McSweeney’s McMullens: Artwork from Children’s Books, plus 1,032 Illustrated Lunch Bags

December 3—January 7, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 3, 4:00-8:00 PM
Many, many events throughout the show

Electric Works is pleased to announce McSweeney’s McMullens: Artwork from Children’s Books, plus 1,032 Illustrated Lunch Bags, a group show celebrating the artwork of McSweeney’s McMullens, the children’s book imprint launched by McSweeney’s earlier this year.

IN THE MAIN GALLERY: the exhibition will focus on the original artwork from the first several books in the series, as well as sneak peeks at the artwork from a handful of books in progress. The main gallery will feature work by Jordan Crane, Matt Furie, Walter Green, Lisa Hanawalt, Ian Huebert, Jason Jägel, Amy Martin, Brain McMullen, Tucker Nichols, Scott Rideout, Scott Teplin and many others.

THE READING ROOM: for this exhibition, we are transforming our Project Space into a Children’s Reading Room. The space will feature a wall with hundreds of hand-illustrated paper lunch bags by visual artist Robert Barnes. Additionally we will be providing deluxe reading stations for our smaller visitors complete with a bookcase holding current McMullen’s releases, Electric Works and McSweeney’s staff favorites.

EVENTS: Throughout the exhibition there will be many many events. Stay tuned for exact dates and details, but we will be hosting a series of celebrity story times for the little ones. On each Saturday and Sunday, we will feature a different notable from the Bay Area to read aloud their favorite stories to kids. We will be presenting Imagine That, an animation screening curated by Sarah Klein that features kid-made cartoons suitable for adults and adult-made animations suitable for kids.

STORE: Imagine our bookstore. Now imagine it overflowing with many copies of all the latest McSweeney’s McMullens titles. Now add on a bunch of new items for the holiday season: fish-scrubbing gloves, banana slicers, books about East German toy design and you’ve got what awaits you this winter at Electric Works.

Please note a change of hours for this exhibition: in addition to our regular hours, we will be open on the following Sundays, noon-5 PM: December 4, December 11, and December 18th.

Special Gallery Hours
Tues-Fri 11-6 PM
Sat 11-5 PM
Sun noon-5 PM

Way More

1+ 1 added up to way more than two on Saturday evening.
Bravo! Kudos! Hurrah! to Jon Raskin and Phillip Greenlief for bringing their extraordinary music to the gallery.

Yes, they played the sax but in a way like never heard before- traveling between rigorous composition and wild improvisations. They not only play the musical notes, they strum and tap the entire instrument creating unexpected, unusual sounds.

Their scores are composed of non-traditional musical symbols (crumpled paper, train tracks from toy train sets, a coil of screening wire) arranged in a visual design rather than on conventional sheet music.

The resonance of our space with the high ceilings and wooden floor with the cavernous basement underneath made for a perfect concert hall. Undaunted by the noises from outside, the swoosh, swoosh rhythm of the traffic on the rain soak street added to the musical ambiance. Hughen/Starkweather artwork inspired by the Bay Bridge set the perfect stage, a visual compliment to their virtuosic performance.


“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” As we donned special gear- goggles, hard hats and bright orange vests Thoreau’s famous admonition came to mind. Unless one is getting dressed for a boat trip tour to the construction site of the Bay Bridge!

Thanks to Jennifer Starkweather and Amanda Hughen a group of art and bridge appreciators were given an up-close look at the monumental bridge project.

One signature element that will transform the San Francisco- Oakland Bay Bridge into a new global icon is the Self-Anchored Suspension Span (SAS). The SAS will be the largest bridge of its kind anywhere in world (2,047 feet). The main cable is approx 1 mile long and made up of 17,399 steel wire strands and weighs 10.6 million pounds (5,291 tons). Yes, 10.6 million pounds. How did they ever weigh that?

The Bay Bridge website is filled with historic videos, digital animations showing construction details and a web cam so that you can view the bridge as it is being constructed.

Until November 23, in the gallery you can see how Hughen/Starkweather so beautifully express the grand sweep of the suspension and the lyrical strength of the bridge. Prints are available in editions.

Reyhan Harmanci reports about the boat trip in Even Unfinished, the New Bay Bridge Inspires Artists for The New York Times and The Bay Citizen.

1+1 concert

1 + 1 is a pair of solo performances by saxophonists Phillip Greenlief and Jon Raskin who will be premiering new graphic works. Jon & Phillip have been frequent collaborators since 2000 creating art scores to convey musical information.

They each have received much critical acclaim for their recordings and performances with musicians and composers in the post-jazz continuum and as new music innovators and virtuosic improvisers. Their ever-evolving relationship with the saxophone unfolds with an expansive sound vocabulary. They have a deep regard for melody and form and a rollicking humor and wit that is not dissimilar to the Native American Coyote tales.

Phillip Greenlief is the founder of Evander Music; an independent recond label presenting original composition, improvised music and new jazz. Jon Raskin is a founding member of Rova Saxophone Quartet. He has received numerous grants and commissions to work on a variety of creative projects.

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. 415-626-5496.

West of Center

Congratulations to Dan Nicoletta! Two of his iconic photographs from his Angels of Light series are included in the exhibition West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver opening November 10- February 19 in Denver.

In the heady and hallucinogenic days of the 1960s and ’70s, a diverse range of artists and creative individuals based in the American West—from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest—broke the barriers between art and lifestyle and embraced the new, hybrid sensibilities of the countercultural movement. The exhibition West of Center illuminates the unique works of these individuals through videos, photographs, drawings, ephemera and other original and re-created objects and environments.

Image: Angels of Light actor Lichen, 1975
Archival pigment print
8″ x 10″ edition of 20
11″ x 14″ edition of 15
16″ x 20″ edition of 12
20″ x 24″ edition of 6
For pricing and availability,
please email Noah Lang,
or call 415-626-5496