a collection of modern &
About the Collection
Western Bureau Arts maintains a permanent collection of modern and contemporary art spanning from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Our mission is to preserve and promote works that have been unjustly overlooked or otherwise under-represented in today's art market.
Whether it's reviving the reputation of forgotten masters, celebrating regional art movements, or fostering the current generation of working artists, we strive to maintain this vital resource for educators, historians, curators, collectors, students, and members of the general public interested in exploring the many contours of creative expression.
About the Gallery
In addition to our ongoing curation and exhibitions, we also sponsor the Western Bureau Art Prize to recognize and support the work of new and emerging artists worldwide. For more information, click here.
Upcoming & Ongoing Exhibitions
Showcasing New Works and Selections from the Western Bureau's Permanent Collection
Bay Area Modernism (Ongoing)
Post-War to Post-Modern, 1940-1980
An extensive survey of mid-century works by Bay Area artists, including the pioneering "Berkeley School" and "San Francisco School" of abstract expressionism. Highlights include paintings, drawings, prints, and mixed media pieces by: Edward Dugmore, Karl Kasten, Erle Loran, John Haley, Edward Hagedorn, James McCray, Robert Gilberg, Harold C. Davies, Jerry O'Day, Irene Pattinson, Robert Holdeman, and Julius Wasserstein (pictured).
Jacob Semiatin: Retrospective (Ongoing)
Jacob Semiatin burst onto the New York art scene in the early 1950s, garnering raves for his exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Contemporary Arts Gallery, Galerie Internationale, and other vaunted institutions. The New York Times called his paintings "dynamic", "exuberant", and "high spirited". The Guggenheim's famed director James Johnson Sweeney became a close friend and admirer. Then, as quickly as he appeared, Semiatin quietly withdrew to his studio, producing a massive body of work, but never exhibiting again. Thankfully, Semiatin's inventive style has been rediscovered by a new generation of art lovers, and the Western Bureau is proud to present this retrospective consisting of eleven watercolors, spanning six decades of Semiatin's career. Pictured left is an untitled, 25x38 watercolor from 1967.
The Western Bureau Art Prize
We are proud to announce the winner and finalists for the Western Bureau Art Prize.
Winner: Maggie Evans
Stark and haunting beauty.
Many places come to mind when viewing the stark and haunting cityscapes presented in Maggie Evans' “Collective Behavior” paintings. The crumbling housing projects of America's inner cities, perhaps. The bleak apartment blocks of a forlorn Soviet republic. Maybe they are the towers of a provincial Chinese city, obscured by pollution. If this were literature, we might see shades of Kafka or Solzhenitsyn. In music, perhaps Bruce Springsteen or Biggie Smalls. In film, these could be production still from Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Regardless, the dramatic and arresting effect of these paintings shines through.
It might surprise some viewers to learn that Maggie Evans calls Savannah, Georgia home, a place more associated with charming, postcard-perfect streets than a foreboding dystopia. This assumption can be misleading though. You don't have to venture far from the tourist districts to notice that Savannah is not immune to the cycles of poverty, crime, and disenchantment that exists nearly everywhere.
This is not to say that Evans' work is all doom and gloom, however. In fact, it is a subtle meditation beautifully rendered. There is a sense of calm throughout. I believe we have to look beyond the structures themselves, as striking as they are, and consider what they may represent. What's more important: the edifice, or those who inhabit them? What do they feel and experience?
These paintings question a basic assumption: if buildings are marvels of engineering, architecture, technology and labor (which they are), and cities (as aggregates of these marvels) represent the highest form of human achievement, how do we account for the failings inherent in their design? How do account for a loss of individuality, the sameness, the repetition, the loneliness? How do we grapple with our hazy sense of purpose, and the many unintended consequences? Are we, like the buildings, suppose to disappear into the miasma?
That is the magic of this work. It allows us to question and ponder “what is” so that we may put into motion “what should be”.
To learn more about Maggie Evans and her paintings and installations, please visit: http://www.maggieevansart.com/
Honorable Mention: Carlos Beltran-Arechiga
To put it simply, Carlos Beltran-Arechiga is a natural painter. That's not to say that his paintings hew to a strict representation of nature, or conform to some rigid formality. Rather, his work is an ethereal exploration of space and environment, effortlessly juxtaposing sharp geometry with freewheeling freshness and spontaneity. There's a firm sense of control and an intuitive sense of composition at work here, with light mingling and growing from darker tones, giving each piece a sense of gravity, and a touch of playfulness.
Carlos Beltran-Arechiga lives and works in Los Angeles, and you can learn more about his expressive works by visiting: http://beltronicastudio.wixsite.com/carlos-arechiga
Worlds within worlds.
The interdisciplinary works of Ryota Matsumoto are stunning in their complexity. Given his accomplished background in design, urban planning, and architecture, it's not surprising to see these disparate elements filtered and combined into abstractions that are grand in scale and precise in their execution. What we see is the universe in miniature, with Ryota's eye peering through the microscope. Laid before us are the unique paths we all take through life- alternately linear, circular, jagged, and fluid- which then mingle with others, randomly and intentionally, thus forming a social knot of ever-changing interactions.
To explore the intricate worlds of Ryota Matsumoto, please visit: http://www.ryotamatsumoto.com