locationthe luggage storedateJULY 10 - August 8, 2009 openingJULY 10, 6-8PMclosingSATURDAY, AUGUST 8, 3-5PM


solo exhibition, 2008 TOURNESOL AWARDEE

book signing and release, Seems Books, PAUL WACKERS “Giving in to Live the Experience” 24 pages (Saddle stitch bound(4 color offset printing 9.5 x 12.5 inches(Limited edition 500 copies $16

With LIVE music by: Boys IV Men and Daniel Martin-McCormick of Mi Ami

Paul Wackers:  2009 Tournesol Awardee
Landscape and still life paintings

“….Paul Wackers’ paintings are similarly constructed of odd, overt artifice and a general atmosphere of perverse decor. Pairing the geometric and organic, textile-like patterning, and strategies of scale that suggest the monumentality of the miniscule,  Wackers emblematizes nature as cultivated in greenhouses or in dimly lit sitting rooms. In “Empty Dark Room,” (all works  2009) where a cinematic view into an interior setting, criss-crossed by shafts of light, is simultaneously both deep and wide, abstraction is made to serve obsessive dream-like depiction. In another painting called “Bust” an impossibly complex single object sits precariously on a narrow plinth in a way to highlight the possibility of failure. In “Forever” an isolated white ribbon floats in the foreground of what could be a tropical beach glimpsed on a postcard, but since the ribbon looks like an infinity symbol that has been warped by an anti-gravity field nothing is simple.

In these paintings disparate pieces of style  fail to fit and an oddly colored, shaped and fragmented object wedged against another and another and another eccentric representation becomes a painterly event in itself.

Wackers says his work is “first a response to the world and then a reaction  to what it has to offer…the images tend to be of non-places where the specifics of them are not important but how the elements within the picture interact as parts of another world.” So Wackers not so much depicts a still-life arrangement or strangely furnished and lit interiors as much as he describes a posture or attitude toward painting that places his pictures beyond what anyone (other than the artist) can possess on a psychic level. This is a form of critique of naturalistic painterly images that leaves us with a sense of watchful expectation and possibility in invented and fictional life. “

– Arnold J. Kemp, (artist/curator)

PAUL WACKERS, born 1978 in ew Haven, Connecticut, earned his MFA in Painting from the San  Francisco Art Institute in 2004 and his BFA in Fine Arts from Corcoran College of Art and Design in  Washington, DC in 2001. He has had solo exhibitions at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco.  His work has been included in many group exhibitions including Cell Project Space in London; Alice Gallery in Brussels; Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville; Samson Projects in Boston, and Aqua Miami with Adobe Books Backroom Gallery. Wackers received the Tournesol Award for painting from Headlands Center for the Arts in 2008. His forthcoming book, giving in to live the experience will be published by Seems, San Francisco and released in July 2009. Wackers is represented in San Francisco by Eleanor Harwood Gallery.  (

HEADLANDS CENTER FOR THE ART provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through artists’ residencies and public programs, Headlands offers opportunities for reflection, dialogue and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society. Headlands’ Artist in Residence (AIR) program is internationally renowned for bringing together pioneering artists in all disciplines from throughout the U.S. and abroad. The AIR program provides a supportive working environment that allows time for artists to experiment, reflect and grow, both individually and collectively. (

THE TOURNESOL AWARD  administered by Headlands Center for the Arts and funded by an anonymous donor, was established to recognize one emerging painter each year, and support them in taking the first major steps towards establishing their career in the Bay Area. The goal of this award is to provide the artist with the financial and community support to assist their artistic development in the critical years after school. By supporting local artists at an early stage in their careers, the sponsors hope to contribute to the vitality of the Bay Area’s artistic community. The award includes a cash stipend, a one year live-out residency at Headlands and a solo exhibition at a Bay Area venue.

the luggage store is one of San Francisco’s leading nonprofit multidisciplinary arts organization established in 1987, with three venues in downtown San Francisco; the luggage store at 1007 Market Street, the luggage store annex (aka 509 Cultural Center) at 509 Ellis Street and the adjacent Tenderloin National Forest in Cohen Alley (a green community commons for public art and social interventions). the luggage store’s vital exhibition, performing arts, public arts and arts education programs are designed to broaden social and aesthetic networks by encouraging