The big opening this weekend is "Intimate Impressionism" at the Legion of Honor. Small exquisite masterpieces of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art - landscapes, seascapes, still lifes, interiors, and portraits are on view. The 70 paintings are from the Mellon collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. which is currently closed for renovations.
The works make up what in French might be called a "catalogue raisonné" of small-sized, "intimiste" paintings of French Impressionist art. Giving reasons for the emphasis on "plein air" first laid by Corot, the show goes on to present us with small canvases of what came to be known as the 'Impressionist' group (Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Renoir, Cézanne, Degas, Berthe Morisot). The paintings' dimensions reflect their intended function: display in domestic interiors. Their intimate effect also extends to the paintings' themes-many are studies of the artists' favorite places and depictions of people familiar to them, and the works often became gifts shared among friends. The real treasure of the show comes at the end with a wall of paintings by Vuillard whose thickly pattered works are seldom seen in the Bay Area.
Asian Art Museum: "Enter the Mandala" - a small but powerful exhibit of 14th-century Buddhist paintings which are aligned in a 2nd floor gallery with the cardinal directions. The space is transformed into an architectural mandala. Those who walk the patterned floor have a chance to experience the images in three dimensions and to dwell in the midst of the cosmic symbols and be transported to another world.
Catherine Clark: Walter Robinson and his eclectic visions titled "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi." Clowns, assemblage, camouflage paintings, toys and funk sculptures which relate to the Bruce Conner, the grandfather of funk assemblage. The work has to be seen to be understood and even then, the understanding is not verbal but seeps into the subconscious.
Walter Robinson: "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi." 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Through March 29. Catharine Clark Gallery, 248 Utah St., S.F. (415) 399-1439. www.cclarkgallery.com.
Berkeley Art Center: Local Treasures: Bay Area Photography: Guest curator Anne Veh has chosen six photographers from the region - including Linda Connor, J. John Priola and Klea McKenna - whose work illustrates the persistence of notable camera work in Northern California. Reception 6-8 p.m. Saturday. Through May 11. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St., Berkeley. (510) 644-6893. www.berkeleyartcenter.org.
Do you feel like dancing? The 10th annual “dance anywhere” celebration takes place at noon Friday, with free performances throughout the Bay Area — including a flash mob at USF and live performances at the Main Library and Oakland Museum of California. Check out our five best bets for dancing or get more information about the event at www.danceanywhere.org.