Your Fall 2022 Bay Area Visual Arts Snapshot

Raymond Saunders, ‘Untitled’, nd, mixed media on canvas. (Courtesy of the artist and Casemore Gallery, San Francisco, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York)

Sonoma Valley Art Museum, Sonoma
September 10, 2022–Jan. 8, 2023

After a 2021 exhibition split between two San Francisco locations — Casemore Kirkeby and a downtown gallery rented by Andrew Kreps — it was clear that Oakland artist Raymond Saunders, now 80, had plenty to work on. have. This exhibition of 25 large-scale mixed media paintings, some of which have never been exhibited before, will span the artist’s long career. Expect his signature layering of glued found materials, stencils and paints; its delicate white lines on black surfaces; and references that encompass topics such as the history of the civil rights movement and Saunders’ own artistic upbringing, all in one complex and compelling work.

A black man in a swimsuit stands in a kiddie pool in front of shipping containers
Adrian Burrell, “Learning to Swim”, Oakland, CA, 2018. (Courtesy of the artist)

ICA San Jose
Sept. 16, 2022–Feb. 26, 2023

Family history is the focus of two solo shows at ICA San José with Oakland artists Mildred Howard and Adrian Burrell. Howard, a key figure in the Bay Area art scene, presents a multimedia exhibit that includes a short film inspired by the discovery of decades-old 8-millimeter film in his mother’s purse, footage that Howard toured at the age of 14 in Texas. . At the other end of the career spectrum, this will be Burrell’s first solo show (though his resume already includes an SFMOMA commission and a short film that’s racking up awards on the festival circuit). For this show, Burrell worked with an investigative genealogist to connect with relatives in Louisiana and recreate images about their shared history of resistance.

Violet flower resembling a thistle on a black background
Kija Lucas, “Looking for a Home, Montezuma 294”, 2015. (Courtesy of the artist)

SF Camera, San Francisco
Sept. 17–Dec. 17

When SF Camerawork closed its Market Street location, I feared the worst for the nearly 50-year-old arts nonprofit. Fortunately, the organization is opening a new space at Fort Mason Center (the former SFMOMA Artists Gallery) with a solo exhibition by Bay Area photographer Kija Lucas. A taxonomy of belonging is inspired by Lucas’ ongoing project looking for home, which took the artist through 13 states, scanning plants, rocks and other objects from locations related to his own family’s movement over time. In his description of the series, Lucas references the racial taxonomy of Carl Linnaeus, an 18th-century Swedish scientist whose writings supported and helped define racist skin color categorization systems. What, asks his project, do we consider worth collecting and documenting?

Leaning figure with white paper sculptures in hands under construction scaffolding
Weston Teruya, “Sol”, 2017; always from the video documentation of the performance. (Courtesy of the artist and the Headlands Center for the Arts)

Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito
Sept. 25–Oct. 23

At the dreamy Marin Headlands, Oakland artist Weston Teruya will be housed in one of the residency’s project spaces, periodically opening his studio to the public as he begins to research and create a new body of work on the islands. In Teruya’s description of the project, he points to both the historical and fictional islands as places that can tell a variety of stories: about anti-imperialism; as intercultural meeting places; on lush and volatile environments; and as memory spaces. Teruya’s work often manifests in the form of delicate and intricate sculptural installations on paper, sometimes made in collaboration with other artists and communities. Repeat visits to Headlands to check on its progress are unlikely to disappoint.

Black and white image of an Asian American woman smoking a cigarette in a car
Bernice Bing, 1960, photographed by Grover Sales. (Courtesy of Estate of Bernice Bing and Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries)

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
From September 30, 2022 to May 1, 2023

While it is always exciting to have big-name artists in our local museums, there is a particular joy in seeing local stars attract institutional attention. Celebrating the Asian Art Museum’s recent acquisition of 24 works by San Francisco-born artist Bernice Bing, In view features paintings spanning the 1950s through the 1990s. Bing’s work documents both Bay Area artistic trends (abstract expressionism, figuration, Zen calligraphy, and modernism) and the influence of the many legends under which she studied at the University. era in the schools now known as CCA and SFAI. Its history is also that of community arts initiatives: in the 1970s, it was part of the Neighborhood Arts Program in San Francisco; in the 1980s she was the first executive director of what is now SOMArts. The Asian Art Museum now holds the largest collection of Bing’s works, and we, the Bay Area public, are the beneficiaries of this investment in our own region’s rich art history.

Image of a gray sky with trees and moss intertwined in a jagged pattern
Jeffrey Gibson, Image taken from “This Burning World”, 2022. (Courtesy of the artist and ICA San Francisco)

ICA San Francisco
From October 1, 2022 to March 26, 2023

It’s not every day that you have a new museum in town. The non-collecting institution officially opens in the Dogpatch with a solo exhibition by New York artist Jeffrey Gibson. Details about This burning world are sparse but intriguing: architectural intervention, projected installation, performance, and — in a move founding director Ali Gass first tried at ICA San José — vinyl wrap on the building’s exterior. Stepping off from the Wattis Institute-commissioned 2020 Gibson video, we can expect dense, lush imagery that refuses to be pinned down in a tidy summary, a perfect start for an institution dedicated to “constant reinvention in the field.” of contemporary art”.

Graphic image with Angela Davis face, words "Free Angela" and pointing
Herb Bruce, “Free Angela”, 1971. (Courtesy of the Lisbet Tellefsen Archives)

Oakland Museum of California
From October 7, 2022 to June 11, 2023

This exhibit, first presented at Rutgers University, examines the Oakland icon’s life through multiple lenses to examine his image, influence and activism. While the show will mainly focus on her arrest and the campaigns to free her, Seize the time also promises to explore Davis’ influence on artists past and present, and his ongoing struggle for the abolition of prisons. Whether visitors are discovering his work or looking to delve deeper into his scholarship and legacy, this show should be on the list of fall must-sees.

Painting of a woman in a bathrobe in a shower cap in a turquoise tiled shower, a dog stands behind her
Joan Brown, “Woman getting ready for a shower”, 1975. (© Estate of Joan Brown; Photo courtesy of Venus Over Manhattan, New York)

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
From November 19, 2022 to March 12, 2023

Remember what I said about local art stars getting their flowers? This survey of the San Francisco-born painter brings together approximately 80 pieces for the most significant presentation of Brown’s work in more than two decades. How do you know when a painting show is going to knock your socks off? When the museum’s press release is peppered with phrases such as “definitely independent”, “once dismissed by critics as unserious” and “charmingly quirky”, the artist is described as having a “fiery disinclination for the commercial side of the world of art”. If the above fantastic images of humans, animals, and eye-catching designs don’t pique your interest, I’ll make another attempt to sign you up for my Joan Brown fan club. As an avid open water swimmer, she and a group of women successfully sued three all-male Bay Area swim clubs in 1974. Two swimsuits left at one of those clubs after his untimely death in 1990 are now part of the SFAI archives.


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