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Charles Ginnever's Rashomon and Amy Kaufman's drawings on view at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
Charles Ginnever: Rashomon, 1993-95 (fifteen positions), Steel, 22 x 20 x 18 inches (dimensions vary with position), Photography: M. Lee Fatherree.

SAN JOSE, CA.- The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art is presenting two exceptional solo exhibitions: Charles Ginnever: Rashomon, the California premiere of the complete 15-piece installation of steel sculptures modeled for the Artist’s landmark Rashomon Series; and Amy Kaufman: b+w, an exhibition and site-specific installation of large-scale charcoal drawings by this notable Bay Area artist.

In addition to shining the spotlight on the practices and works of these exceptional Bay Area natives, the ICA is inviting visitors to the exhibitions to embrace the spirit and mantra of the growing “slow art” movement. Art critic Robert Hughes described slow art as "Art that grows out of modes of perception and making whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel; art that isn't merely sensational, that doesn't get its message across in ten seconds, that isn't falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep-running in our natures." One of the most exciting and powerful qualities of art is its ability to show alternate ways to perceive and experience the world. “Through their practices, both Ginnever and Kaufman challenge and invite the viewer to slow down and reflect on the very act of looking,” notes ICA Executive Director, Cathy Kimball. “Though seldom practiced in today’s fast-paced culture, taking one’s time to look can be an exciting, powerful and rewarding activity.”

For more than 50 years, Charles Ginnever has created large-scale sculptures in steel and bronze that are concerned with challenging and expanding our visual perceptions. Every angle of a Ginnever sculpture presents us with a different work of art; as the viewer moves around the sculpture, the piece is transformed, evolving at a different pace and in a different way. At first, his pieces seem to be the work of a master illusionist, but one soon realizes that the sculpture is not about illusion but rather about questioning traditional ideas about perspective. According to Ginnever, “My work sits motionless and is only activated by the viewer moving around it – only then does it start to perform.”

The best illustration of this phenomenon is Rashomon, a 15-piece installation of three-foot high steel sculptures that sit directly on the floor. Arranged in rows, these maquettes fill the entire main gallery at the ICA. The presentation is accompanied by small maquettes of other large-scale sculptures by Ginnever. The complete work, which has never been presented in California, is a model for the Rashomon Series, 15 13-foot high sculptures, of which only three have been fabricated to date. Also on view in the exhibition are a number of works on paper by Ginnever including an exquisite sculptural print titled Multus – a recent innovative work that when folded transforms into a lightweight portable sculpture. In describing the experience of interacting with the work, poet and critic John Yau writes, "The tension between the flat plane and the folded form asks us to pay attention to the everyday world we live in, and to recognize that in the simplest things—a flat sheet paper – there exists a possibility simultaneously enchanting and revealing.” Multus is being editioned at noted Landfall Press in Santa FE, NM. In addition, the ICA has installed a large-scale sculpture by the artist titled Slant Rhyme in the newly renovated Parque de Los Poblodores urban plaza directly across the street from the gallery.

The title, Rashomon is borrowed from Akira Kurasawa’s 1950 Japanese film of the same name, which presents widely different accounts of four witnesses to the same crime. Reflective of the film’s plot, Ginnever’s installation consists of identical units, each capable of assuming 15 distinctly separate positions. Even with the knowledge that all of these objects are identical, it is unexpectedly difficult to recognize each sculpture as the same form.

Charles Ginnever was born in San Mateo, California, in 1931. After traveling and studying photography and sculpture in Europe and California in the early 1950s, Ginnever moved to New York City and completed his MFA at Cornell University in 1959.

Ginnever has held a number of Artist-in-Residence teaching positions starting from1960s through the 1990s, including leading the art department at Windham College in Vermont from 1967 to 1975. Ginnever continues to work on sculpture, drawings and printmaking, primarily at the studios on his sculpture farm and home in Putney, Vermont.

In addition to receiving numerous prestigious awards and commissions throughout his 50-year career, Ginnever and his work have been the subject of a wide range of articles, books and catalogues. Since 1961 solo exhibitions of his sculptures and works on paper have been presented throughout North America, including: Charles Ginnever, 20 years – 20 Works, Sculpture Now, Inc., New York, NY; Charles Ginnever: New Sculpture, Construct, Chicago, IL; Smith-Anderson Gallery, San Francisco, CA, and the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, Stanford University, Stanford, CA. Ginnever’s work is included in numerous public and private collections around the world, including: the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA; Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey; APEC Sculpture Garden, PICC, Manila, Philippines; and the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Australia.

Amy Kaufman: b+w is an exhibition of Kaufman’s large-scale charcoal drawings on paper created during past thirteen years. The ICA’s expansive Sandbox gallery makes it possible to show for the first time, several of the artist’s large drawings in one space. A site-specific installation titled Seabox, 2012 is also being presented in the ICA Project Room. This is Kaufman’s largest drawing and her first ‘surround’ piece. Kaufman’s bold, charcoal drawings, which represent the larger part of the artist’s work, represent a range of content and reveal the artist’s meditative practice. “The messy immediacy of the charcoal moving across the paper makes it ideal for quickly expressing ideas. The contrast and simplicity of black and white, along with variations of grey in between, as well as the imprecise quality of the marks and the working of the charcoal into the paper, are the qualities that make this medium appealing to me.” explains Kaufman.

Kaufman draws inspiration from the natural world and everyday objects. She synthesizes and translates her subjects’ patterns, textures and rhythms and invites the viewer to stop, look, absorb and meditate on their own personal references and translation of the works. Amy Kaufman has shown her work extensively throughout the Bay Area and across the country since receiving her fine arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1990. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco, CA; The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, NC; Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA; Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA; and United States Embassies in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Last Week News

December 23, 2012

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Exhibition at La Malmaison Arts Centre in Cannes presents works by French photographer André Villers

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Race to the Remix challenges public to create exhibition at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Cynthia-Reeves announces Soo Sunny Park installation at Cranbrook Art Museum

Low-water rivers offering up glimpse of history

RM Group of companies enjoys significant growth and record $360 million in auction sales during 2012

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Artist Michael Najjar completes first phase of cosmonaut training

Exhibition focuses not on physical location but on our connection with other places

Mount Rushmore to be featured on new quarter

December 22, 2012

Exhibition at Ariana Museum in Geneva reflects on agriculture and nutrition as art

Christie's announces a sale devoted to the artistic traditions that flourished in Europe from 1300 to 1600

Recently discovered 15th century masterwork to be offered at Sotheby's New York

Mexico's Maya heartland greets dawn of new era; Calendar cycle might not really end until Sunday

Two Greeks jailed for life over illegal antiquities, two more men for 20 and 16 years

Marilyn Monroe subway grate photo by Sam Shaw on view at 42nd Street in New York City

The Collection de l'Art Brut opens first European solo show devoted to Morton Bartlett

Rossi & Rossi announces spectacular Tibetan work from acclaimed Bronze exhibition at TEFAF Maastricht

Six artists from the border triangle of Germany, Switzerland and France exhibit at Kunsthalle Basel

Most concrete legacy of ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, draws pop stars and presidents

British Prince Andrew's ex-partner actress Koo Stark denies 'painting theft'

Simon de Pury steps down as Chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company; The Mercury Group acquires company

Akron Art Museum's 90th anniversary year crescendos with a pledge of a major gift

Daniel & Florence Guerlain Foundation announces winners of Contemporary Drawing Prize

Paddington bares all in new station artwork

Hamburger Kunsthalle exhibits the work of Artist and author Annette Wehrmann

Kaminski Auctions announces 20th Century Decorative Art and Design Sale

Puerto Rican team wins Haitian cathedral contest

Georgia rebuilds Stalin monuments

December 21, 2012

Mexican archaeologists find another 1,200 year-old grave at Atzompa in Oaxaca

RISD museum opens an exhibition of beautiful and rarely seen prints and books

Louvre cements spot as world's most-visited museum; website seen more than 11 million visitors

Guggenheim Museum in New York acquires sculpture by artist Mark Grotjahn

Collection of paintings recording life behind the German trenches during World War I to go on sale

MoMA presents Christian Marclay's groundbreaking video installation "The Clock"

The Playmate as fine art: Seven contemporary artists interpret Playboy's iconic centerfold

Vancouver Art Gallery announces major donation of photographs by Robert Frank and Charles Gagnon

Christie's New York announces it will offer over 400 lots during Americana Week in January 2013

Bonhams in London appoints Matthew Haley as Head of Books, Maps and Manuscripts

Anonymous benefactor buys Frank Lloyd Wright-designed 1950s home in Phoenix

$66 million Thomas Kinkade estate dispute secretly settled by wife and girlfriend of artist

Rare watch by George Daniels sets new world auction record at £1.7 million Bonhams sale

Cant' afford art? Why not barter? Art4Barter holds twelfth exhibition this weekend

Greenpeace protest at Louvre targets French airport project

'Raiders of the Lost Ark' package mystery solved

Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian launches new website for students

America's signature for freedom series fountain pens lead Bonhams Fine Writing Instruments Sale

Jackson glove sells for record-breaking $200K

Early Colt revolver brings $284,410 in $1.8+ million Heritage Arms & Armor event

December 20, 2012

Field Museum cutting staff, overhauling operations and limiting the scope of its research

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

'Breakfast at Tiffany's' among 25 selections added to United States film registry

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Tower Hamlets Council's ownership of Henry Moore's 'Old Flo' challenged by Bromley

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

Colby College Museum of Art's 26,000-square-foot Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion to open in July

Sotheby's New York 20th Century Design & Tiffany Studios Sales total $12,877,127

BJ and Richeille Formento present photographs as part of a group exhibition at Edelman Arts

The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited ventures into London for the first time in January 2013

Bonhams to present art of the South Seas Sale in San Francisco in February 2013

Atlanta's High Museum of Art to host Collectors Evening to build permanent collection

First exhibition in the UK of Croatian artist Sanja Iveković opens at The South London Gallery

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Lluís Barba reworks iconic artworks in new exhibition at Dean Project

Art Asia Miami 2012 concludes its fifth year with strong sales and VIP attendance

December 19, 2012

Israel puts 5,000 images of the Dead Sea scrolls online in a partnership with Google

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Remains of man in armour found at 'Pompeii of Japan' by Gunma Archaeological Research Foundation

United States Geological Survey tracks the story of the Russian Crown jewels found in rare book

Contemporary artist Jeff Koons joins Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali in wine label art club

Sotheby's New York to offer The Andy Williams Collection of Navajo blankets in May 2012

Popol Vuh: The Mayan spiritual and philosophical book that remained secret until 1701

Wreck of Soviet submarine sunk during World War II found in Baltic sea: Sweden military

Joyce Pensato to receive 2012 Robert De Niro Sr. Prize for achievement in painting

Malaysian art boom is under way as industry seeks to replicate rampant success in other markets

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

New work by Roger Hiorns included in first solo museum exhibition in the Netherlands

Bonhams Period Art & Design Sale in San Francisco achieves strong results across categories

Four new exhibitions at the Israel Museum showcase wide range of styles and media

Garden Museum acquires unique Harold Gilman portrait

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

LA Art Show 2013 to feature top galleries, blockbuster special exhibitions

Teacher sole heir of $7.4M gold coin fortune

Custer items rule Heritage Auctions $2.5+ Million December Americana event

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December 18, 2012

Moscow Design Museum opens with an exhibition of Soviet post-war design

Louvre boss Henri Loyrette to step down at the end of his current term of office

Exhibition offers unique chance to see one of Picasso's masterworks in an intimate setting

National Portrait Gallery in London buys artist Craigie Aitchison's own slashed self-portrait

Gail Albert Halaban reimagines famous watercolors by Edward Hopper in exhibition at Edwynn Houk Gallery

French actress wins case against mother French-Romanian photographer Irina Ionesco's explicit photos

Art dealer Dorsey Waxter appointed President of the Art Dealers Association of America

Works by Siobhan Hapaska & Stephen McKenna combined in new exhibition at Kerlin Gallery

The Whitney Museum of American Art celebrates the topping out of its future home

Bryan Adams 'Exposed' embarks on tour, Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas is first stop

New book shows uninterrupted series of photographs of North Korea's former leader looking at things

Rescued from a tag sale, Garrard centerpiece brings $32,500 at Heritage Auctions

Swedish Transport Agency says artist Fredrik Saeker can use painting as driving licence pic

Art on the Underground collaborate with BFI to present films from the National Archive at Canary Wharf

Definitional Disruptions with Nel Aerts, Filip Gilissen and Hedwig Houben at Kunstraum

'Styling an American Family' features 1910s fashion at the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms

The inaugural Ian Potter Moving Image Commission awarded to Angelica Mesiti

Contested Chinese seal auctioned in Paris for 1.1 mln euros

Dutchman launches life-sized replica of Noah's Ark

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3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

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