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 forty 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
Jonathan Calm
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Dennis Gallagher Estate
Rupert Garcia
Diane Hall
Doug Hall
Matthias Hoch
Candida Höfer
Leiko Ikemura
Eirik Johnson
Bovey Lee
Hung Liu
Nathan Lynch
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
Lewis Watts
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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Upcoming Exhibition

The Portrait Show
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

June 23, 2018 - August 18, 2018
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present "The Portrait Show," a group exhibition exploring portraiture from traditional to non-traditional approaches in a range of media including photography, painting, sculpture, and works on paper. This exhibition will include works by Robert Arneson, John Bankston, Dawoud Bey, Jonathan Calm, Rupert Garcia, Jennifer Greenburg, Leiko Ikemura, Oliver Lee Jackson, Eirik Johnson, Bovey Lee, David Linger, Hung Liu, Martin Mull, Tameka Jenean Norris, Raymond Pettibon, Naaman Rosen, Thomas Ruff, Peter Saul, Tracey Snelling, Lava Thomas, Tara Tucker, John Waters and Henry Wessel, among others. This diverse grouping of works spans the humorous to the somber, nodding to the rich history of the portrait while aiming to expand its boundaries. Several works in the exhibition challenge the notion that a portrait should feature a face or figure. Naaman Rosen’s "Letters: A Portrait of a Family" consists of scanned letters sent from his mother, the words “Love You” stretched across a lined note pad in one, news of his brother’s imprisonment in another. Tameka Jenean Norris’ "Office Hours" is a photograph of a cup of tea and an art history book, the artists’ toes barely visible at the edge of the frame. Bovey Lee’s cut paper work "Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker" is a photo transfer of the artist’s own immigration paper work, incised with sea imagery. Some artists in the exhibition use themselves as subject, but not always in the vain of self-portraiture. Jennifer Greenburg works with vernacular found photographs, but replaces the subject with herself, blending cultural narratives with the personal. Jonathan Calm uses his own body in "Double Vision: (Recording I)," but the work expands beyond the self-portrait: his vulnerable figure lies on the pavement, a camera lens in his mouth recording footage of police brutality against black bodies. Complimenting these non-traditional approaches are more traditional portraits. In some, artists render other artists in what feel like gestures of mutual admiration – Robert Arneson of Viola Frey, Rupert Garcia of Picasso, and Henry Wessel of Dennis Gallagher. In others, the artist looks directly at his subject, as in Dawoud Bey’s close-up portrait "Girl with a Knife Nose Pin," or directly at themselves, as in Thomas Ruff’s "Self Portrait."

 
Past Exhibitions

Doug Hall
Song of Ourselves (After Walt Whitman)
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

May 5, 2018 - June 16, 2018
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present Song of Ourselves (After Walt Whitman), a two-channel site-specific video installation by Doug Hall, designed in collaboration with the architectural team modem. The installation situates a video of high school students reciting Whitman’s text with a projection that washes across the gallery walls of slow motion, black and white video of people moving through public spaces. Song of Ourselves brings forth the positive spirit that resides within Whitman’s words, and is Hall’s proposal that a humanist tradition can provide an antidote to the venom seeping into the American conscience following the 2016 election.

David Linger
The Sea Within / O Mar Adentro
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

May 5, 2018 - June 16, 2018
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present David Linger: The Sea Within | O Mar Adentro, a collection of black and white photographs of beach scenes printed on translucent porcelain panels. Taken at two places dear to Linger’s heart, Ocean Beach in San Francisco and Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, these photographs are an elegy to the sea and its visitors. Linger is a careful and intense documentarian of people and their relationship to the sea. His subjects are groups, pairs, or solitary figures entrenched in intimate moments, joyous celebrations, or lost in contemplation. His images are at once familiar and atmospheric and bring the democratic nature of the beach to the fore.

Oliver Lee Jackson
Oliver Lee Jackson: Someplace Else
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

March 3, 2018 - April 28, 2018
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition from celebrated artist Oliver Lee Jackson. The exhibition will include paintings and drawings that excite, mystify and charm with their technical virtuosity and sheer physicality, as they invite the viewer to travel to another realm. Image: No. 1, 2017 (3.13.17)

Rupert Garcia
Rupert Garcia: Rolling Thunder
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

January 6, 2018 - February 24, 2018
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present Rupert Garcia: Rolling Thunder, an exhibition of paintings and prints by renowned Bay Area based American artist Rupert Garcia. Since the late sixties, Garcia has been committed to creating artwork addressing urgent issues of our time, voicing concerns over the desperate consequences of social and political injustice and deceit, as well as raising questions about the pretenses of aesthetic conventions. In strikingly bold graphics, often coopting the mechanics of pop art and culture, his recent work elaborates on his political concerns, and challenges notions of folk and high art. Image: Rupert Garcia: Rolling Thunder, 2017, mixed media on paper Rolling Thunder, a survey of five decades of work, exposes his continual use of war imagery and suggests the impact of Mr. Garcia’s service in the Vietnam War and direct involvement in a secret US military bombing campaign known as Operation Rolling Thunder. This is the first time Mr. Garcia’s work has been assembled to specifically illuminate the impact of his participation in the Vietnam War, and the first time Mr. Garcia has publicly acknowledged his participation in Operation Rolling Thunder.

Candida Höfer
Candida Höfer: Spaces and Places
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

November 4, 2017 - December 22, 2017
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to announce Spaces and Places, a solo exhibition by German photographer Candida Höfer. Best known for her large-scale color photographs of grand interior spaces and libraries, this exhibition engages Höfer’s signature images in a new way by pairing them with smaller, often abstracted works focused on individual details and arrangements suggestive of mise en scènes. The juxtaposition of the large to the small, the grand to the prosaic, invites the viewer to explore Höfer’s practice and consider the expansive interiors as a collection of small moments and event remnants.

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.

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.

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.