Over the years, Electric Works has been privileged to work with a wide variety of artists from the Bay Area and beyond — always with a collaborative spirit and the hunger for trying something new. At the Mills Building you will see many proprietary techniques but, at the end of the day, you will see that our projects rest on good content as well as good technique.
It’s with that spirit we present some of our favorite projects over the last 18 years including work with Sandow Birk, Elaine Buckholtz, Enrique Chagoya, Hughen/Starkweather, Robert Minervini, and William T. Wiley.
The exhibit is part of a rotating program sponsored by the Mills Building for the pleasure of its tenants and visitors..
Visit the Mills Building
220 Montgomery Street
until December 12
Top: Enrique Chagoya Middle: Elaine Buckholtz Bottom: Robert Minervini
Electric Works is pleased to be featuring in our gallery/room for ArtPadSF at the Phoenix Hotel the work of Robert Minervini and Dave Eggers. Elaine Buckholtz will be creating an on-site light installation.
Robert Minervini will be addressing the kind of subject matter that is alluded to in his previous utopian and dystopian cityscapes, landscapes, and floral still life paintings—namely, the ecological impact of humanity on the landscape. His new paintings and drawings of floral still lifes, literal and metaphorical quotations from traditional European vanitas paintings have been recontextualized in contemporary environments. The flora and fauna depicted in these works are currently listed as endangered wildlife in California. These present day memento mori directly reference the traditional form and function of European vanitas paintings—which acted as symbolic reminders of the inevitability of death—by depicting local wildlife that is in the process of extinction. His presence at ArtPadSF will be an extension of his show After Glow: As the Wick Burns that is in our gallery, May 10- June 29.
Dave Eggers will present animal portraits with text- china marker on paper with words that express what the animal might be thinking. Working in the vernacular of political propaganda posters, these deftly executed drawings feature an ongoing cast of fur-, feather-, and scale-bearing creatures. What seems like an extraordinary balancing act of good humor and earnest pledges of allegiance, Eggers creates a menagerie that speaks to our very human condition.
Elaine Buckholtz will be creating a lavender light installation onto the swimming pool in the center courtyard of the hotel and she will be changing out all the lights on the landings of each room to a soft pink. Buckholtz explores light as an ephemeral phenomenon and uses it to unmask hidden aspects of architectural forms in relation to painting. She uses visual and temporal repetition to explore the intersection of space, image, movement, and light. Her fascination with light has a long history. Buckholtz will use her background in lighting and theater design to generate her own luminous theater at the Phoenix Hotel.
After Glow: As the Wick Burns
May 10—June 29
Artist Reception, Friday, May 10, 6-8 PM
In After Glow: As the Wick Burns Robert Minervini addresses the ecological impact of humanity on the landscape. In a group of thirteen new paintings and drawings of floral still lifes, literal and metaphorical quotations from traditional European vanitas paintings have been recontextualized in contemporary environments. The flora and fauna depicted in these works are currently listed as endangered wildlife in California. These present day memento mori directly reference the traditional form and function of vanitas paintings—which acted as symbolic reminders of the inevitability of death—by depicting local wildlife that is in the process of extinction.
The subtitle “As the Wick Burns” is a poetic adaptation of a familial saying which Minervini would use whenever preparing to depart from family gatherings. In Molfetesse, Minervini’s family’s regional language, the expression “Sa squagghiate la cer” roughly translates as “the candle wick is about to burn out,” meaning our time together is coming to an end. Minervini often found this saying to be bittersweet, and it echoes the notion of time fleeting presented in his work.
Ranging in scale from intimate to grand, and in style from abstract to realistic, these highly meticulous and layered artworks vacillate in a space that is both symbolic and illusionistic. Using predominantly acrylic paint, and mixed media such as paper and cellophane, the materiality and physicality of these works in close proximity is contradictory to the slick appearance that they take on at a distance. At moments, paint skins scraped up from the palette are collaged into and on top of layers to create flower forms. In contrast, highly rendered moments intermingle with swatches of spray-painted forms and shapes to create a visual weaving and density that mimics the effect of looking into an elaborate bouquet of flowers.
The flowers in these works have been chosen for their symbolism of aesthetic beauty and the way in which they simultaneously signify ecological disaster in a specific time and place. Through this body of work, Minervini poses the question: What is the greater cultural significance of depicting something that is both beautiful and a sign of something profoundly tragic?