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The Mystery Of The Mystery





Friday, 19 January 2024 to Thursday, 22 February 2024
Friday, 19 January 2024 - 6:00pm


“I should like to be the landscape which I am contemplating, I should like this sky, this quiet water to think themselves within me, that it might be I whom they express in flesh and bone, and I remain at a distance. But it is also by this distance that the sky and the water exist before me. My contemplation is an excruciation only because it is also a joy. I cannot appropriate the snow field where I slide. It remains foreign, forbidden, but I take delight in this very effort toward an impossible possession. I experience it as a triumph, not as a defeat.”

― Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity


Gallery 16 is pleased to present The Mystery Of The Mystery, a group exhibition by Rebeca Bollinger, Scott Hewicker, and Wayne Smith. The three artists have long been involved in the Bay Area art and music communities over the past 30 years, and each have rich generative practices in a wide array of mediums, forms, and styles.

The exhibition takes its title from an early country song by Dolly Parton that advocates for faith in unknowingness over the worry of uncertainty. The Mystery Of The Mystery features new drawings, paintings, and sculptures that foreground the intuitive, perceptual, and material processes that influence each artist's relationship with the elusive ambiguity of meaning.

The title is also a loose directive for each artist’s individualistic approach to their work. Whether it be through mark and pattern making, layered material exploration, and/or following openly prescribed compositional systems, the artists find a creative freedom through ponderous curiosity, observant attention, and generous allowance. The works in the show are the results of deep engagement: one that guides and highlights the hand of each artist as they navigate their own particular practice, but also one that reveals secretive conversations between them. Contemplation becoming realization.


Rebeca Bollinger is an artist whose practice encompasses sculpture, drawing, photography, writing, sound, installation, sculptural projections of light and video, intuitive readings, cast instruments, improvisational music, binders, and books. She will be showing new work combining cast and fused glass with other materials as part of her continuous project Catalog of Stains, an iterative world into which all of her recent work is channeled. The Catalog is the container, and Stains are the artworks and ideas within it: memories, objects, incidents, imprints.

Scott Hewicker is a painter, writer, and musician that makes groupings of paintings in various genres and styles that reflect his roving curiosity into the impressions of the seen and the unseen. He will be showing a new series of abstract paintings on canvas made using fabric dye in saturated layers that allude to weather patterns, cloud formations, auras, and retinal apparitions. He employs the unpredictable and difficult to control nature of the material with loose compositional systems to create vibrational energy fields and quietly turbulent environments. His musical approach often in collaboration is marked by lyrical melodies, attentive listening, and harmonic atmospheres.

Wayne Smith is a visual and sound artist. He will be showing work that continues his longtime practice of repetitive drawing. Small grids of ballpoint pen ink ruled onto pieces of found wood conceive of drawing as a plotting activity whose parameters are decided upon prior to execution. The wood’s grain assures that irregularities occur, the surface gradually becoming a timeline of the ink’s interaction with an uneven surface, sometimes taking on a moiré effect. Paralleling his visual work in its use of repetition, overlapping fields, and exploitation of accidents, Smith’s sound work combines field recording, improvisation, and drone.

Venue ( Address ): 

501 3rd St

San Francisco, CA 94109

Gallery 16 , San Francisco

Other events from Gallery 16

Rose D'Amato and Jeffrey Sincich: Everybody Knows This Is Someplace
07/11/2024 to 08/31/2024
Isn’t Life a Blast: Celebrating Real Time Residency
05/16/2024 to 06/29/2024
Jason Middlebrook: Night Divides the Day
05/16/2024 to 06/29/2024
Somebody's Cheering Somewhere
03/15/2024 to 05/10/2024



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