Starting next week, Bay Area art lovers are going to be inundated with three spectacular shows: Arthur Szyk at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Georgie O'Keeffe at the de Young and "Yoga, The Art of Transformation: at the Asian Art Museum.
But between now and then, the art calendar is overflowing with good shows.
Chinese Cultural Center: Fong Chung-Ray. "Between Modern and Contemporary"
The exhibition focuses on the artist’s mature work, which incorporates styles over the course of his career, calligraphy, splashes of acrylic, and found materials such as sheets of plastic, and is an abstract style that doesn’t fit neatly into any category of art, but incorporates Chinese Asian and Western techniques. What Fong, now into his eighties and still painting, did with these ideas was innovative.
As curator Manni Liu points out, “Fong Chung-ray’s importance in the history of Chinese modernism lies in his relentless pursuit of a new visual language that combines Chinese and Western sensibilities.” While many artists in the 1950s and 1960s were content with perfecting brush and ink techniques, Fong instead explored new realms. Currently, his work can be found “in many younger Chinese artists, [and a] noticeable influence from Fong, whether they like to admit it or not.”
Born in 1934 in China, Fong Chung-ray came to Taiwan in 1949. He studied art in Taiwan, founded various arts and cultural societies and emigrated to the U.S. in 1975.
"Obsessive Reduction" at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design. 18 artists interpret the notion that less is more in very unconventional ways by removing material by hand from an existing form to create a new piece, more abstract but still reflecting its origins.
"Probably one of the first artists that impressed me for this exhibit was Brian Dettmer," said curator Marc D'Estout. "He cuts into encyclopedias and vintage books and turns them into something very complex and surreal."
Other national artists featured in "Obsessive Reductive": Jim Dingilian, Adam Feibelman, Theresa Ganz, Cal Lane, Bovey Lee, Chris Natrop, Francesca Pastine, Lyndi Sales, Leigh Salgado, Farnaz Shadravan, Jill Sylvia, Kako Ueda, Annie Vought, Elise Wehle, and Jared Yamanuha and Aric Obrosey.
"Works in this exhibit demonstrate astonishing results manifested by the commitment of these artists to craft, concentrated labor and precise execution of concept," D'Estout said.
Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley is putting on an exhibit that plays with color in a spectrum of ways, bringing to light the uncertain nature of perception and memory via the relationships between color, light, and other natural phenomena. In an exhibit called “Back to Kansas,” Spencer Finch explores how the red in the ruby slippers, the yellow of the brick road, and the green of the Emerald City in the movie, "The Wizard of Oz," all work together to create a technicolor masterpiece with the help of viewer interaction. Runs through March 2, Wednesday - Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 242 State Street, Los Altos, CA 94022
'Lordy Rodriguez: Strangerhood.' The latest installment in the San Francisco Arts Commission's Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series features six maps of six San Francisco neighborhoods - Chinatown, North Beach, the Mission, the Castro, Haight-Ashbury and Fisherman's Wharf - and reimagines them as independent countries. Through April 11. Market Street, from the Embarcadero to Eighth Street, S.F. www.sfartscommission.org.
'All Possible Futures.' A product of SOMArts' Commons Curatorial Residency, spearheaded by Jon Sueda, this show combines projects, proposals and interactive installations by designers and design teams from the Bay Area and elsewhere. All probe the outer limits of graphic design and communication technology. Through Feb. 13. Noon-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday. SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St., S.F. (415) 863-1414. www.somarts.org.