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Charles Desmarais in DATEBOOK Reviews William Swanson’s “Florascape”

Read Full Review Here

November 29th, 2018

By Charles Desmarais

Drift and slope. William Swanson’s new paintings are deceptively easy to like. His exhibition “Florascape,” at Eleanor Harwood Gallery through Dec. 15 (1275 Minnesota St., S.F., feels a bit like a walk through a mirror universe to ours, a place where nature is somehow mathematically rationalized.


Alumina Drift, acrylic on panel, 47 x 74 inches, 2018, Photography by Shaun Roberts


The 6-foot-wide “Alumina Drift” takes center stage among 11 semi-abstract landscapes that fairly glow with a light of crystalline purity. It sets us at the edge of a vast scene of mountain and lake — a vista of what lies before us and also, impossibly, above us, held aloft by a network of misty ribbons. In “Operational Slope” we glide among structures made up of no more than lines and wings, above a broad valley.



Operational Slope, acrylic on panel, 34 x 38 inches, 2018, Photography by Shaun Roberts


An implied grid underlies every picture, bringing rigid structure to what was wild. To propose that the world can be so controlled is not the same as to say that it is safe.

Alexis Anne Mackenzie – Selected Press and Publications


SFWeeklyCreating New Realities with Hand-Cut Collages, November 22, 2016
Visual Art Source
Editor’s Pick
, March 2015.
We HeartDouble Life, March 19, 2015.
Kolaj Magazine (Issue 9), Alexis Anne Mackenzie, July 2014.
Rooms MagazineAlexis Anne Mackenzie, September 20, 2013.
In The MakeStudio Visit & Interview, August 2012.
Fecal Face“Alexis Mackenzie & Michelle Blade: A Conversation, June 12, 2012.
Contributor Magazine“The Artist Within”, May 7, 2012.
Little Thing Magazine (Issue 23), Interview/Special Feature, April 2012.
Yen Magazine (Issue 56), Interview/Guest Illustrator, April-May 2012.
Always Sometimes AnytimeInterview, April 19, 2012.
Clark Magazine (Issue 48), Interview, “Les Fleurs du Mal”, May-June 2011.
Doingbird MagazineIssue 15, February 2011.
Fecal Face“Bloom & Gloom” Opening Night Photos, January 31, 2011.
JuxtapozStudio visit, January 17, 2011.
The FlopboxStudio visit, January 17, 2011.
Hi-FructoseThe Collages of Alexis Anne Mackenzie, January 14, 2011.
Newcity ArtArt Break: Game Night, October 4, 2010.
ArtSlantLa Lotería, October 4, 2010.
Chicago TribuneCollage and Cutting Edge Go To College, July 16, 2010.
Tufts MagazineAfterimage: Short Night of the Glass Dolls, Summer 2010 Issue.
ExaminerA review of On Wonderland & Waste, July, 2010.
Los Angeles TimesArt review: Alexis Mackenzie at POVevolving, April 2, 2010.
KQEDGallery Crawl: Paper!Awesome!, March 2010.
ArtSlantOverlap: “Control C, Control V”, July 2009.
Chicago Art Review“Control C, Control V” at ebersb9, July 2009.
ArtBusiness“Never Be Sad” Reviews & Opening Night Photos, June 2009.
San Francisco Chronicle“Don’t Miss: ‘Never Be Sad'”, June 2009.
Fecal FaceStudio Visit and “Never Be Sad” Opening Night Photos, June 2009.
San Francisco ChronicleFecal Founder Picks Top 5 Artists, May 2008.
Fecal FaceInterview, April 2008.
San Francisco ChronicleStudio Visit, March 2008. (original link)



WIRED22.11. In print and online animation. November 22, 2014.
Garden VarietyEd. Varie. September 2013.
New York Times Sunday ReviewLook Carefully At Those Seeds, March 2, 2013.
Little Paper Planes, Chronicle Books, 2012.
Juxtapoz Illustration II, Gingko Press, 2012.
Zeit Magazin, 99 Fragen (print edition), March 31, 2011.
New York Times Magazine, On Language: Pigskin Parlance, January 28, 2011.
Gratuitous Type, Issue 1, Winter 2011.
On Wonderland & Waste, Sidebrow, 2010.
Phoebe, George Mason University, cover artist & poster insert, Spring 2010.
Art for Obama, Abrams Books, October 2009.
The Rest Is Up To You, Chronicle Books, August 2009.
Western Humanities Review, cover artist, Summer 2009.
King Brown Magazine, Issue 5, May 2009.
Instant City, Issue 6: Disappeared, 2008.
Faesthetic, Issues 5 & 6, 2005-6.
Curvy III, Paper Tiger Media Group, 2006.
Chaos Happens: This Is A Magazine, Compendium 3, 2004.
Neomu, Issues 6 & 7, 2003-4.

Dana Hemenway – Selected Press and Publications

Dana Hemenway, All That Glows Sees, September 10th – October 29th, 2016
About the Artist
Selected Press & Publications


Anton Stuebner, Art Practical, Gesture/Fragment/Trace, September 17, 2015
Hannah Leow, ÆQAI, Post Fabrication at Wave Pool Gallery, April 24, 2015
The 2015 Dorothy Saxe Invitational: Tzedakah Box, Exhibition Catalog, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Introduction by Claire Frost

Lauren Murrow, San Francisco Magazine, Twisted Beauty: Dana Hemenway Electrifies the Art of Macramé, August 2014
Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, ‘Bay Area Now 7′ review, July 18, 2014
Sarah Hotchkiss,, Visual Arts, Wish You Were Here: A Postcard from the LA Art Book Fair, February 5, 2014

Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, The other ‘Cats’, August 17, 2013
Heidi De Vries, Engineer’s Daughter, Schrödinger’s Cats, August 19, 2013
Monique Delaunay, SF Art Enthusiast, San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries Passport 2013, October 15, 2013
Jackie Im and Aaron Harbour, 9th Floor Radio, Questionnaire 3 – Dana Hemenway, January 30, 2013
10-Year Anniversary Publication & Alumni Exhibition, Exhibition Catalog, Root Division, San Francisco, CA
2011 Christy Khoshaba, Misson Local, New High-End Valencia Business Scene, October 13, 2011
Liz Glass, ARTslanT, Call-and-Response, August 15, 2011
Emma Spertus and Post Brothers, Artcards Review, SF Artweek: Preview Night, May 21, 2011
Synchronized Chaos Web Journal, Artwork Feature, February 6, 2011

JD Beltran, City Brights,, State of the Artists, May 12, 2010
Between You and Me: Mills College MFA Exhibition 2010, Exhibition Catalog, Mills Art Museum, Essay by Stephanie Hanor

Unreal, Exhibition Catalog, 31 Rausch St Gallery
I.O.U., Exhibition Catalog, Mission 17, essay by Mary Ann Kluth

Erin Garcia, Afterimage, What Are You Afraid of?, Jan/Feb 2007, Issue 34.4

Paul Wackers’ ‘Slow Wave’ Reviewed in art ltd.

Art LTD. Cover

Paul Wackers’ ‘Slow Wave’ art ltd. July/August 2016 review PDF


Paul Wackers: “Slow Wave” at Eleanor Harwood Gallery


“Travel should be an art through which our restlessness finds expression,” wrote Ilan Stavans and Joshua Ellison in a New York Times article, “Reclaiming Travel” in 2012. For artist Paul Wackers, recent years of travel have provided a way for him to revisit his art practice with fresh eyes and begin to incorporate new subjects into his already complex still-life paintings. After spending several years in the SF Bay Area where he received his MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute, Wackers recently relocated to Brooklyn and for the last few years he has been attending residencies in Brussels and Norway and personal travel stints to Morocco. His current solo exhibition occupies two large gallery spaces at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, hosted by Eleanor Harwood Gallery. The impressive installation included several large-scale paintings alongside sculptural shelves and stands that showcase dozens of ceramic sculptureFeaturing recent and new works, the viewer is clued into his progression from paintings of predominantly interior scenes, to more open tableaux that incorporate landscape and exterior views.

For example, Moroccan Wall (Ourika Valley) (2016) features thick impasto sections of tonal grey that simulates cascading rocks, while a thorny cactus and palmy fronds mimic the arid landscape’s greenery, over which Wackers has inserted a minimal abstract structure and expressionistic spray-painted gestures. In general, Wackers’ paintings offer a definitive nod toward European modernist forebears, particularly Matisse, for his unapologetic use of color and romantic attention to plants and fabrics. There are also references to early cubist still lives and techniques, such as Picasso’s flattening of the picture plain, quirky distortion of shapes, distinct line work, and ceramics. In 2013, Wackers began working in ceramics, crafting pieces which he views as three-dimensional  representations of the objects commonly found in his paintings. Each sculpture has its own personality, incorporating a variety of shapes ranging from extruded thick strands in piles to rough-hewn planks squeezed together, off-kilter amphora vases or mushy hand-size forms that simulate rocks or geodes. His dedication to texture pervades the compositions and the sculpture; his signature surface is a smear of expressionistic paint using hard-edge techniques of masking areas to build thick reliefs into geometric shapes, or recognizable referents such as leaves, pots, boulders or textiles. Wackers successfully solidifies the notion that an artist need not be defined by his or her medium, but rather by a shared expression of experiences.


Paul Wackers Slow Wave reviewed on Emporium’s

Emporium logo

Original article, published in French in May 2016 on Emporium’

Read our translation of the article here; translated by Camila McHugh:

At the end of last year end we had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Wackers (read that conversation here.) He told us he would be taking a short break from exhibitions and we made an appointment to meet in May at the Eleanor Harwood gallery. That time has come and here we are at the Minnesota Street Project, a large building full of galleries, including that of Eleanor Harwood, where Paul Wackers presents his new exhibition, Slow Wave.

Although Paul took a short break from exhibitions, he did not stop painting, as is evident in the more than fifteen large pieces on display here. These new works build upon those we saw at the Alice Gallery last October. While we recognize certain places, certain shelves and windows, the artist tells us new stories here with a language of objects at once ordinary and surreal. Once again, one can’t help but marvel at the rendering of these objects. Paul Wackers is an alchemist of painting: always with the same base of acrylic paint, he manages to create novel material and texture. Of course we must not forget the plants, which play as big a role as ever in his work.

While Paul has continued to explore the themes that informed his prior work, we find that these works has also grown in complexity, with superimposed structures that become increasingly numerous. Some paintings become labyrinths with detours that drive towards different visual and emotional experiences. In other paintings, the artist plays with an increasingly elusive sense of perspective, pushing further into a territory between the real and surreal in which he immerses the viewer.

The pieces presented here also immerse the viewer in the intimate world of Paul Wackers. First because he paints the space in which he lives and works, notably his studio where he collects these objects and plants. But it is also because these spaces are painted as the artist feels them, with the energy and vibration that arises from the interaction of the elements they contain. In Slow Wave, the artist has gone even further to create an immersive environment — an installation of shelves that house the vases and strange sculptures that inhabit his paintings surrounds the viewer. Like the installation for his exhibition last year, Thank You for Being, Paul Wackers has created a series of ceramics of the objects found in his paintings. This time he also created the shelves and even the workbench to accompany them. In this way, one feels transported to his workshop, to the core of his creative process in a way that feeds on itself. The exhibition runs through June 11, but if you’re unable to make the trip, we offer you a little recap of photos to see these beautiful new paintings a bit more closely.

Sampler for client. Client is picking a color for a @kirkmaxson Ginko installation. Good times at the gallery 🙂 (at Eleanor Harwood Gallery)

Last few days to see James Chronister’s solo show “Better Bowls, More Crackers”! Closing Saturday.