BACK ROOM: August 20–September 25, 2021
Pantea Karimi: Medieval Gadgets, Hybrid Volvelles
Volvelles are the first paper analog computers from the medieval period, which were made by hand and installed inside the scientific manuscripts to offer different astronomical calculations and to make the manuscripts interactive. Pantea Karimi has created variously-sized Hybrid Volvelles that are composed of geometric shapes using silkscreen, ink and watercolor on paper disks, assembled on wood panels with fasteners to allow independent spinning and interactivity. In some, she mixes and matches Persian, Arab and European medieval and early modern scientific images and textual information to construct historical knowledge of various cultural points of view into one form.
Pantea Karimi is a multidisciplinary artist based in San Jose, CA. In her art, she combines content from her scientific manuscript research with contemporary issues and her life’s narratives using a variety of materials and media. Karimi has exhibited internationally across a range of solo, group and traveling exhibitions in Iran, Algeria, Germany, Croatia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Karimi’s fine arts and graphic works are held in public and private collections including Stanford University, University of California, Davis and Ruth Asawa Foundation among others. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2022 Mass MoCA the Studios Residency, the 2021 University of California San Francisco Library Artist in Residence, and the 2019 Silicon Valley Artist Laureates Award.
Mary Curtis Ratcliff: Geometric Abstractions: New Work
Mary Curtis Ratcliff continues her fascination with shadows and circular form in a show titled Geometric Abstractions: New Work. This new acrylic on plexiglass work builds depth between the wall and painted surface allowing light to catch and project shadow. Brightly colored paint on the plexiglas surface stands in contrast with the sober shadows projected onto the wall behind each piece.
After studying sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1960s and participating as one the original “Videofreex” in New York, Mary Curtis Ratcliff moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1973. She has been working in sculpture, mixed media and printmaking ever since. Ratcliff’s work is in over 40 collections and has been in more than 100 exhibitions in the United States, Europe, New Zealand and Japan.
Elizabeth Sher: Transparency & Opacity: Truth & Truthiness
“Geometry is built into the way we think about space and motion.”
Elizabeth Sher presents an exhibition of mixed media paintings titled Transparency & Opacity: Truth & Truthiness. The works are abstract metaphors for the confusing and often opaque information in our daily news onslaught. The titles reflect Sher’s thoughts as she listens. With varying degrees of seriousness and humor her work attempts to re-examine and stretch the viewer’s process of perception.
Elizabeth Sher is an artist and filmmaker in the Bay Area. She is Professor of Art Emeritus from California College of the Arts. Her work is in the permanent collection of SFMOMA, Oakland Museum of California, BAMPFA, De Saisset Museum, and many private collections. Her films have been honored and screened at film festivals worldwide and aired nationally in the USA and abroad.