Katarina Burin’s “Pre-arranged Comfort
              Mariah Nielson
              Models are used in architectural practice to represent and communicate ideas. In “Pre-arranged Comfort,” artist Katarina Burin transforms San Francisco’s Ratio 3 into a 1:1 model that proposes an exhibition of the work of designer and activist Fran Hosken (b. 1920). Burin has constructed four spaces that compose an immersive environment, each staging a curated selection of photographs, architectural drawings, texts, and design objects, a combination of historical and newly recreated material loosely inspired by Hosken’s work. Extracting relevant characteristics of the designer’s history, Burin’s material landscape brings Hosken’s aesthetic ambitions to life. In 1944, Hosken was among the first women to receive a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). In 1951, she established a design business, Hosken Inc., which produced jewelry and furniture. Hosken attempted to collaborate with modernist greats, such as Walter Gropius, but her various efforts failed, and in 1963 she closed her company and sued GSD for sexual discrimination, a decision that foreshadowed her later work as a female rights activist. Through the staging of exhibitions of real and imagined material, Burin assumes the roles of archivist, artist, and designer, as in her 2012 exhibition at Ratio 3, “Andrejova-Molnár Papers,” a project dedicated to …
              Miriam Böhm’s “Before in Front”
              Tara McDowell
              Stepping into Ratio 3’s new space on Mission Street in San Francisco and encountering Miriam Böhm’s austere photographs involves no small amount of perceptual and cultural reorientation. On Mission Street, inner-city kids, leftist bohemians, young hipsters, and day laborers move through a stretch of San Francisco populated by taquerías, Chinese take-out joints, discount stores, beauty salons, panaderías, Latino groceries, and high-end bistros. The gallery’s former life was as Darlene’s Fabrics, sandwiched between a Foot Locker and a Money Mart; now the entire storefront has been painted matte black, including windows and doors. Minimal gallery signage in subdued white lettering gives no indication for whom or what this space, so alien to the visual cacophony of the street, might be. The interior’s poured concrete floors, bright florescent lighting, and severely angled, off-kilter white cube architecture are unusual for San Francisco, though less so for Chelsea or Berlin. Böhm has installed her photographs with sensitivity to this architecture, which is why I draw attention to it here. On view are five sets of photographs, each hung as a discrete grouping in a straight line. The hang, however, responds to the architecture in quirky ways: Böhm placed the first photograph in the series Reference

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