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.
Need an art fix to kick off the new year? Step right this way.
As most of the city's art inclined are aware, gallery hopping during SF's "First Thursday" has been a downtown tradition since the early '90s. More recently, Oakland's monthly Art Murmur has been all the rage—its Friday evening art walk has become the hottest party east of the bay over the past few years.
While San Francisco’s contemporary art scene is downright quaint compared to the likes of, say, Manhattan’s, this weekend’s sea of downtown gallery openings was testimony to how vibrant and overwhelming the art world can be, even in a dusty frontier town like ours.
Now the wine and cheese (or, if you’re Catharine Clark Gallery, tacos) are back in the fridge, but the art will remain quietly on display for at least a month longer. After wading through a lot of it, we’ve come up with a perfectly manageable selection of what is truly worth seeing this September.
Move over, Art Basel Miami. This weekend, San Francisco will give the most important art show stateside a run for its money. artMRKT, ArtPadSF, and SFFAF are setting up shop around the city, and we thought we'd help make it easier to choose among the three, or give you reason to double (or triple) dose on all the art and culture you could possibly handle over the course of a few days. All three fairs kick off with preview parties today and run through Sunday, so start practicing your intellectual art speak now.
Two weeks ago, a sprawling, multi-room space called The Popular Workshop officially debuted on the city's art scene with its first-ever show, Degausser by Hunter Longe, and was packed to the gills with camera-wielding, curious spectators. TPW has lofty ideals that take it far beyond just being a gallery; the massive Tendernob space is also a design studio, like an incubator or laboratory for graphic and web designers and artists to gather, create and push SF's art world to new levels.
There’s a lot of art happening in this city but often it’s hard to find. SF’s First Thursdays and Oakland’s Art Murmur are great ways to see a lot in a short span of time, but if you’re looking for one-offs, you may find yourself lost. Here’s our guide to the hot shows in February.
Luc Tuymans Retrospective
It appears that there's nothing new at First Friday's Art Walk in Oakland this month, Johansson Projects and Rock! Paper! Scissors! are showing the same exhibits as last month, but the scene that night was so mobbed. Maybe you want to try again without the jostling in airless, crowded rooms and check out Flaming Furbelows and Heroes and Villains at their respective galleries.
If it's anything like last time, there will be vegan cheesecake vendors, impromptu performance art and artists galore setting up shop in the side street between the two blocks of art spaces and eateries that make up the bulk of the monthly Art Murmur.