Winter 2018 Arts Preview: Museums and Galleries

Museum and gallery exhibitions offer insight into past, present and future.

Casanova: The Seduction of Europe: Notorious for amorous pursuits and his ability to charm and con his way into top-tier circles, Italian author and chameleonic libertine Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) also wrote vivid accounts of 18th-century social life in Europe. Containing paintings, sculptures, drawings, costumes, porcelain and silver, the exhibit highlights the visual riches and attitudes on sex and pleasure found in the worlds Casanova inhabited. Feb. 10–May 28. $13-$28. Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, 100 34th Ave., S.F., www.famsf.org

Divine Bodies: Transformation, transcendence and the body’s connection to the cosmos are the focus of this exhibit, which combines historical Buddhist and Hindu paintings and sculpture with contemporary photo-based art. Containing religious, mythological and human imagery, the art invites viewers to consider how to find meaning in an impermanent world. March 9-July 29, $10-$25. Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., S.F., www.asianart.org

The Art of Rube Goldberg: San Francisco-born Goldberg is best known for his cartoons featuring complex devices that perform basic tasks in deliberately and crazily convoluted ways. Covering his 72-year career, the exhibit features drawings and preparatory sketches, rare photographs, letters, films, memorabilia, Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoons and inimitable inventions. March 15–July 8, $5-$14. Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F., www.thecjm.org

Respect-Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom: The comprehensive exhibition explores hip hop as art form, culture and social movement — from its history, to activities from DJing and MCing to dance, fashion, graffiti and business, with a focus on the Bay Area; it includes rare photos, original party flyers, contemporary artwork and a performance and activity space. March 24-Aug. 12 $10.95-$19.95. Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland, www.museumca.org

Cult of the Machine: Precisionism — the 1920s and 1930s art style characterized by sharply delineated geometric forms and representational imagery inspired by industrial and modern American landscapes — is the focus of this exhibit, which explores connections between industrial revolutions past and present and includes more than 100 works by major artists such as Charles Sheeler, Georgia O’Keeffe and Charles Demuth. March 24–Aug. 12, $13-$28. de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, S.F., www.famsf.org

STILL ON VIEW

Curious Contraptions: There are just a few more days to see the exhibition, subtitled “Small Machines of Love and Mystery,” showcasing more than 20 charming, mechanical toy-like sculptures known as automata. Through Jan. 28. $20-$30. Exploratorium, Pier 15, Embarcadero at Green Street, S.F., www.exploratorium.edu

The Crown Under the Hammer: Russia, Romanovs, Revolution: Coinciding with the recent centennial of the Russian Revolution, the exhibition highlights the dramatic shift in sensibilities prompted by the fall of the last Russian tsars and the rise of the first Soviet commissars. Works include photographs of 19th-century Moscow, paintings reflecting the Russian elite’s tradition-mindedness and posters illustrating the Soviet regime’s revolutionary agenda. Though March 4. Free. Cantor Arts Center, Palm Drive at Museum Way, Stanford University, Stanford, www.museum.stanford.edu

Robert Rauschenberg-Erasing the Rules: Covering a six-decade career, the retrospective highlights the singular, multidisciplinary, and collaborative aspects of Rauschenberg’s work; selections include “Monogram” (his famed assemblage featuring a taxidermic goat and a painted tire) and the Yellowstone-inspired “Mud Muse.” Through March 25. $19-$25. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St., S.F., www.sfmoma.org

Way Bay: The expansive Bay Area-centric exhibition of nearly 200 works — paintings, photos, sculpture, mixed media and short films by both acclaimed and lesser-known artists whose focus is on the region — includes dozens of recent acquisitions, many never before exhibited in a museum setting. Through June 3. $11-$13. UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center St., Berkeley, bampfa.org

IN THE GALLERIES

Shine: Gallery owners James Bacchi and Annette Schutz present a group show of “Works Pertaining to Surface” by 15 gallery and guest artists. Through March 30. Free. Arthaus, 411 Brannan St., S.F., www.arthaus-sf.com

Kara Maria: Post-Nature: Maria’s emotionally charged paintings and works on paper suggest ebullient cocktails of abstract expressionism, the psychedelic era and the natural world. Themes include feminism, the environment and war. Jan. 27-March 17. Free. Catharine Clark Gallery, 248 Utah St., S.F., www.cclarkgallery.com

Guy Diehl: In “Art About Art: A Luminous Pursuit,” the still life painter combines images referencing the work of other artists with carefully chosen everyday objects. March 1-31. Free. Dolby Chadwick Gallery, 210 Post St., Suite 205, S.F., www.dolbychadwickgallery.com

Anita Katz

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