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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artists Gallery Opens January Shows
Jessalyn Haggenjos, "Lake Powell Forming", 2008. Enamel on panel, 47 x 60 inches. Photo: Courtesy: The Artist.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The SFMOMA Artists Gallery presents two new shows for January 2010. Artists John Yoyogi Fortes, Jessalyn Haggenjos and Mike Narciso present their most recent work in individual one-person shows in the main gallery. Upstairs in the gallery’s loft space artists show work on the theme of human rights in the show, “Tip of the Blade.” Both shows are celebrated with a reception for the artists on Thursday, January 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

Recently featured in the Museum of the African Diaspora’s exhibition Decoding Identity: I Do It for My People, the art of John Yoyogi Fortes reads like a subconscious amalgam of popular imagery and street art. The work exudes the same energy as graffiti or political murals that are created quickly and surreptitiously. Fortes truly shines when working large (six-foot-plus canvases), where the physical involvement with the painting pays off in terms of dynamism and resolve.

In a series of work about the world’s most formidable land formations (Utah’s Lake Powell, the continental lithosphere, Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier), Jessalyn Haggenjos lets opaque, viscose enamel paint mimic the movements of magma and silt, permitting the paint to move along its own course.

Mike Narciso shows a photo series that looks at details of an abandoned place (the Mare Island Shipyard in Vallejo) and discovers a plethora of formal possibilities. In Six Drawn Tarps, the viewer is asked to look at the same subject repeatedly only to realize that it is not the same. Everything the camera records — the light, the shapes and compositions — is slightly different.

Tip of the Blade is new show curated by Renée de Cossio highlighting the work of three contemporary artists.

In remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, photographers Pamela Belknap and Jason Winshell and multimedia painter George Pfau present three distinctive bodies of work dedicated to the theme of civil and human rights. Belknap shares a sampling of the twenty five hundred images she photographed at San Francisco City Hall between June and November 2008, when same sex marriage was legal. Winshell’s poignant documentary photographs portray a sense of immediacy as they engage the viewer and offer insights into today’s American social fabric. Pfau explores concepts of recognition, identity, category, and stereotype through his visually complex, multidimensional paintings that reference the human body in both physical and virtual space.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art | John Yoyogi Fortes | Jessalyn Haggenjos | Mike Narciso |

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