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Exhibitions

A Weed By Any Other Name

A Weed By Any Other Name

Liz Hernández and Ryan Whelan

Liz Hernández and Ryan Whelan standing in front of a large black and white artwork with abstract blackberries
Liz Hernández and Ryan Whelan standing in front of a large black and white artwork with abstract blackberries

Completing the suite of inaugural shows, the ICA SF has commissioned a new project from Oakland-based artists Liz Hernández and Ryan Whelan entitled A Weed by Any Other Name. For the entry project encompassing new mixed-media works, the artists consider the blackberry, humble and wild, as a symbol of resilience and a vehicle to invoke the unease, precarity, and networked resistance of the artistic community in the Bay Area.

This project alludes to the historical, ongoing instability and uncertainties in the Bay Area. It seeks not to provide an answer but rather to generate questions and engage in dialogue with the arts community. A Weed by Any Other Name is a response to the new normal of the Bay Area and acknowledges that just celebrating our resilience cannot be a means to an end.

Date

January 21–June 25, 2023

LIZ HERNÁNDEZ

Artist Website & Instagram

RYAN WHELAN

Artist Website & Instagram

IMAGE

Courtesy of artists

Liz Hernández is a Mexican artist based in Oakland, California. Her art practice – painting, drawing, sculpture, and writing - is deeply influenced by her memories and surroundings of Mexico City. The subjects she addresses are constantly in flux, but an element always present in her work is the search for something that breaks the normalcy of everyday life. Hernández addresses this desire in multiple ways, from finding greater meaning in domestic objects and scenes to using supernatural elements and symbolism to address themes of modern life.

Ryan Whelan is an Oakland-based artist whose current practice uses abstraction as a means for self-confrontation. He utilizes elemental forms to construct scenes of his inner world, somewhere he feels limitless images are waiting to be discovered. Whelan considers paintings as objects that must react to their environment around them, mirroring the same dynamic ability our surroundings have on us. He does this by using texture as color, often building up gestural impasto layers of paint that construct surfaces that dance with light, making the work an experience that changes as the day goes by.