1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
415 982 3292
Since its inception, Rena Bransten Gallery, founded by Rena Bransten in 1974, has sought to define its artistic program by including both established and emerging artists whose work engages with contemporary social and cultural climates. While originally focusing on ceramic sculpture by California artists, the physical gallery space and scope of exhibitions soon expanded to include a multidisciplinary program – all the while sustaining a deep rooted connection to the crafted object. Now, over thirty years later, the gallery continues to exhibit both national and international contemporary artists in one person and thematic exhibitions which maintain a dialog with other galleries, museums, and curators.



Artists Represented:
John Bankston
Dawoud Bey
Edward Burtynsky
Aiko Cuneo
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Dennis Gallagher Estate
Rupert Garcia
Doug Hall
Matthias Hoch
Candida Höfer
Leiko Ikemura
Eirik Johnson
Jun Kaneko
Bovey Lee
Hung Liu
Robert Minervini
Vik Muniz
Tameka Jenean Norris
Sam Perry
John Preus
Robb Putnam
Amparo Sard
Nobuyuki Takahashi
Lava Thomas
Tara Tucker
Marci Washington
John Waters
Henry Wessel
Fred Wilson
Works Available By:
Ruth Asawa
Tony DeLap
Viola Frey
Ron Nagle

 

 
Installation view of These American Lives, 2016. Courtesy Rena Bransten Gallery.
Gallery Exterior. Photo Credit: John Janca
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Current Exhibition

Mining the Archive
Lewis Watts: Mining the Archive
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

July 1, 2017 - August 19, 2017
This collection of images was completed during an artist residency at the Amistad Center for Art and Culture in Hartford, CT and is the artist's response to the archives held there.

 
Upcoming Exhibition

Vik Muniz
Vik Muniz: Handmade
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

September 9, 2017 - October 28, 2017
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to announced a solo exhibition of new works from renowned artist Vik Muniz, best known for recreating iconic art historical imagery using unexpected materials such as chocolate, garbage, and dirt. This new series, entitled Handmade, continues Muniz’ lifelong exploration of cognitive and perceptual analogies, emphasizes his interest in visual games, and celebrates his sense of play. Muniz challenges the viewer to see both the image and the material simultaneously, and to create literary and visual connections between artworks, as in Artist’s Choice: Vik Muniz, Rebus at The Museum of Modern Art in 2008. With a nod to Op Art and geometric abstraction, Handmade marks a departure from previous works, with a possible salute to fellow Brazilian artist Lygia Pape. Like the “is it live or is it Memorex?” campaign, this series asks each viewer to discern between an object and its representation. llery is pleased to announced a solo exhibition of new works from renowned artist Vik Muniz, best known for recreating iconic art historical imagery using unexpected materials such as chocolate, garbage, and dirt. This new series, entitled Handmade, continues Muniz’ lifelong exploration of cognitive and perceptual analogies, emphasizes his interest in visual games, and celebrates his sense of play. Muniz challenges the viewer to see both the image and the material simultaneously, and to create literary and visual connections between artworks, as in Artist’s Choice: Vik Muniz, Rebus at The Museum of Modern Art in 2008. With a nod to Op Art and geometric abstraction, Handmade marks a departure from previous works, with a possible salute to fellow Brazilian artist Lygia Pape. Like the “is it live or is it Memorex?” campaign, this series asks each viewer to discern between an object and its representation.

 
Past Exhibitions

Nobuyuki Takahashi
Nobuyuki Takahashi: お茶の時間/take a break
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

July 1, 2017 - June 19, 2017
Rena Bransten Gallery is please to present our second solo exhibition of Japanese painter Nobuyuki Takahashi. By deftly extracting the essence of his surrounding environment, Takahashi distills the landscape into its most essential component parts. The resulting paintings are both graphic and deceptively simple – with large areas devoted to open water and sky, a sense of calm and rest permeates the work and summons quiet contemplation. While continuing to explore the landscape of Japan, many of the works in this latest collection of paintings are the result of Takahashi’s first trip to San Francisco in 2015, also his first time ever visiting the United States. Inspired not only by the landscape of the U.S., but by the laid-back atmosphere of Northern California, Takahashi found himself reflecting on his approach to painting, and these works embody his new-found desire to free himself from the rules dictating what a painting ‘should’ or ‘should not’ be. Nobuyuki Takahashi was born in 1968 in Kanagawa, Japan. He graduated from Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music in 1991. He has shown extensively throughout his native Japan over the past twenty plus years, in both group and solo exhibitions. His work is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura and Hayama, among others. He currently lives and works in Zushi, in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

Hung Liu
Hung Liu: Promised Land
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

April 29, 2017 - June 24, 2017
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present Hung Liu: Promised Land, an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper based on photographs by American photographer Dorothea Lange. Hung Liu is known for her use of Chinese historical photographs, and Promised Land continues this exploration of history, now focused on America’s Great Depression and Dust Bowl era. While Dorothea Lange’s photographs have become almost synonymous with this era (with iconic images like Migrant Mother, 1936 and White Angel Breadline, 1933) Hung Liu’s paintings, taken in conversation with the rest of her oeuvre, ask the viewer to consider these events in the larger sweep of the human condition. Liu reminds us that forced migration, economic devastation, poverty and hunger are not unique to country, race or culture, and her works at once acknowledge these tragedies, while celebrating the resilience of the human spirit.

Robert Minervini
Robert Minervini: Improvised Gardens
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

March 18, 2017 - April 22, 2017
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present our second solo exhibition of Oakland based artist Robert Minervini. In these new paintings, Minervini continues his investigation of human’s complex relationship to both the natural and constructed environment, looking at our dual and conflicting desires to both tame and live harmoniously with nature. Inspired by walks around San Francisco neighborhoods, many of these works focus on small improvised garden spaces, exploring how space is manipulated in densely populated urban areas with an effort to bring in the natural world, further underscored by the inclusion of three large planter box sculptures on the gallery floor. Image: "Improvised Garden II (Water Street), 2017, acrylic on canvas, 84 x 72 inches

Leiko Ikemura
Leiko Ikemura: Unknown Voices
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

February 4, 2017 - March 11, 2017
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition from internationally celebrated artist Leiko Ikemura. Walking into an exhibition of Ikemura’s work is to be invited into another world. Her soft, dream-like paintings and her expressive ceramic sculpture convey a world in which humans and nature meld fluidly, and a dramatic eroticism permeates the work. Throughout her almost four-decade career, Ikemura has continued to explore ideas of alienation and fragmentation, and the fragility and vulnerability of the human state.

Bovey Lee
Bovey Lee: The Sea Will Come to Kiss Me
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

January 7, 2017 - March 11, 2017
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present The Sea Will Come to Kiss Me, a site-specific installation by Los Angeles based artist Bovey Lee. Engendered in response to the contentious rhetoric of the recent election, The Sea Will Come to Kiss Me mirrors Lee’s anxiety as an immigrant, a woman, and a person of color. Entering the gallery, the viewer is confronted with a perforated wall. This barrier is impassable, yet visually permeable; behind it hundreds of paper boats, meticulously folded from the artist’s immigration paperwork, are suspended from the ceiling. Using the wall as a metaphor for exclusion and longing, the gallery and its contents can be seen, but not entered.

Between the Lines
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

December 10, 2016 - January 28, 2017

Sam Perry
Sam Perry: Seeing but Never Meeting
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

December 10, 2016 - January 28, 2017
Artist Reception: Jan 7, 5-7pm Sam Perry’s carved wood sculptures are testaments to the passage of time and are imbued with a respect for craft and precision. Sourced from fallen trees, the wood has already lived a lifetime before Perry begins transforming it into sculpture. With patience and precision, Perry carves, sands, polishes, and splines with an awareness of the material’s history and a desire to “find” the sculpture hidden within the bole. “Looking at a fallen tree is like observing a person and wondering about their past,” says Perry, a sentiment reflecting both his careful consideration as an artist and his deep reverence for his chosen material.

Jun Kaneko
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

November 5, 2016 - December 3, 2016
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Jun Kaneko's large ceramic heads, wall slabs, ceramic constructions, and paintings. The exhibitions will run in conjunction with the San Francisco Opera's Madame Butterfly, with multimedia production design by Jun Kaneko.

Sidney Russell
Sidney Russell: New Works
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

September 10, 2016 - October 15, 2016
An installation of clothes in epic scale.

Aiko Cuneo
Aiko Cuneo: No Postage Necessary
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

September 10, 2016 - October 15, 2016
A series of small paper works made from No Postage Necessary barcodes.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Censored Tarps
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

September 10, 2016 - October 15, 2016