Back to Amy

Installation photo of You Know I'm No Good by Johnna Arnold.
The title of this exhibition is taken from a track by the same name on Amy Winehouse’s award-winning album, Back to Black (2006). In response to the intimate look at Winehouse allowed in A Family Portrait, The Museum invited three contemporary artists to display work about the singer. San Francisco artists Jason Jägel and Jennie Ottinger created new works for the exhibition and a selection of drawings by New York artist Rachel Harrison are also on view.
Installation photo of You Know I'm No Good by Johnna Arnold.
Jägel is known for his paintings that combine text and cartoon-like figures to create dreamlike narratives that pull the viewer across the image and back again. He has also created album art for many rap and R&B musicians. For You Know I’m No Good, he created a mural-sized painting for the gallery wall visible from Yerba Buena Lane inspired by Winehouse and her music.

Detail, installation photos of You Know I'm No Good by Johnna Arnold.
Ottinger’s paintings blur the line between childhood memory and fantasy, power and vulnerability, attraction and repulsion. Throughout her practice, she challenges the constructed rules of everyday social constructions—tennis, cheerleading, football, and most recently, the circus. For this exhibition, Ottinger created a wall installation of paper paintingsparts of a stop-motion animation that pictures Winehouse among such iconic singers as Nina Simone and the Ronettes, addressing the idea of legacy for female artists specifically.

Installation photo of You Know I'm No Good by Johnna Arnold.
In addition to commissioning new works for this exhibition, a selection of Harrison’s well-regarded drawings of Amy Winehouse are on view for the first time in Northern California. Harrison, who is best known for her sculptural works, presents Winehouse alongside important creative figures such as Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, and Martin Kippenberger.

Together, these three artists pay homage to Winehouse while simultaneously calling into question our society’s fanatic attraction to both genius and tragedy.


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