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'The Long Look' Wants to Improve Your Art-Viewing Habits

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Installation view of 'The Long Look' featuring work by Joe Ferriso. (Courtesy of Bass & Reiner Gallery)

When you visit a museum or a gallery, how much time do you spend looking at an individual work of art? A minute? Three seconds? The average, studies find, is somewhere around 17 seconds. To combat this woefully short attention span, San Francisco’s Bass & Reiner Gallery experiments with a different kind of summer group show in The Long Look, exhibiting just one work at a time for four days each.

First up is Joe Ferriso’s 11/28/18 B&W Self-Portrait, a 24-piece watercolor, on view July 31 through Aug. 3 (each mini-show culminates in a “closing reception” 4–6pm on Saturdays through the end of August). In chronological order, The Long Look subsequently includes paintings by local artists Laura Rokas, Ana Saygi, Dan Davis and Robert Falco.

Each piece promises to itself reference the act of looking. Which means: Both the form and content of this show aim to retrain your attention span in favor of sustained consideration—something we could all use more of these days.

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