Archive for August, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO / Pier 24 Photography

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco

Pier 24 Photography is the new world-class destination for viewing fine art photography in San Francisco. Pier 24 houses the permanent photographic collection of the Pilara Foundation, established by collector and philanthropist, Andrew Pilara and his wife, Mary. The collection is comprised of over 2000 photographs on view in rotating exhibitions. Located in a 28,000 sq. ft. facility underneath the Bay Bridge, it is a must-see for art lovers of historical, modern and contemporary photography.

Carlton Watkins installation, photographs ca. 1880

Pier 24 is now hosting its third exhibition titled “Here” on view until December 16, 2011. It includes 700 works by 34 photographers who have lived or been inspired by the San Francisco region. Emphasizing late twentieth century images, the exhibition draws from the Foundation collection and includes loans from other institutions and private collections.

Richard Misrach, "GG 3020-2000", 4:05 am, chromogenic print

Ruth Bernard, "Two Forms", 1963, silver gelatin print

A distinguished sensibility in the choice of images and the style of the installation make for an exciting view on a range of subjects. The classic landscape photographs by Carlton Watkins of Yosemite and other locales fill an entire room. The majesty of landscape is further celebrated in the more recent works of Richard Misrach. His engagement with the Golden Gate Bridge and the mystery of the Bay bring magic to the prosaic. Gorgeous photographs celebrating the female form by Edward Weston and Ruth Bernard share a dialogue in another room.

Eduard Muybridge and Mark Klett installation

In 1878, Eadweard Muybridge trudged with his gear to the top of California Street to make a 360-degree record of the city. In 1990 Mark Klett revisited the idea, attempting to match Muybridge’s photographs. The results are beautifully installed on one wall, contrasting the different architecture and development of the city, while revealing the difference in the photographic process and papers of each photographer, separated by over one hundred years.

Todd Hido, "House Hunting" installation

Todd Hido, from "House Hunting", 1997, chromogenic print

The conceptual concerns of contemporary photography are explored by Todd Hido in “House Hunting”. He shot ordinary, manicured houses at night. The houses were lit only from within. The photos imply human occupation but have an eerie, haunted quality that questions the activity inside.

Doug Rickard, from "A New American Picture", archival pigment print

Doug Rickard’s photographs look like straight documentary street scenes. In fact, he sources the locations on Google Street View. He then re-photographs the scenes of choice on his computer screen. It is virtual photography fully utilizing the scope afforded by new technology.

"Bullitt", 1968, video still

An inspired addition to the show includes video of the history-making car chase scenes around San Francisco from the 1968 classic film, “Bullitt”, starring Steve McQueen and directed by Peter Yates. Still considered the gold standard of chase scenes, the context of the show gives the film footage a whole new dimension.

Pier 24 is accessible to the public by appointment only via their website, This policy is meant to provide an intimate and contemplative environment to view the work. It is a gift in every way.


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