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FALL ARTS: VISUAL ARTS The season's must-see gallery and museum shows

Photo bombshell: Untitled by Sandy Kim

With its building under construction, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is setting up four different site-specific projects to highlight its 2012 SECA Art Award winners, bestowed biennially on the Bay Area's breakout artists. Zarouhie Abdalian will install programmed bells to ring in front of City Hall in Oakland; Josh Faught will create new woven sculptures for the Neptune Society Columbarium; David Wilson will create multidimensional experiences along walking routes at six outdoor locations; and Jonn Herschend will premiere a short film on the museum's rooftop taking the building's closure as a point of departure. Sept. 14—Nov. 17, various locations; www.sfmoma.org.  

Edward Burtynsky, Rena Bransten

Burtynsky is famous for his arresting landscape photography which, like Richard Misrach, interrogates the way humans have irrevocably interrupted natural processes. His Rena Bransten show will feature aerials and large format shots related to water consumption and control in nine countries. Oct. 24—Dec. 14, 77 Geary, SF; www.renabranstengallery.com.  

"David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition," de Young Museum

Hockney is one of those artists that on paper ought to be talked about more: prolific, likable, a pioneer in his day, author of a mildly controversial art history book, and all that. His large-scale landscapes from the last decade get the retrospective treatment here, hopefully reminding us why at one point he was one of the world's most famous living artists. Oct. 26—Jan. 20, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., SF; deyoung.famsf.org.  

Chris Fraser, Highlight

Chris Fraser uses splintered and filtered beams of light in installations that recast space in terms of mathematical rigor, reworked scale, and pregnant narrative. Nov. 28—Jan. 18, 17 Kearny, SF; www.highlightgallery.com.

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