San Francisco, Tuesday, April 5, 2017 - Creativity Explored, the premier nonprofit visual art gallery and studio for artists with developmental disabilities, presents Black White, a group exhibition that explores the sharp distinction between black and white and the many nuanced ways of blurring it.
Co-curated by Creativity Explored’s long-time Executive Director Amy Taub, Black White celebrates the impossibility of strict divisions. Taub will retire at the end of June, after more than 35 years working in the field of developmental disability. “Nothing is ever completely black and white. Ability and disability are shades of gray,” Taub explains.
The show’s inspiration, though, is less conceptual and more about creating an opportunity for artists to experiment with a monochromatic palate. Many of the artists participating in the show have never worked with black and white, and doing so opened possibilities for new ways of seeing and looking. Co-curator and prominent art consultant/co-founder of Creative Rescue Susan Kay remarks, “Looking at black and white art always leaves just a little bit more room for the imagination.”
Black White includes work from over 40 artists, from miniature sculpture to large-scale banners, ink drawings to mixed media collage. Featured artworks include a selection of methodically-drawn books of buses and trucks by Daniel Li; one of Elana Cooper’s grand, floral silhouettes; and, a fantastical cadre of slithering creatures painted by Richard Wright. Also included are painted vases by Kate Thompson, adorned with the dancer motif that corresponds with the mural recently mounted just outside the Creativity Explored gallery entrance on Sixteenth Street.
Of particular interest is Steven Liu’s series, After Egon Schiele, a set of large-scale portraits on translucent paper floating in the gallery window. Each drawing is more captivating than the next, as Liu’s signature line technique outlines simple but surreal figures. In the style of the early 20th century painter whose work inspired the series, Liu does not overlook the details that subtly give life to each subject – tiny wrinkles around the mouth, for example, or the creases in a bent knuckle.
The final exhibition of Taub’s tenure at Creativity Explored, Black White provides a dazzling demonstration of the complex and profound possibilities that exist between black and white.