Press Release

Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco is pleased to present Director’s Choice, a group exhibition showcasing the gallery’s newest artist, the international emerging star Annie Kevans, fresh works, and selected gallery favorites. The show highlights British acclaimed artists Michael Craig-Martin and Julian Opie. In addition are paintings by Ben Aronson and Scott Fraser, photographs by Gordon Parks and Carrie Mae Weems, sculptures by Patricia Piccinini, and drawings by Skip Steinworth. The exhibition opens January 7 and runs through February 1, 2014. The gallery will be participating in First Thursday on January 9, 5:30-7:30pm.


UK artist Annie Kevans’ has had a series of sold out solo exhibitions in Europe and the US since her degree show from Central St Martins School of Art & Design in 2004 when British collector Charles Saatchi acquired Boys, a series of 30 painted portraits of 20th-century dictators as children. Boys was featured in Paper, a 2013 exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. Kevans’ 2009-2010 series All the Presidents’ Girls depicts US Presidents’ mistresses, and their children, such as Eston Hemings, slave and alleged child of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings. Kevans paints people to reveal truths and explore difficult ideas, reflecting her interest in power, manipulation and the role of the individual in belief systems. Kevans is well known as the “new Tracey Emin”, as well as a hot new British talent, as dubbed in a Harper’s Bazaar article, “Forty under 40”. Currently, Kevans has a solo exhibition at Museum Dr. Guislain, Ghent, and a 3-artist show at Cecilia Brunson Projects, London. In 2014, she will exhibit in Antwerp, Brussels, London, Maastricht, and a solo exhibition this fall at Jenkins Johnson Gallery.


Internationally renowned conceptual artist Michael Craig-Martin—who taught Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, and others at London's Goldsmiths College in the 1970s—is often called the godfather of the Young British Artists. Featured in the exhibition is Craig-Martin’s Art & Design, a set of ten screenprints juxtaposing instantly recognizable art-historical objects with iconic 20th-century chair designs, such as a Jeff Koons’ bunny sculpture and a Le Corbusier chair.

The artworks and chairs referenced are icons of art and design—signature pieces that have come to represent and symbolize an artists’ or designer’s work in its entirety. Craig-Martin's work is in many public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tate Gallery, London, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. As one of London’s leading artists, he was selected to create a poster for the 2012 London Olympics.


Leading realist painter, Scott Fraser mixes a classical approach to painting with contemporary subject matter and innovative compositions. His recent painting, Tip Tap, was inspired by Bay Area artist Fletcher Benton’s kinetic metal sculptures, which Fraser makes his own by including whimsical objects, such as a teeter totter and toy monkey. Fraser’s playful images and exquisite craftsmanship challenge the mundane qualities of ordinary perception.


The exhibition features three new drawings from Skip Steinworth stone series, which are inspired by the rocky Minnesota coastline near his family cabin. These exquisite illusionary works use fresh compositions that conjure new meanings. Depicting rocks surrounded by reflective still water, Shoreline evokes a transcendentalist notion similar to 19th-century American landscape painting, but Steinworth replaces the sublime open vista with a close-up birds eye view that elicits a more personal and introspective response. Rather than standing for metaphors of nineteenth-century ambitions and ideals, or for national aspirations or divine purpose, this narrowly selected fragment of landscape directs the viewers' gaze inward rather than outward.