Last Saturday night, White Walls Gallery in San Francisco held an opening reception for their Winter Group Show, an eclectic exhibition featuring paintings from over 22 different artists.   Over the course of 2010, White Walls has hosted shows for some of contemporary art’s most talented artists and their December feature is no exception.  As one guest affectionately referred to it, this is White Walls’ “Big Family Show” and White Walls’ family is a gifted one at that, including artists working in the Lowbrow, Urban and Street art styles.  This show features works from both local SF favorites like Eddie Colla and D Young V to internationally respected, household names like Shepard Fairey and Blek Le Rat.

Check out all the photos from the Winter Group Show by click the image gallery above!

There were many great artworks in this show, but I’d like to elaborate further on a few that really stood out to me.  Hands down, one of my favorite pieces was a large scale canvas by Portuguese artist Pedro Matos.  The figurative painting is titled “Uma Vida Noutra Vida”.  It depicts a man wearing a hat in black and white, the man’s eyes are cast down and his face is visibly worn, wrinkled with age; a portrait of someone that goes unnoticed, unappreciated and often forgotten.  Matos uses negative space within this portrait to show portions of the worn wall through the figure, in effect forcing you to look past him, just as much of contemporary society has.

Another artwork that really stood out in the group exhibition was Robert Burden’s bright and oversize portraits of action figures.  The scale of this painting alone would have made it stick out anywhere (124” X 75”).  This monumental oil on canvas, (Note: a medium and canvas size that was once reserved for historical and religious imagery only) depicts the imaginary henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The artist’s expressed intent was to capture the awe and idealism that these plastic toys once had in his childhood imagination, before the cynicism and practicality of adulthood set in.

A third piece that caught my attention was a smaller, abstract collaborative piece by Geoff Campen and Diana Ruiz titled “Web”.  This mixed media piece was visually interesting to me because of the contrast created between Campen’s precise draftsmanship and Ruiz’ organic textile work.  The duo’s use of negative space also added to this artwork’s visual intrigue.

I felt this group show was strong finish for 2010 and White Walls gallery.  It is definitely a nice overview of the talent that this gallery showcases regularly throughout the year.  If you have an opportunity to check out this show, I suggest you do.  The winter group show will be on view until New Years Day, January 1st, 2011 at White Walls Gallery located at 835 Larkin St, San Francisco.  Check out the gallery’s website for hours: http://www.whitewallssf.com/

Artists included in this show were ABOVE, Akira, Becca, Meg Wolfe, Blek le Rat, Robert Burden, C3,  Geoff Campen, Diana Campen, Clayton Brothers, Eddie Colla,  Kevin Cyr, D Young V, Shepard Fairey, Casey Gray, Greg Gossel, Henry Gunderson, Jessica Hess, Hush, Charles Krafft, Pedro Matos, Diana Ruiz, Ferris Plock, and Joshua Petker

That’s it for me! Happy Holidays and Have a great New Year, see you in 2011!

by Maggie Pike for Warholian.com

(In addition to writing for Warholian, Maggie Pike also runs the website Gone Tomorrow SF which covers the world of San Francisco Street Art.  Check it out here: http://GoneTomorrowSF.com )

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