A list of events and exhibits happening in the San Francisco art scene.
‘Partners in Surrealism’
“Man Ray-Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism” features more than 100 photographs, paintings, drawings and manuscripts that explore the creative interaction between the prominent 20th-century surrealists. This exhibition, the first to focus exclusively on the pair’s artistic relationship, also includes paintings by Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Roland Penrose and Dora Maar, artists who traveled in their circle in Paris from 1929-32.
[July 14-Oct. 14. $6-$10. Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., S.F., (415) 750-3600, www.legionofhonor.famsf.org]
A veritable Picasso of photography, Cindy Sherman’s work is grotesque and unforgettable. SFMOMA hosts a major retrospective of her photographs, organized by the MOMA in New York, in its only West Coast presentation. Sherman’s typical work shows herself in various guises, at times in the nude, with face or body distorted. An infamous anti-fashionista, she has said, “I’m disgusted with how people get themselves to look beautiful, I’m much more fascinated with the other side ... [I] was trying to make fun of fashion.”
[July 14-Oct. 7. $11-$18. SFMOMA, 151 Third St., S.F., (415) 357-4170, www.sfmoma.org]
‘Central Nigeria Unmasked’
The Benue River Valley, a little-known region of Africa, is the source of dramatic and inventive art on exhibit at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center. Organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA, it’s the first major show featuring sculpture, ceramics and video material from the area. “Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley” presents some 150 objects organized in sections that unfold as a journey up the 650-mile-long river. Selections include art from 25 ethnic groups, with works including maternal figures, sleek statues, anthropomorphized vessels, elaborate regalia, masks with human faces and masks that appear as stylized animal-human fusions.
[Through Oct. 14. Free. Cantor Arts Center, Palm Drive at Museum Way, Stanford University, (650) 723-4177, www.museum.stanford.edu]
‘Children’s Books from the Victorian Era’
Complementing “The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde” at the Legion of Honor, the museum presents “Making the Modern Picture Book: Children’s Books from the Victorian Era” in the Logan Gallery. The show traces the work of the era’s greatest illustrators of the new genre, including Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane and Kate Greenaway.
[Through June 17. $6-$10. Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., S.F., (415) 750-3600, www.legionofhonor.famsf.org]
The de Young Museum exhibit “New Dimensions: Prints and Multiples from the Anderson Collection” showcases small-scale-edition sculptures, known as multiples, created in the 1960s by pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg, who worked with printers at the Los Angeles-based workshop Gemini G.E.L. Their innovative collaborations and 3-D pieces pushed the boundaries of printmaking.
[Through July 1. $6-$10. de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, S.F., (415) 750-3600, www.famsf.org]
The San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries hosts “FAX,” a traveling, evolving exhibition in which the fax machine is used as a drawing tool. The show began in New York in 2009 and continues with added works by local artists. New participants submit faxes by using a specially designed cover sheet; visitors view the collection of faxes on the walls or flip through archival binders.
[Through July 21. Free. SFAC Main Gallery, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F., (415) 554-6080, www.sfartscommission.org]
Joseph Chang has curated a preview to the Asian Art Museum’s “Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy,” an exhibit opening in October featuring examples of calligraphy spanning 600 years and works culled from private collections. But in July, complementary artworks from the museum’s permanent collection go on view in the Chinese Painting Gallery. Among them is a copy of the “Thousand Character Classic.” The sweeping poem, containing 1,000 unique characters, was created as a teaching tool; calligraphy students recite the poem in the same way that youngsters in the West sing the alphabet song.
[July 10-Jan. 13. $7-$12. Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., S.F., (415) 581-3500, www.asianart.org]