Home Show: A Chuck Sperry Retrospective 

October 17-November 17 

The Haight Street Art Center is delighted to present Home Show: A Chuck Sperry Retrospective, an exhibition of rock-posters, art prints on paper and wood, deep cuts from the artist’s 40-year career, and the West Coast premiere of the several hand-woven tapestries. Running from October 17 through November 17, 2024, with an opening reception on Friday October 18, the exhibition is Sperry’s most comprehensive exhibition since his Color x Color retrospective at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in 2022, and his first local exhibition since the acquisition last spring of four of his pieces by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, two of which were featured in Art of Noise this summer.  

Inspired by our human impulse to create, Home Show underscores what it means to be a maker in the 21st century, designing and producing work that straddles fine art, entertainment, and craftsmanship. The exhibition spans Sperry’s long and influential career, featuring new silkscreen prints from the artist’s ongoing “Muse” series and rare works, including a number of original pieces, from his archive.  

At a moment when algorithms and computers are increasingly being used to do creative work, what is the role of the artist or craftsperson? This question is personal for Sperry: as the design and production of cultural ephemera is increasingly automated or outsourced, his dedication to the craft of screen printing and the art of gig posters has become somewhat anomalous. Still, Sperry is confident that the human spark of creativity will persist. “Art made by humans for humans in physical reality is imbued with the soul of our humanity,” he says. “Our uniquely mortal heart and immortal spirit, drawn from our human culture, collective unconscious, and experience will transcend the current imperative for non-human and virtual intervention in the art space.”  

Drawing influence from the playwrights and artisans of Classical Antiquity to the hybrid artist-designers of Art Nouveau, Sperry’s vivid, colorful screen prints merge the worlds of art, entertainment, and politics seamlessly, just as his predecessors did. Patterns of brightly colored foliage emanate from behind a woman’s head, her hair falling across her body or taken up by a gust of wind. Often, she looks directly at the viewer, standing in her power and control. Sperry’s muses carry names from Greek mythology, tracing their knowledge and image to the goddesses of art, science, and religion. This ongoing interest in ancient knowledge and texts such as the Orphic Hymns places Sperry’s practice of image-making into a long—and very human—lineage.