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2015 Fall Arts Museums and Galleries Preview

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Rong Rong and Inri’s evocative “Untitled No. 25” is among the new works on view in “First Look: Collecting Contemporary at the Asian,” opening Sept. 4. (Courtesy Asian Art Museum)
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Museums showcase masterworks — from antiques to avant-garde.

OPENING

First Look: Collecting Contemporary at the Asian: The show of 57 new works, many on view for the first time, sparks connections between Asian history and tradition and the immediacy of contemporary ideas. The “new stuff” on display includes Shreyas Karle’s 30-piece installation “Museum Shop of Fetish Objects,” animation by Japanese technologists teamLab and Rong Rong and Inri’s evocative “Untitled No. 25.” Sept. 4-Oct. 11, $10-$15. Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., S.F., www.asianart.org

Between Life and Death: Robert Motherwell’s Elegies in Bay Area Collections: Celebrating the centennial of Motherwell’s birth, the exhibit contains 13 works by the pioneering artist in the abstract-expressionist movement and leading voice for the avant-garde in American art. The show includes works from Motherwell’s human-condition series “Elegies to the Spanish Republic,” which was created in response to the Spanish Civil War. Sept. 5-March 6, $6-$10. De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F., deyoung.famsf.org

Richard Diebenkorn: The Sketchbooks Revealed: The exhibit contains all 29 sketchbooks kept by Diebenkorn, whose career took him from abstract expressionism to the Bay Area figurative movement to his abstract “Ocean Park” series. With 1,045 drawings (via digital equipment, museumgoers can “flip” through the pages), the books provide an intimate look at the artist’s creative methods. Sept. 9–Feb. 8, free. Cantor Arts Center, Palm Drive at Museum Way, Stanford University, Stanford, www.museum.stanford.edu
 
Yo-Yos & Half Squares: Contemporary California Quilts: Twenty works with asymmetrical designs, unorthodox materials, vibrant visual dynamics and improvisational aspects expand conceptions of the art form in a show spotlighting five quilters (Angie Tobias, Arbie Williams, Mattie Pickett, Rosie Lee Tompkins and Sherry Byrd) whose work is included in the Oakland-based collection of Eli Leon. Sept. 12–Feb. 21, $6.95-$15.95. Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland, www.museumca.org

Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure From Berthouville: Dedicated to the god Mercury, buried during antiquity and discovered in a rural French village in 1830, the objects of the “Berthouville Treasure” include exquisite ornamented vessels and other ancient Roman silver items. More than 160 pieces – selections from the 93-piece excavation, along with additional Roman-era luxury objects – are on view. Sept. 19-Jan. 10, $10-$18. Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., Lincoln Park, S.F., legionofhonor.famsf.org

Pour Crever: Trimpin, a MacArthur “genius” grant recipient known for computer-triggered sound sculptures, commemorates the 75th anniversary of the deportation of the Jewish residents of Efringen-Kirchen (in southern Germany) to France, and then to Auschwitz, in this new work. It contains suspended water tanks along with a mechanism that releases sheets of water, which spell out the names of deported residents. Sept. 24 onward, $5-$12. Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F., www.thecjm.org

Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition: The exhibit of work from the fair that celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and The City’s reconstruction following the 1906 earthquake showcases pieces that exemplify artistic trends of period, from the conservative to the avant-garde: American and French Impressionism; works by members of the Ashcan School; paintings from emerging modernist styles in Italy, Hungary, Austria, Finland and Norway, and more. Oct. 17-Jan. 10, $6-$10. De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F., deyoung.famsf.org

Looking East: How Japan Inspired Monet, Van Gogh, and Other Western Artists: Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the exhibition juxtaposes works by impressionist and postimpressionist European and North American masters with those by prominent Japanese artists to illustrate how the 19th-century rage for Japanese styles significantly shaped Western art. More than 170 works are on view, including Monet’s “The Water Lily Pond,” Kubo Shunman’s hanging scroll “Courtesan in the Snow at the New Year” and woodblock prints by Kitagawa Utamaro, Utagawa Hiroshige and others. Oct. 30-Feb. 7, $10-$25. Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., S.F., www.asianart.org

STILL ON VIEW

Hands Off: New Dutch Design at the Confluence of Technology & Craft: Forward-looking and functional designs created by about 20 designers from the Netherlands are on view in this exhibition bringing together artistic creativity, digital technology, and environmental concerns. Items on view range from 3D-printed furniture to tableware made from potato scraps. Through Sept. 13, $6 to $8. Museum of Craft and Design, 2569 Third St., S.F., www.sfmcd.org

J. M. W. Turner: Painting Set Free: Sixty-five oil and watercolor paintings by Turner are on view in this exhibition, which focuses on the last 15 years of the career of the 19th-century British master known for his strikingly luminous landscape paintings. Through Sept. 20, $10-$25. De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, S.F., deyoung.famsf.org

Portraits and Other Likenesses From SFMOMA
: Portraiture, and how this age-old form of depicting individual identity has greatly broadened in scope in the past century, is the focus of this exhibition. More than 50 works of modern and contemporary art from the African diaspora and Latin America are on view. Through Oct. 11, $5 to $10. Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission St., S.F., www.moadsf.org

Exquisite Nature: Twenty works by some of China’s most influential artists of the 14th through 18th centuries make up this exhibition of paintings that focus on the natural world. Highlights include Zou Yigui’s “100 Cranes Among Pine Trees,” an example of court painting during the Qing dynasty. Through Nov. 1, $10-$15. Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., S.F., www.asianart.org

IN THE GALLERIES

The Light in Cuban Eyes: Celebrating the recent restoration of U.S.-Cuba relations, the exhibit’s photographs reflect Cuba’s “special period” — the decades of hardship that resulted from the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1989. Works by 24 artists, from traditional prints of street scenes to mixed-media installations parodying pre-revolution bourgeoisie life, are on view. Sept. 10-Oct. 31, free. Jenkins Johnson Gallery, 464 Sutter St., S.F., www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com

Chitra Ganesh: Protest Fantasies: Brooklyn-based artist Ganesh continues to explore issues of mythology, social injustice and gender and sexuality politics in a show of multimedia figurative pieces that poetically consider international acts and images of protest. The works feature areas of saturated color overlaid with ephemera such as fake fur, gold chains and plastic snakes. Sept. 10-Oct. 31, free. Gallery Wendi Norris, 161 Jessie St., S.F., www.gallerywendinorris.com

Jay Defeo: Alter Ego: This exhibition contains 55 paintings, photographs, collages, and drawings by the Beat-era artist who, while famous for the monumental painting “The Rose,” created a wide range of work featuring objects from daily life. The show focuses on her penchant for creating related works and her themes of doppelgangers and yin yang. Sept. 12-Oct. 10, free. Hosfelt Gallery, 260 Utah St., www.hosfeltgallery.com

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