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Alex Bigman

Three Gallery Shows to Catch This Fall

You know it’s fall when museums are dishing out exhibitions faster than you could possibly see them. SFMOMA just managed to sneak in some great new work by Italian artist Alessandro Pessoni before its upcoming retrospectives, the de Young unveiled a collection of photographs by Danny Lyon while Rudolph Nureyev: a Life in Dance waits in the wings, and that is not to speak of the Asian Art Museum’s and Jewish Museum’s openings this week and next.

A gallery breather is sounding pretty nice right about now. Here are three promising shows, two in the city and one in Marin, to keep the museums at bay this week.

Cope2: The Rebirth, at Project One Gallery

A Look at the de Young's New "Taste for Modernism" Show

The exhibition of CBS founder William S. Paley’s art collection, now at the De Young Museum, is subtitled A Taste for Modernism – as opposed to the American Scene naturalism that Paley’s contemporaries were generally going for in the 1930s.  

SFMoMA's New Exhibit "Six Lines of Flight" Shows Six Art Scenes Emerging from Violent Pasts

Stephen Dedalus, the narrator of James Joyce’s Ulysses, is a recurring subject for Romanian painter Victor Man. Rendered young and effeminate, he peers out of Man’s nocturnal, deep green canvases with apprehensive intensity. “History,” Dedalus said in Ulysses, “is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”

Zero1 Biennial's Incredible Pi in the Sky Project

Midday Wednesday, a team of synchronized skywriters will encircle the Bay Area’s airspace with what, to most viewers, will appear a random string of rapidly fading digits. A select few, however, will recognize it as pi: 3.14159, and so forth a thousand places.

Four Gallery Openings to Catch this Fall

San Francisco’s gallery scene leaps headlong into the Fall season this weekend – we count upwards of twenty five openings, by conservative measure. We see you’re swooning already, so we put together a more manageable itinerary: Just four promising exhibitions, ranging from the big (Hosfelt inaugurates its new 8,900 square foot space) to the truly intimate.  

Naoya Hatakeyama: Natural Stories, at SFMOMA

Naoya Hatakeyama produces austere, almost impossibly beautiful photographs of landscapes that have been touched by human industry: Remote snow capped mountains studded with observation decks, massive limestone quarries, colossal heaps of slag (a mineral mining byproduct). In these stark works, well over one hundred of which are now on view at SFMOMA, marking the artist’s first solo exhibition in the U.S., Hatakeyama manages to coolly capture those moments of humbling, fall-to-your-knees awe that mother nature is known to produce. Gasps could be heard throughout the galleries.

Sound Installations Rule This Month's Gallery Shows

Sound tends to take a backseat to the visual in gallery exhibitions. This weekend, however, two high-profile shows turn to the sonic, as Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon transforms Eli Ridgway gallery through a series of “audible confrontations” and Tyson Vogel, of folk rock duo Two Gallants, opens house after a month-long residency at Ever Gold. Listen up.

Four Art Shows to Catch This Month

Four Art Shows to Catch This Month

This week, a number of promising exhibitions meander, to varying degrees, away from the conceptual gravitas that often accompanies contemporary art. Barcelona-based Max Rippon and Oakland couple (and resident Facebook muralists) Jet Martinez and Kelly Ording reflect on the textures of urban environments and organic life. Re-appropriationist sculptor Charles Linder promises “electric pork,” whatever that may entail. And there’s more.

"Partners In Surrealism" Tells the Love Story of Man Ray and Lee Miller at the Legion of Honor

the Love Story of Man Ray and Lee Miller at the Legion of Honor

Man Ray | Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism begins with two sepia-tone photographs – one of Miller, beautiful though sullen, the other of Ray, positioned to look in her direction with cocked eyebrow and fervent gaze. The photographs are not compositionally interesting; their purpose seems more documentary, like yearbook or wallet photos. Right away it becomes clear that this exhibition is only nominally about surrealist art. At heart, it is a love story, one of confinement and release, simultaneous explosion and stasis – perfectly surrealist.

Photography Giant Cindy Sherman Comes to SFMoMA

Cindy Sherman Comes to SFMoMA

Anyone who’s taken a contemporary art history course in the past thirty years has probably seen a sampling of Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills – they have become as much a fixture in the artistic canon as Manet’s Olympia. For the first time ever, all sixty-nine of them are in California. They compose roughly half of a critically acclaimed Sherman retrospective that has just arrived from New York at SFMOMA. People are seriously excited. Half of them have no idea what they are in for.

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