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Spanish contemporary art worldwide


SAN FRANCISCO. Paz de la Calzada “Portale” Kalmanovitz Hall, University of San Francisco

5 february – 25 march 2018

In “Portale,” artist Paz de la Calzada invites visitors to explore the meaning of passage and transformation.

This site-specific installation creates a path through the stone portal in USF’s Kalmanovitz Hall atrium to The Nomadic Labyrinth (2013) on the building’s rooftop sculpture terrace. For Portale, de la Calzada incorporates a common ornamental pattern used in churches of Northern Italy to form a path that links the monument and the space. Using gaudy reclaimed carpets from hotels and casinos, de la Calzada evokes with irony the relationship between the sacred and the profane.

Paz de la Calzada, a native of Spain, is an artist working in drawing, installation and sculpture. She received a BFA at the University of Salamanca, Spain, and her MFA at UNAM, Mexico City. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including the San Jose Museum of Art, the Palo Alto Art Center, the Berkeley Art Center, the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco, the Union Fenosa Museum and the Fundacion Caixa Galicia in Spain and the Leon Trotsky Museum and the San Angel Cultural Center in Mexico City.

De la Calzada came to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2003 as an Artist in Residence at Djerassi Resident Artist Program. She has since been in several residency programs like Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, Millay Colony for the Arts in New York and Valparaiso Foundation in Spain. She is a recipient of a Cultural Equity Grants by the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Academy of Fine Arts Award and the County of La Coruña Grant, both in Spain.

Her current work reflects the artist’s vision of creating art that is playfully in dialogue with the urban space, exploring the relationship between nature and urban environment, daily life and ritual. (usfca press-release)

Kalmanovitz Hall, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94

Image: Paz de la Calzada

SAN FRANCISCO. Walter Martin y Paloma Muñoz “Through That Which Is Seen” The Palo Alto Art Center

january 20 – april 8, 2018

The exhibit spotlights the use of dioramas in contemporary art, featuring work by Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz among other artists.

Much can be said about why the practice of creating miniature worlds persists, and in particular why so many contemporary artists find this art form to be a useful tool of expression. Dioramas can turn even the most mundane of subjects into something special and worthy of attention; they direct focus and consideration on their narratives, encouraging an extended gaze; they are a means of escape from the everyday and a window into the dream world; they facilitate a suspension of belief; and at their best, like those earliest examples, blend fantasy and reality so seamlessly we are magically transported into another dimension.

Each of the artists in this exhibition wants to tell you a story through sculpture, photography, painting, or video works. Some of these stories, as those by Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz, are full of alienation and dark humor, and some crystalize a feeling of foreboding or a coming apocalypse. Others are carefully crafted social commentaries, either about current events or about the controversial history of the diorama itself. Many are pure reverie. All of them reflect the careful craftsmanship and inner dream worlds of their makers.

For centuries artists have tried to fit reality’s scale into smaller confines: framed canvases, chiseled statues, portraits on ivory… Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz have climbed into their own distinct niche. Known collaboratively as Martin & Muñoz, they sculpture and arrange miniature, three-dimensional scenes of alienation, dread and dark humor and set them inside snow globes.

Participating artists include: Matthew Albanese, Gregory Euclide, Abigail Goldman, Ju Lim, Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz, Didier Massard, Michael McMillen, & Gerber, David Opdyke, Curtis Talwst Santiago, Joshua Smith, Wendy Red Star, Charles Young

The Palo Alto Art Center. 1313 Newell Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303

Image: Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz