ginsberg, as well as a biography of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Members $20, Non-members $35
The Work and Influence of Gordon Onslow Ford
June 2, 2018, 3 p.m.
Susan M. Anderson, art historian and curator, talks about the work of Gordon Onslow Ford, the last surviving member of the Paris Surrealists, and a central figure in the Dynaton exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art (now SFMOMA) in 1951. In 1949, Onslow Ford along with the poet Jean Varda and architect Forrest Wright, became the first co-owners of the decommissioned Sausalito ferry boat, the S.S. Vallejo. Through his work with J.B. Blunk, Lee Mullican, Wolfgang Paalen, Luchita Hurtado, and others during this time, Onslow Ford helped set the tone for much of the art in Northern California in the 1950s.