State: Current


Jill McLennan presents new paintings and drawings in a show titled Rising Out of RuinsMcLennan’s interest in ruins originates with her teaching job at a local museum, her love of traveling and her observations of Oakland, the city where she lives, with its constant flux of construction and destruction. For many years her practice has emphasized documenting the abandoned or forgotten: vacant lots, train tracks, empty buildings and construction sites.

In Rising Out of Ruins, McLennan connects ideas about lost cultures with current conditions of development and displacement in American cities, especially Oakland. Ruins hold information about the scope of history and communicate knowledge left behind for us to encounter. Is it our obligation to leave ruins undisturbed, as the offerings for ancestors or gods that they were intended to be?  Or Is it our responsibility to unearth these treasures, document and preserve them in museums for all to see and learn about? This new body of work explores how the past lives in the present and looks towards a future where human cultures connect and celebrate differences and creativity.

Jill McLennan is an artist and teacher who has lived in Oakland, CA for 20 years. She teaches at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, and for a variety of non-profit arts organizations in schools. During the pandemic, McLennan has been teaching online art classes to children and adults and making art instructional videos for the DeYoung Museum.  She recently joined the Jingletown Art Studios Collective with a new work space and a regular schedule of open studios events. 

Mes Aynak, oil on canvas, 30”x 40”, 2020
Tikal, oil on canvas, 30”x 40”, 2021
Lower Bottoms, oil on wood w/ found objects, 24”x 36”, 2020
Hayward Shoreline, handmade paper, watercolor, ink and found objects on board, 20”x 30”, 2021
Alameda, Ohlone Land, watercolor on paper, framed, 26”x 34”, 2020
Transitions, watercolor on paper, framed, 26”x 34”, 2020
Plastic Oceans, watercolor and collage on paper, with collected plastic, 22”x 30”, 2021
Palmyra, oil on canvas, 30”x 40”, 2020
Red Blanket, mokuhanga, woodcut, 4 color print, edition of 4, framed, 10" x 12", 2020 (2 available) CLICK IMAGE TO PURCHASE
Underpass, mokuhanga, woodcut, 4 color print, edition of 4, framed, 10" x 12" , 2020. (2 available) CLICK IMAGE TO PURCHASE

Mary Curtis Ratcliff: MOTION VARIATIONS

In her first major solo exhibition since 2018, Mary Curtis Ratcliff presents Motion Variations comprised of three large kinetic sculptures and a series of two-dimensional works. The sculptures, Exoplanets and Technicolor Trees are kinetic, suspended works that incorporate natural imagery verging on abstraction: in the first, wave patterns, in the second, branches. A third new piece, Bay Fugue is the most recent and ambitious of the kinetic sculptures, comprising five suspended circular elements up to four feet in diameter, each hand painted on both sides.

Ratcliff’s sculpture explores the healing properties of art. Embodying the ephemeral qualities of nature and perception, they evoke calm, ease, and peace in the viewer. In 2018, she launched the website Healing Circle Artworks to explore the placement of art in hospitals and public spaces.

The two-dimensional works in Motion Variations are mostly from the series ScrapWorks, created during the COVID-pandemic quarantine. Unable to work with her usual printers and fabricators, Ratcliff turned to her own studio resources and found scraps with traces of digital printing on them in her flat file drawers: circles, corners and straight trimmings left over from earlier works, some of them saved for years.  The results are an entirely new series of over two dozen pieces made in the spring and summer of 2020, many being presented for the first time in this exhibition.

Mary Curtis Ratcliff majored in sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1960s, and then moved to New York, where she was a founding member of the radical collective Videofreex. After her move to California in 1973, Ratcliff’s wind sculptures and ceremonial pieces were used in the early eco-feminist movement; later works continued to unite fabric and craft with a sculptural sense of design. Beginning in 1999, Ratcliff concentrated primarily on 2-dimensional work, integrating photography, drawing, painting, and image transfer techniques in multi-layered, intricate explorations of nature, pattern and perception. Over the past five years, she has returned to circular, kinetic sculptures that now incorporate her photographic imagery.

Ratcliff’s artwork has been shown in well over one hundred exhibitions around the world. It is represented locally in the collections of the Oakland Museum of California and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She has participated in residencies in the United States, France, Japan, and New Zealand. She lives and works in Berkeley, CA and is a member of both Oakland’s Mercury 20 Gallery and the Siy Gallery in San Francisco.

All work listed below is for sale. Click on the image to purchase.

Technicolor Trees, 2019, acrylic on plexiglas, monofilament 48 x 46 x 28 in. $4,000
Sequoia, 2019, watercolor, colored pencil on digital inkjet print mounted on Plexiglas, wood, metal 45 x 44 x ¾ in. $1400
A Break in the Clouds, 2020, collage, colored pencil on digital inkjet print 44 x 70 in. $2000
River, 2020, digital print collage mounted on wooden panel 4 ¾ x 5 ¾ x 1 in. $125
Quilt, 2020, watercolor on paper mounted on wooden panel 18 x 18 in. $350
Box Squared (2), 2020, digital printing on paper, acrylic on tyvek 30 x 30 in. $350
Out of the Box, 2020, acrylic on paper collage on papyrus 25 x 25 in. $350
Star, 2020, acrylic, paper collage mounted on wooden panel $350
By the Sea, 2020, milky acetate collage on acrylic and tyvek, 36 x 36 in. $700
Portal, 2020, acrylic, paper collage on tyvek 36 x 36 in. $700
Cosmic Slinky, 2020, acrylic, paper collage on Tyvek, 36 x 36, $700
Exoplanets, 2019, acrylic, colored pencil, Japanese ink brush pen and digital inkjet print on milky acetate, steel, monofilament 64 x 60 x 58 in. $4,250
Danuta Five Times, 2020, digital ink jet prints on handmade paper 24 x 17 in. $400

Tara Esperanza & Brooks Fletcher: INTIMATE PERSPECTIVES

Mercury 20 Gallery announces a new series of shows in the gallery’s back room office space MERCURY 20 BACK ROOM with new work every six weeks. The series commences with INTIMATE PERSPECTIVES from Tara Esperanza and Brooks Fletcher

Tara Esperanza presents paintings from her series Las Ventanas a México. Having traveled extensively in her husband’s homeland for many years, Esperanza has been transformed by Mexico’s rhythms, its language has softened her soul and its colors warmed her heart. Here she paints the distinctive beauty of the Mexican landscape and its inspiring cultural traditions of art, family, and music.
Las Ventanas a México 

Brooks Fletcher presents photographs from The Intimate Vessel, his ongoing series of city street views that examines the nature of photographs and the medium’s capacity to challenge attitude and perception. Made from color reversal film, each 4 x 5-inch transparency is placed in a hand-built frame designed to backlight and present the lived-experience authentically, from the film itself. These photographs offer a truthfulness that may otherwise go unnoticed and extend an alternate approach toward photography in an age of digital reproduction.
The Intimate Vessel

All work listed below is for sale. Click on the image to purchase.

El Hombre Alto, 2007, 46"h x 42"w, acrylic on canvas, $3864 + $475 shipping & insurance = $4339
Una Ventana a Mexico. 2006, 38"h x 30"w, acrylic on canvas, $2280 + $285 shipping & insurance = $2565
Maria, 2018, 54"h x 46"w, acrylic on canvas, $4968 + $575 shipping & insurance = $5543
Primas, 2008, 36"h x 36"w, acrylic on canvas, $2592 + $275 shipping & insurance
238 E. 18th Street, color reversal film in a backlit frame, 8" x 10" x 2", 2018, $500
1717 Harrison Street, color reversal film in a backlit frame, 8" x 10" x 2", 2018, $500
4051 18th Street, color reversal film in a backlit frame, 8 x 10 x 2", 2019, $500
900 Fallon Street, color reversal film in a backlit frame, 8" x 10" x 2", 2019, $500
48 Essex Street, color reversal film in a backlit frame, 8" x 10" x 2", 2019, $500
1 Broadway, color reversal film in a backlit frame, 8" x 10" x 2", 2018, $500