San Francisco

David Ireland at Walter and McBean Galleries

Wry humor, mystery, and entropy: Today from our partners at Art Practical, we bring you Danica Willard Sachs’ review of David Ireland’s work at the Walter and McBean Galleries at the San Francisco Art Institute. The author notes, “Throughout, Ireland draws our attention repeatedly to the material conditions of each object, the where and how of every action, rooting them in real time and space.” This article was originally published on February 11, 2016.

David Ireland. David Ireland, 2016; installation view, Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute. Courtesy of San Francisco Art Institute. Photo: Gregory Goode.

David Ireland. David Ireland, 2016; installation view, Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute. Courtesy of San Francisco Art Institute. Photo: Gregory Goode.

Suspended from the ceiling and twirling above a circular pile of kitschy Roman-style garden statuary in the center of SFAI’s Walter Gallery, David Ireland’s Angel-Go-Round (1996) is a mash-up of wit and melancholy typical of the artist. Supported with only a fluorescent yellow strap looped across her gray fiberglass waist, the angel flies precariously through the air. The mechanical groan of the motor propelling her orbit above the heap of concrete bodies reverberates throughout the gallery and lends a haunting quality to this work and the entire exhibition. Coinciding with the reopening of 500 Capp Street, Ireland’s house-turned-artwork, the tightly edited David Ireland shows an artist fluent in the language of conceptual art and grounded in everyday materials like concrete, wood, and metal. Bringing together Angel-Go-Round, along with a range of small sculptures, another large-scale installation, and several small paintings, the exhibition is a carefully selected representation of the varied practices encompassing Ireland’s career. It underscores Ireland’s insistence on an art inflected by place and time, an art that reveals, in the words of fellow conceptual artist Allan Kaprow, “as if for the first time, the world we have always had about us but ignored.”

Read the full article here.

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