Lenore Chinn

Lenore Chinn

Lenore Chinn

Lenore Chinn is a second-generation Asian American artist whose realistic acrylics on canvas have been exhibited in juried regional and national exhibitions over the last twenty years. Her visibility as an artist and a community activist in the San Francisco Bay Area has generated much interest in her works, which frequently make visual references to lesbian and gay culture. As a full-time studio artist supplementing her income with a non-art related job, she has been able to paint, on her own terms, images which document her life and those within her social milieu.

Lenore Chinn

Lenore Chinn
May 8-June 10
Artist’s reception: Thursday, May 10; 5:30-7:30 pm
Location: SomArts, 934 Brannan St @ 8th St
Info: www.apiculturalcenter.org


Lenore Chinn
The exhibition’s approximately 20 pieces will offer a collective portrait of the queer community as it has developed over the past 30 years. The May exhibition will include Chinn’s newest work—a portrait of the late Bernice Bing, who was a noted Bay Area pioneer artist of the Beat era, a founder of SomArts, and its first executive director. Like most of Chinn’s other subjects, Bing was a local queer artist and activist. This event is cosponsored by the National Queer Arts Festival and the United States of Asian America Festival.

Lenore Chinn
Lenore Chinn began painting when she was growing up in San Francisco’s Richmond District and began focusing on portraiture as her primary expressive medium during the sixties. She held her first solo San Francisco exhibition at the famed Lucien Labaudt Art Gallery in 1980, and her first group show was at the San Francisco Art Commission’s Gallery that same year. Several of Chinn’s portraits were included in-group exhibitions of the late ‘80s AIDS era. In 1990 Chinn co-curated her first lesbian/gay arts exhibition at San Francisco’s City Hall. In 1998 she co-curated FACE: Queer Expression through Self-Portraiture and in 1999, she co-curated They Hold Up Half the Sky, which included a Bernice Bing retrospective. Chinn uses acrylics to explore the super-realistic depiction of a wide spectrum of people of color, lesbians, and same sex couples.


Cultural Confluences: The Art of Lenore Chinn



Cultural Confluences: The Art of Lenore Chinn celebrates the public unveiling of The Oracle Room, a painting for which the artist received a San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Commission. It will be contextualized by the artist’s most iconic canvases, which focus on Asian American and LGBT themes.

Co-presented by Qcc, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center and The Luggage Store Gallery.

Lenore Chinn is a San Francisco based painter who focuses on portraiture to explore the super-realistic depiction of a wide spectrum of people of color, lesbians and same sex couples. Employing a coded iconography rooted in a lesbian/gay cultural perspective, these images fuse an Asian aesthetic of sparseness and clarity with visual narratives that counteract the “magic-truth rituals” of racial and gender construction. Her portraits documenting the historical evolution of San Francisco’s queer community challenge the social conventions that currently constitute the racialized order of things. Recent works explore aspects of Chinese and Chinese American culture and history.

She is a 2011 recipient of a San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist grant and has just published her book, Cultural Confluences: The Art of Lenore Chinn, through Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center.

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