Tag Archives: Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Art museum chief: New space good for Town & Gown

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Yesterday, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive announced it had begun construction work on its new building in downtown Berkeley.

The UC Berkeley-owned museum has raised the lion’s share of the $100 million it needs to create a new home for itself on Center Street at Oxford, on the fringes of the Cal campus.

BAM/PFA is set to move from its current location on Bancroft Way into the new space, designed by New York architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in early 2016.

Berkeleyside caught up with BAM/PFA Director Lawrence Rinder to find out what the dramatic new building will mean for the museum and for the city of Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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News

Work starts on new Berkeley Art Museum, to open in 2016

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Construction work has begun on the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive which, all things going well, is slated to open in the summer of 2016, bringing bold contemporary architecture into the heart of Berkeley.

The UC Berkeley-owned museum, which includes the Pacific Film Theater, has raised $95 million worth of pledges towards the $100 million goal it needed to create a new home on Center St. at Oxford, the site of a former printing plant owned by the university. The new BAM/PFA is to be designed by New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, architects of New York’s High Line and several museums, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C.

BAM/PFA has been planning to move since 1997 when it was determined that its current building on Bancroft Way — built in 1970 and designed by Mario Ciampi — did not meet present-day seismic standards. It cannot be upgraded without eliminating open exhibition spaces required for the galleries.  … Continue reading »

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The idea of an absence: ‘Silence’ at Berkeley Art Museum

Andy Warhol
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The works in the exhibition Silence, which opens today at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, span a century of artistic practice and explore the question of silence, and whether this intangible can be represented.

Silence is, by definition, uncommunicative and peaceful. It is also mysterious, threatening, meditative and explosive. It is simultaneously a state of quiet and a deafening absence of noise. This conundrum is addressed by the multidisciplinary works in the galleries and in film and video programs that have dispensed with representational imagery to depict the idea of an absence. … Continue reading »

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Barry McGee’s urban art takes over Berkeley Art Museum

Barry McGee installation at BAMPFA 2012
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The savage, often red-hued work of San Francisco artist Barry McGee, presented in a mid-career survey exhibition by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA), threatens to take over.

Not content with consuming four galleries of the museum’s parking structure-like interior space, the man known generically as a “graffiti artist”— and more intentionally recognized as a leader in urban-inspired art — is stopping passers-by with “SNITCH”, painted in 25-feet spray-can font on the museum’s Bancroft Street façade.

McGee, who bears the tag name “Twist”, developed his skills on the streets. Refining and expanding his visual command while training as a painter and printmaker at the San Francisco Art Institute, he has an elegant mind and the full potential of a master draughtsman.

His brain-boggling torrent of expression,  seen in solo exhibits at places like Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center in 1998 and San Francisco’s Center for the Arts Yerba Buena Gardens in 1994, catapulted his trademark “come closer/stay away” message onto the national stage. … Continue reading »

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Reminder: First free Summer Cinema movie is tonight

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This year’s Summer Cinema on Center Street, a free outdoor movie series, kicks off tonight, Saturday August 4, at 7:30pm.

The films, which are being projected onto the wall of the future Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, are all in the classic B-movie “mad scientist” genre.

Tonight’s screening is The Atomic Brain, in which an aging spinster finances the brain transplant experiments of a deranged scientist in the hope that her brain can be transplanted into the body of a younger woman.

The Summer Movie series takes place over three weekends in August and is organized jointly by Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive and the Downtown Berkeley Association. The event was launched last year and proved immensely popular, drawing up to 400 people to the Bank of America parking lot for each screening. … Continue reading »

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Brainy B-movies at free Summer Cinema series

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Demented surgeons who know no bounds, crazed doctors keeping brains alive, abductions and decapitations – you can tell Steve Seid had an enormous amount of fun putting together the program for this year’s Summer Cinema on Center Street, a free outdoor movie series which kicks off on Saturday August 4.

“I wanted something different from common currency films. I wanted to pull out some of our more disgraceful examples,” he says, laughing.

Seid, Video Curator at Pacific Film Archive, delved into the museum’s 18,000-strong collection of films to come up with his selection of 16-mm prints for the series, which takes place over three weekends in August and is organized jointly by Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive and the Downtown Berkeley Association. The event was launched last year and proved immensely popular, drawing up to 400 people to the Bank of America parking lot for each screening.

The films, which will be shown on the wall of the future Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, are all in the classic B-movie “mad scientist” genre. … Continue reading »

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Babette’s feast: Finding fine fare at Berkeley Art Museum

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Oakland’s loss is Berkeley’s gain: local chefs Joan Ellis and Patrick Hooker were exploring opening a venture called Babette’s Table on Temescal’s hipster Telegraph Avenue, but, for a variety of reasons, the deal for the upscale restaurant-grocery-café space fell through.

So the partners in work and life started scouting around for places where they might serve up seasonal, rustic grub. Via the local food-folk grapevine they learned that the owner of Oakland’s Remedy Coffee, who, as well as a Telegraph spot had also set up shop in the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) café space, was looking to sell.

And so Babette at BAM was born. Seven months on, the café has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following. The café serves breakfast (like bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches, steel-cut oatmeal with apricots, cranberries, and toasted pistachios, and baked goods such as fruit-filled pastries), lunch, and coffee and sweet treats into the early afternoon. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Kenny Endo
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LET WORDS INSPIRE  For more than 10 years the WriterCoach Connection has brought one-on-one writing support to thousands of middle school and high school students in Berkeley and beyond. The organization is hosting its annual Read-and-Write-a-thon at King Middle School on Saturday to raise funds for operations and to expand to Richmond next year. For 10 hours, an ever-changing cast of teachers and students will read poetry, prose, drama and fiction. Go listen to their amazing work. If you can’t go, you can donate here.

HEAR THE DRUMS  Taiko master Kenny Endo and jazz drummer Akira Tana are among the musicians performing this weekend at the 63rd annual Satsuki Bazaar and Arts Festival at the the Berkeley Buddhist Temple, 2121 Channing Way. The bazaar will feature a variety of Japanese, Hawaiian and Asian foods, including sushi, udon noodles, loco moco, kalua pork, curry rice, shave ice and American fare such as hot dogs, hamburgers and Portobello mushroom burgers. The festival runs from 3:00 to 9:00 pm on Saturday, May 19 and from noon to 7:00 pm on Sunday May 20. … Continue reading »

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Architecture

Berkeley Art Museum’s architect talks

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By Preeti Talwai

“Our work started out of a museum wall,” said architect Elizabeth Diller on April 18, beginning the last lecture in the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design’s spring series. Addressing an audience that ran the gamut from students to experienced professionals in the field, she spoke that evening of her multifaceted work, including our very own new Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.

Leapfrogging across the world with a variety of highly acclaimed projects, ranging from installations to museums, Diller – and her collaborators at their New York based firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro – have now landed in our own backyard with their design for the new Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archives. The evening’s whirlwind survey of their multifaceted projects – which Diller summarized as “we just do a lot of different things” – shed light on and contextualized the project that is planned as a significant part of downtown Berkeley’s revival.

The BAM/PFA project is planned as a significant part of downtown Berkeley’s revival. The 82,000 sq ft space to be nestled between Center, Oxford, and Addison streets, is an example of the rejuvenation and occupation of existing sites that Diller states is “an important sustainable way to think.” Its $100 million design embraces the existing Art-Deco style printing plant, an “industrial shed”, and a new structure. … Continue reading »

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Architecture

Berkeley buildings are winners in architecture awards

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The San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects recently announced the winners of its 2012 Design Awards, and four Berkeley projects were awarded in the progam, from a total of 26 across the Bay Area.

Mark Cavagnero Associates won a Merit Award in the Interior Architecture category for their renovation of UC Berkeley’s Durant Hall. Leger Wanaselja Architecture received a Merit award in the Energy and Sustainability category for the partners’ own home, the McGee Salvage House on McGee Street in central Berkeley. In the same category, Noll & Tam Architects won a citation award for the YMCA-PG&E Teen Center in downtown Berkeley. And Diller Scofidio + Renfro/EHDD Architecture received a Merit award in the Unbuilt Design category for their designs for the forthcoming Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.

John King, Urban Design Critic at the San Francisco Chronicle said Berkeley did particularly well this year. “This is a large number for Berkeley.” But he cautions that this doesn’t necessarily mean an affirmation of shifting Berkeley design trends. … Continue reading »

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The “before” pictures: Berkeley Art Museum/PFA

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Call it “beautiful decay”: these stunning photographs, taken by David Stark Wilson, show the interiors of the future home of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA).

Just as with the new Magnes, which unveiled its new space on Sunday, BAM/PFA is to be housed in a 1920s-era 1939 building originally designed as a printing plant for UC Berkeley. It is located at 2120 Oxford Street at Center Street, in the heart of downtown.

Is it not fitting that, as the demand for printed thesis, documents, books and monographs has waned, the engine rooms that produced these volumes are now being put to good use while remaining in the cultural realm?

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Book explores impact of Berkeley Art Museum’s Peter Selz

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When Peter Selz arrived in Berkeley in 1965, the university only had a small art gallery to display its modest collection of art. Selz had been recruited from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to oversee the construction of a new, contemporary museum, the Berkeley Art Museum on Bancroft Way.

He did that and more. With Selz at the helm, the Berkeley Art Museum redefined many aspects of modern art and brought overdue attention to California artists.

Selz was already “something of a star,” when he arrived in Berkeley, according to Paul J. Karlstrom, whose new book, Peter Selz: Sketches of a Life, has just been released by UC Press. He had been one of the first curators to trumpet the work of Mark Rothko. His star grew even brighter in Berkeley after he put on groundbreaking shows such as “Directions in Kinetic Sculpture,” an exhibition of the Surrealist René Magritte, and Funk!, which showcased ceramicist Peter Voulkos, Bruce Conner, and other California artists. Selz, who had fled Germany during the Nazi regime, also created the Pacific Film Archive. … Continue reading »

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Reminder: Share your Firestorm memories at BAM

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As part of a series of public events supporting its current exhibition by Berkeley photographer Richard Misrach, the Berkeley Art Museum is inviting the local community to gather at the museum this Sunday afternoon to share memories of the 1991 Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm.

At the BAM/PFA “Tell Your Stories: Open Mic in the Galleries” event, the museum is turning the microphone over to the community. People will be encouraged to talk about their memories amid Misrach’s compelling photographs, taken 20 years ago during the week following the Firestorm and unveiled for the first time in this exhibition. … Continue reading »

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