Four gallery exhibitions stand out this week; they present work in ink, of flowers, about time and wielding text. Of course, these single-word summations are grand oversimplifications that barely scratch the surface of how the eight artists in the Chinese Cultural Center's Moment for Ink breathe new, contemporary and even non-Chinese life into a traditional medium, or how Canadian painter Graham Gillmore's phrasing achieves such controversial edge. For that, read on, then see the shows yourself.
Kael Alford and Thorne Anderson are photojournalists rather than fine art photographers, per se. But, as is not uncommon when image-makers far exceed the expectations of their genre, the art world is where they have wound up. Eye Level in Iraq, their collection of photographs documenting the US-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath, is one of the most compelling exhibitions the De Young Museum's young photography department has shown.
Kehinde Wiley's latest batch of epic portraits, now at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, ostensibly gives exposure to Israel's lesser-represented brown-skinned population–Ethiopian Jews, Rastafarians, Arabs and others of non-European descent. They're striking, but something about them feels amiss.
This week's art openings within the gallery circuit and the San Francisco Arts Commission showcase local and international artists alike, in places prompting conversation between them.
New galleries and emerging artists show work in SoMa, while the San Francisco Art Institute brings Gutai, an incredibly cool but underrecognized Japanese postwar artist collective, into dialogue with the present. Motorcycling and mud wrestling performances are on the agenda this week; don't miss out.
In search of great art, this week we're hopping between conventional exhibition spaces and some more unusual ones. Regular haunts like SFMOMA's Artists Gallery at Fort Mason and Eleanor Harwood Gallery are always solid bets, but the ground floor of City Hall and the Burritt Room + Tavern (which also happens to be one of our favorite watering holes) are showing work too, and commanding our attention with what they're hanging.
Fifteen years ago, CCA's Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts opened its doors to the public as an active center for showcasing modern, cutting-edge work meant to spark discussion and interaction. This month, the gallery space makes its big move from the city's Design District to a more prime location in Potrero Hill. Designed by architect Mark Jensen, the large, gymnasium-sized space features galleries and event space.
In just over a year, Google Art Project—an online program that makes art in all its forms accessible to art lovers worldwide—has amassed 151 partners across 40 countries. Check out the Mark Bradford show at SFMOMA and YBCA and then go online to see what pieces NYC's MOMA has. Or explore the Santiniketan Triptych in Delhi's National Gallery of Modern Art after walking the halls of SF's Asian Art Museum's "Maharaja" exhibit.
Calling all creative types: make your way to Fort Mason next weekend for a two-day extravaganza of art, music, design, film, and more. A partnership between VICE and Intel, The Creators Project has been attracting the art- and tech-savvy set all over the world—Beijing, Sao Paulo, Paris, Seoul, New York—and next weekend marks the first-ever San Francisco event. Now in its third year, it's about time the festival touched down in the country's most burgeoning epicenter of technology.
Fillmore art is something special to San Francisco. When I saw MGMT there in 2010, I was psyched to receive an iconic promotional poster as a souvenir. In my rock 'n' roll fantasy, the same would have happened at the Fillmore decades ago, but at a Jimi Hendrix show.