Three exhibits of interest, not previously noted here, will be closing on 11/4/06. Galerie Paule Anglim is showing drawings and sculpture by veteran San Francisco artist David Ireland (born 1930). No new territory is conquered, except perhaps in the pricing, but fans of the artist will want to take a look. In this show, I liked the small abstract drawings (photo below) and one of Ireland’s cabinets full of objects (detail above).
Crown Point Press has released a new series of etchings by Ed Ruscha, based on road signs. Ruscha showed up for the opening, and he’s a handsome devil still. It’s hard to believe he was born in 1937. Below are two examples from the series: a vacant billboard and—my favorite by far—a empty sign with a metallic shine.
At John Berggruen, there is a show of huge photographic prints from the estate of Seydou Keïta, who lived from 1923 (approximately) to 2001 in Bamako, Mali. Portraits he made in the 1950s and 1960s gained him fame in the 1990s. Staged with backdrops, these employ a vibrant layering of patterns and sometimes include objects like radios to celebrate the everyday modernity into which the sitters had moved, often from the hinterlands. Two examples from the current exhibit are shown below. The promotion of Keïta’s work in the West has raised issues about the artist’s intent and the authenticity of some prints. For an overview of the controversy, read the article by Michael Rips, “Who Owns Seydou Keïta?,” published in the New York Times on 1/22/06. The prints in the Berggruen show are from the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York, which represents the Keïta estate in the U.S.