Feast for the eyes

Another big impressionist show at the de Young Museum and several exhibits marking the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Japanese envoys to The City anchor a vibrant variety of art to experience as the season develops, with diverse interests being served.

Impressionists, Round 2
The riches of Paris’ Orsay Museum are traveling the world while the building is renovated. San Francisco is soon getting the second batch of great art, after “The Birth of Impressionism,” which opened at the de Young in May.

“Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond” features 120 of the museum’s most famous late impressionist paintings by those artists, and also Monet, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat, Signac and others.

Among works coming to the de Young are Van Gogh’s “Starry Night over the Rhone,” Gauguin’s “Portrait of the Artist with the Yellow Christ” and Rousseau’s “The Snake Charmer.”

Entry to the show is through timed admission, which allows a limited  number of viewers each hour to ensure the galleries are not overcrowded.
[Sept. 25-Jan. 18. $10-$25. De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F., (415) 750-3600, www.deyoung.famsf.org]

Watching the watchers
Security cameras and paparazzi are nothing new, although certainly ever more ubiquitous. To trace the history and art-related focus of “invasive looking,” the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents “Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera.”

Beginning with 1870, the exhibit’s 200 photos explore the ways in which artists and casual photographers have probed the camera’s voyeuristic capacity. Included are such major artists as Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans and Nan Goldin. Their works are presented alongside photographs made by amateurs, journalists and even government agencies.

Curated by the museum’s Sandra S. Phillips and a collaboration with London’s Tate Modern, “Exposed” looks at erotic and predatory photography and instances of urban planning, global intelligence and celebrity culture, all the way to the proliferation of cell phone cameras, YouTube videos and infrared technology.
[Oct. 30-April 17. $9-$18. SFMOMA, 151 Third St., S.F., (415) 357-4000, www.sfmoma.org]

Screens ‘Beyond Golden Clouds’
The Asian Art Museum, among several organizations marking the 150th anniversary of the first arrival of Japanese to America, is preparing “Beyond Golden Clouds: Five Centuries of Japanese Screens.”

Combining function and beauty, folding screens or byo-bu (“wind wall”) have inspired generations of artists and represent some of the highest accomplishments of Japanese painting. This show features 41 large screens from the Art Institute of Chicago and the St. Louis Art Museum, in various media such as traditional paper and silk and stoneware and varnish.

The phrase “Bey-ond Golden Clouds” describes the most popular motifs in clas-sical screens, while also denoting departure from conventional comp-ositions and techniques in more recent times.
[Oct. 15-Jan. 16. $7-$12. Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., S.F., (415) 581-3500, www.asianart.org]

‘Japanese’ impressionism
Combining two major themes in the current art world, the Legion of Honor will feature “Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism” this fall and winter. The show covers development of the Japanese print over two centuries (1700–1900) and illustrates the influence of Japanese art on the West, especially during the era of impressionism.

Some 250 prints, drawings and artist’s books cover the range from early black-and-white woodcuts to the 19th-century
landscape prints of Hokusai and Hiroshige.

Countless European and American artists of the impressionist and post-impressionist eras were influenced by the Japanese print, including Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent van Gogh and James Abbott McNeill Whistler (“Whistler’s Mother,” for example, includes Japanese fabric and the compositional asymmetry of Japanese prints). Conversely, the impact of French impressionism on Japanese artists was widespread in the late 19th century.

[Oct. 16-Jan. 9. $6-$10. Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., Lincoln Park, S.F., (415) 750-3600, www.legionofhonor.famsf.org]

Watching the watchers
Security cameras and paparazzi are nothing new, although certainly ever more ubiquitous. To trace the history and art-related focus of “invasive looking,” the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents “Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera.”

Beginning with 1870, the exhibit’s 200 photos explore the ways in which artists and casual photographers have probed the camera’s voyeuristic capacity. Included are such major artists as Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans and Nan Goldin. Their works are presented alongside photographs made by amateurs, journalists and even government agencies.

Curated by the museum’s Sandra S. Phillips and a collaboration with London’s Tate Modern, “Exposed” looks at erotic and predatory photography and instances of urban planning, global intelligence and celebrity culture, all the way to the proliferation of cell phone cameras, YouTube videos and infrared technology.
[Oct. 30-April 17. $9-$18. SFMOMA, 151 Third St., S.F., (415) 357-4000, www.sfmoma.org]

More events:

Fine art auction
Martin Lawrence Gallery’s gala event features exceptional works, including original paintings, bronze sculptures, serigraphs, etchings and lithographs, by many of the 20th century’s most prestigious artists. A preview of the pieces on sale begins at 6:30 p.m. [8 p.m. Sept. 10. Free. Stanford Court Hotel, 905 California St., S.F., (415) 229-2784, (415) 956-0345, www.martinlawrence.com]

Americana, state by state
“Americana: 50 States, 50 Months, 50 Exhibitions” is a long-term presentation of displays, each on view for about a month. Organized by the Wattis Institute and the California College of the Arts graduate program in curatorial practice, the show focuses on each state, in alphabetical order, examining little-known aspects through artwork and historical artifacts. [September-May 2012. Free. California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., S.F., (415) 551-9210, www.wattis.org]

Before birds and bees — apes
Among many fascinating events at the California Academy of Sciences are lectures such as UC Santa Cruz anthropology professor Adrienne Zihlman’s “From Bones to Bodies.” Her specialty is how research on chimpanzee and gorilla anatomy applies to understanding differences in females and males, the transformation of infants to adults and evaluation of fossil humans. An unexpected application of the research came in making the film “Tarzan of the Apes.” [7 p.m. Sept. 28. $10-$12. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F., (800) 794-7576,
www.calacademy.org]

‘Days of the Dead’
“VIVO: Days of the Dead 2010 — Dias de los Muertos,” coming to the Oakland Museum, exhibits installations and altars by 10 artists and community groups. Curated by Jaime Cortez, “VIVO” explores the Hispanic tradition through the viewpoint of “vivo,” meaning “clever, quick-witted or astute.” Installations focus on political and spiritual themes, continuing the tradition of expressing festive and contemplative emotions. [Oct. 6-Dec. 5. $9-$12. Oakland Museum, 1000 Oak St., Oakland, (510) 238-2923, www.museumca.org]

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