Katie Hood Morgan

Mission School: Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Alicia McCarthy, Barry McGee, Ruby Neri
Walter and McBean Galleries
September 12–December 14, 2013

ENERGY THAT IS ALL AROUND features early and formative work by five artists—Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Alicia McCarthy, Barry McGee, and Ruby Neri—who began their careers in the early 1990s in San Francisco’s Mission District and, by the early aughts, had been identified and celebrated as key members of the so-called Mission School.

The Mission School has garnered cult-like status over the last two decades and is known for its celebration of social art-making, community, folk art, nostalgia for the obsolete, low-production values, and “street” aesthetics. These attributes are manifest in the artists’ use of found and reclaimed materials, decorative patterning, cartoons, hand lettering, cluster paintings, and a crafty immediacy of materials. Mission School artists were strongly influenced by Bay Area Figuration, the Beat movement, Funk art, and punk.

The exhibition connects work and ephemera produced at the beginning of the artists’ careers—much of which has remained in their personal or peer collections—with vibrant new work created for this show.

Curated by Natasha Boas

ENERGY THAT IS ALL AROUND travelled to Grey Art Gallery, New York University, April 15–July 12, 2014.

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 12, 7–10pm
Featuring live musical performances by Sun Foot (Chris Johanson, Ron Burns, Brian Mumford), Virgil Shaw (Dieselhed), and special guests

Film screening: Who Is Bozo Texino?
Tuesday, October 8, 7:30pm

Featuring an introduction and Q&A with Director Bill Daniel.

Panel discussion: “Mission School: Yes or No?”
Sunday, October 20, 2–4pm

Participants: Natasha Boas, Renny Pritikin, Hesse McGraw, Dena Beard, and David Kazprzak

Artist lecture: Alicia McCarthy
Thursday, November 14, 7:30pm

Patricia Maloney, Art Practical, ENERGY THAT IS ALL AROUND Review, November 25. Illus. Link.

Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, Mission School ‘ Energy’ survey at SF Art Institute, September 27, 2013. Illus. Link.

Juxtapoz, Sneak Peek: ENERGY THAT IS ALL AROUND: Mission School at SFAI, September 10, 2013. Illus. Link.

Ken Johnson, New York Times, "Prickly but Puppyish in San Francisco, 5 Artists in ‘Energy That Is All Around: Mission School,’" April 24, 2014. Illus. Link.