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Six Art Openings to See in February

A masterful doodler, a Surrealist, a feminist, a sculpture -- the artists featured in this week's art gallery openings offer a range of styles, and artistic visions. Stop in.

Carrie Mae Smith: Steaks, at March

A butcher’s daughter, artist Carrie Mae Smith has meat in her blood. And for the 39-year-old painter, no cut of red meat is off limits—lamb chops (pictured), rib roast, sirloin steak, rack of lamb, you name it. The native New Englander, who learned to milk goats during a farm exchange program in Ireland and once worked as a private chef on Martha’s Vineyard, flaunts her carnivorous exploits this month at March, the stylish home store known for its rotating, food-themed art exhibits. If you find yourself getting hungry at the sight of her juicy slabs, take one home with you. All works are available for purchase. Exhibit runs through April 5. - Allison McCarthy

Jason Jägel: From the Sky, Rivers Look Like Snakes, at Gallery 16

Jason Jägel is known for his layered compositions, and chaotic, colorful works, densely populated with sketches of people and places. This exhibit, his first with Gallery 16, features his familiar style as well as works that play with large-scale imagery and space, works that are flat, simplistic, but expressive. 

From the Sky, Rivers Look Like Snakes runs through March 31 at Gallery 16, 501 Third Street. The opening reception
 will be hosted on Friday, February 7, from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m.

Wolfgang Paalen: Philosopher of the Possible, at Gallery Wendi Norris

Featuring the largest sculpture and painting ever produced by Wolfgang Paalen, this show is not to be missed. The Austrian-Mexican artist produced Les Cosmogones, a Surrealist masterpiece reflecting the intersection of art and ethnology, in 1944. Measuring 96 x 93 inches, it is the most expansive painting Paalen created during his life. A year later, he created Projét pour un monument, a sculpture standing at nearly 8 feet, in his studio in San Angel, Mexico.

Philosopher of the Possible runs through March 29 at Gallery Wendi Norris, 161 Jessie Street. The opening reception will be hosted on Thursday, February 6 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m.

A panel discussion with Caitlin Haskell, assistant curator of painting and Sculpture at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Amy Winter, director of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College and author of Wolfgang Paalen: Artist and Theorist of the Avant-Garde, will be held at the gallery on Saturday, February 8, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Simone Leigh: Code Switch, at Gallery Wendi Norris

Simone Leigh's powerful work is influenced by feminism and her appreciation for the history of objects and materials. Her debut West Coast solo exhibition at Gallery Wendi Norris will be crowned with the installation of Queen Bee 2008-2013, a dramatic chandelier-like sculpture that has changed in each installation since 2008. The show will also include a range of material and media including glass, tobacco and digital video.

Code Switch runs through March 29 at Gallery Wendi Norris, 161 Jessie Street. The opening reception will be hosted on Thursday, February 6th, from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m.

Leigh will be speaking at the San Francisco Art Institute on Wednesday, February 5, at 7:30 pm.

Manuel Neri: Working in Marble, at Hackett | Mill

Hacket | Mill is unveiling some of Manuel Neri's marble sculptures for the first time. As a member of the Bay Area's Figurative movement, Neri explored new artistic expressions in the Post-War era. He began with cardboard and junk material and later dabled between plaster, bronze and marble. "In marble, we see Neri's contemporary approach to materiality in the context of Neri as a true classicist," according to a statement released by the gallery. 

Working in Marble runs through May 9th at Hacket | Mill, 201 Post Street, Suite 1000. The opening reception
 will be hosted on Friday, February, from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m.

Above and Below: Stories of Our Changing Bay at Oakland Museum of California

On view in the Oakland Museum’s recently renovated galleries, this exhibit addresses issues of climate change, sea-level rise, and wetlands restoration. Learn how humans and nature have shaped our region throughout the past 6,000 years, and see what might lie ahead. Through February 23. - Allison McCarthy