Art at 601 California Street
The hanging objects immediately inside the lobby are part of the same piece of art as the two rocks outside the building.
Danh Vo is a contemporary artist of Vietnamese descent, born on August 5, 1975, in Ba Ria, Vietnam24. His experiences, shaped by distance, displacement, and his sexual orientation, have inspired him to collect and reconfigure cultural fragments into ambiguous narratives that reflect his fluid identity in a changing world2. Vo's work operates at the intersection of art, global history, and personal diary, exploring his life as a gay man and an émigré whose family's existence was radically disrupted by the war in Vietnam5.Vo's family left Vietnam in 1979, and they were picked up by a Danish freighter, after which he was raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts2. He continued to collaborate with family members, as seen in the ongoing series "02.02.1861 (Last Letter of Saint Théophane Vénard to His Father Before He Was Decapitated)," in which his father repeatedly hand-copied a letter by the martyred French missionary, despite not speaking French2.The artist is known for his collection and alteration of artifacts, furniture, mementos, photographs, and documents that reflect aspects of his triple narrative5. He has expanded the definition of art by minimizing the role of the artist as a maker of original objects, considering himself equally a curator5. Vo has received several awards, including the Hugo Boss Prize from the Guggenheim Foundation in 2013 and the Arken Art Prize in 20153.
The conceptual work Vo Rosasco Rasmussen(2002–) involves the artist's marriage to and immediate divorce from a growing list of important people in his life; after each marriage, Võ retains the last name of his former spouse. His official name is now Trung Kỳ Danh Võ Rosasco Rasmussen.
What’s the meaning of hanging thing’s in Danh Vo’s art?
In Danh Vo's art, the act of hanging things serves as a metaphorical and physical gesture that carries multiple layers of meaning. Here are some possible interpretations of the significance of hanging in Vo's work:
- Weight of history and meaning: The act of hanging objects, whether they are personal belongings, historical artifacts, or cultural symbols, highlights the weight of history and the significance that these objects carry within them
- Preservation and exhibition of memory: Hanging objects can be seen as a way of preserving and exhibiting memories, as they are elevated and given a place of importance in the artwork
- Transformation and recontextualization: The act of hanging can also be seen as a transformative gesture, as Vo often reconfigures objects and changes their context to create new meanings
- Exploration of relationships between people, belongings, and identities: Vo's use of hanging objects in his tableaux reflects his interest in probing the relationships between people, their belongings, and their identities6. By placing these objects in a suspended state, he creates a sense of tension and ambiguity, inviting viewers to question the connections between these elements.6. By suspending these altered objects, he invites viewers to reconsider their existing beliefs and ideas, challenging them to see familiar objects in a new light.2. This is evident in Vo's work "We the People," where he recreated a full-scale replica of the Statue of Liberty by slicing it into pieces and hanging them in various locations, symbolizing the fragmented nature of history and memory5.1. By suspending them in space, Vo invites viewers to contemplate the stories and narratives embedded in these objects.
How do the hanging things and the rocks relate to each other in his work “Massive Black Hole in the Dark Heart of Our Milky Way”?
In Danh Vo's work "Massive Black Hole in the Dark Heart of Our Milky Way," the hanging things and the rocks are interconnected elements that contribute to the overall meaning of the artwork. Here's how they relate to each other:
- Hanging things as suspended narratives: The hanging objects in this artwork, such as the Grimm Brothers' original version of Cinderella handwritten by Vo's father, represent suspended narratives and personal histories
- Rocks as grounding and contrast: The rocks in the installation serve as a contrasting element to the hanging objects, representing a sense of grounding and stability
- Exploration of personal and universal themes: The combination of hanging objects and rocks in this artwork reflects Vo's ongoing exploration of personal and universal themes, such as identity, memory, and the passage of time1. By bringing together these elements, he creates a complex and layered visual experience that invites viewers to reflect on their own relationships with history, culture, and the world around them.1. While the hanging objects are ethereal and weightless, the rocks provide a physical presence and a sense of permanence. This contrast highlights the tension between the ephemeral nature of narratives and the enduring nature of the physical world.1. They are elevated and given a place of importance, inviting viewers to contemplate the stories and meanings embedded within them.
These hanging objects are part of the same piece of art as the two rocks outside the building.
See prior image text for description and analysis.
Ursula von Rydingsvard is a sculptor who was born in Germany in 1942 to Polish and Ukrainian parents, peasant farmers who worked in forced labor under the Nazis during World War II2. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York13. Here are some key points about her life and career:
- Education: Ursula von Rydingsvard received a BA and an MA from the University of Miami, Coral Gables
- Career: Over a remarkable five-decade-long career, Ursula von Rydingsvard has become one of the most influential sculptors working today
- Awards and Grants: Ursula von Rydingsvard has received numerous awards and grants throughout her career, including two Individual Artists Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1978 and 1979, respectively
- Cultural References: A feature-length documentary of the artist Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own was released in 2019
- Membership: Ursula von Rydingsvard is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
For more information about Ursula von Rydingsvard's life and work, visit her website at ursulavonrydingsvard.net1.3.3. She was also featured in the book Inside the Artist's Studio3.3.5. She is best known for creating large-scale works influenced by nature, primarily using cedar and other forms of timber13.4. She also studied painting at Columbia University3.
Perplexity AI: ursula von rydingsvard biography https://www.perplexity.ai/search/e06e78cf-43e8-4e02-8408-6f2b357ecb0a?s=mn
I saw Ursula’s work at SFO in August 2023. See below.
What’s unique about Sol Lewitt?
Sol LeWitt was a unique and influential artist known for his contributions to Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and Postmodernism. Here are some key aspects that set him apart:
Leading proponent of Conceptual Art: LeWitt was a key figure in the development ofConceptual Art, which he famously described as "the idea becomes a machine that..."1. His belief in the artist as a generator of ideas wasinstrumental in the transition from the modernto the postmodern era2.
Founder of Minimalism and Constructivism: LeWitt was one of the original founders of bothMinimalism and Constructivism, two important art movements of the 20th century3.
Unique approach to art: LeWitt's work explored endless possibilities of visual extrapolation within a concentration on geometric forms, seriality, and systems6. He focused on the planning and concept behind a work of art, considering it more significant than its execution as an object6.
Prolific artist: LeWitt was highly productive, creating over 50 art books, hundreds of works on paper, numerous structures, and more than1,200 geometric wall drawings4.
Varied practice: LeWitt's practice spanned Minimalist and Conceptual approaches to making art5. He worked in various mediums, including sculptures, prints, drawings, and wall drawings, all of which examined thoughtful and surprising possibilities of visual extrapolation6.
Is it true that Lewitt does not sell the actual works, but instead sells the blueprints to his works?
Yes, it is true that Sol LeWitt often sold the blueprints, instructions, or certificates for his works instead of the actual physical objects. This approach was in line with his belief that the concept and idea behind a work of art were more important than its material presence4. Here are some key points that support this:
Emphasis on plans, diagrams, and instructions: As LeWitt transitioned from making systemic objects to wall drawings and murals, he increasingly used plans, diagrams, and instructions to create his works1. These plans and instructions became the primary focus of his art, and he often sold them as the artwork itself4.
The value of the work is in the concept: LeWitt's approach challenged the traditional notion of art as a physical object with inherent value. Instead, he argued that the value of his works lay in the concept and idea behind them, rather than their material presence4.
Certificates and instructions: LeWitt's practice of selling certificates and instructions for his works was a unique response to the art market, which was largely dominated by unique, physical objects6. This approach allowed him to maintain control over the production and distribution of his art while also challenging traditional notions of ownership and authorship6.
Tacita Dean is a British-German visual artist known for her work primarily in film2. She was born in 1965 in Canterbury and currently lives and works in Berlin and Los Angeles3. Dean's grandfather, Basil Dean, was a pioneer in the film industry, which may have influenced her interest in the medium1.Dean's work is often described as subtle, ambitious, and focused on the truth of the moment, the film as a medium, and the sensibilities of the individual3.She has been recognized for her contributions to the art world, including being a nominee for the Turner Prize in 1998 and winning the Hugo Boss Prize in 20062.Her films, which are often shot on 16mm and 35mm, explore both specific historical events and the formal qualities of the medium45. Dean has a unique ability to capture landscapes, making her a natural heir to artists like Constable and Turner1.Her work has been exhibited in various museums and galleries around the world, and she has also collaborated on projects such as designing sets and costumes for the Royal Ballet's production of The Dante Project3.
There is a Bonham’s office in the lobby and we are fortunate to have regular exhibitions in their small gallery.
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