//Ad libs: Visual art in Palo Alto: I'm still here

Friday, February 06, 2009

Visual art in Palo Alto: I'm still here

Weren't there a lot more places in Palo Alto to see visual art when I started this job in '05?

I used to visit the hip British canvases at the Chelsea Art Gallery (now closed) . And my old English teacher Joseph Fuchs' oils of Venice at Voshan Gallery (also closed). And Susan Kraft's powerful paintings at the ART21 Gallery (you get the idea).


For now I take our new A&E intern, Ashley Ramirez, around to see my favorite PA pockets of art and try to stay upbeat about the Economy of Woe. Yesterday after sampling the Warholesque candy exhibit at Gallery House (edible jewelry by Edith Schneider and giant sugary Gummi photos by Pete Zivkov), we wandered upstairs at Keeble & Shuchat Photography. Hey, if the blandest conference room can be a permanent art gallery, there's hope.

Amanda Kaufmann is showing rural photos with a bathtub-in-the-front-yard kind of charm, but we especially liked the work by Marilynne Morshead. Mainly because we couldn't tell what most of her photos were. The one I've pictured above is "Discovery," also the title of the series. Is it a metaphor for the recession jungle? Wait, we weren't going to talk about that any more. All the photos in the black-and-white series have a half-familiar look, the glow of an old movie you don't remember seeing, or a ghost light in a theater no one goes to any more.

"Orbs" is my favorite (go
here and click on "Discovery" to see it, the seventh one down), picturing what looks like engraved glass balls with circles of light at the center, against a dark background. One ball in the back peers over the others, maybe nervous about the future, but still looking.