What Is Art For?

Dates:

February 5, 2022 - March 20, 2022

Reception:

Reception: Sold Out

Overview:

Annual Artists of MarinMOCA Exhibition

 

What Is Art For? opens on Saturday, February 5, 2022, and features over 90 works created by MarinMOCA’s artist member community. The exhibition theme is inspired by William T. Wiley and Mary Hull Webster’s 1999 Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) exhibition of the same name and pays tribute to the late Wiley, who passed away in Novato earlier this year, and is one of the Bay Area’s most legendary artists hailing from Marin County.

The original OMCA show What Is Art For? William T. Wiley and Mary Hull Webster and 100 Artists resulted from Wiley’s own invitation for a solo exhibition at the esteemed museum. Declining the opportunity, he instead turned the offer into a platform to showcase the breadth of art being produced across the region. The show was notable for its emphasis on community, collaboration, inclusivity, and democratization of the gallery space by presenting both famous and unknown artists on a level playing field. This open-ended exhibition model provides an apt jumping off point for the diverse voices of MarinMOCA’s artist community to reflect on the exhibition’s prompt as well as Wiley’s own legacy as an artist who defied categorization, charting a course entirely his own. 

Wiley developed a unique visual vocabulary that combined his lifelong interests in liberal social and environmental concerns as well as philosophy and mysticism. His hallmark text and wordplay infuse his varied body of work with  humorous puns, sarcasm, and double entendre to critique many of the most urgent issues of our time. A small group of works by Wiley will accompany the exhibition that highlight the artist’s distinctive blend of wit and wisdom and resonate with the range of voices on view from our artist member community.

What Is Art For? Invites both artist and viewer to consider, and reflect on, the role that art plays in our lives. Spanning all galleries this engaging exhibition includes work in a variety of media and genres. Art can inspire conversation, educate, document our world, stimulate our imaginations, or simply provide solace in disturbing times. We encourage visitors of all ages to enjoy this provocative exhibition on view from February 5, through March 20, 2022. Curator and writer Renny Pritikin will jury the awards. Reception: Sold Out.

About William T. Wiley:
Over a sixty-year career, William T. Wiley (b. 1937 in Bedford, IN, d. 2021 in Novato, CA) was one of the most significant and influential artists associated with the Funk movement. He attended the San Francisco Art Institute where he received his BFA in 1961 and MFA in 1962. Alongside Robert Arneson, Wayne Thiebaud and Roy De Forest, Wiley helped form one of the most experimental and widely revered art programs in the country at the University of California, Davis, teaching there from 1962 to 1973. His students included such notable artists as Bruce Nauman, Deborah Butterfield and Richard Shaw. His earliest exhibitions were held in 1960 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art and he was the subject of touring retrospectives organized by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. His work is included in the collections of UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Stedelijk van Abbemuseum; Walker Art Center; and Whitney Museum of American Art; among many others.

About Renny Pritikin:
Renny Pritikin was chief curator of San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum from 2013-2018 and director of the Richard L. Nelson Gallery and the Fine Arts Collection at the University of California, Davis from 2004 to 2012. Pritikin was named chief curator for all artistic programs (film/video, visual art, performing arts, education) of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco in January 1997 after serving as director of the Visual Arts Program since 1992. From 1979 to 1992 he served as executive director of New Langton Arts in San Francisco, an alternative space internationally renowned for its presentations of new visual art, interdisciplinary performance, video, literature, and music. 

Artwork credits:
Home and Exhibit Page:
Patricia Leeds, Once Upon a Time in California, 2021, encaustic, 30 x 30 in. Courtesy the artist.

Slide show:
Wo SchiffmanWinds of Change, 2021, acrylic, ink on canvas, 25.5 x 49.5 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Luis Garcia, Wake, 2021, acrylic, dry pigment, birch wood panel, 40 x 30 in. Courtesy the artist.
Tim Sharman, Picnic, 2021, acrylic and house paint on canvas with grommets, 27.25 x 40.5 in. Courtesy the artist.
Pat Doherty, Canapes, 2021, oil on wood panel, 18 x 18 in. Courtesy the artist.
Debbie Dicker, The Kelp Forest in Monterrey, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 39 x 59 in. Courtesy the artist.

 

 

What Is Art For?

Dates:

February 5, 2022 - March 20, 2022

Reception:

Reception: Sold Out

Overview:

Annual Artists of MarinMOCA Exhibition