I spent this past Sunday several hours south of home, looking at art accompanied by my husband. We started in Carmel with the Center for Photographic Art, which has a lovely show of one of my favorite photographers, Masao Yamamoto. His photographs are elegant and intimate treasures. The largest image was only about 8 x 6” and many were much smaller than that. He flew in from Japan with close to 1000 photos and selected 70 to install. Frameless, they are arranged in a poetic musicality on the wall (as seen in this photo here). I first learned of his work from the wonderful publications by Nazraeli Press, and being in this exhibit was like standing inside of one of those books. It is a show whose meaning and mood builds over time the longer you spend with it. Above all, I took from this show an affirmation that work can be quite small and hold a gallery space quite powerfully.
After visiting PhotoWorks and the Weston Gallery, we left Carmel and headed to Palo Alto for the Maggie Taylor exhibit at Modern Book Gallery. Maggie collages various elements in Photoshop creating surreal dreamlike scenes. It was a treat to see so much of her work in one place – altogether her prints begin to tell a fairytale narrative tinged with mystery and some darkness. Modern Book has just produced a great monograph of her work – Solutions Beginning with A – which I bought as soon as it was released.
Not only did these two exhibits inspire me – encouraging me to muse about scale and poetry and storytelling in art - but they were also in spaces were I am scheduled to have shows in 2008. So I also viewed these shows with an eye for how the art was arranged and how my work might fill that same space. It was quite awesome to know that my art will hang on the same walls as the work of these two remarkable artists. I can’t imagine better company.