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Alex Bigman

Ink, Flowers, Time, Text: Four Gallery Shows This Week

Nancy Chan, "Kady", 2006

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.

"Eye Level in Iraq" at the De Young Elevates Photojournalism

Kael Alford; Zafrania, Iraq, April 26, 2003; Digital inkjet print; High Museum o

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.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum Shows Kehinde Wiley's Latest Series of Grand Portraiture

Benediter Brkou (The World Stage: Israel); Kehinde Wiley

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.

Five Exhibitions of Local and European Artists Open This Week

Jason Hanasik

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.

Five Gallery Shows Featuring Emerging, Established and Historical Artists

Saburo Murakami; "Passing through", 1956; courtesy Ashiya City Museum of Art and

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.

The Inimitable Girl with a Pearl Earring Arrives at the De Young

Johannes Vermeer; "Girl with a Pearl Earring"

There's a new face plastered around San Francisco, and it isn't Cindy Sherman's. In fact, it isn't anybody's (although if you guessed Scarlett Johansson, you're on the right track). Johannes Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring," contrary to Tracy Chevalier's Hollywood-adapted book by this title, which links the painting to a fictionalized chambermaid, is actually a tronie – an imagined, idealized portrait of every woman and no woman. It is stunning.

Four SF Art Exhibitions in Usual and Unusual Places

Adam Friedman, "Space & Time"

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.

Four Distinctive Gallery Exhibitions Open This Week

Yayoi Asoma; "Kitchen"

A good group exhibition brings the voice of the curator alongside those of the artists. Here are three that promise this and more, plus a special solo show for good measure.

Four Exceptional Gallery Exhibitions to Visit This Week

Dorothea Tanning Chiens de Cythère (Dogs of Cythera)

Need an art fix to kick off the new year? Step right this way.

Four Art Gallery Openings to Ring in the New Year

Jungsan Senim

For the sake of conversation, let’s say that “visit more art galleries” is on your list of New Year’s resolutions. Well hey, now is a fantastic time to make good on that: after a holiday lull, the local art scene is poised to ring in 2013 with some fascinating exhibitions. We recommend these four, which range from representational to abstract painting, 19th century photography to postmodern multimedia. 

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