War is hard, but it is especially hard on children. If you view the photographs of Kael Alford and Thorne Anderson, now at the de Young Museum, be prepared.
“Eye Level in Iraq: Photographs by Kael Alford and Thorne Anderson,” which runs through June 16, looks at the impact of the U.S.-led coalition’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 through the lens of everyday life.
The 62 digital inkjet prints, on loan from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, were taken during a two-year period. Read More
There are many gems in “Rembrandt’s Century,” but perhaps none quite as charming as the engraving of a dozing tabby cat oblivious to the panicky mouse behind him.
“The Large Cat” by Cornelis Visscher is one of the most famous animal prints of the 17th century. It is one of more than 200 rarely seen prints and drawings, taken largely from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s collections, in “Rembrandt’s Century,” on view at the de Young Museum through June 2. Read More
Artist Kehinde Wiley reinterprets the art of classic portraiture, painting young, black, urban men dressed in T-shirts while striking heroic poses akin to those found in the works of old European masters. Read More
Ezra Jack Keats’ classic children’s book, “The Snowy Day,” was groundbreaking when it was published in 1962.
Beautifully written and illustrated, it was the first full-color picture book with a black child at the heart of the story.
Keats’ lush illustrations, which evoke the magic of winter, are the subject of an exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco through Feb. 24. Read More
Walt Disney’s Snow White is an icon. Who knew that animators toyed with the idea of making the raven-haired star a blonde? Or that she might have kept house for a dwarf named Awful?
There’s no shortage of fascinating trivia in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic,” on view at the Walt Disney Family Museum through April 14. Housed in a special exhibition hall near the main museum building, the show includes more than 200 pieces of art, including character studies, story sketches, animation drawings and vintage posters. Read More
With its jutting angles and concrete walls, the Berkeley Art Museum is the perfect place to display the graffiti art of Barry McGee.
The word “amaze,” scrawled in fat red letters, covers the glass doors at the main entrance. The museum’s facade has been tagged as well. It’s cleverly done; only close up is it clear that the graffiti is confined to a removable tarp. Read More
The late Bay Area artist Jay DeFeo is best known for a painting that took nearly eight years to finish. Now her admirers have a chance to see works from the rest of her career, thanks to a superb exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
“Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective” is on view through Feb. 3. Organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the exhibition brings together more than 130 paintings, photographs and other work. Read More
Jasper Johns made his mark nearly 60 years ago, transforming the art world with his distinctive style. Now 82, the contemporary American artist is still painting and reinventing his work as he goes. Read More
In 1936, a group of young, mostly Jewish photographers walked the gritty streets of New York City, focusing their cameras on ordinary people trying to scrape by.
More than 300 members — roughly a third of them women — participated in the school and salon that became known as the Photo League. Over 15 years, the League produced a powerful body of work, exploring issues of class, poverty and race from the Depression and postwar prosperity to the Cold War climate that led to its demise. Read More
Smuin Ballet, a long local treasure, begins its 2012-13 season with the kind of innovative pieces for which it is known: Along with the West Coast premiere of “Cold Virtues” by choreographer Adam Hougland, Trey McIntyre’s popular “Oh, Inverted World” is back on the troupe’s fall program, which opens Friday in The City.
Hougland, a rising star in the dance world, drew inspiration from the movie “Dangerous Liaisons.” Created originally for the Louisville Ballet, where Hougland serves as principal choreographer, “Cold Virtues” features 14 dancers. Read More
Best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon has a loyal following, especially in the Bay Area. Local fans are in for a treat: “Telegraph Avenue,” his new novel, covers turf so familiar that some readers may feel they’ve met these characters in real life.Chabon is a master at writing beautifully crafted sentences and has an extraordinary ear for dialogue. Readers who are passionate about music will relish references to jazz classics and the conversations among collectors. Even the book cover is designed to resemble a 1970s record. Read More
In today’s media culture, it’s hard to imagine recording the aftermath of a war with pen and ink drawings.That’s exactly what fashion illustrator René Bouché did.Commissioned by Vogue to cover the first post-World War II couture shows in Paris, Bouché found a different world on the streets: people standing in line for bread rations, riding bicycles, flirting in cafés and dealing with paperwork. Read More
If you think love bites, be glad you’re not a praying mantis.
If you were — shall we say — Mr. Mantis, you might have your head snapped off by Mrs. Mantis the moment you make your intentions clear.
The mating ritual of the mantis is just one of the interesting stories found in “Animal Attraction,” a fascinating exhibition at the California Academy of Sciences. There are 18 tanks of creatures on display in the bright orange gallery, from snails that fire “love darts” to hermaphroditic banana slugs. Read More
For more than 30 years, photographer Cindy Sherman has used herself — and only herself — as the subject of her portraits. Yet in every picture she looks like someone else.Working as her own stylist, makeup artist and costume designer, Sherman is a master of disguises. Her characters are so eerily real that you have the feeling you’ve met them before. Whether you want to meet them again is another question.“Cindy Sherman,” now at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, includes more than 150 photographs by Sherman, considered one of the most influential contemporary artists. Read More
A portrait tells two stories: one about the artist and one about the subject. At the Mexican Museum, the stories are expressed in paintings, ceramics and mixed-media works that speak volumes about culture and identity.“Caras/Cuentos (Faces/Stories)” explores the rich tradition of portraiture in Hispanic, Chicano and Latin American art. Drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition offers a fascinating look at the power of the human face. Read More