With the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art celebrating its 75th birthday in a grand fashion, the King Tut show through March and Impressionism masterpieces arriving in May at the de Young Museum, and big and small exhibits elsewhere, 2010 will be a good year for exploring the arts.
Journey to the Stars
The new planetarium show at the California Academy of Sciences is a travel through time and space, showing the lives and deaths of stars. There are supernova explosions, images of the heart of the sun, and its expected transformation into a red giant 5 billion years in the future. The show is free with Academy admission; seats are limited and passes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Daily, $14.95-$24.95 museum admission, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F., (415) 379-8000, www.calacademy.org
75 Years of Modernity
Rather than calling it a “retrospective,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s big anniversary series of shows is called “75 Years of Looking Forward,” in line with its mission and reputation. After all, this was the gallery launching Jackson Pollock’s first solo exhibition in 1945. Founding director Grace McCann Morley’s efforts to build a modernist collection are remembered through works she acquired by Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Tanguy and Klee. Other rooms explore the museum’s relationship with architecture and design, beat artists, photographers and conceptual artists, and also display new work by Jeff Koons, Sherrie Lavine and Richard Prince. Anchoring the series is “The Anniversary Show.”
“Anniversary Show” runs through January 2011, $9-$15, 151 Third St., S.F., (415) 357-4000, www.sfmoma.org
The art of photography
“The View from Here” is SFMOMA’s celebration of California’s photographic tradition from the 1840s to the present. The museum was one of the first in the country to exhibit photos as art equal to painting and sculpture. Featured artists include Carleton Watkins, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Ed Ruscha, Lewis Baltz, Carrie Mae Weems, Larry Sultan and many others.
Jan. 16-June 27, $9-$15, 151 Third St., S.F., (415) 357-4000, www.sfmoma.org
Icons of attention
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts hosts Bay Area-based video and performance artist Kamau Amu Patton, who presents a multimedia installation modeled after 1930s science-fiction broadcasts and underground 1980s music shows. In experimenting with radio’s potential to make distant or fantastic images vivid and real, the artist also is inviting local performance art personalities, musicians and intellectuals to participate in workshops and improvise with installed objects, print media and sound.
Jan. 30-March 7 $5-$7, 701 Mission St., S.F., (415) 978-2787; www.ybca.org
All about Shanghai
The Asian Art Museum’s “Shanghai: Art of the City” will show representations of the great city’s tumultuous history and development from the mid-19th century through the present, including its famed Deco period from between the world wars, tragic years during the Cultural Revolution, and its contemporary architectural explosion. The show features more than 130 artworks including oil paintings, furniture, posters, works of fashion, movie clips, video and contemporary art installations.
Feb. 12-Sept. 5, $17, 200 Larkin St., S.F., (415) 581-3500, www.asianart.org
William T. Wiley
Bay Area artist William T. Wiley is a painter, sculptor and draftsman whose imagery is infused with a lively blend of satiric wit, cultural commentary and storytelling. His prints will be exhibited in the Anderson Gallery of Graphic Art under the name, “I Keep Foolin’ Around.” Wiley has been exploring the artistic possibilities of lithography and various etching processes that allow him to “keep foolin’ around.”
March 20-July 4, $6-$10; de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, S.F., (415) 750-3600, www.famsf.org
Art on Market Street
Jonathan Burstein’s six collages comprise “Meet Market: Portraits of the Street,” a project sponsored by the San Francisco Arts Commission. The works, on kiosks, are based on photographs of individuals (and one pigeon) Burstein encountered on the street. The artist pieced together the portraits of a street artist, a bike messenger, a cab driver, a tattoo artist and a visitor by hand, out of hundreds of images taken from material texture of Market Street — including neon signs, graffiti, manhole covers, traffic signs and vegetation.
Jan. 4-April 1, Free, Market Street, S.F., www.sfartscommission.org/pubartcollection