’Tis always the season for fine art 

Unlike the performing arts, with their fall-through-spring seasons, museums and galleries operate year ’round. Still, fall brings a boost to activities in the world of visual arts.

SFMoMA

The first opening of a major new exhibit is this week at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It’s Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s U.S. debut retrospective of installations, sculptures, photos and his characteristic "large-scale immersive environments."

Also at SFMoMA, there are extensive series of rare films, beginning with "Rebels with a Cause: the Cinema of East Germany," running through Oct. 27, offering such fascinating works as Joachim Kunert’s 1962 "The Second Track," which depicts the adjustment of former Nazis to life in Communist Germany; and "The Architects," filmed during the demolition of the Berlin Wall.

Between Oct. 12 and Dec. 14, experimental films by and showing the influence of Joseph Cornell will be shown in the Phyllis Wattis Theater, in conjuction with the Cornell exhibit "Navigating the Imagination."

» 151 Third St., San Francisco; (415) 357-4000; www.sfmoma.org

GALLERY PAULE ANGLIM

At Gallery Paule Anglim, one of the city’s busiest and most original exhibition spaces, fall and winter will bring a wealth of shows: "folkish visionary street artist" Clare Rojas and Portuguese miniaturist Miguel Branco are featured now through Sept. 29, while conceptual artist Tom Marioni and San Francisco painter Masashi Matsumoto are in the spotlight Oct. 3 through Oct. 27. A survey of Bay Area artist Bruce Conner and watercolor painter James Rosen will be shown Oct. 31 through Nov. 24. Chairman of San Francisco Art Institute’s New Genres department Tony Labat shows his work from Nov. 28 through Dec. 22.

» 14 Geary St., S.F.; (415) 433-2710; www.gallerypauleanglim.com

WORLD AFFAIRS CENTER

PinkMango (an organization promoting East Indian artisans) and the World Affairs Council are collaborating to produce the exhibit "Sacred Walls: Paintings by Mithila Women Artists of India," through Oct. 30 at the World Affairs Center. Admission is free. Mithila is a region in the northern Indian state of Bihar, near theborder with Nepal; the paintings are from a unique local culture.

» 312 Sutter St., Suite 200, S.F.; (415) 293-4600; www.pinkmango.com

S.F. MUSEUM OF CRAFT + DESIGN

The San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design is featuring M. Lee Fatherree’s "Photography: Evidence of Artists at Work, 1978-2007," a collection of black-and-white photographs taken over the past 25 years of Bay Area artists, including Robert Arneson, Viola Frey, Elmer Bischoff, Joan Brown, Jay DeFeo, Squeak Carnwath, Christopher Brown, Manuel Neri, and others. The show runs Sept. 21 through Dec. 30.

In the museum’s gift store, "seasonal delights of arts and crafts" are offered for sale, well in advance of December, including metal vases by Michael Szabo, knitted scarves by Jeung Hwa-park, hand-blown glass ornaments by Ted Jolda, and classic Baldwin toy cars.

» 550 Sutter St., San Francisco; (415) 773-0303; www.sfmcd.org

FINE ARTS MUSEUMS

Ongoing at the Fine Arts Museums: "Nan Kempner: American Chic," at the de Young, through Nov. 11. Also, "Rembrandt to Thiebaud: a Decade of Collecting Works on Paper," is at the Legion of Honor, through Oct. 7.

Coming up at the de Young are historic photographs by David Seymour (known as Chim) from the rise of Hitler through the formation of Israel, from Sept. 29 through Feb. 24; "Michael Arcega: Homing Pidgin," sculpture and installations concerning language, Oct. 6 through Jan. 20; "The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson," Oct. 27 through Jan. 13; the Diane and Sandy Besser Collection, Oct. 27 through Jan. 13.

On the schedule at the Legion of Honor: "Marie-Antoinette and the Petit Trianon at Versailles," from Nov. 17 through Feb. 17.

» de Young,50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco; Legion of Honor, 34th Avenue and Clement Street, San Francisco; Both: (415) 750-3600; www.famsf.org

ASIAN ART MUSEUM

Among upcoming exhibits at the Asian Art Museum: "Stylized Sculpture: Contemporary Japanese Fashion from the Kyoto Costume Institute," from Oct. 12 through Jan. 6. Also on the way is "Hiroshi Sugimoto: History of History," also from Oct. 12 through Jan. 6. The exhibit is a complex juxtaposition of the artist’s photographs of seascapes, dioramas and wax museum figures, with traditional Japanese and East Asian artworks, all drawn from Sugimoto’s private collection.

» 200 Larkin St., San Francisco; (415) 581-3500; www.asianart.org

Fall arts preview

» Tuesday: Theater and dance

» Wednesday: Classical and popular music

» Today: Visual arts and family events

» Friday: Movies

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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