Paintings by Michael Hall seen at Boot and Shoe Service, Oakland - BES, FB-SG, BC B1 2010
Paintings by Michael Hall seen at Boot and Shoe Service, Oakland - BES, FB-SG, BC B1 2010
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BES, FB-SG, BC B1 2010

Based in the history of pastoral California landscape painting, but injected with remains of the regions complicated military history, the paintings imagine the decommissioned bunkers further dissolution into the landscape and highlight their isolated and largely forgotten past. Michael further interest in them is their former function as observation outposts: always on guard, looking out for a threat that never came. As objects of protection and defense they also carry the weight of militaristic control. For Michael, along with those dialogues, they are a metaphor for the artist – an active but stationary observer.

The titles of the paintings are derived from the acronyms given the structures based on their locations. "BES,FB-SG, BC B1" stands for "Base End Station, Fort Barry, South Gate". The letters following designate the structures' position as a point of triangulation with other like stations.

Meet the Creator

Michael Hall is an artist and educator whose work is concerned with finding empathy and complexity in situations that are often polarized and oversimplified. As an artist whose perspective was strongly shaped by his family’s military heritage, he looks to add a more nuanced approach to necessarily critical but discordant conversations. Through painting and participatory works he addresses these dynamics within a larger, multi-faceted cultural context: one of complicated family webs and communities, structural pedagogy, systematized aesthetics and the tenuous space between control and protection.

Hall is a recipient of both a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant and a MFA Fellowship at the Headlands Center for the Arts. His recent Bay Area solo exhibitions include Patricia Sweetow Gallery, Southern Exposure, SF MOMA Artist Gallery and Blankspace Gallery. His work has been featured in group exhibitions nationally and throughout California as well as numerous online and print publications, including New American Painting.

He was born in San Diego, California to military parents and has lived around the world in Japan, Russia, England, and France. Hall received his BFA from the California College of the Arts and his MFA from Mills College. He currently lives and works in Oakland, California. Since 2003, he has taught at Creative Growth Art Center, where he began the first video production class for artists with developmental disabilities. Additionally, he teaches painting at Mills College, UC Berkeley and has participated on the curatorial board at Southern Exposure in San Francisco. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at California State University East Bay.


Available for commission/custom work