FALL ARTS: Scoping out fall's poetic and apocalyptic visual art offerings
"Reclaimed: Paintings From the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker" Fact: the Nazis did many shitty things, such as taking other people's (wealthy Jews, in particular) cultural property as their own. Such was the fate of the collection of prominent Dutch art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, who had amassed a sizable number of Northern Renaissance rarities. After much effort conservators finally repieced together the collection in 2006, and now SF gets a peek at Goudstikker's greatest hits. And what hits they are: for starters, Hendrick Avercamp's Winter Landscape with Iceskaters (1608) could give Breughel's peasantry a run for their money. Oct. 29-March 11, 2011; Contemporary Jewish Museum, www.thecjm.org.
"Chris Duncan: Eye Against I" Though it takes its title from a seminal album by Washington, D.C., hardcore-legends Bad Brains, "Eye Against I" can also refer to the mind/body split one undergoes when staring down one of Chris Duncan's refracted whirlpools of color. Fry art by way of Saul Bass is one way to think about Duncan's carefully hued spirals of isosceles triangles, but some of the guest artists scheduled for a series of accompanying live events might provide some other ways to re-see the work. Sept. 11- Oct. 16, 2010; Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, www.baerridgway.com.
"One Night Stand: A Mills MFA Group Show" Art doesn't come much cheaper than this. The bright-eyed and bushy-tailed talents in the 2011 Mills MFA class are selling their work for under $50 a pop. Buy now or cry later after they've won a SECA award and made the cover of Juxtapoz. Oct. 8, 6-9 p.m.; Branch Gallery, www.branchgallery.com.
"Cliff Hengst and Wayne Smith: New Work" Both Hengst and Smith have been longtime fixtures on the SF art scene, but their work — different as it is in tone and medium — is always refreshing. Here's hoping Hengst unveils work in line with the small gems in his last showing at 2nd Floor Projects: news photo-sourced images of demonstrations in which everything but the protestors' signs have been blackened out. Sept. 10-Oct. 29; Gallery 16, www.gallery16.com.
"Suggestions of Life Being Lived" This exciting group show curated by Danny Orendorff and Adriane Skye Roberts promises to live up to the dare laid down by Bikini Kill many moons ago to be "worse than queer." Bypassing the usual identity politics-centered narratives and concerns that have defined much LGBT art practice, "Suggestions" seeks out new territory for queerness, whether it be in Kirstyn Russell's photos of gay bars past, Jeannie Simm's intimate study of an Indonesian maid training agency, or Chris Vargas and Greg Youman's humorous "real life" Web sitcom Falling in Love With Chris and Greg. Sept. 9-Oct. 23; SF Camerawork, www.sfcamerawork.org.
OUT OF TOWN
Not all fall hits are in the city. Borrow some wheels and head to points north and south to check out these promising shows: