A Fine Line - The Doctor Maurice Alberti Print Collection of European and American Masters, Luis Gutierrez: Another Kind of Truth, Axis Mundi/ Open Portals: New Works by Ron Hutt, William Keith and the Battle for Hetch Hetchy

A Fine Line
The Dr. Maurice Alberti Print Collection of European and American Masters

October 4 - December 13 

Dr. Maurice Alberti, Saint Mary’s College class of 1951, grew up in Oakland, CA. He practiced dentistry for more than 30 years.   In addition to dentistry, Dr. Alberti had a passion for art. He was an avid print collector, establishing Malbert Fine Arts in 1974, buying and selling fine prints as a private dealer. He co-founded Prints Chicago, an annual Print Fair bringing together dealers from throughout the U.S. and overseas. Upon his death, he gave St. Mary's his vast print collection of museum quality American and European Prints to establish the Maurice A. Alberti Print Collection and Art Library at the Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art.  The collection consists of master works on paper by leading Impressionists, Expressionists, Fauvists and Cubists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Opening on October 4th part of his impressive private collection will be on view in the Museum including works by Henri Toulouse Lautrec, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Francisco Goya, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Edouardo Vuillard and many more esteemed artists. The Museum thanks Dr. Maurice Alberti for his gracious and generous estate gift that has made this exhibition possible.

 Public Programming:

The Art of Collecting: A Lecture Given by Print Dealer Dan Lienau on How to Start an Art Collection

Sunday, October 4, 2:00pm, Soda Activity Center

Daniel Lienau founded the Annex Galleries in Santa Rosa in 1971, dealing in works on paper from the 19th & 20th centuries, with a focus on American printmaking from 1900 to 1975. The gallery now has an inventory of over 6000 works.  Specialties include 20th century California prints, color woodcut and Arts & Crafts, Abstract Expressionist prints of the 1940s and 1950s.  Lienau worked closely with Dr. Maurice Alberti in many of his collecting endeavors. 


Luis Gutierrez: Another Kind of Truth

October 4 – December 6

Mexican-American artist Luis Gutierrez was born in the small town of Pittsburg, California in 1933. After his father died when Gutierrez was only 5, he helped out the family by shining shoes and selling newspapers.  As he grew older, he worked in the local steel mills.  Despite receiving no encouragement and never being taken to museums, Gutierrez was drawn to the visual arts and in high school won a Bank of America merit award.  Gutierrez enrolled at Diablo Valley College, and through the guidance of his first mentor, transferred to San Jose State, where he received his BA.  After completing his graduate studies in Mexico at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, upon his return to San Jose he began teaching art at San Jose City College, where he remained until retiring in 1995.  Abstract Expressionism, the Bay Area Figurative movement, Beat, Funk and Pop all influenced him.  Gutierrez garnered national recognition through the inclusion of his work in prominent exhibitions at the De Young, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Palace of the Legion of Honor, Triton Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, Mexican Museum, Instituto Allende in Mexico and university galleries in the U.S. national survey shows. In 1962, Gutierrez received the prestigious James D. Phelan Award.


On view will be Gutierrez’s newest body of work, anchored by a small group of assemblages, for which he became well known in the 1980s and ‘90s.  In this work he draws upon multiple artistic methods, but the underlying question he investigates is how to make meaning in a work of art.


Public Programming: Thursday, November 5th, 4-6 pm, Soda Activity Center

In Conversation with artist Luis Gutierrez and visual artist, curator and arts educator, Susana Aragon.


Ron Hutt: The Axis Mundi/ Open Portals

October 4 - December 6 


 The Axis Mundi / Open Portals project utilizes horizontal and vertical panoramic photographs captured while crisscrossing the United States and Europe. Hutt looks for locations that reveal some life affirming connection to a unique set of physical and psychological features. Those features function as a creative catalyst for his art making practice and a provisional center of his personal world -- the Axis Mundi. The art works for this project emerge from the mapping of his unique cyber geography.  They utilize techno-ritualized methods for the invocations of a mythopoetic consciousness in order to produce a set of networked and interactive art works. The pieces are available for download by viewers as a free offering to our interdependency as humans in this astounding world.

 Using the Vertical Pano Photos as the base inspiration he begins to tease out digital paintings that are more of a layered mythopoetic, private response to the public location than a rendering of any specific geographical details. These works are done freely with an emphasis on the spontaneous associations derived from the poetics of place, the musicality of atmospheric light, expressive mood and visual impact. The digital paintings are purposefully sparse compositions that make associations between earth and sky via bold textural brush strokes, high contrasting values, limited color palettes and recurring themes. He utilizes embedded Quick Response Codes (QRC) that invite viewers to augment their level of artistic participation through their personal mobile devices. The codes are linked to various sound files, text and animations. They are also the portals to a downloadable, free version of the artwork. As a digital file it can be print out or passed on to other interested individuals. These works are a gift and an offering to the viewer and the ancient collective layers of narrative that are much larger than any of us individually. 

 Ron Hutt lives in Providence, Rhode Island and the San Francisco Bay Area. His works, which include digitally mediated paintings, multiples, video installations and net art, address the antithetical status of technology as a path towards social enlightenment and individual isolation, contemporary myth making and cultural discourse. Hutt is currently Associate Professor of Digital Art and Design at the University of Rhode Island.


William Keith and the Battle for Hetch Hetchy

October 4 - May 1

 In 1907, William Keith accompanied John Muir to Yosemite’s twin valley, Hetch Hetchy. The trip was not a lighthearted hike, but a determined mission to bring the rich colors and epic landscapes back to the Bay Area, where politicians schemed to dam the valley.

 This trip was a desperate last stand for the preservation of the valley. The plan to dam the Hetch Hetchy Valley had brewed for decades, spiced with controversy and corruption. The fate of the valley was a national reflection, preservationists versus conservationist, municipal versus national authority, over the American soul.

 This exhibit details the struggle, encompassing a Bay Area history not often told. Come explore how San Francisco’s expansion became central for a national controversy; a controversy that preoccupied two presidents and birthed the environmental movement. See how the Hetch Hetchy Water System came to exist and how you benefit from the modern marvel today. Finally, join William Keith and John Muir as they hiked to Hetch Hetchy in a mortal struggle for national preservation.  You must answer: does nature have a price?

 On display will be William Keith oil paintings, including a rare painting from his 1907 trip, accompanied by photographs and documents courtesy of the Sierra Club, Restore Hetch Hetchy, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The exhibit will be on display from October 4 through May 1.