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Bingo: The Life and Art of Bernice Bing

San Francisco native, Chinese American artist, and community activist, Bernice Bing was a bridge between many worlds.

“The story of San Francisco native Bernice Bing (1936-1998) or ‘Bingo,’ as she was known to her friends, is remarkable in any context, even that of today. Bing had multiple barriers of discrimination to overcome as a woman, an Asian-American, and a lesbian. With all these obstacles, she was among those courageous creative individuals withstanding the forces of conformity and oppression in post-World War II America. But among her fellow artists during the Beat era, Bing’s marginal status, if anything, gave her an advantage. By the time she arrived on the scene in the late 1950s, San Francisco’s avant-garde had coalesced into a fully self-sufficient underground community, operating its own artist-and-poet-run galleries and presses, and providing much of its own audience, thus remaining free from the powerhouses and taste makers of the art establishment.”

from “The Dual Worlds of Bernice Bing,” by Susan Landauer, contributor to the SVMA catalog for Bingo: The Life and Art of Bernice Bing

An exhibition catalog with essays by Exhibition Curator Linda Keaton; art historian and author Susan Landauer; activist, curator and writer Jennifer Banta is available in the SVMA Museum Store. The catalog also includes a timeline “Bernice Bing and the Roots of Modernism in the San Francisco Bay Area” assembled by David Keaton, Carlson Art Research and Moira Roth. Softcover, 56 pages.

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