FALL ARTS: Scoping out fall's poetic and apocalyptic visual art offerings
FALL ARTS/HAIRY EYEBALL "New Work: R. H. Quaytman" It's appropriate that the paintings commissioned by SFMOMA for R.H. Quaytman's first West Coast showing were conceived in response to the museum's own photography holdings as well as the work of SF Renaissance poet Jack Spicer. I'm curious to see what sort of conversation Quaytman's precise, labor-intensive, and site-specific silk-screens (in "seven interrelated sizes based on the golden ratio") stage with Spicer's salty and spicy verse. Oct. 22-Jan. 16, 2011; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, www.sfmoma.org .
"Masami Teraoka: The Inversion of the Sacred" Masami Teraoka built his reputation in the 1980s and '90s on his apocalyptic ukiyo-e-style paintings, which juxtaposed topical content (AIDS, the globalization of fast food) against their faithful reproduction of an older, "traditional" aesthetic. In recent years he's turned to Renaissance altar painting as the medium of choice to express his disgust over a whole host of new evils. His latest gilded blasphemy — a triptych that reenvisions the Last Supper as a Papal stag party in hell — encompass the ever-mounting sex abuse scandals linked to the Catholic Church and the gulf oil spill. Oct. 2-Nov.13; Catharine Clark Gallery, cclarkgallery.com.
"Tammy Rae Carland: Funny Face, I Love You" For her second solo show at Silverman Gallery, Mr. Lady Records cofounder and visual artist Tammy Rae Carland presents a suite of new work inspired by female comedians. Carland's photographs of empty stand-up stages give off a slightly forlorn vibe, to be sure, but her anywhere clubs are also sites of possibility to laugh off gender difference as well as to laugh at it. You'll leave in stitches. Sept. 10-Oct. 23, 2010; Silverman Gallery, www.silverman-gallery.com .
"10 Years of Fecal Face, An Anniversary Show" A decade in Internet years is a long-ass time, so three cheers to founder John Trippe and his army of global correspondents for sticking to their guns these past 10 years and creating an invaluable resource and platform for Bay Area artists and visual art fans. Tripp has pulled together a who's who of site and Fecal Face Dot Gallery alum — David Choe, Matt Furie, and Jeremy Fish, to name a few — for this epic retrospective. Support the scene that supports you. Sept. 10-Oct. 9, 2010; Luggage Store Gallery, www.luggagestoregallery.org .
"HARVEST: what have you gathered?" Just in time for the lead-up to Thanksgiving, the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District Gallery lays out quite a spread. "Harvest" asked a diverse group of TL-based artists, "What have you gathered?" Their responses should make for an interesting snapshot of the lives that comprise a neighborhood in flux. Sept. 1–Nov. 30; 134 A Golden Gate, www.nom-tlcbd.org .
"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:
Before SF Art Institute was SF Art Institute, it was known as the California School of Fine Arts and had one of the finest photography programs in post-World War II America. Set up by Ansel Adams, the program counted such celebrated photographers as Dorothea Lange, Homer Page, and Imogen Cunningham among its illustrious faculty. Smith Anderson North in San Anselmo collects an unprecedented showing of photographers who came out of the program at the height of its fame. Sept. 14-Oct. 15; Smith Anderson North, www.smithandersonnorth.com .
You may know the way to San Jose, but San Jose knows the way to the future. The 01SJ Biennial has grown into one of the Bay Area's premier art events, bringing together visual artists, architects, computer programmers, and a whole host of other creative doers and thinkers and unleashing their creations and collaborations across the city, this year, with the prompt to "Build Your Own World." Sept. 16-19; www.01sj.org .