Renny Pritikin reviews the exhibition Energy That is All Around, curated by Natasha Boas and Nicole Crescenzi, on view through December 14, 2013. The show features works by Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Alicia McCarthy, Barry McGee, and Ruby Neri.
Pritikin writes that this group of artists all "lived in the Mission District of San Francisco throughout most of the 1990s and soon became thought of as a school. They shared a number of aesthetic values: in particular their work never could be found on fresh new art supplies. Rather, they chose to paint or draw on cheap, faded, stained and torn commercial paper, or pieces of quarter-inch plywood or doorskin found discarded in the street or at construction sites, or on walls, fences and freight trains. Secondly, their drawing styles were improvised, fugitive, rejecting of the abilities of a traditional skilled hand, and came soaked in arcane social histories, whether of surfing, skating, hoboing, or folk music, typography and design. When figurative, the work was influenced by comix, and it reflected the grittiest parts of urban life lived in post-student poverty."