New Exhibition From India At The Asian Art Museum

Painting Is My Everything is really something very different, and the exhibition opens tomorrow and runs through December 30 at the Asian Art Museum. Here’s how the museum describes the works on display:

With precise skill and bold artistic vision, the 17 contemporary artists included in this exhibition, many of them women, employ a centuries-old regional style to express personal experiences and viewpoints. They paint traditional subjects such as Hindu gods but also use their brushes to document and comment on everyday life as well as national and global events.

The backstory on this exhibition is extraordinary:  Mithila is a region in India, and the style of painting found there was originally practiced exclusively by women on the walls of their homes. In the wake of a severe drought in the 1960s, this mural tradition was transferred to paper, a format that could be sold to bring much-needed income to rural villages. The paintings on display at the Asian Art Museum are a visually delightful expression the Mithila aesthetic.

For more information on the exposition, the history behind it, and tickets,  please click here.


René Magritte Exhibition Now Open at SFMOMA

You may not recognized the name, but you’re certainly familiar with his work.

René Magritte (1898–1967) was one of the most intriguing painters associated with Surrealism, but he did not fully find his voice until after breaking ties with the movement. This exhibition, the first to look exclusively at Magritte’s late career, examines his most important bodies of work from the 1940s through the 1960s, and shows how they marked a fundamental shift in painting from Modernism to our own time.

Featuring more than 70 artworks in nine immersive, thematic galleries, René Magritte: The Fifth Season explores how Magritte balanced irony and conviction, philosophy and fantasy, to illuminate the gaps between what we see and what we know. Together, the works reveal Magritte as an artist acutely attuned to the paradoxes at work within reality, and an enduring champion of the role of mystery in life and art.

We think this is one of those must-see exhibitions.

René Magritte
The Fifth Season
Now through October 28, 2018
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street, San Francisco, Floor 4

The de Young Museum Has Some Great Exhibitions Coming Up

You’re going to want to visit the de Young Museum in the coming weeks and months as some very exciting exhibitions will be presented. They are very different from one another, but all seem intriguing.

Cult of the Machine March 24, 2018August 12, 2018
Fans of the Eighteenth Century March 31, 2018April 28, 2019
Judy Dater: Only Human April 7, 2018September 16, 2018
Weapons of Mass Seduction: The Art of Propaganda May 5, 2018October 7, 2018
Contemporary Muslim Fashions September 22, 2018January 6, 2019

For more information on the de Young and for tickets to these exhibitions, click here.

Divine Bodies on Display at the Asian Art Museum

Beginning this Friday, the Asian Art Museum will be presenting Divine Bodies, an ambitious exhibition that will be on display through July 29.

This is how the museum describes it:

“Bringing historical paintings and sculptures from mainly Hindu and Buddhist traditions together with contemporary photo-based work, Divine Bodies invites you to ponder the power of transformation, the possibility of transcendence, and the relationship of the body to the cosmos.”

“The exhibition is organized into thematic sections that encourage us to look at objects not only as artworks but also as devotional images and ask, ‘How can we see the human in the divine and the divine in the human?'”

Doesn’t this sound like a wonderful break from the coarse nature of the discourse that besieges us today? It certainly seems worth a look!

Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

“Casanova: The Seduction of Europe” at the Legion of Honor

In the dynamic world of mid-eighteenth century Europe, people, ideas, and aesthetics crossed national boundaries. For an intelligent, curious, confident, and lucky person like Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798), the possibilities must have seemed endless. Stretching the limits of both social and physical mobility, he traveled from his native Venice to Paris, London, Dresden, and even Russia and the Ottoman Empire.

Notorious for amorous pursuits and his ability to charm and con his way into top-tier circles, Casanova wrote vivid accounts of 18th-century social life in Europe. Containing paintings, sculptures, drawings, costumes, porcelain and silver, this new exhibit highlights the visual riches and attitudes found in the worlds that Casanova inhabited.

Casanova: The Seduction of Europe
February 10 – May 28
Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, 100 34th Avenue

For more information, click here.

This Seven-Screen Art Installation Is Wildly Different

It’s hard to wrap your head around this thing, but then that’s the idea. It’s meant to be provocative. It’s more art than movie, though you’ll recognize some of the actors. There’s no beginning and no end, though the story takes about an hour to tell. Chronicle art critic Charles Desmarais describes it this way: “Ultra-high-definition video images surround us, weaving together sublime landscapes and brawny city views. They are sumptuous and transfixing; each could be viewed as though it were a distinct work of photographic art.”

We’re talking about Playtime, a free exhibition open to the public now through February 11, 2018 at Fort Mason; Wednesday-Saturday, noon – 8 PM; Sunday, 11 AM – 5 PM.

Here’s how Fort Mason describes this work by acclaimed artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien:

“Playtime unfolds across three capital cities—London, Reykjavik and Dubai—that have been extensively reshaped by the recent volatilities in the global financial system. Playtime’s cosmopolitan spectacle, presented in a kaleidoscopic montage across seven large screens, interconnects the lives of its archetypical characters—hedge fund managers and art world players in London; a photographer in Reykjavik; and a Filipina houseworker in Dubai—each of whom is based on a real-life individual directly affected by the market collapse. Julien visualizes the potential of capital to both create social mobility and produce obstacles to it, foregrounding the way each character inhabits and traverses the sweeping high-tech cityscapes, contemporary architecture, and sublime natural landscapes of these worldly locales.”

Told you it was hard to wrap your head around. But that’s probably art at its best, and it certainly seems worth checking out. It’s like no movie you’ve ever seen. For more information, click here.

Degas and Impressionism at the Legion of Honor

Another week, another fabulous art exhibition. This time it’s taking place at the Legion of Honor, now through September 24. Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade features approximately 40 Impressionist paintings and pastels, including key works by Degas—many never before exhibited in the United States—as well as those by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, Mary Cassatt, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, along with 40 exquisite examples of period hats.

“Best known for his depictions of Parisian dancers and laundresses, Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) was enthralled with another aspect of life in the French capital—high-fashion hats and the women who created them. The artist, invariably well-dressed and behatted himself, ‘dared to go into ecstasies in front of the milliners’ shops,’ Paul Gauguin wrote of his lifelong friend.”

Legion of Honor Exhibition Notes

The exhibition will be the first to examine the height of the millinery trade in Paris, from around 1875 to 1914, as reflected in the work of the Impressionists. At this time there were around 1,000 milliners working in what was then considered the fashion capital of the world.

Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade: Tue.–Sun., through Sept. 24, 9:30 A.M. – 5:15 P.M.,  Lincoln Park (100 34th Ave.), $28, 415.750.3600,