Thursday, December 16, 2010


Sunday, December 19, 2010
Open house 5-10pm

On the evening of Sunday, December 19, the Adobe Books staff are celebrating the 2010 holiday season from 5-10pm with spiked cider, hot popcorn, mulled wine, cookies and spirits. Photo-booth in the Backroom at 7pm, following a gift raffle and champagne toast at 8pm. Join us!

Interview with Carrie Hott on her exhibition at Adobe Books

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

City Reader: threnody for a lost landscape, Video by Justin Carl Hurty

city reader: threnody for a lost landscape from justin carl hurty on Vimeo.

City Reader is a publication for the pedestrian intending to expand the frame we live within, and to focus on the scale of the neighborhood. City Reader: threnody for a lost landscape a video by Justin Carl Hurty was produced during the Reading Conventions residency in the Adobe Books Parlor.

Carrie Hott's exhibition featured on the Artslant Picklist

"The exhibition warrants unexpected discoveries and encourages one to spend time wandering and observing throughout the store in a way that such time and patience can be obliterated with current technologies. Hott’s work echoes that of its surrounding: an independent bookstore, loosely organized and stacked high with things (good old-fashioned, tangible, musty books) to discover." – From a Sub-Sub by Kara Q. Smith

Read full article here.

Closing Event: Whale Watch

Saturday, November 6, 6-9pm

In the Adobe Books Parlor, the installation Whale Watch refers to the human inclination towards whale watching, and watching in general, which often elicits patience, reverence, and a sharp attentiveness, in order to allow for discovery. Within this clear objective, however, is the act of open-ended observation. As a visual and participatory project, Whale Watch is meant to echo the act of searching and orienting present in the process of Understanding A Whale Fall by concentrating on the act of observing, through both representations and visitor contributions in logbooks in the store. By bringing a focus onto the surrounding neighborhood and store visitors, Whale Watch weaves aspects of the current environment and local history with the broader investigations conveyed in the backroom.

For the closing of the exhibition, you’re invited to actively watch in the surrounding neighborhood of Adobe Books. Carrie Hott will lead participants on a short walk through the Mission along a route of historical landmarks and sites of interest. Participants are invited to fill in the gaps with their own knowledge, stories, and histories to the walk as it goes, alternating their experience as guide and observer.

Following the walk will be a reading about whales and whaling at Adobe Books. In addition to original pieces read by Carrie Hott, Kevin P. Clarke, and Christine Choi, Invisible City Audio Tour authors from their upcoming tour, The Armada of Golden Dreams, will preview their pieces. Armada readers will include Amanda Davidson, Jennifer Hasegawa, Jason Bucholz, and Dave Seter. Logbook contributors are invited to read their pieces as well.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Adobe Books featured in the 3rd issue of SFAQ

Michelle Broder Van Dyke, San Francisco Arts Quarterly (SFAQ) contributer (and Adobe Books staff member) Andrew McKinley, Adobe Books' proprietor, and Devon Bella , Adobe Books Backroom Gallery Director and Curator talk about the role of Adobe Books in the local arts community.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Understanding a Whale Fall/Whale Watch

Understanding A Whale Fall/Whale Watch by Carrie Hott

Exhibition dates: September 30-November 6, 2010

Opening reception: Thursday, Sep. 30, 7-9pm

Closing event: Saturday, November 6, 6-9pm

Understanding A Whale Fall/Whale Watch is a store wide exhibition at Adobe Books by Carrie Hott that represents a process of inquiry, primarily into whales, with occasional tangents taken to related topics and site specific investigations. Through the representation of research and its methods, Hott makes visible the action searching and being guided by curiosity in order to orient and understand. In the back room, Understanding A Whale Fall represents an interior space that is the site for a personal ongoing investigation into whales and their history. Whale Watch, in the windows of the Adobe Books Parlor, is a two-part installation and participatory project that broadens the scope of the backroom investigation and brings an additional focus onto the surrounding city and its history. The storewide exhibition nods to the communal atmosphere of Adobe Books, which draws inquisition and reflection in various forms, by visualizing the process of searching and inviting visitor contributions in the form of log recordings throughout the store.

Understanding a Whale Fall
Whale Fall is the term used for a whale carcass that sinks to the ocean floor after its death. The phenomenon occurs when a whale dies in deep water, and its remains becomes the subsistence for bottom dwelling sea creatures for up to a century. That whales extend their impact and vitality beyond death for a period of up to 100 years, and provide for the most basic organisms in the ocean, is a cyclical concept that is large in scope and profound in generosity.

Understanding a Whale Fall grew not only out of Hott's own ongoing interest and effort to grasp and understand whales and phenomenon such as this, but also a curiosity about a complex human history in which whales are featured prominently. As sources of myth, folklore, food, tools, light, energy, money, and fascination, whales have as much of a presence in the physical world as they often do in human imagination as heroic, mysterious, and intelligent animals.

Through the installation of Understanding A Whale Fall, this action of study, as well as Hott's curiosity about the motivation to do so, was translated into a visual representation of a private, engaged, and personally motivated inquiry. The installation is meant to be specific in topic, but generally represent common tools used for human research and contemplation, such as a study room, a desk, a mirror, notebooks, and various office supplies. Through unremarkable objects, the artist intends to call attention to the study and the objects as tools for discovering and orienting oneself in both time and place. Many elements of the installation are existing found objects that are covered and masked in various materials and are painted over in order to become representations of themselves. This process is completed with the intention of creating a scene that acts as a theatrical set; objects are existing and three-dimensional but are also props and stand-ins for the entity that they represent.

On Whale Watch
The first commercial whale-watching trip was launched in 1955 in San Diego, California. Passengers were charged $1 each for a chance to board the boat in the hopes of having an experience that would narrow the gap between reality and their imagination. In the Adobe Books Parlor, Whale Watch refers to the human inclination towards whale watching, and watching in general, which often elicits patience, reverence, and a sharp attentiveness, in order to allow for discovery. Within this clear objective, however, is the act of open-ended observation. As a visual and participatory project, Whale Watch is meant to echo the act of searching and orienting present in the process of Understanding A Whale Fall by concentrating on the act of observing. By bringing a focus onto the surrounding neighborhood, Whale Watch weaves aspects of the current environment and local history with the broader investigations conveyed in the backroom. Tools that aid seeing, looking, and orienting are represented in order to act as guides for visitors to the immediate geographical area, as well as the time in which they are situated. Visitors are invited to look outside the store, as well as within it, while having a heightened awareness of the devices and tools that enable us to do so.

Charles Scammon, 19th century whaler turned naturalist from San Francisco, made some of the first recorded observations of marine mammals, which were initially motivated by commercial interest, but later driven by an effort to save gray whales from extinction. His recordings were published in 1874 and made into a book, Marine Mammals of the Northwestern Coast of North America, which was the first book of its kind and at the time, revealed what was once unknown about sea mammals. Whale watchers, and observers in general, consistently log sightings and observations in order to remember, recognize patterns, and make a record for those who follow. Their record of what was observed acts as a guide for subsequent watchers, studiers, and observers. In the installation Whale Watch, visitors are invited to account for their own experience and expertise in the form of records- their historical knowledge, personal narratives, book passages, advice, recommendations, recipes, hikes, etc in logbooks located in the bookstore shelves. Through a 'wanted' sign on displayed in the front window, this participation is invited from observers, watchers, and researchers of all kinds.

Closing/Whale Watch
The exhibition will conclude with a closing whale watch event that will begin with a casual walk, or land 'whale watch', in the area surrounding Adobe Books. Following the walk, a reading will take place in the store in collaboration with Invisible City Audio Tours, a Bay Area project that aims to provide alternative ways to experience urban landscapes. Among other readers TBA, the artist Carrie Hott will read, in addition to author L.J. Moore, who will read a new piece written specifically for the exhibition, and visitors can volunteer to read their log entries or other pieces. **Closing event on Saturday, November 6, 7-9pm.

Support for this project is provided by Southern Exposure's Alternative Grant Program.

Reading Conventions, A performance by Kelly Lynn Jones & Collin McKelvey

This video is a documentation of a collaboration between Kelly Lynn Jones and Collin McKelvey in response to the City Reader Project curated by Julie Cloutier.

Press for Untitled Landscapes (California)

"Written in miniature and taken in aggregate, Untitled Landscapes (California) pulls off an affecting narrative sweep—one that might find you lost in the many moments that seem like memories you've had, but are actually those we all somehow share." –Brady Welch, Shotgun Review for Art Practical, 2010.

Read the full review here

Monday, September 20, 2010

Understanding A Whale Fall/Whale Watch, a storewide exhibition by Carrie Hott at Adobe Books. Opening reception Thursday, September 30 and closing event/Whale Watch on Saturday, November 6 (details to follow soon).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Press for Untitled Landscapes (California)

"The paradoxes of representation get writ small in landscape imagery: The unframeable framed, a frozen moment betokening time's passage, whereas only shifting shadows can inscribe it.

Sean McFarland has this and much else nailed in his one-wall show of minuscule landscapes in Adobe Books Backroom Gallery."

Kenneth Baker for the SF Chronicle

(click here for full article)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sean McFarland

Sean McFarland
Untitled Landscapes (California)
Exhibition dates: August 20 - September 19, 2010.
**Opening Reception: Saturday, August 21, 7-9pm

The Adobe Books Backroom Gallery is pleased to present a new installation by artist Sean McFarland. A fourth-generation Californian, McFarland calls up the history of Western landscape painting with a grid of hundreds of miniature landscapes, covering an entire wall of the gallery. Yet the perceived preciousness of these scenes is deceiving. What appear to be hundreds of tiny landscape paintings are actually photographs painstakingly mounted and coated with wax. He has stated that his images of the landscape are, in fact, "pictures of us;" alterations we make to the landscape reflect changes within us. Untitled Landscapes (California) is an investigation into California's unique landscape and an elegiac collection of images that attempt to hold onto wilderness and vanishing open spaces. McFarland's images of roadside landscaping and pocket parks reflect on his desire, though futile, to make beloved souvenirs of these rare places.

An artist-made booklet in an edition of 50 will be available for sale at the reception and throughout the run of the show. Stay tuned for upcoming events that will accompany this exhibition.

Curated by Katie Hood Morgan

Sean McFarland's work is in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art Library, the Oakland Museum of California, the University of California, Davis, and Humboldt State University. He is the recipient of the 2009 Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers, the 2009 Kala Fellowship from the Kala Institute and the 2009 John Gutmann Fellowship Award. Visit
For inquiries, please contact Katie (

Support for this project is generously provided by Southern Exposure's Alternative Grant Program.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reading Conventions; A City Reader

In residence at Adobe Books Parlor (storefront windows): August 14 - September 19, 2010

Reading Conventions is an emerging publication and distribution project curated and edited by Julie Cloutier based on the sidewalk and intended for the pedestrian only. From August 14 to September 19, 2010 the Adobe Books Parlor will serve as an annex and research site for the launch of Julie Cloutier's publishing endeavors where she and Reading Conventions contributors will collect data from the 16th Street sidewalk in front of the Adobe Bookshop and dispatch reader materials for the first edition of Reading Conventions; A City Reader.

The project focuses on the scale of the neighborhood with altered observations, short essays, city mappings, facade studies, conversations, stories, data, letters, diagrams, and collages by local artists and residents of San Francisco. The printed pamphlets are free to the public and will be delivered into public environments on one day in the month of October through various modes of insertions with hopes for new relationships formed between the pedestrian and the city.

Support this project on kickstarter.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Upcoming: Sean McFarland

Untitled Landscapes (California)
Sean McFarland solo exhibition

Exhibition dates: August 20- September 19, 2010.
*Opening reception: Saturday, August 21, 7-9pm

Kyle Ranson: Portraits exhibition is an Art Practical Pick!

Adobe Books Backroom Gallery featured on Bad at Sports

Bad at Sports' correspondent, Brian Andrews and Art Practical's editor, Patricia Maloney interview Adobe Books' proprietor, Andrew McKinley and the Backroom Gallery's director and curator, Devon Bella. Listen to the interview on the weekly contemporary art podcast or read the transcript on Art Practical.

Friday, July 9, 2010

KYLE RANSON: Portraits

Exhibition dates: July 16 - August 14, 2010

Opening reception: Friday, July 16, 2010 7-10pm
with music performances by Little Wings and WR/DS

KYLE RANSON: Portraits is an exhibition of nearly two-dozen paintings of friends, artists, and other distinguished characters by Kyle Ranson. In his new body of work, Ranson creates a focal point of the time-honored artistic engagement with portraiture, dedicating each picture to a single sitter, artfully posed and cropped. Many of the portraits on view were commissioned by Andrew McKinley, proprietor of Adobe Bookshop, but rather than create an exact or idealized rendering Ranson retains his artistic style. The artist balances realism with mystery and distortion, focusing the portrait as a mode of artistic exploration as well as a contemplative marker of time.

During the course of the exhibition, Kyle Ranson will set up a portrait studio in the storefront windows. Come down to Adobe Books and have your portrait drawn by the artist. Portrait sittings dates are July 19 to August 5 on Monday afternoons, 1-4pm and Thursday evenings, 7-9pm.

Curated by Devon Bella

Monday, June 21, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Adobe isn't just a bookstore"

Based on Beard's invitation to develop ideas on how an exhibition, or library, represents the search for knowledge, combined with the artist Torres' front-window examination of how urban renewal is experienced, the Backroom Gallery energizes profound reflections of the meaning and value of Adobe Books in the SF arts community. Brandon Brown, an SFMOMA Open Space columnist reflects on his past and present experiences of the store.

Elyse Mallouk on Lending Library

Dena Beard's Lending Library is featured on Art Practical with a review by Elyse Mallouk. The writer successfully draws attention to the context of the bookstore; highlighting the nature of Adobe Books and the place that in effect frames the artwork the gallery engages.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

SF Appeal

Aimee Le Duc, writer and SFAC staff member writes a small event announcement about Lending Library on

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lending Library

Lending Library is a group exhibition curated by Dena Beard featuring tools, materials, and resources from artists Amy Franceschini, Colter Jacobsen, Kevin Killian, Tom Marioni, Emily Prince, Stephanie Syjuco, and Christine Wong Yap.

Exhibition dates: May 28, 2010 - July 2, 2010

Opening reception: Friday, May 28, 2010, 7-9pm

We browse the bookshelves of the Lending Library as cross-sections of artists’ studios or as a medium for us to consider how we navigate and reclaim information in our own research practice. Experiencing the scribbled margins of a Xeroxed essay alongside modified found photographs changes their context, allowing for more dynamic images and learned connections to arise. Although the originals cannot be borrowed, scans of the artists’ materials will be available to takeaway and appropriate. Nestled in the back of Adobe Books this, the second iteration of Lending Library, develops some of the ideas brought forward with Oakland artists last February at the Royal NoneSuch Gallery. As such, Lending Library joins the landscape of open-source, browser-friendly experiences available in the Bay Area, expanding the idea of how an exhibition, or a library, can respond to a personal, anarchic search for knowledge.

Best Gallery Renovation

7x7 San Francisco Magazine's Kimberly Chun picks Adobe Books Backroom Gallery as 2010 Best Gallery Renovation. Last year's gallery expansion was made possible by the generous support of local artists who donated their work to Adobe's 20th Anniversary art auction in March 2009. The Backroom Gallery renovation was achieved by artists and friends of store including Randy Colosky, Andy Vogt, Chris Corales, Kyle Ranson, and Phil Crumar, and accomplished under the direction of Gallery Director, Devon Bella.

Everything Must Go?

Nicolas Torres' installation draws attention to the survival of independent bookstores and Reyhan Harmanci, Culture Editor/Writer at the Bay Citizen speaks with Andrew McKinley about the future of the store. SFist inquires further and calls out to readers to stop by Adobe and buy a book...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nicolas Torres: Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch opens Friday, May 21, 7-9PM and runs through June 20, 2010.

In Adobe Books Parlor, an exhibition venue in Adobe Book's storefront windows, Nicolas Torres presents Neighborhood Watch, an installation by the artist exploring – and exploiting – the accretive motion of a city’s attempt to eliminate urban blight.

In a city where rigid class and racial borders once prevented individuals from traveling through certain neighborhoods, you now have many neighborhoods where culture and demographics can shift with the crossing of a street. Along with the changing visual characteristics of neighborhoods, you have changing ideals. While one may see urban renewal as an attempt to beautify and improve previous conditions, another may feel that the benefits of urban renewal are disproportionately shared among its renewers. In any case, there are many stories to be told, and more importantly there are many stories being disposed of permanently. In his new installation, Nicolas Torres attempts to capture a few of the endangered ones.

Nicolas Torres was born in San Francisco in 1981 and has lived throughout the Bay Area. Torres received a BA in philosophy from UC Berkeley in 2008. His parents and their struggles, have been the fodder and inspiration for much of his work.

The Adobe Books Parlor is part of a long-term curatorial project that commissions artists to explore how the bookstore locates itself within the constant flux of the 16th Street environment. The series seeks to animate the intersections between private and public narratives, and among Adobe Books’ social and commercial spheres.

Adobe Books Parlor is curated by Devon Bella.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

RGB Forever featured on Artslant

Parker Ito's solo exhibition, RGB Forever is featured on Artslant's gallery hop. Read Ava Jancar's review.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Multiple Interaction: One night exhibition curated by Susannah Magers

Multiple Interaction: A one-night only exhibition of multiples from the collection of Steven Leiber

Sunday, May 16, 2010, 6-8pm

Multiple Interaction is a one-night only exhibition exploring the potential of five multiples from the collection of Steven Leiber. These include: Relationships (1991) by Damien Hirst, A Collection of Rooms, parts 1 & 2 (1997) by Dave Muller, Interview Game (1996) by Heather Lenz, Dyke Deck (1996) by Catherine Opie, and Magnet Ball (1996) by Uri Tzaig. The curator, Susannah Magers, has filmed the activation of each of these works and will present her five films along with the five multiples.

The art term multiple can be defined as a work of art created for mass production, which can be produced in unlimited numbers without loss of quality or dilution of content. A multiple is commonly understood to be a small sculpture (an object) rather than a print or photograph. The multiples in this exhibition share this identity as smaller--but no less significant--extensions of their makers’ practice.

Multiple Interaction was inspired by the text that accompanies Dave Muller’s multiple which states: “This piece is not considered finished by the artist until it has been built (preferably by the owner).”

Curated by Susannah Magers

For questions please contact Susannah Magers at (831) 334-2178 or

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fritos & Champagne Part III: DESSERT by Dori Latman

Opening event: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 7-9pm

Exhibition dates: May 17- 23, 2010

Participating artists include Colby Claycomb, Elinor Domol, Steffi Drewes, Josh Keller, Dori Latman, Cathy Lu, Michelle Morby, Hilary Schwartz, Heather Van Winckle, and The Center for Experimental Practice.

Dessert is the moment of the meal when everyone is full. It is the time when conversation takes open-ended directions. Dessert is an opportunity for those who couldn't make it to dinner to stop by for a visit. It is a time of excess, pleasure and storytelling.

For Dessert, each participating artist has taken up a different aspect from taste to etiquette to preparation to service. Artists will show a range of work including public reading and presenting, sculpture, installation and drawing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hyperallergic Is JSTChillin’ in San Francisco This Weekend

Parker Ito, “The Most Infamous Girl in the History of the Internet” (2010)

Hyperallergic contributor Artie Vierkant is in San Francisco this weekend and includes the Adobe Books exhibition, RGB Forever by Parker Ito in his top picks for art events that are not to be missed... (

Monday, April 12, 2010

RGB Forever - Opening reception this Friday, 6-10 pm

Exhibition dates: April 15- May 15, 2010
Opening reception: Friday, April 16, 2010, 6-10pm

Adobe Books Backroom Gallery is pleased to present RGB Forever, Parker Ito's first solo exhibition. The title refers to RGB color space, an additive color mode viewed on all computer screens in which red, green and blue, combine to create over 16 million different colors. RGB is also Ito’s metaphor for new mindsets and attitudes about contemporary culture that have emerged out of the pervasiveness of the Internet. For Ito, the Internet is an abyss of readymade artifacts open for excavation, interpretation, and reclamation. In the Backroom Gallery, he will present painting and video works in which Internet ephemera salvaged from both high and low Web culture is translated into new forms.

Curated by Katie Hood Morgan

Parker Ito lives and works in Berkeley, CA. Recently his work was exhibited at Roots and Culture Contemporary Arts Center, Chicago, and in New Wave, the Internet Pavilion for the 53rd Venice Biennale. He also showed work in for the 10th Lyon Biennale. He is co-curator of the online exhibition series Serial Chillers in Paradise at Visit his website at

Support for this project is provided by Southern Exposure's Alternative Grant Program.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Fritos and Champagne" artist Dori Latman at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

TASTE! is an exclusive, all-sensory tour sure to give you something to talk about. Three Bay Area-based artists converge in YBCA's Grand Lobby Apr 6-11 for a site-specific, collaborative installation using food, art and conversation to respond to the exhibitions on view in our first floor galleries. Each day the menu take you somewhere new, as will the topics for discussion. TASTE! is FREE w/ YBCA Gallery admission, and includes an interactive salon hosted by NIKI KORTH, handcrafted spring lemon elixirs by DORI LATMAN and a global papaya excursion with Chef TA-WEI LIN, curator of the "cultural liberation" brunch at Doc's Clock.

Also on view in the Grand Lobby, unique furniture from select students in the graduate Furniture Program at CCA.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dori Latman's Fritos & Champagne Part II: Dinner

Dinner can be solitary, in front of the television with a reheated slice of pizza. It can be on the go, with crumpled paper bags strewn across the back seat. It can be a meal shared with family and friends. Dinner, a live cooking event and exhibition, is a celebration of the moments when a simple plate of food becomes a landmark in one’s own life. The event and exhibition respond to the culinary and social means through which one is nourished. The exhibition includes drawings and video works. The live cooking event will showcase a three-dish menu freshly cooked by Radio Africa and Kitchen. Together, these pieces highlight a range of approaches to cooking dinner.

Chef Eskender Aseged, a Bay Area chef with over 20 years of restaurant experience, began Radio Africa and Kitchen by cooking meals for people out of his home. Though, Eskender’s project is of a scale larger than an intimate domestic space. He moves and adapts his operation for a variety of situations and places, from large dining halls, to outdoor spaces, to small cafes. It is those who participate in Radio Africa’s events that promote it. First, Dori Latman knew Eskender as her neighbor, though it was through word-of-mouth that she learned about his project.

Dori Latman's interest in Radio Africa and Kitchen relates to the series of vending carts that she has developed for art exhibitions, serving food and beverages to gallery visitors. Latman experiments with intersections of art, food, and business as a vehicle for fund raising and social networking. She creates multiple versions of the vending cart for different types of events. The foundation of this series has been built through experience in food service at cafes, bakeries, and outdoor festivals and with stretching the meaning of drawing and performance. The artist explores ideas of entertainment, consumption, labor, and culinary creativity. Learning about Radio Africa and Kitchen’s development and processes has been an invaluable education and source for inspiration.

Chef Eskender Aseged shares with Dori Latman's project the possibity to eat well in any space. In that spirit, he brings his nomadic kitchen to Adobe Books Backroom Gallery to celebrate a neighborhood with rich history, dynamic people, and delicious food.As stated on Radio Africa’s Website ( “RADIO AFRICA & KITCHEN is a nomadic restaurant with sustainable products and methods. The food is inspired by old world recipes of Mediterranean and Red Sea countries. The goal of Radio Africa is to create extraordinary meals out of organically grown ordinary ingredients. In the tasting menu we offer weekly, the theme is to create a nutritionally well balanced dinner by including seasonal vegetables, greens, grains, nuts, wild fish, shellfish and fruit.”

Many thanks to chef Eskender Aseged and Bi Rite Market for their generous donations of time and delicious food!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Skillat Hans: a play performed by MFA students from California College of the Arts

Currently on display in the windows of Adobe Books are props, costumes, and remnants from Skillät Hans, a play originally performed at PLAySPACE Gallery on March 25, 2010, by a class of MFA students from California College of the Arts.

Skillät Hans is the story of a man with problems. He seeks pharmapoiticals to help him with his troubles, and winds up sleeping in the underground world of sweatshop production and human skinning. Skillät abandons life as a successful painter to make more socially conscious art. He befriends immigrant laborers and collaborates with them on a new body of work. Embroiled in kidney stones, brutality, stardom, pharmapoiticals and lavender, this smash-hit-sold-out-on-opening-night exhibition is set in current day New York City.

Some notes on process:
The product of a three-week intensive collaboration, Skillät Hans is a play in which the characters are themselves enacted by characters. An exercise in personality switching and empathy, and a conversation on modes of artistic production, the play is evidence of the rare but serendipitous “organically democratic” success. Each player contributed ideas, adding upon collective agreements, all accepted though imperfect but collectively permitted consensus. Working in such a manner—rushed, without stringent conceptual editing—this process yielded an oneiric portrait that repeatedly folds over upon itself. The discussion of dream states, the fulfilled “dream” of the artist’s success, and the nightmare of confrontation with the ethics of production are astutely explored alongside the cathartic draining of unconscious thoughts—eloquent, grotesque, taboo—to produce not only a narrative, but also a miasmic state.

Georgia Carbone as Natasha Wheat as Dr. Natasha Wheat, the French Pharmapoitical Commercial star, Nancy, and the News Girl; Natasha Wheat as Kai Althoff as Skillät Hans; Kai Althoff as Rebecca Ora as Nadia, The Receptionist, and the Snake; Sasha Krieger as Matthew Waldbillig as the Pharmacist and the Father; Alex Wang as Sasha Krieger as Suo Chow and the Thing; Brigid Mason as Georgia Carbone with Kidney stones, as a drug addict and Becky; Matthew Waldbillig as Isaac Gray and the Boss, and Drunk Man with kidney stones; Rebecca Ora as The Table and Matthew Waldbillig with kidney stones

Music composed and performed by Jim Fairchild

Written by Kai Althoff, Georgia Carbone, Isaac Gray, Sasha Kreiger, Brigid Mason, Rebecca Ora, Matthew Waldbillig, Alex Wang, and Natasha Wheat. Organized with the assistance of Chrissie Bradley, Ted Purves, Arden Sherman, Maria Elena Ortiz, and Katie Hood Morgan

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Glass gilding demo

Damon Styer presents a concise-yet-thorough demonstration of applying gold leaf to glass in the form of letters and numbers, for young and old alike, easy to understand in all but the mysterious chemical properties underlying its physical beauty!

Tuesday, 23 March, 2010
7pm - 9pm
$Free (donations accepted)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Custom-made political posters

As part of the It's a Sign show, sign painters Jeff Canham and Caitlyn Galloway will be painting free custom-made protest and political posters at the Adobe Books Backroom Gallery.

, Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
7:00 - 9:00pm
$Free (donations accepted)

Come by and get a poster...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

It's a Sign

It's a Sign: New Bohemia Signs group exhibition

Caitlyn Galloway
Damon Styer
Jeff Canham
Josh Luke
Ken Davis

**Reception: Friday, March 12, 2010 7:00-9pm

Signs, like any kind of advertising, and most of design for that matter, employ aesthetic concerns to achieve directive ends, if not only to tell you where to go, then perhaps to elicit an emotional response, often one conducive to the more rapid flexing of your purchasing muscles. The "signs, signs, everywhere signs" that ever increasingly break up the scenery, whether or not they're even so bold as to call attention to their own physical beauty, typically do so on behalf of some corporate entity, big or small, wishing you to ascribe whatever design sense is evident in the sign, to the quality of their goods or services on offer. The "language" of signage, meanwhile, encompasses a constantly evolving and multiplying variety of materials and methods to communicate ornately complex nuances of meaning to a bewilderingly polyglot populace.

We sign writers, here at New Bohemia Signs, tend to focus more intently on some of the most rudimentary parts of sign language, or any language – the little squiggles, curves and strokes that form our alphabet. Our tool chest holds brushes, enamel, some gold leaf, and not much else. Individually and collectively, we harbor a cultured and intimate familiarity with, and to some extent, an abiding love for letter forms, which themselves take shape from the habits our limbs have fallen into, drawing and painting them again and again and again and again and again.

It's a Sign illustrates something of the path whereby our signs move from idea to sketch, to pattern, to painting; a show that makes apparent the relationship of letter forms to the arc our individual arms take, or to the way we each roll a quill between our fingertips; a show that celebrates, from amidst this digital era of limitless copiability, the joy of fine tuning the only copier that draws its current directly from our hearts. – Damon Styer, New Bohemia Signs

Exhibition dates: March 4- April 3, 2010

Curated by Devon Bella

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Factorycompany: This

Adobe Books hosts Factorycompany
Thursday, March 11, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dori Latman

Fritos and Champagne:

three-part exhibition of cooking, recipes, conversation and food

Dori Latman

: February 24-28, 2010
*Reception Friday, Feb. 26, 7:00-9pm

Dinner: April 5-10, 2010
*Reception Wednesday, April 7, 7:00-9pm

Dessert: May 17-23, 2010
*Reception Wednesday, May 19, 7:00-9pm

Beginning February 24th, in the Backroom Gallery, San Francisco artist Dori Latman explores the necessities and luxuries of food through drawing, writing and performance. Structured as a three course meal, Fritos and Champagne will take place as three related instances of eating activity – Appetizer, Dinner, and Dessert– with each course occurring in between the regular monthly gallery programming. The exhibition is part of Latman's larger body of work where she draws parallels between being in the kitchen and in the studio, between art and food.

For the first course, the Appetizer will show Mom's Cookbook Collection, where the artist has generated a gouache facsimile of each book cover numbering over 250 drawings. Also highlighted will be the context of the nearest bookshelves, the abundant cooking section at Adobe Books. Next, on April 7th, will be Dinner, a live cooking event and video installation, highlighting the subject of food at the intersection of art and life. Culminating on May 19th, the exhibition will present Dessert, emphasizing the conversations and social aspects of eating and cooking with a round table discussion. Invited guests will reflect on their experiences of art and food, particularly as both are processed and mediated experiences. As a result of the three course meal, participants and visitors will engage with food as an instance of real life, as a social commentary, personal expression and collective memory.

Dori Latman was born in New Jersey, 1979 and lives and works in San Francisco. In 2009, she earned a Master of Arts degree in Urban Studies from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been exhibited at Queens Nails Projects, Root Division, Garage Biennale, Clara Street Projects, Temescal Contemporary, and Canessa Gallery. She received her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts in 2001.

Curated by Devon Bella

Last chance to visit My Love is Another Kind

My Love is Another Kind, on exhibition at Adobe Books Backroom Gallery, is the debut solo exhibition of Gina M. Contreras. A recent graduate of San Francisco Art Institute, Contreras daydreams through screen prints and paintings. She is a witness to the small moments and idiosyncrasies of other people, specifically the elderly. The aged are an invisible other in American society to which Contreras creates loving narratives on the sweetness, loneliness and possibility in their lives while also drawing attention to the societal tendency to be dismissive and easily repulsed by our inevitable future existence.

My interest in the work of Gina Contreras comes from my own observations of my family. I have three living grandparents and I’ve watched them and listened to them and seen them have new experiences. The specialness in these moments captured lies in the depth and innocence that occurs simultaneously in experiences with my own grandparents. It is this same simultaneity linking depth and innocence that Gina Contreras is able to portray in her work. These are not simply old people, doing cliché, sad old people things, someone is taking time to notice them, and articulate on paper the small parts to their everyday and their very present need for love as well as desire for possibility.

The series If Only Things Were Like That is an installation of page selections from the hand screen-printed artist book of the same name. A new acquisition to the SFMoMA collection, If Only Things Were Like That, depicts an older couple listening to music, walking in the park, and embracing. What we learn from the book, that we don’t fully know from the installation is that this love depicted, is a dream of one of the women. As the book begins she is asleep, and as we turn the pages we see into her dreams of finding a partner to exist in her everyday with. On the last page, again the woman is sleeping and we realize the story was only her dream. The concurrent emotional range of sadness and hope that the viewer finds herself experiencing in the artist book is a great testament to the success of Contreras’ ability as a storyteller.

When asked what books Contreras turns to for her own inspiration (being that this exhibition is in a bookstore y’all) Gina casually states the alcoholic misogynist, Charles Bukowski, as a muse. Realize this, gentle reader, Bukowski dwells in the same issues as Contreras, love and loneliness, with a crudeness and awkward confessionary aspect that Gina’s images also mirror. Although a provocative favorite author, Bukowski speaks to a rawness and honesty in his observations and experiences that Contreras uses in theme, but covers in beauty. Contreras’ palette of beiges, rose colors, muted and mixed pastels create a feeling of home and nostalgia. Her use of floral patterns as a motif and as landscape considers the language flowers speak, in their history and representation. Flowers are fleeting and have a lifecycle, but are an eternal thematic design inspiration.

Just like love.

–Nicole Lattuca, Guest Curator

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Alexis Arnold and Cathy Fairbanks

Adobe Books Parlor and the Pistils present

The Gaming Commission

Installation dates: January 18 - February 14, 2010

Artists Alexis Arnold and Cathy Fairbanks reconceptualize the parlor, the location for gaming, entertainment, and the reception of guests. The Gaming Commission will employ the Adobe Books Parlor storefronts through the installation of a salon putting-green and a pedal-powered tandem-bicycle reading station. The Gaming Commission is the final month-long installation by The Pistils in the Adobe Books Parlor.

Opening reception: Saturday, January 23, 2010 7:00 - 9PM

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gina M. Contreras

My Love is Another Kind

Gina M. Contreras debut solo exhibition

January 17 - February 21, 2010

Reception: Friday, January 22, 2010 7 - 9pm

My love is Another Kind, is the debut solo exhibition of Gina M. Contreras. A recent graduate of San Francisco Art Institute, Gina M. Contreras daydreams through screen prints and paintings. She is a witness to the small moments and idiosyncrasies of other people, specifically the elderly. The aged are an invisible other in American society to which Contreras creates loving narratives on the sweetness, loneliness and possibility in their lives. Her works draw attention to the societal tendency to be dismissive and easily repulsed by our inevitable future existence.

Gina M. Contreras was born in 1985 in Fresno, CA. Her hand screen printed artist book, If Only Things Were Like That (2008) was a recent acquisition into the SFMoMA collection. Contreras was the 2008 recipient of the Schmidt Community Arts Fellowship and Bronze Roller Honor at San Francisco Art Institute and the 2005 Promising New Artist to Watch, Art Space Gallery, Fresno City College.

Curated by Nicole Lattuca

Support for this project is provided by Southern Exposure's Alternative Exposure Grant Program.