Rainen Knecht's Painted Ladies Have a Devilishly Fun 'Attitude Problem'

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Rainen Knecht, Detail of 'Frog Eater,' 2018. (Courtesy of CAPITAL)

Maybe you’ve heard of Minnesota Street Project (MSP, for those fond of acronyms), the warehouses of art spaces, studios and services in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. But have you heard of the other MSP -- Mission Street project?

It’s not really called that, but together, with a persistent disregard for confused gallery-goers, we could try to make the nickname stick. The three-gallery cluster at 24th and Mission Streets -- Ratio 3, Et al. etc. and CAPITAL (technically on Lilac Street, but bear with me) -- provide a new hub for coordinated openings and Friday/Saturday art-viewing-time well spent. Friday and Saturday being the only days of the week the trifecta of art spaces are all open.

Rainen Knecht, 'Girl & Bones,' 2017.
Rainen Knecht, 'Girl & Bones,' 2017. (Courtesy of CAPITAL)

Especially not to be missed in the most recent crop of shows is Portland-based artist Rainen Knecht’s Attitude Problem, on view at CAPITAL through Feb. 24. Female figures and animals gaze out of her canvases, rendered with an economy of fat brushstrokes in lurid greens, bright yellows and murky, gooey browns. Some of these women cradle animals in their arms or hide them in their hair, seemingly communing peacefully with nature. Other women pose in more ominous settings. One stands in front of a felled forest. And another eats her animal friend, green frog legs sticking out between green lips.

All of Knecht's women bear toothy, menacing grins.

The portraits of these wild women and their familiars assemble a cast of characters befitting a fairy-tale land -- without a damsel in distress in sight. Eyebrows arched, these adventurous, devious, evil, crafty creatures stare back at viewers, daring them to join whatever fun or danger awaits.


'Attitude Problem' is on view at San Francisco's CAPITAL (26 Lilac Street) through Feb. 24, 2018. For more information and gallery hours, click here.