H2O – the Element of Water in Art (an informal survey)

Alex Dick-Read

News just in from artist and surfer Wolfgang Bloch whom we featured in Issue 76 of The Surfer’s Path (an excerpt from his book The Colors of Coincidence).

Bloch and several other artists will be taking part in this exhibition at the Bolinas Museum near San Francisco from 1 May to 13 June.


(image: Eric Zener: Taking Flight, oil on canvas, 2009, 38″x48″, Courtesy of Hespe Gallery)

Ever-present and elusive – water is contradictory by nature. Nothing is as familiar to us as water, yet so distant, different, even dangerous. Our bodies are two-thirds water and we can barely survive without drinking fresh water in three days, but we are strangers under water, at risk in ice and snow, and may die of thirst on ocean journeys.
Thus our fascination with water remains intense, personal and elemental.
“Intense, personal and elemental” are source words for artists in all disciplines, and the artistic response to water can be as varied and intriguing as the element itself. Famously, the sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti said, “The most difficult thing to do well is what’s most familiar.” And thus there is nothing obvious about the art in this exhibition about water. Staged as an informal survey of a spectrum of contemporary art and artists, “H2O – the Element of Water in Art” intends to provide you with stimulating and unfamiliar views of the most familiar.
While limited in number by necessity, the seventeen artists participating in this exhibition address water within a rich spectrum of identities and relationships.
From water as artistic partner and medium to water as relic or abstracted reality – in this exhibition the element has inspired artists known for kinetic sculpture, abstract photography, subtle paintings, political action and commentary, land art, print making and narrative sculpture.
Curated by Bolinas Museum’s Dieter Tremp, the exhibition will include work from Wolfgang Bloch, Phil Buchanan, Brown Cannon III, Claudia Chapline, Andy Goldsworthy, Mary Daniel Hobson, Basia Irland, Vesta Kirby, Lawrence LaBianca, Therese Lahaie, Richard Misrach, Ben Nixon, Piro Patton, Robert Porte, Richard Shaw, Nancy Stein, and Eric Zener.
The exhibtions will be open to the public – as always without charge – from 1 May to 13 June, 2010, Fridays 1 to 5, Sat/Sun noon to 5.

Bolinas Museum
48 Wharf Road
Bolinas, CA 94924
415- 868-0330
www.bolinasmuseum.org

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