Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Year in Food: 2009

Considering that I lost my sense of taste for six months, stopped eating, and almost wasted away, I still managed to pack a lot of good food in this year. Here are some good food moments saved through the miracle of digital photography:
Thanksgiving antipasto:

Simple but good:
scallop, Brussel sprouts and fresh languini

Leonie putting together a snack of Maple Honey Carmel Spread, parmaggiano reggiano cheese and perssimons:
More antipasto, Albert's specialty. He likes to say that he didn't go to five years of art school for nothing:

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup: The beginnings of a really good gnocchi

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Apparently, my art was just put on the auction block and sold for over the estimated price. Found on

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Bonhams Butterfields’ Made in California auction on November 17, 2009 did especially well, signaling that the market for California art remains strong. Regardless of the auction’s regional theme, telephone bidders from around the globe vied for works by the golden state’s leading modern and contemporary artists. The sale, which was simulcast from Los Angeles to San Francisco, established world record prices for works Gregory Kondos, Raimonds Staprans and several other California artists.

Robert Graham’s "Neith" (Duke Ellington Figure) and Gregory Kondos’s "Beach Girl", exceeded pre-sale estimates and sold for robust prices. Neith, the top lot of the sale, brought $103,700 (est. $50,000 - 70,000), while "Beach Girl" sold for $51,850 (est. $10,000 - 15,000) and established a new world record for the artist at auction.

“The cover lot, "Beach Girl", by Sacramento artist Gregory Kondos created quite a stir. Bidders from the east and west coasts competed for the California beach scene. Excited bidders occupied the telephone lines in the San Francisco and Los Angeles salerooms. "Beach Girl" sold for $51,850, more than triple the pre-sale estimate, and established a world auction record for the artist,” said Holly Sherratt, Director of the Made in California Department at Bonhams & Butterfields.

Wayne Thiebaud’s "Third Street Avenue Store" also highlighted the sale. The oil painting from 1956 sold for $85,400. “'Third Avenue Store' was one of Thiebaud’s earliest paintings dedicated to consumer culture. The work was created in 1956 when the Pop Art movement was beginning to emerge,” said Sherratt.

Works by Ruth Asawa and Robert Therrien led the sculptural offerings. Ruth Asawa’s tied wire sculpture came from the collection of the family and sold for $42,700. Robert Therrien’s wall-mounted sculpture was exhibited at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in 1984 and also sold for $42,700.

Bidders also competed for several works by Raimonds Staprans, Robert Arneson, James Weeks, John Altoon and Sam Francis. Arneson’s portrait of the artist William T. Wiley sold for $35,380 and Staprans’s White Top Boats from 1972 brought $39,650 – a new world record for the artist at auction.

The sale also included several works from the Heller Ehrman Collection. James Weeks Gallery Song Recital sold for $24,400 (estimate $15,000-20,000); Omar Chac√≥n’s Asiatica sold for $4,880 (estimate $1,500-2,500); Francesca Pastine’s Spoondrift sold for $3,050 (est. $1,500-2,500).

“We were especially pleased that the property from the Heller Ehrman Collection sold at or above Bonhams & Butterfields’ presale estimates. Many of these artists were new to auction and we were pleased to see competitive bidding for their work,” said Sherratt.

Made in California auctions will continue in May 2010.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Group Show at Dean Jensen Gallery

I am participating in the second Big Bang Exhibition at Dean Jensen Gallery. They will be showing work from my Spiderweb Project and Supermarket Cart Project.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pollock Krasner Foundation Award

I have just been awarded a Pollock-Krasner Froundation Grant!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Auction at San Jose

I am participating in the 29th Annual Fall Art Auction at the Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose:

560 South First Street San Jose, CA 95113 tel (408) 283-8155 fax (408) 283-8157

Exhibition: October 2 - October 24, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday October 2, 6-8 PM

Auction: Saturday October 24, 7 PM

Friday, March 27, 2009

NEXT Chicago Art Fair

I am pleased to announce that Dean Jensen Gallery in Milwaukee is taking my work to NEXT, an art fair in Chicago.

The Invitational Exhibition of Emerging Art

More than an art fair, NEXT is a showcase for the world’s talents and an adventure in cutting-edge culture. An opportunity to redefine the relationship between art and its public, NEXT is a portal to seeing contemporary art in new, innovative, eye-opening ways. NEXT will include works from both commercial and non-commercial arts organizations--galleries, project spaces, art publications and key private contemporary collections from around the world.

NEXT will be located at:
The Merchandise Mart
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, 7th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654

NEXT 2009 Opening Preview takes place Thursday, April 30

Show Hours:
Friday, May 1, 11am - 7pm
Saturday, May 2, 11am - 7pm
Sunday, May 3, 11am - 6pm
Monday, May 4, 11am - 4pm

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Work

This is a new piece from my Spiderweb series. The webs are cut from full sheets of financial section in the New York Times. They measure 22" x 13.5"-- below is a detail:

Opening at SFMOMA Artists Gallery


Above, I am walking into The Artists gallery at Fort Mason for my opening. Albert was assigned to take pictures, but once people started showing up he forgot. He did get some installation shots below.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Front + Center opening

Here are a few photos taking by Amy Wilson Faville of the opening at the Headlands Center For the Arts last Sunday. Above is Albert Carrying my coat. Below are some folks looking at one of my pieces:

Me and Leonie Guyer

Leonie Guyer and Mary King chatting as I rest in the only chair

Monday, January 19, 2009

Headlands Photos: Front + Center

I went to the Headlands on Sunday to install one of the ArtForums. The light can be described as still. Like the Artforums, the galleries are a stratum of time and memory. I am very happy to have the work in that space. Kimberley Johansson curated the exhibition and, along with Jessica Brier, installed the show in creative and unexpected ways. Beautiful!

Urinals on the ground floor of the Headlands Center for the Arts

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Interview by Christine Brenneman in the Marin Independent Journal

Here is an Interview by Christine Brenneman in the Marin Independent Journal in connection with Front + Center at the Headlands Center for the Arts:
Working artist: Pastine focuses on physicality of objects
Christine Brenneman
Posted: 01/07/2009 07:16:07 PM PST

Francesca Pastine's ArtForum series of excavated magazines will be displayed at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito.
To hear local artist Francesca Pastine tell it, her artistic life began practically at conception. Her mother and father were both working artists, and her childhood was spent immersed in a milieu of paintings, sculpture, art studios and constant talk of the creative process. Pastine, a multimedia artist and painter, now lives and works out of her home in San Francisco's Mission district. There, she creates paper-based sculpture and realistic paintings, often using ordinary materials in her artworks.

This month, Pastine and 19 other California artists will be featured in a group exhibition, "Front + Center," at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito.

Each participant applied for the center's prestigious artist-in-residence program for 2009; though these applicants did not get the residency, their work was chosen for the annual kickoff exhibition, which showcases up-and-coming artists in a variety of visual media.

Four pieces from Pastine's ArtForum series of "excavated" magazines will be on display.

Q: There's an overarching theme in your work of calling attention to the physical nature of your materials - whether you're painting shopping carts used by the homeless, cutting snowflakes out of the New York Times or chopping into an ArtForum magazine. Can you talk about why that's important to you?

A: In those specific bodies of work, I wanted to work with things that were immediately at hand. I'm interested in the physicality and materiality of objects:
the object-ness of the shopping carts, for example, the piles of things, the ways in which they were covered and piled with blankets. That theme runs through, wanting to deal with what's at hand, things that I'm engaged with on a daily basis. With both the ArtForum and the New York Times, I like how the pages feel, and all those little peripheral marks on the edge of the pages. I'm interested in all of these things as physical objects.

Q: The hand of the artist, and clear evidence of that,
Francesca Pastine's ArtForum series of excavated magazines will be displayed at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito.
seems paramount in your work. Why?

A: I was very inspired by the women's art movement of the 1970s, which emphasized craft. I got into paper-cutting and paper crafts, and I liked cutting into them and trying to have the trace of my hand in the actual object. This brings the viewer to the present, into a richer experience of seeing. The viewer can have an embodied, visceral experience with the physical act of making when I bring that aspect forth. That's the reason I don't want to laser-cut them.

Q: Can you talk about the pieces you'll have in the "Front + Center" show?

A: There will be four of my ArtForum works (in which she cuts into the venerable art magazine). I consider them an archeological excavation, a dig. I'm digging through the current history of art making and stripping it and exposing it in a physical way, not an abstract way. The reason I was attracted to them was that they are square-shaped. A rectangle represents a portrait or landscape. But with a square, your eye kind of stops, it reads more as a real object.

Q: You teach art at the college level, and have done so for much of your career. How does that feed back into your own art practice?

A: I think it's important to get back to the fundamentals of art, to touch base with that all the time, so that you don't get too far into the conceptual realm. Through teaching, I go back to the reason that art's exciting for me in the first place. It's really gratifying to open up the possibility and potential of art on all levels. People get so much out of this experience; it's gratifying to see how people connect with creativity.

Q: What's your favorite color?

A: That I don't have - but I do love orange.

Q: What is your most prized art possession?

A: The art I have that was made by my parents.

Q: What's the most inspiring thing you see daily?

A: My first cup of coffee.

Q: What one word best describes you as an artist?

A: Dedicated.

Q: What you would do if you didn't make things?

A: There's really nothing else I can do. I'm hopeless at anything else.


What: Front + Center, a group exhibition guest-curated by Kimberly Johannson with featured artists: Francesca Pastine, Tamara Albaitis, Brice Bischoff, Todd Bura, Matty Byloos, Ajit Chauhan, Joshua Churchill, Lori Esposito, Mayumi Hamanaka, Taro Hattori, Rachel Mayeri, Jennie Ottinger, Erik Parra, Alison Pebworth, Tara Tucker, Paul Urich, Lindsey White, Noah Wilson, Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough and Ayelet Zohar.

Where: Headlands Center for the Arts, 944 Fort Barry, third floor, Sausalito

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and Sundays, Jan. 18 through Feb. 22. Public performance and reception Feb. 8, time TBA.


Front and Center + Headlands Center for the Arts

Here is an upcoming show that I am in at the Headlands Center for the Arts:

Front + Center

Francesca Pastine, Erosion, ArtForum Excavation Series, 2008, 10.5 x 10.5 x 5 inches
Francesca Pastine, Erosion, ArtForum Excavation Series, 2008, 10.5 x 10.5 x 5 inches

Date: 1/18/2009 - 2/22/2009
Location: 944 Fort Barry, 3rd Floor

An exhibition featuring new and recent work by: Tamara Albaitis, Brice Bischoff, Todd Bura, Matty Byloos, Ajit Chauhan, Joshua Churchill, Lori Esposito, Mayumi Hamanaka, Taro Hattori, Rachel Mayeri, Jennie Ottinger, Erik Parra, Francesca Pastine, Alison Pebworth, Tara Tucker, Paul Urich, Lindsey White, Noah Wilson, Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough, Ayelet Zohar

Headlands Center for the Arts is pleased to present Front + Center, a dynamic group exhibition featuring cutting edge artwork by California artists working in a range of mediums who applied for the 2009 residency program. After six successful years launching its residency season with an annual exhibition, Headlands, in collaboration with Kimberly Johansson, reimagines the show and calls critical attention to noteworthy California artists from the applicant pool.

Front + Center reflects diverse interests among contemporary, emerging artists at both aesthetic and conceptual extremes. While some of these artists embrace blankness, or the void, others relish the notion of horror vacui, or "fear of empty space," illustrated on the canvas, page or gallery wall. Others pay particular attention to Headlands' physical space, focusing on architectural surroundings as subject matter. Front + Center also traces a trend among some artists in responding to history; they borrow and freely remix tropes of Surrealism, Dada and traditional portraiture, seemingly in reaction to their art historical ancestors. Many revisit antiquated techniques and favor the low-fi over the high-tech. This fascination with history and its relationship to current artistic production again underlines the significance of Headlands as an exhibition site.

The exhibition's title is borrowed from the military lexicon, alluding to Headlands Center for the Arts' campus as a place of rich military history. Moreover, Front + Center reflects the position of Headlands as both historic and contemporary, off the beaten path yet central. While physically located in the hinterlands of the Bay Area, Headlands is at the center of creative innovation. At the core of Headlands' mission is the importance of promoting and supporting artists as cultural producers who actively shape the world. Front + Center supports this mission while showcasing a specific group of artists to kick off the new year.

Members Reception: Sunday, February 8, 1-2PM (Please RSVP)
Public Reception: Sunday, February 8, 2-4PM