The human spirit is an endless paradox, eluding our hard and fast opinions, tormenting psychologists, perplexing our justice system. Though we all possess one (hopefully), how strange it is that we are forever mystified by its unpredictability.
"The Art of Gaman," a sublime exhibition now showing at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art is a case in point.
The word gaman in Japanese means "enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity" and the objects showcased in this breathtaking collection illustrate just that.
Made by Japanese-Americans imprisoned at the 10 internment camps built throughout the western United States during World War II, the objects shown here are delicate, intricate, fragile, and beautiful.
Many of the works included in the exhibit have been collected through the efforts of Delphine Hirasuna, the San Francisco writer who wrote the book, "The Art of Gaman," recently published by Ten Speed Press.
In fact, the beautiful collection ofsmall wooden brooches carved and painted to resemble birds comes from the author’s home, where she wore them as a child without realizing the heritage and story behind them.
Of course, the real art here lies in the context in which these objects were created and how the human spirit surprises us when we least expect it.
S.F.’s Park on display
Rare works by revered San Francisco artist David Park shows at the Hackett-Freedman Gallery.
The 20 works selected represents the earlier days of Park’s career, roughly between 1930 and 1945.
Park subsequently destroyed most of the works he created during this time, though the paintings and drawings are on par with the artist’s work in the 1950s, the decade that launched Park to major status.
The art of pousette-dart
Don’t forget to check out the newly opened Richard Pousette-Dart exhibition at the Brian Gross Fine Art gallery, launched in conjunction with "Transparent Reflections" the Pousette-Dart exhibit underway at the Palace of the Legion of Honor.
One of the youngest member’s of the New York School, Pousette-Dart’s modernist abstract art continues to create mythical landscapes that, while surreal, remain grounded in the earthly.
» "The Art of Gaman" shows through Jan. 21 at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art, located at 51 Yerba Buena Lane. For more information, visit www.mocfa.org or call (415) 227-4888.
» The David Park exhibition shows through Dec. 23 at the Hackett-Freedman Gallery, located at 250 Sutter St., on the 4th Floor. For more information, visit www.hackettfreedman.com or call (415) 362-7152.
» The Richard Pousette-Dart showcase runs through Dec. 23 at Brian Gross Fine Art, located at 49 Geary St., 5th floor. For more information, visit www.briangrossfineart.com or call (415) 788-1050.