Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Museum-caliber artists with international cache

Gail Severn Gallery shows work rarely seen outside metropolitan venues

Express Staff Writer

Bean Finneran’s “White Ring” 25,000 curves of low fire clay, glaze and acrylic stain. Courtesy photo Gail Severn Gallery

Sun Valley's attraction to the greatest of the great in music, cuisine, skiing and other diversions is only limited by the space and time in any given artist's schedule and the size of the venue.

This Friday's Gallery Walk provides a snapshot of the caliber of this small town to compete with large cities when it comes to art. On Friday, Gail Severn Gallery will host a rare four internationally acclaimed artists who have been featured in major museum shows and critiqued in everything from the New York Times to the largest papers in Hong Kong.

Many hands manning heavy equipment were outside the gallery last week to handle the massive works of Jun Kaneko and Bean Finneran. Kaneko has sculpture all over the world and is most famous for his large-scale ceramic sculptures, most weighing thousands of pounds,  and more than 12 feet tall. He has just finished the set and costume design for the San Francisco Opera's "Magic Flute," which will travel to major cities around the world for the next five years. His sculptures were featured down Park Avenue in New York City and in London and Germany.

  On the other end of the spectrum is Finneran, another ceramic artist who creates her ceramic sculpture from hand-rolled clay curves. Most are about 8 inches long. Some of her larger pieces consist of more than 20,000 hand-rolled curves. She has been in three museum shows and has several more upcoming in Europe.

  Hung Liu is arguably the most well-known American artist of Chinese descent. Liu was born in Changchun, China, in 1948, growing up under the Maoist regime. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1984 to attend the University of California, San Diego.  She is a huge part in the women's rights movement in China and was a featured speaker for a symposium in Shanghai on women's rights. She will hold an artist chat at the gallery on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 10 a.m. She has a one-woman retrospective opening at the Oakland Museum soon and is in more than 50 museums around the world.

  Finally is sculptor Boaz Vaadia, an Israeli living in the U.S. His sculptures are of layered stone which he cuts and chisels away to create forms—usually human forms, but sometimes animals. His sculptures can be massive—some are heads more than 5 feet tall, others are life-size human figures. His work is in many of the large museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, Tel-Aviv Museum and New York's Jewish Museum.

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