This exhibition explores the work of Paul Kos and reflects on the San Francisco-based artist’s longstanding engagement with the Western landscape, from his native Wyoming to his second home in the California Sierras. Throughout his career, Kos (b. 1942) has presented an expanded idea of sculpture and continues to employ diverse media and subject matter. He was among the first artists in Northern California to create performance-based film and video works as well as participatory installations. Kos, with his ephemeral outdoor installation at di Rosa, Lot’s Wife (1968–1969), experienced an artistic breakthrough on the property that would signal a major shift toward working with materials in relation to a site. He would soon thereafter become one of the leading figures of Bay Area Conceptual art.
Primarily drawn from the artist’s personal collection and the di Rosa holdings, Equilibrium features sculpture, installation, film, video, photography, and works on paper. Included are works that have not been shown for over 40 years, such as Kos’s groundbreaking rEVOLUTION (1970), a double Super 8 film and video installation documenting a performance by Kos at di Rosa.
Additional works by Kos spanning several decades are accessible by guided tour of di Rosa’s permanent collection, including the recently restored site-specific installations Zizi Va (1994), a pétanque court, and Tunnel/Chapel (1997, with Isabelle Sorrell), showcasing Kos’ 27-channel video masterpiece Chartres Bleu (1982–1986).
The exhibition is co-organized by Amy Owen, curator at di Rosa, and Tanya Zimbardo, guest curator and the assistant curator of media arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Learn more:
Read the exhibition brochure
Read the exhibition release
Selected press:
Art Practical
The Battery
Daily Serving
San Francisco Chronicle
View photos from the opening reception
Related Public Programs & Events:
April 23, 2016, 4-6 PM
Opening Reception (Free)
Location: Gatehouse Gallery
May 21, 2016, 4-7 PM
Pétanque with Paul Kos and Curators’ Walkthrough
$10 general / $5 members
Location: di Rosa Galleries & Grounds
June 25, 2016, 4-6 PM
Curators in Conversation
With guest speaker Constance M. Lewallen
$10 general / $5 members
Location: Gatehouse Gallery
About the Artist
Born in 1942 in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Paul Kos studied at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. before relocating to the Bay Area to attend the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), where he received a B.F.A. (1965) and an M.F.A. (1967), both in painting. A highly influential educator, Kos taught conceptual art at the University of Santa Clara (1969-1977) and performance and video (now New Genres department) at SFAI (1978-2008). Kos has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including Everything Matters: Paul Kos, A Retrospective (2003), organized by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, which traveled to the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; Grey Art Gallery, New York University; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. He has been featured in group exhibitions at such venues as the CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco; Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, China; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; among many others. Kos is represented by Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco, and Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris. He lives and works in San Francisco and the Sierras.