Weekender: Be Cool — See Art and Stay Awhile

Bottles art
Verge is now showing the work of Nathan Cordero. Bottles (detail), carved door, 80 by 32 inches, 2011. (Courtesy)

"Stay Awhile" now at Verge in Sacramento

Now showing at Verge, Stay Awhile: A Nathan Cordero Show, features otherwise mundane objects as art. The late Nathan Cordero’s work is best understood in the context of San Francisco’s Mission School of artists — most notably Barry McGee, Chris Johanson, Alicia McCarthy and the late Margaret Kilgallen — that gained international acclaim in the 1990s for a kind of rough and tumble urban style. Cordero’s work, like theirs, has elements of graffiti and hobo art, frequently uses snippets of text, and is representational, offering pictures of the everyday world.

Using bits of torn plywood found on the street and household detritus, an aesthetic that is of the impoverished outsider in juxtaposition to American middle-class niceties. The Mission School artists were mostly associated with the San Francisco Art Institute, whereas Cordero did not attend art school, and was self taught, except for a mentorship with the late Sacramento painter Troy Dalton for whom he was studio assistant.

Organized by Verge with the collaboration of three friends of Nathan Cordero — Renny Pritikin, Gioia Fonda, and Liv Moe (founding director of Verge) — and the cooperation of his widow, Stacy McConnen, this exhibition is a memorial celebration of the late artist. Pritikin was the longtime director of the Nelson Gallery, the former art home at UC Davis, and Moe is a graduate of the art program.

A selection of some 100 highlights from almost 20 years of Cordero’s output will demonstrate his work using excised wood, cut paper, and painted objects, with an emphasis on his obsession with language and rebus-like imagery.

More information at Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento.

Also this week and coming up in Davis

Friday, June 14th is 2nd Friday ArtAbout in Downtown Davis. Organizers say this is shaping up to be the biggest ArtAbout of the year. There are three new venues and over 30 artists showcasing around town. Music, art of all types, live paintings, refreshments and it’s free.

Make Music Day is just around the corner. If you are a musician who would like to be matched with a venue for the celebration, visit here to create a profile and register.

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