Must-See Art Guide: San Francisco

This week's guide includes Nicholas Nixon, Mickalene Thomas, and Alejandro González.

Alejandro González Untitled, from the series Improper Conduct (2008). Courtesy of Jenkins Johnson Gallery.
China Ganesh Pussy Riot (2015). Courtesy of Gallery Wendi Norris.

Chitra Ganesh Pussy Riot (2015). Courtesy of Gallery Wendi Norris.

The art season is coming to San Francisco this week with Art Silicon Valley/San Francisco (Art SV/SF) opening today, running through October 11. Considered the equivalent of Art Miami on the West Coast, Art SV/SF has major contemporary and modern artwork from the 20th and 21st century displayed alongside pieces by emerging and new media artists. Once you’ve visited the fair, go ahead and seize this opportunity to also enjoy some exciting exhibitions currently on view throughout The Golden Gate City.

First stop, Geary Street: named after John W. Geary, the first mayor of San Francisco after California became a state, this street hosts numerous galleries you won’t want to miss. The exhibition at Anglim Gilbert Gallery explores nearly all five senses, with paintings, sculptures, and perfume by the artist Bruno Fazzolari, who makes work about his own experience with synesthesia. At another mainstay of Geary Street, Fraenkel Gallery, take in the four-decade retrospective of the photographs of Nicholas Nixon, best known for his long-running portrait The Brown Sisters. Nixon has an almost uncanny ability to capture the passage of time, so be sure to stop by Fraenkel Gallery and contemplate his mournful work. Take a few more steps down the street to Haines Gallery, hosting recent sculptures and works on paper by Jaume Plensa—the celebrated sculptor’s first solo exhibition on the West Coast.

Then, get off Geary Street and head over to Jenkins Johnson Gallery to explore the group exhibition “The Light in Cuban Eyes.” Contemporary Cuban photographers such as Alejandro González, Jorge Luis Álvarez Pupo, and Adrián Fernández present an array of work ranging from classic silver gelatin prints, to digitally-created images made after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1992. Take some time to also stop at Anthony Meier Fine Arts to see drawings and sculpture by the Houston-based artist Joseph Havel exploring the eternal question of “How to Draw a Circle.”

Even though the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is closed for construction, you can still enjoy its exhibitions elsewhere. As part of the “SFMOMA On the Go” initiative, “Portraits and Other Likenesses” at the Museum of the African Diaspora presents the evolution of portraiture in a variety of genres, with over 50 works by Romare Bearden, Wifredo Lam, Glenn Ligon, Chris Ofili, Kara Walker, and Mickalene Thomas, among others.

If you’re going to San Francisco, you can skip flowers in your hair, but you definitely do not want to skip the many art events the Bay Area has to offer!

Exhibition: “Portraits and Other Likenesses from SFMOMA
When: May 8–October 11, 2015
Where: Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission St., San Francisco, CA

Mickalene Thomas Sista Sista Lady Blue (2007). Courtesy of the artist, Artists Right Society, SFMOMA and the Museum of the African Diaspora.

Mickalene Thomas Sista Sista Lady Blue (2007). Courtesy of the artist, Artists Right Society, SFMOMA and the Museum of the African Diaspora.

Exhibition: “Bruno Fazzolari – Seyrig
When: September 9–October 10, 2015
Where: Anglim Gilbert Gallery, 14 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA

Bruno Fazzolari DAT ROSA (BFP 221) (2015). Courtesy of Anglim Gilbert Gallery.

Bruno Fazzolari DAT ROSA (BFP 221) (2015). Courtesy of Anglim Gilbert Gallery.

Exhibition: “Nicholas Nixon: About Forty Years
When: September 10–October 24, 2015
Where: Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA

Nicholas Nixon Yazoo City, Mississippi (1979). Courtesy of Frankael Gallery.

Nicholas Nixon Yazoo City, Mississippi (1979). Courtesy of Frankael Gallery.

Exhibition: “Jerry Kearns: Give and Take
When: September 10–October 24, 2015
Where: Modernism Inc., 685 Market Street, San Francisco, CA

Jerry Kearns HEHAHAHEHAHAHAHA!! (2010–2013). Courtesy of Modernism Inc.

Jerry Kearns HEHAHAHEHAHAHAHA!! (2010–2013). Courtesy of Modernism Inc.

Exhibition: “The Light in Cuban Eyes
When: September 10–October 30, 2015
Where: Jenkins Johnson Gallery, 464 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA

Alejandro González Untitled, from the series Improper Conduct (2008). Courtesy of Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

Alejandro González Untitled, from the series Improper Conduct (2008). Courtesy of Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

Exhibition: “Jaume Plensa: Silent Faces
When: September 10–October 31, 2015
Where: Haines Gallery, 49 Geary Street, Suite 540, San Francisco, CA

Jaume Plensa Chloe in Barcelona (2014). Courtesy of Haines Gallery.

Jaume Plensa Chloe in Barcelona (2014). Courtesy of Haines Gallery.

Exhibition: “Chitra Ganesh: Protest Fantasies
When: September 10–October 31, 2015
Where: Gallery Wendi Norris, 161 Jessie Street, San Francisco, CA

Chitra Ganesh Action Plan (2015). Courtesy of Gallery Wendi Norris.

Chitra Ganesh Action Plan (2015). Courtesy of Gallery Wendi Norris.

Exhibition: “Tom Birkner: Chromatic Fictions
When: September 10–October 31, 2015
Where: Paul Thiebaud Gallery, 645 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA

Tom Birkner Installation View (2015). Courtesy of Paul Thiebaud Gallery.

Tom Birkner Installation View (2015). Courtesy of Paul Thiebaud Gallery.

Exhibition: “Joseph Havel
When: September 11–October 16, 2015
Where: Anthony Meier Fine Arts, 1969 California Street, San Francisco, CA

Joseph Havel Dark Star (2015). Courtesy of Anthony Meier Fine Arts.

Joseph Havel Dark Star (2015). Courtesy of Anthony Meier Fine Arts.

Exhibition: “Jay Defeo | Alter Ego
When: September 12–October 10, 2015
Where: Hosfelt Gallery, 260 Utah Street, San Francisco, CA

Jay DeFeo Untitled (1973). Courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery.

Jay DeFeo Untitled (1973). Courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery.

Exhibition: “Andy Diaz Hope: Content Void Content
When: September 12–October 17, 2015
Where: Catharine Clark Gallery, 248 Utah Street, San Francisco, CA

Andy Diaz Hope Installation View (2015). Courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery.

Andy Diaz Hope Installation View (2015). Courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery.

Exhibition: “Jun Kaneko: Project Based Installation in Conjunction with the ‘The Magic Flute’
When: September 22–October 31, 2015
Where: Rena Bransten Projects, 1639 Market Street, San Francisco, CA

Jun Kaneko Untitled, Wall Slab (2015). Courtesy of Rena Bransten Projects.

Jun Kaneko Untitled, Wall Slab (2015). Courtesy of Rena Bransten Projects.

Exhibition: “New Works by Ricardo Mazal: Bhutan Abstractions
When: October 1–November 14, 2015
Where: Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery, 49 Geary Street, Suite 509, San Francisco, CA

Ricardo Mazal Bhutan Abstraction with Red 5 (2015). Courtesy of Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery.

Ricardo Mazal Bhutan Abstraction with Red 5 (2015). Courtesy of Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery.


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share