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Love Letter to a Big Metal Workhorse 

Wednesday, Oct 19 2011
The Golden Gate Bridge might be the more iconic span, but there’s a special place in our jaded hearts for its argent-hued counterpart to the east. That said, the Bay Bridge isn’t widely considered a fount of artistic inspiration. In “Approach, Transition, Touchdown: The Bay Bridge Project,” however, Amanda Hughen and Jennifer Starkweather turn their pens and pigments to San Francisco’s less-celebrated platform. Timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the bridge’s opening, “Approach, Transition, Touchdown” includes prints and drawings that represent the structure in imaginatively discursive ways. Given uncommon access to original architectural plans, maps, archival photos – and the bridge itself – Hughen and Starkweather have created a collection that simultaneously abstracts, re-envisions, and reconstructs the Bay Bridge. There is nothing strictly documentary here — the viewer will strain to discern the familiar trestles that undergird the oblique angles, abstractly clustered shapes, and sweeping pen flourishes. But by deconstructing the bridge’s form, Hughen and Starkweather rediscover and reveal the arresting power of a structure that blended into the city’s skyline long ago.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 6 p.m. Starts: Oct. 21. Continues through Nov. 23, 2011

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Paul M. Davis

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