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While the Color Painting movement now enjoys multi-national attention, it can claim substantial roots in the Bay Area, stemming perhaps from the time Still and Rothko spent teaching here. Joseph Marioni and Phil Sims attended the San Francisco Art Institute. Anne Appleby studied at UC Berkeley. John Meyer worked here. David Simpson and John Zurier continue to do so. Color Painting belongs as much to our regional heritage as the figuration of Park, Bischoff and Diebenkorn.

Working steadily in his San Francisco studio, Joseph Hughes has exerted an influence on the Color Painters of his generation comparable to John Graham's on DeKooning, Gorky, and their circle. He has set an example, gracefully navigating the complex flow between the immaterial aura of color, the physical fact of the painted image, and the fluid nature of the painting process. I'm honored to be able to present a selection of his recent work for the second show in the room for painting.

Joseph Hughes Exhibition Opening Joseph Hughes
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For the second show in the room for paper, I feel fortunate to be able to work with Bay Area photographer Nina Zurier, coming fresh off her major exhibition in the San Marco Gallery at the Dominican University in San Rafael. Over the past several years, Nina has garnered a well deserved reputation as a colorist, and color is indeed central to her expression. I would like to draw attention as well to her accomplishment as an iconic artist, a maker of arresting and memorable images. What I find remarkable is the depth of Nina Zurier's insight. She manages somehow to stay beneath the turbulence, keeping her vision as she moves seamlessly from the abstract to the specific, from an uninflected field of color to a portrait of a chair. Nina plays with time. Her work is as much about anticipation as about memory. It stretches boundaries. We begin to discover an unexpected cohesion when we compare works that may initially seem diverse, and in so doing, we begin to make entry into her remarkable world view.

Nina Zurier Exhibition Opening Nina Zurier
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I am very happy that Judith Belzer has chosen to open the inaugural exhibition in the room for painting with selections from her series, The Inner Life of Trees. I can't think of another painter working today, with the possible exception of Brice Marden, who so naturally couples linear drawing with color-light. These paintings oblige us to reconsider the term realism. Much will be made of their subject matter, which is fitting since the title for the series begs this consideration. They are accurate and revealing renderings of their motif, not just trees but the cracking, open bark of trees, at once surface and deep core. For all their descriptive detail, however, they achieve a level of clarity in their execution that is even more intimate. This work is nothing if not real, profoundly layered, and remarkable in the depth of its parallel exploration of both nature and the nature of painting. Judith seems to understand in her painter's bones what a swinging gate the natural world that surrounds us is. She grasps our integral part in it, and her paintings affirm our place in that continuum.

Judith Foosaner Opening Judith Foosaner
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I've known Tama Hochbaum for a long time and have had the chance to follow the trajectory of her artistic development. For a number of reasons, it seems fitting that she be the one to inaugurate the program in the room for paper. With her latest series of composite images, Tama has managed something most of us would like to achieve. She has reached back and pulled all the chapters of her personal narrative into one integrated resolution. The inspector has gathered all the suspects in the drawing room and we finally get to find out who did it. Rather than fracturing the image, the multiplicity of view in these photographs, with slight shifts in light, angle and scale, manages to achieve a greater coalescence and clarity of motif. Tama's realization of her subjective view is crystalline, and is lent even greater universality in this series concentrating on the archetype of the lone tree. These works are rich, at once slowly revealing and yet immediately accessible. I feel fortunate to be able to show them in the gallery.

Tama Hochbaum Opening Tama Hochbaum