Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Four Must-See Art Exhibits Opening This Week

The Thinker, Rodin

Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, Bronze, Courtesy of Guardian Stewardship, 19x14x29

This week, in addition to the reliable assortment of fearless young artists, the Bay Area receives the works of two major deities: Chuck Close and Auguste Rodin. If “The Thinker” isn’t a great excuse for a day trip down to Monterey, we don’t know what is. 

Auguste Rodin: Light and Shadow, at the Monterey Museum of Art

It is hard to think of thinking, without Le Penseur (The Thinker) by Auguste Rodin eventually curling into form in the mind’s eye. The image of this modern masterpiece has embedded itself in our culture so deeply, it is easy to forget that it actually exists somewhere, an expertly carved hunk of bronze and marble.

For the next few months, that “somewhere” is the Bay Area – specifically Monterey. The Monterey Museum of Art presents a full exhibition of Rodin’s sculpture, in all its physicality. What is often lost in the endless representations of Rodin’s work, is how deeply pocketed and curved his sculptures are. In addition to mastering the portrayal of human emotion, Rodin was an expert with light, shadow and sense of movement. This not-to-be-missed exhibition directs its focus toward that.

Auguste Rodin: Light and Shadow runs July 5 - October 21 at the Monterey Museum of Art, 559 Pacific Street, Monterey

Left: Chuck Close, Trial Proof for Keith, 1972. Mezzotint. Crown Point
Press Archive, Museum purchase, Bequest of Whitney Warren, Jr. in
memory of Mrs. Adolph B. Spreckels. 1991.28.98. Right: Chuck Close,
Working Proof for Keith, 1972. Mezzotint. Foundation purchase, Phyllis
C. Wattis Fund for Major Accessions. 2011.1

Chuck Close and Crown Point Press: Forty Years of Creative Collaboration, at the De Young Museum

We know Chuck Close as an artist obsessed with faces, a subject he pursued with unrelenting urgency throughout his illustrious career. Throughout the 1970s and 80s his mugs became ever larger in scale, employing photorealist approaches of “pixilation” and grid transfer that would become his signature.

Lesser known are Close’s prints, which he executed in collaboration with San Francisco’s own Crown Point Press. It was through these, in fact, that Close explored many of the techniques he would eventually apply to his painting. Soon to be on view at the De Young Museum, they offer a new angle from which to approach the distinctive modern master.

Chuck Close and Crown Point Press runs July 7 – October 14 at the De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive

Pak Han; "Untitled 2012"  Courtesy of artist Pak Han

Transfiguration: Uncovering the Hidden, at icTus gallery

Pak Han produced abstract, expressionistic paintings for over ten years before he ever picked up a camera. He adopted the device as a documentary instrument; however, his approach soon drifted toward the theatrical as he took to capturing performance pieces in striking, cinematographic compositions.

The interdisciplinary impulse is more than apparent in Han’s latest exhibition, Transfiguration. Here, Han’s surreal photographic dreamscapes, introspective and denuding, constitute only one part of an immersive, multi-sensory “photo installation” involving sound and performance. Over one year in the making, this show promises to grip from all angles.

Transfiguration runs July 7 – August 17 at icTus gallery, 1769 15th Street

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 7, 6 – 10 p.m.

Judith Foosaner; Breaking and Entering #17, 2012, 36 × 72 inches

Judith Foosaner: Breaking and Entering, at Brian Gross Fine Art

Judith Foosaner’s large-scale works are invariably described in terms of momentum, traffic, beat, even dance. Her process-driven work involves making linear drawings, cutting them out and collaging them on canvas, then applying paint as the newly configured formations command. Exuding a distinct sense of rhythm and improvisation, the impressive black-and-white creations beguile as jazz does, and are irresistible at that.

Breaking and Entering runs July 7 – August 24 at Brian Gross Fine Art, 49 Geary Street

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 7, 2 – 4 p.m.