Must-See Art Openings: Mona Kuhn's Captivating Nudes, a Rex Ray Retrospective + More
Art + Design

Must-See Art Openings: Mona Kuhn's Captivating Nudes, a Rex Ray Retrospective + More

Mona Kuhn Pome 14. Courtesy of the artist and EUQUINOMprojects.

Here's our must-see list for art lovers this month.

What: Mona Kuhn: The First Chapter

When: May 6–June 10, 2017

Where: EUQINOMprojects at the Minnesota Street Project

Why: Because you're comfortable with excellent nude portraiture. This exhibition features the work of LA-based photographer Mona Kuhn, known for capturing modern and personal nudes, in the first collection for her POEMS series. The series—inspired both by the Hieronymus Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights" and Sistine Chapel frescoes,—portrays intimate images of au natural women and men immersed in serene natural landscapes. Kuhn herself will be on hand for an artist-guided walk-through on Saturday, June 3, 2017, from 6 to 8pm, bringing a sense of even greater intimacy to the viewer. // EUQINOMprojects, 1275 Minnesota Street (Dogpatch),

Steve Cagan, Women doing laundry in one of the few streams that flowed through the Salvadoran refugee camp in Colomoncagua, Honduras during the Salvadoran civil war, 1988

What: Steven Cagan: Working Pictures

When: May 11–July 1, 2017

Where: San Francisco Camerawork

Why: Because you're an activist. This collection—shown for the first time on the West Coast—highlights five decades of Steve Cagan work documenting human struggles around the world. Cagan's work depicts labor's demise in his home state of Ohio, political struggles across Central America, and indigenous peoples' fight to maintain their way of life in Colombia. The range of images capturing people raising their voices should inspire you to keep on #resisting here at home. // San Francisco Camerawork, 1011 Market Street (FiDi),

Nucifer by Rex RayCourtesy of Gallery 16

What: Rex Ray

When: May 4–June 30, 2017

Where: Gallery 16

Why: Because you love the work of the late Rex Ray. When popular Bay Area collagist and pop artist died in 2015, Gallery 16 became sole curator for his estate. This show highlights over 70 Ray artworks, including his epic collection of 500 paper cut-outs organized library style called "Wall Of Sound," as well as large scale canvases, prints, and other collages. Coinciding with the exhibition, Gallery 16 will release Rex Ray: We Are All Made Of Light, a new monograph that celebrates the artist's career, and SFMOMA will present a selection of Ray's work in conversation with Paul Klee's work from their permanent collection. // Gallery 16, 501 3rd Street (SoMa),

Untitled Sf_Giants by Mike MandelCourtesy of SFMOMA

What: Mike Mandel: Good 70s

When: May 20–August 20, 2017


Why: Because you are addicted to the 70s and can appreciate a good prank. Mike Mandel created one of his signature pieces, The Baseball Photographer Trading Cards, in 1974 when he traveled through the U.S. asking famous photographers—Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and Minor White, to name a few—to pose wearing a baseball cap turning the images into baseball cards (complete with sometimes hilarious stats) that he sold in packs of ten. This exhibition includes photographs, books, and a film, all made during the same period he was collaborating with his friend, photographer Larry Sultan. // SFMOMA, 151 3rd Street (SoMa),

Summer LeeCourtesy of re.riddle

What: Here is Where We Meet.

When: May 5–June 1, 2017

Where: re.riddle

Why: Because you like to push the boundaries. Re.riddle is a pop-up gallery that showcases site-specific art events in different locations around the world. For the inaugural show in San Francisco they connected SF-based Summer Lee and Nathan Goldsmith to create a series of works that explore relationships, communication, and the intimacy between private and public identity. Both Lee and Summer communicated with art sending work back and forth across the country as they got to know one another developing an art-based language construct that evolved into this exhibition of photography, sculpture, painting, textile work, large-scale installation and more. //re.riddle @ Navaisha Studio&Gallery, 1499 Grant Avenue (North Beach),

Children of Rome by Jeffrey BlankfortCourtesy of Italian Cultural Institute

What: The Children of Rome

When: May 10–June 9, 2017

Where: Italian Cultural Institute

Why: Because who doesn't love Rome? SF-based photojournalist Jeffrey Blankfort shows the images he took of children on the streets of Rome during the mid-60s. During his time in the Eternal City, Blankfort was struck by the how children bahaved in Rome and they way adults cared for children, their own and any other children they encountered. // Italian Cultural Institute, 601 Van Ness Avenue (Civic Center),

With a mighty volition by Ted LincolnCourtesy of

What: Fanthoms of the Leviathan

When: May 11–June 17, 2017

Where: The Great Highway Gallery

Why: Because you've read Moby Dick and really, really liked it. America artist Ted Lincoln combines the use of traditional Chinese technique, like sumi ink on rice paper, and the Floridian style of cypress wood folk art to design a show around the classic American novel. Obsessed with the book, Lincoln found many analogies with his life and decided to dedicate a whole exhibition to it. "Both the book and I originate from a small corner of Massachusetts, and the scene that introduces Ishmael, the narrator of the intricate novel that, like my artwork, unifies previously distinct genres, occurs at a site just a few miles from my own place of birth," said the artist. // The Great Highway Gallery, 3649 Lawton Street (Outer Sunset),

The Birth of Venus, cover illustration for The New Yorker, August 2014Courtesy of Danese/Corey, New York

What: Roz Chast's Cartoon Memoirs

When: Through September 3, 2017

Where: Contemporary Jewish Museum

Why: Because you can't get enough of this New Yorker cartoonist. Angsty, nerve-wracked Roz Chast has a signature style of finding the worst in a possibly good situation, and her wit is on display here in a large restrospective that includes snarky New Yorker covers, the complete panels from Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?—her humorous and heart-wrenching paean to caring for her mix-matched parents at the end of their lives, her early work for National Lampoon and the Village Voice, and selections from her childrens books. Run, don't walk to this show. // Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission Street (SoMa),

Woman on Porch, Richard DiebenkornCourtesy of SFMOMA

What: Matisse/Diebenkorn

When: Closing May 29, 2017


Why: The last days are nearing to see this unique and highly-praised show that compares the work of French modernist Henri Matisse to that of Richard Diebenkorn, one of California's most renowned painters. Through 100 artworks, the show highlights how the visual poetry of Diebenkorn was deeply influenced by Matisse // SFMOMA, 151 3rd Street (SoMa),

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