Sylvia Fein: Crucial Eye,2011; egg tempera; 20 x 24 in.; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and
Pacific Film Archive, Purchase made possible through gifts from Andrew Teufel and Judith DeVito, with
additional funds provided by Glenn and April Bucksbaum.
(Berkeley, CA) June 22, 2016 — The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) presents Berkeley Eye: Perspectives on the Collection, on view July 13 through December 11, 2016. Celebrating BAMPFA’s recent arrival in downtown Berkeley, Berkeley Eye showcases the dynamic breadth and magnitude of its collection. The scope of the BAMPFA collection has always been broad, including works dating back to the Renaissance in the West and to the Neolithic period in China. By exhibiting these works, BAMPFA aims to provide new perspectives both onto worlds beyond Berkeley and into the interior worlds of individual viewers. Organized by BAMPFA Director Emeritus Jacquelynn Baas, Berkeley Eye focuses on art that activates the senses to stimulate the sixth sense—the mind. Approximately 150 exceptional works of art are presented in eight thematic groupings, including Bible Stories; Nature; Human Nature; Barriers & Walls; Connection & Change; Space, Time, Energy; Black, White, Gray; and Into the Light.
Bible Stories presents works from a range of time periods in an order corresponding with Biblical narrative. Different versions of similar subjects provide occasions for lessons in looking, and for reflection on the functions of art. The section includes works by Rembrandt von Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, and James Ensor, among others.
Rarely do artists present nature in a “natural” state. Instead the emphasis is often on nature as inspiration and as a source of energy, health, and connection, or as modified by humans for better or for worse. Nature features prime examples by artists such as Joan Brown, Paul Cézanne, Richard Diebenkorn, and Théodore Rousseau. Human Nature, meanwhile, focuses inward, on the human condition. This section provides visual stimulation for self-examination through the work of artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Francisco Goya, William Hogarth, Paul Gauguin, and Philip Guston.
Featuring works by Bruce Conner, René Magritte, and Lee Mullican, among others, the Space, Time, Energy section features sculpture, kinetic art, collage, and other art objects that stimulate and mobilize our bodies to create transformative aesthetic experiences. In contrast, the works featured in Black, White, Gray emphasize art’s relationship with the body through a quiet, yet assertive, presence. Presenting Minimal art from around 1960 to the present, it features works by Dan Flavin, Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, Ad Reinhardt, and others.
As populations become more dispersed and refugees multiply, barriers proliferate as well—obstacles that artists are challenged to depict, transgress, and transform. Also significant are the self-destructive, invisible walls we create for ourselves—the ones most vulnerable to artistic transformation. The Barriers & Walls section features several extraordinary artistic examples of external and internal obstructions that segment our world, separating us from ourselves and from each other. Included here are works by artists such as James McNeill Whistler, Dorothea Lange, and Richard Serra.
Connection & Change, featuring iconic works by Louise Bourgeois, Jay DeFeo, David Ireland, seventeenth-century painter Zhou Zun, and others, showcases examples of artistic transformation—experiences that can take place in the mind of the viewer as well as that of the artist. The final section, Into the Light, showcases art that exemplifies the ecstasy of creation in the form of artworks by John Baldessari, Robert Irwin, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko, among others.
Drawing from the breadth of BAMPFA’s varied collection, Berkeley Eye exemplifies BAMPFA’s commitment to presenting art in ways that both challenge and inspire viewers.
Berkeley Eye: Perspectives on the Collection is organized by BAMPFA Director Emeritus Jacquelynn Baas with the assistance of Curatorial Associate Lauren R. O’Connell. The following students participated in the related History of Art Department seminar: Danielle Caro, Angela Choi, Lauren Cooper, Gabrielle Haugen, Hyesun Kim, Paloma Lin, Christine Liu, Yan Ma, Carlos de Jesus Mendez Tejeda, Jeila Saidi, Ayesha Shaikh, Emily Szasz, Karina Velasco, Haili Wang, and Jennie Yoon.
Berkeley Eye Guided Tours
Selected Thursdays and Sundays
Join us for guided tours of Berkeley Eye: Perspectives on the Collection on selected Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. and Sundays at
2 p.m. See the online calendar for the complete schedule.
Included with admission
Berkeley Eye Curator Gallery Talk with Jacquelynn Baas
Friday, July 14; 12:15 p.m.
Join Jacquelynn Baas, BAMPFA Director Emerita and guest curator of Berkeley Eye, for a discussion of artworks from the various thematic sections of the exhibition, beginning with its signature image—Sylvia Fein’s riveting Crucial Eye (2011).
Included with admission
Heavy Breathing #2: Unseen Influence with Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon
Sunday, July 17, 2016; 5:30 p.m.
Join Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon in a series of exercises informed by Feldenkrais and listening meditations that explore new ways of perceiving visual works in relation to museum architecture. This participatory workshop, which also features dancer Margit Galanter, takes inspiration from the Space, Time, Energy–themed artworks on view in Berkeley Eye: Perspectives on the Collection. Heavy Breathing, which continues through November, is a monthly series of events combining physical exercise and critical discourse. heavybreathing.com
Included with admission
The Bureau of Linguistical Reality
Sundays, August 7 & 14, 12–5 p.m.
A participatory artwork that responds to a collective loss-for-words to describe the changing world around us, focusing on language in Berkeley Eye: Perspectives on the Collection.
Included with admission
Heavy Breathing #3: Group Experience with Olive McKeon
Sunday, August 21, 2016; 1 p.m.
How do groups move, think, talk, and organize together? Join dancer and SALTA Collective member Olive McKeon for an experiential group encounter that explores social forces and dynamics as they occur in real time. This participatory workshop takes inspiration from the Human Nature–themed artworks featured in Berkeley Eye.
Included with museum admission
Address: 2155 Center Street Berkeley, CA 94704
Hours:Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, 11 am to 7 pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 11 am to 9 pm
Gallery admission prices: Free: BAMPFA members, UC Berkeley students, faculty, staff, and retirees, 18 & under + one adult; $10 Non-Berkeley students, disabled , 65+; $12 general admission
Free First Thursdays: Free gallery admission on the first Thursday of each month
Hashtags: #BerkeleyEye #BAMPFA
Internationally recognized for its art and film programming, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is a platform for cultural experiences that transform individuals, engage communities, and advance the local, national, and global discourse on art and film. Founded in 1963, BAMPFAis UC Berkeley’s primary visual arts venue with its screenings of some 450 films and presentations of up to twenty exhibitions annually. BAMPFA’s mission is to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.
The institution’s collection of over 19,000 works of art dates from 3000 BCE to the present day and includes important holdings of Neolithic Chinese ceramics, Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese painting, Old Master works on paper, Italian Baroque painting, early American painting, Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, and Conceptual art. BAMPFA’s collection also includes over 17,500 films and videos, including the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan, impressive holdings of Soviet cinema, West Coast avant-garde film, seminal video art, as well as hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film—many of which are digitally scanned and accessible online.
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