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Free shows of controversial public art.

Free shows of controversial public art

As Paul Tomidy, a curator at the Oakland Museum, once noted, public art has been a problem ever since generals stopped riding bronze horses in parks. And San Francisco has had its share of controversial art, most recently the Moscone memorial by sculptor Robert Arneson. A new exhibition at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery offers insight into some of the most argued-about pieces of public art and the furors they incited.

The show, called "Controversial Public Art from Rodin to di Suvero,' catalogs the tribulations of 40 works by 14 artists, including Arneson, Anton Refregier, Diego Rivera, and Peter Voulkos (whose works can be seen locally), as well as Alexander Calder and Claes Oldenburg. You'll see some actual pieces, such as the Moscone bust, along with photographs and prints of other works. A 68-page illustrated catalog gives in-depth case studies of the troubled works.

The free show runs from February 23 through April 7. The Arts Commission Gallery is at 155 Grove Street, near City Hall; it's open 11 to 6 Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Photo: Ceramic bust of George Moscone is centerpiece of "controversial art' show; its tall pedestal contained graffiti the San Francisco Arts Commission found unacceptable
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Title Annotation:San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery exhibition
Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1984
Words:205
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