“I feel like the world is a place I bought a ticket to,” the photographer Garry Winogrand is quoted saying in Garry Winogrand, now at SFMOMA. This unprecedentedly comprehensive exhibition, consisting of hundreds of snapshot photographs taken between the early 1950s and the time of the prolific artist’s early death in 1984, offers viewers a ringside seat to the unique spectacle of American society as it mutated over the course of those incredible decades–an opportunity not to be passed up.
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.