New Exhibition Looks Back at the Role of the Copier in Emerging Art Movements in the Bay Area
Positively Charged: Copier Art in the Bay Area Since the 1960s is a multi-part exhibition on view January 28 – March 19, 2023 at the San Francisco Main Library and San Francisco Center for the Book
SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Public Library and San Francisco Center for the Book join forces to present a retrospective look at the role the color copier played in avant-garde art movements in the Bay Area. Positively Charged: Copier Art in the Bay Area Since the 1960s comprises a single exhibition across two venues that explores the histories of several significant arts organizations and artists in San Francisco and the Bay Area through the lens of the copier art they produced.
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, the radical potential of copier art and quick printing was embraced by artistic communities across the Bay Area. Creative hubs such as North Beach’s Postcard Palace, the San Francisco Art Institute, and Mama Bear’s Bookstore in Oakland provided materials, training, equipment and opportunities for retail sales.
Exhibition curators Maymanah Farhat and Jennie Hinchcliff elaborate, stating that “for nearly 60 years, copier technology has provided Bay Area artists with an accessible medium allowing for distinctive forms of experimentation, social and political agency, mass distribution and affordable art making practices. Copier technology allowed artists to push the boundaries of their existing art practices in new and exciting ways.”
The 1980s and 90s ushered in an expansion in the way artists and individuals utilized copiers. Copy shops and community spaces such as public libraries continued to play an important part as hubs for artistic activity. Copier artists began creating art that provided commentary on Reagan-era politics and larger global crises. By highlighting the activities of these art spaces and the artists who founded and ran them, Positively Charged introduces viewers to the Bay Area’s extensive network of copier artists and history of copier art in the Bay Area.
The public is invited to attend the exhibition opening featuring a presentation with curators Maymanah Farhat and Jennie Hinchcliff who will discuss the impact of copier technology in the Bay Area arts community over the past 60 years as well as the different ways in which artists have embraced and utilized copier art. Saturday, January 28, 11 a.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Koret Auditorium, Lower Level.
Artists in the exhibition include Enrique Chagoya, Sas Colby, Bruce Connor, Jay DeFeo, Ginny Lloyd, Mary V. Marsh, Fred Martin, Scott MacLeod, Sally Wassink, Barbara Wyeth and René Yañez (among others).
Positively Charged: Copier Art in the Bay Area Since the 1960s
San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Skylight Gallery, 6th Floor
January 28 – March 19, 2023
FREE I sfpl.org
San Francisco Center for the Book, 375 Rhode Island Street, SF CA 94103
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
FREE I sfcb.org