Saturday, November 29, 2014

This Fall's Must See Exhibits

I've been somewhat busy the last few months - in case you missed these, here are some of the art exhibits that I've covered.

Alcatraz— @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. Through April 26, 2015
 @Large: AiWeiwei on Alcatraz (pronounced “At Large”) is an exhibition of seven new installations in which freedom is a central theme. It has been the art news of the day.

de Young—Keith Haring: The Political Line: Haring started out as a graffiti artist, plastering NY’s subways with cute, jazzy cartoon figures. His bold graphic works were a spring board to success in the fevered NY art world of the 80's. His distinctive style easily lent itself to his numerous commercial ventures - t-shirts, cups, posters and the like. The show explores his political work in the context of the AIDS epidemic. Through Feb. 16, 2015

 Asian Art Museum—Tetsuya Ishida. This is the first U.S. exhibition of paintings by the Japanese artist, who died in 2005 (a possible suicide.) Ishida blended dreamlike realities with everyday life and melancholy isolation with bizarre wit, producing a body of work that triggers strong emotions but resists easy explanation.

The eight remarkable paintings exhibit the range of Ishida’s themes, including the pressures of academic and office life, social dislocation, the dulling effects of mechanization and the search for identity. Through Feb. 22, 2015

Legion of Honor—Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House
 Have you ever dreamed of living in a sumptuous English country estate, being served tea by a liveried footman, going to grand balls and sleeping in 4-poster beds, covered with rare Chinese silk? The current exhibit at the Legion of Honor, "Houghton Hall; Portrait of an English Country House" should satisfy even the most avid lover of Downton Abbey and of a particular kind of very upper class, very elite English life style.

 Houghton Hall brings to San Francisco a wonderful array of objects from one of Britain’s great country houses. Houghton House was built by Sir Robert Walpole, between 1722 and 1735, and is considered the finest Palladian house in England. All that is missing is his glorious collection of old master paintings (sold off to pay his and his heir's debts). Through Jan. 18, 2015

I would also add "Roads of Arabia." Saudi Arabia's very recent exploration of the peninsula's ancient past has yielded up its some of fascinating pre-Islamic history.

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