Art Space 712 Solicits Artists for Exhibition 'I'll Bet You Can't Paint a Portrait: The Genesis of Bay Area Figurative Art Now'

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Art Space 712 in San Francisco solicits artists for "I'll Bet You Can't Paint a Portrait: The Genesis of Bay Area Figurative Art Now." The exhibition, conceived by William Gilmartin III of Art Space 712 and juried by legendary Bay Area artist Theophilus Brown, will be on view September 25-27, 2009, at 712 Sansome Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco. More information and a prospectus are available at http://www.artspace712.com.

Art Space 712 in downtown San Francisco inaugurates its exhibition program with the juried show "I'll Bet You Can't Paint a Portrait: The Genesis of Bay Area Figurative Art Now." The exhibition will be on view three days only, Friday through Sunday, September 25, 26, and 27, 2009, at Art Space 712 (712 Sansome Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco). The deadline for entries is August 15, 2009. Entries can be submitted online or by mail. More information and a prospectus are available at http://www.artspace712.com.

Juried by legendary Bay Area artist Theophilus Brown, the exhibition features portrait paintings by California artists that reflect a range of aesthetic and conceptual concerns. William Gilmartin III of Art Space 712 envisioned a pro-artist art competition, and initiated the idea for this exhibition on hearing a story told by Theophilus Brown over lunch with his friends and associates Matt Gonzalez and Anthony Torres, recalling a rhetorical dare posed by painter David Park as a challenge to Richard Diebenkorn: "I'll bet you can't paint a portrait." In the 1950s, this challenge facilitated painterly excursions that evolved into what is now known as Bay Area Figurative art.

"I'll Bet You Can't Paint a Portrait: The Genesis of Bay Area Figurative Art Now" honors this history by inviting artists from throughout California to submit paintings that can be considered translations of this legacy through contemporary portraiture. "This project was conceived to honor the all too often under-recognized tradition of Bay Area Figurative Art," says Gilmartin. "This competition puts the interests and needs of the artists first--by focusing on their particular works, eliminating entry fees, not requiring gallery commissions on sales, providing awards to selected artists, and bringing them to the attention of collectors, with the hopes of promoting future sales of their works."

This project was conceived as a pro-artist event, and eliminates the customary practice of charging artists a fee to have their works considered. Instead, Art Space 712 requests no fee and offers cash awards to all artists selected for the exhibition. Each participating artist whose work is shown will receive an award of $1,000. Theophilus Brown will then select three works in the show to honor with cash awards of $3,000, $5,000, and $12,000.

Through its focus on contemporary portraiture, the exhibition invites works by California artists who, like an earlier generation of Bay Area Figurative artists, look at the world around them, and in particular the people in their lives, as sources of inspiration.

"I'll Bet You Can't Paint a Portrait: The Genesis of Bay Area Figurative Art Now" opens on Friday, September 25, from 6pm to 10pm, with a reception honoring the participating artists, featuring refreshments and live entertainment; a suggested voluntary donation will benefit ArtSpan/SF Open Studios. The exhibition continues Saturday and Sunday, September 26-27, 2009, 12 noon to 5pm, at Art Space 712, 712 Sansome Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco.

For more information, call 415.421.9500, or visit http://www.artspace712.com.

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Diane Roby

Diane Roby

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