Since 1967, a revered barometer for how we view the San Francisco art community, the SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art) Art Award is a widely anticipated exhibition at SFMOMA, a ceremonious moment honoring the past, present, and future of art in the Bay Area. From public art to installation, from photography to conceptual works, SECA appreciates a range of mediums, a valuable indicator of how the art world comes in many shapes, sizes, and vantage points. From Sarah Cain to Barry McGee, Chris Johanson to Tauba Auerbach, we see the myriad ways in which the Award has kept an ear to the ground, maintaining the Bay as an epicenter in international art circles.
The 2022 winners, Binta Ayofemi, Maria Guzmán Capron, Cathy Lu, Marcel Pardo Ariza (a Juxtapoz alum), and Gregory Rick are each on their own, fascinating creatives, with Rick being one of the most exciting painters our editors have seen come from the Bay in recent years. From his roots in graffiti to his time in the 101st Airborne in Iraq and now a prestigious MFA from Stanford, the painter’s large-scale, political paintings are a frenzy of cartoon and historical imagery, an almost new era social realist. “I see my work as History Painting promoting the obscure, the forgotten, and the common knowledge,” Rick says. “My life has been full of tribulations, I look at them as initiations.” In a vital moment for contemporary paintings, Rick is a powerful new voice, the embodiment of what the SECA Award has long championed. —Evan Pricco
2022 SECA Art Award Exhibition @ SFMOMA, San Francisco will be on view December 17, 2022—May 29, 2023