Alejandro Almanza Pereda

Alejandro Almanza Pereda

San Francisco Art Institute

Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Pera Manzana, 2014. Archival pigment on cotton paper, 31 x 25 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

June 22, 2015

Alejandro Almanza Pereda
Everything but the kitchen sank

Diego Rivera Gallery:
June 20–December 12, 2015
Walter and McBean Galleries:
July 28–October 3, 2015
Hours: daily 9am–7pm

Walter and McBean Galleries
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
Hours: Tuesday 11am–7pm
Wednesday–Saturday 11am–6pm
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Curated by Hesse McGraw, Vice President for Exhibitions and Public Programs, SFAI

Apples sink, yet the pear floats. Unmoored by gravity, and saturated with life, a deck of cards performs an impossible coup, ascending beyond the frame. Alejandro Almanza Pereda‘s still lifes are governed by a singular, uncanny logic—they exceed human vanity to achieve a buoyant life for objects.

Almanza’s exhibition in the Walter and McBean Galleries comprises two parts—both above and below the water. In July and August, the gallery will function as an active studio—and scuba tank—for experimentation and the production of new work. In September, the resulting photographs and video will be presented.

Meanwhile, in SFAI’s Diego Rivera Gallery, we have been looking at Diego Rivera’s ass for 84 years. Of course, this was the artist’s intention. Rivera’s iconic work The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City (1931) offers an epic image of the reconstruction of San Francisco, depicting laborers and fresco painters alongside the patron, and, closest to our eye—the artist’s high-waisted rear.

For Almanza, Rivera is a catalyst for the ongoing instrumentalization of Latin American identity and artistic practice. Rivera’s SFAI fresco and its magnetism for tourists has long spurred intervention by artists. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, it was curtained off, and a provisional wall was constructed to obscure it. More recently, a toothpaste hammer and sickle was applied, Rigo 90 offered his own rebuttal, and Banana Republic supported the fresco’s restoration. 

From Almanza’s perspective, if Rivera is a limiting screen through which we understand Latin American art, this is an opportunity to add a new screen. Almanza’s scaffold of fluorescent fixtures doubles the structure of the fresco, shifts Rivera to the middle ground, and troubles the light sensor of the tourist’s camera. Beyond this light frame, another narrative of historical imbalance and artistic legacy achieves focus.

About the artist
Alejandro Almanza Pereda lives and works in Mexico City. He highlights our emotional relationships with objects through works that appear unstable, immaterial, or on the cusp of disaster. 

Almanza is the 2015 recipient of The Harker Award for Interdisciplinary Studies, which supports artists-in-residence at SFAI. The Harker Award was established through a generous bequest by SFAI faculty member Ann Chamberlain and is administered by the San Francisco Foundation. The works for Everything but the kitchen sank were produced during Almanza’s residency at SFAI.

Symposium reception: “What Can Exhibitions Do?”
Saturday, June 20, 5pm

Graduate lecture series: “To Talk the Talk and to Talk the Walk”
Friday, June 26, 6:30pm 

Opening reception: Exhibition-in-Production
Alejandro Almanza Pereda and Hesse McGraw in conversation at 7pm 
Thursday, July 30, 6:30–9pm

Friday, September 11, 7–9pm

SFAI’s exhibitions and public programs are made possible by the generosity of donors and sponsors. Major support is provided by Grants for the Arts. 

Support for Everything but the kitchen sank is provided by the Harker Fund of The San Francisco Foundation.

Walter and McBean Galleries
SFAI’s Walter and McBean Galleries, established in 1969, present exhibitions at the forefront of contemporary art practice. The gallery serves as a laboratory for innovative and adventurous projects and commissions new work from emerging and established artists. SFAI’s public programs develop meaningful interactions between artists, students, and audiences through lectures, performances, education opportunities, and artist-driven experiences. Together, the exhibitions and public programs of SFAI promote an environment that catalyzes the creative processes of its student-artists and thinkers, and creates intimate connections between the SFAI community and the public.


Alejandro Almanza Pereda at San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI)
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June 22, 2015

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