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
Hungry dinosaurs are on the prowl at the Conservatory of Flowers — and if you’re lucky, you won’t be lunch.“Plantosaurus Rex,” which runs through Oct. 21, is a chance to see what the big guys ate. It’s a small exhibit, but one that brings to mind the strange and wonderful plants drawn by Dr. Seuss. The giant ferns, exotic cycads and monkey puzzle trees would be right at home in the land of the Lorax. Read More
In the 1950s and ’60s, San Francisco’s creative energy inspired notable poets. Many of them, it turns out, painted with the same passion that infused their words.“The Painted Word” features more than 80 paintings, drawings and other artworks by William Saroyan, Henry Miller, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and 11 other prominent poets. The show, co-curated by Peter Selz and Sue Kubly, runs through July 14 at the Meridian Gallery. Read More
When you think about Walt Disney’s “Fantasia,” what comes to mind isn’t a mysterious German illustrator named Heinrich Kley.
Kley isn’t a household name — but he probably should be. He was one of Disney’s favorite European illustrators, and his influence on the 1940 animated film is unmistakable. Read More
After seeing the abstract paintings of artist Mark Bradford, you might never look at a scrap of paper the same way again.“Mark Bradford” is being presented at two locations: the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through June 17 and at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts through May 27. The exhibition includes more than 50 paintings, collages, sculptures and other mixed-media pieces by Bradford, winner of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2009. Read More
Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra bravely looks at the muddy waters of adolescence. Her riveting portraits offer viewers a chance to examine — from a safe distance — the complicated and awkward process of growing up.“Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective” is at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through May 28. Organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the exhibition features nearly 70 color photographs and five video installations. Read More
The poetic paintings of Irish artist Patrick Graham need time to be fully appreciated. They persuade the viewer to ignore the ringing cable cars and shoppers outside the gallery near Union Square and step into solitude — even if only for a moment.
“Patrick Graham — Thirty Years: The Silence Becomes the Painting” — is appropriately titled. More than 35 works by the influential artist are at the Meridian Gallery, a nonprofit arts center housed in a 100-year-old mansion at 535 Powell St. Read More
The giant Christmas tree in Union Square is extra green this year — so green that it’s artificial.
The evergreen that dazzles holiday shoppers was not cut down in a forest. Instead, the 83-foot Southern beauty that Macy’s bought came from a company in Georgia. Assembled like a giant jigsaw puzzle, the faux fir will be the star of Macy’s 22nd annual Great Tree Lighting Ceremony tonight.
“This tree is perfect,” said Larry Hashbarger, Macy’s director of special productions. “I think most people are probably going to think it’s a real tree.” Read More
New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast can find something funny in almost everything — especially an evil queen’s midlife crisis.In Chast’s “The Vain But Realistic Queen,” the queen asks, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who, if she lost 10 pounds and had her eyes done and her neck done, and had the right haircut, could, in her age group, be the fairest one of all?” Read More
San Francisco is known for its sophistication and flair — and partying with Charles Dickens is no exception. Read More
It’s hard to imagine an artist barely out of college deserving a retrospective. The late photographer Francesca Woodman is getting just that, and deservedly so.Thirty years after her death, her brief career is the focus of an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The show features more than 150 of Woodman’s hauntingly beautiful photographs, most of them black and white.Using her body as her main subject, Woodman photographed herself nude or wearing vintage dresses, often in dilapidated interiors. Read More
Artist Richard Serra is famous for his gigantic steel sculptures. What he is less known for are his drawings, now the subject of a fascinating exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.“Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective,” which opened Saturday, illuminates the creative process of one of the world’s great 20th-century artists. The landmark exhibition includes roughly 70 works, from densely layered geometric shapes to sketchbooks that have never been shown before. Read More
In the early 1900s, the Stein family — Gertrude, her brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael’s wife, Sarah — were swept up in the excitement of Parisian life. The American expatriates lived modestly and spent their money on paintings by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and other young artists they befriended.
Their extraordinary collection has been reunited in an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. “The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde,” which opens Saturday, offers a fresh look at a family that influenced the course of modern art. Read More
Vacant storefronts in San Francisco’s Central Market neighborhood have gotten an artistic facelift thanks to the efforts of The City’s Art Commission.
Now in its second year, Art in Storefronts features six storefront installations and five murals on and near Market Street. The work, which will remain on view until Aug. 13, is full of unexpected surprises. Read More
In a corner gallery at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, there’s an exhibit of the works of Tobias Wong. Dominated by a somber black wall, the show is a shrine to the late artist and designer — and well worth a visit.
Wong died last year in New York City at the age of 35. During his short time in the spotlight, he made a deep and lasting impression, looking at the interplay of anxiety and consumerism in a post-9/11 world. Read More