Show Preview | Cat Van Bergen

San Francisco, CA
Christian Daniels Gallery, October 27-December 2

Cat Van Bergen, Possibilities Undreamed Of, lithograph, 12 x 17.

Cat Van Bergen, Possibilities Undreamed Of, lithograph, 12 x 17.

This story was featured in the October 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

The hollowed-out ground, piles of sheet metal, and looming cranes of a construction site may not seem like an obvious source of artistic inspiration. But artist Cat Van Bergen was struck by this visual marvel while passing the future site of the San Francisco Transbay Transit Center. The complex, more than seven years in the making, is designed to connect eight counties through 11 different transportation systems, and its plan includes a rooftop public park, a grand hall, sustainable features, and several public art installations.

Although many artists have been asked to create art for the building, Van Bergen wanted to start her own project. This culminated in a series of photographs, lithographs, and oil paintings that Van Bergen presents at Christian Daniels Gallery beginning on Friday, October 27, with an artist’s reception from 6 to 8 p.m.

The exhibition features photographs, including aerial shots, that Van Bergen used as references for her other works. The artist was greatly influenced by historical lithographers such as John David Borthwick, who recorded the day-to-day life of mining camps in California during the gold rush. “I wanted to document a piece of California history,” she says. “The Transbay Transit Center is like a heart beating, and all the [transportation] lines are the veins coming together and going all over the place. It will have a major impact on the urban landscape of California.” Van Bergen says she was drawn to lithography for the project because of the parallel uses of raw materials in both her art and the building’s construction. “You get a grittiness and a wonderful feeling from drawing on stone, so that you could feel more of what was going on in that construction site,” Van Bergen says.

The exhibition includes 15 lithographs, as well as seven oil paintings that resemble vintage travel posters. Each portion of the exhibit is designed to highlight the process. “Here we are looking at man designing and engineering and creating something,” she says. “You’ll see the worker highlighted with all his tools around him.” Van Bergen has published a book to accompany the exhibition, which is for sale at the gallery. —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
415.447.6103
www.christiandanielsgallery.com

This story was featured in the October 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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