About this exhibition
For Theodora Varnay Jones and Don Soker: Spring Selections - March 10 - April 28, 2018
2180 Bryant Street is one of those old warehouses made from local bricks and oaks, still standing in San Francisco's Mission District. It houses various studios, the radio station SomaFM that people all over the world listen to, and Don Soker Contemporary Art. Wooden stairs lead up to the 1. Floor.
Around a corner, then another flight of steep steps takes one to a short landing that offers a view into Don's intimate gallery. Pausing at the threshold one is first immersed in a golden light that the worn wooden floor planks reflect onto walls and ceiling. White washed wooden shelves are built up along one side of the room. A work table across with two large metal flat files completes the furnishing of the gallery.
Spring Selections, a group show by 12 gallery artists is what brought me here. Leaving behind the activity of the city and my journey to the gallery, I begin to focus. With a certain sense and sensibility Don has represented each artist by two works, arranged in pairs. From the middle of the gallery I am taking a steady survey - of forms and structures, lines and patterns, fields of tones and hues. I am delighted by the easy flow of the presentation. Slowly I am organizing my thoughts, only to notice a playful back and forth as if fields of stimulating electricity are oscillating throughout the space.
First I am drawn to a transparent shape of watery sky blues; it then finds its counterpart in a dense, yet soft blue square hovering above deep dark forms that points to a small blue half circle hanging seemingly insubstantial above a triangular shape, which than brings me back to a field of icy blues floating on top of fathomless black.
My second take begins with a manifold of tiny white and blue dots surrounding a white circle that relates to even tinier dots imprinted in a waxen earthy-brown grey-green circle that points to a painting of a buff, circular spotlight hanging next to a rendering of an architectural space held in earthen greys and powdery blues that ties across the room to a variation on similar blue hues resting on cinnabar and indian reds.
A sense of wellbeing arises. I've left the irritations around the current political circus behind. I smile, and enjoy the pleasure of inspiring visual stimulation. I am partaking in a wordless conversation.
For a close-up reading I step towards a group of detailed drawings and find insect-like shapes that float in white on black; a map of a tranquil village next to a chart of assaulting lines finely drawn in black ink on vellum; delicate silvery marks outlining a piece of crumbled paper on which a second layer of lines triangulates new territory; white lines inked on vellum measuring out the fabric of time. All these delicate marks are pulled into a larger mass of lines curving out of a human head that two hands organize and weave into a container of sort.
Yes, I have been organizing my thoughts, intuitively following the suggestions which take me to varied emotional states and to familiar, but forgotten places. Spring Collections elicits an era where such a striking assembly of works would have come together under a private collector's tutelage, to nourish her quest of the human condition; or evokes a library where the books are undone, where the open pages reveal the relevant topics of human life and exemplify the pertinent philosophical tenets of our existence through visual means.
Christel Dillbohner, Berkeley, March 2018
Don Soker Contemporary Art for further information
Christel Dillbohner 'Spring Selections'
- Adress: Don Soker Gallery, 2180 Bryant Street Ste.205, San Francisco CA 94110.
- March 10 - April 28, 2018