Todd Hido at Casemore Kirkeby Ride the Pink Horse + So Dark the Night at the Castro 🍆 at Et al. Lisa Mezzacappa at the de Young Lana Williams at Interface Gallery Mary Gaitskill and Greil Marcus at Headlands Happy hour Longbranch Robert Minervini at Rena Bransten
Through August 8 - On Silent Haunches at FFDG. With "curatorial inspiration" from San Francisco artist Ferris Plock, this excellent group show highlights a quartet of local painters whose work differs widely in subject matter and technique but still feels firmly situated in the Bay Area. The title of the show borrows a line from Carl Sandburg's famous poem in which he imagines the fog coming in "on little cat feet," and as any denizen of SF knows our own Karl the Fog often crouches above the city "on silent haunches" (especially during Fogust). It is a similar spirit of watchful waiting that links these artists, as in Emily Proud's meditative watercolors on absorbent paper or Jenny Sharaf's joyful swirls of color and glitter. Nicholas Bohac brings a printmaker's sensibility to his carefully-layered works that incorporate elements of collage, while Michelle Fleck mashes things up in a different way by melding construction, plant life, and abstract gestures in her paintings. The artworks all look marvelous hanging in FFDG's inviting, light-filled Mission space, and together the four artists offer a satisfying (though by no means comprehensive) peek into the now of Bay Area painting.
Through July 26 - Detroit at Aurora Theatre. Nothing less than the American dream itself goes up in flames in Lisa D'Amour's darkly hilarious play, and what starts out as a seemingly innocent backyard BBQ among new neighbors quickly spirals into something more anarchic. Amy Resnick is particularly stellar as Mary, one half of an established suburbanite couple whose greatest dream is to escape her house and go live by a campfire, and I always enjoy watching Patrick Kelly Jones in a role too, here as he plays just-out-of-rehab Kenny. As secrets emerge and the characters learn more about each other any assumptions we might hold about class and ambition come under scrutiny. D'Amour is unafraid to question our current notions of community, and you might never look at the familiar ritual of the backyard cookout the same way again.
Introductions 2015 at Root Division Triangle at Theatreworks West Side Story at the Paramount Susan Briante / Norma Cole / Farid Matuk at Alley Cat Books Gaby Wolodarski at Fort Gallery Barbara Hepworth tattoo A's vs the Blue Jays
Through September 20 - Night Begins the Day: Rethinking Space, Time, and Beauty at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Curators Renny Pritikin and Lily Siegel have assembled an impressive group of artworks for this show that will activate your curiosity and expand your horizons, and I highly recommend the exhibition for anyone who is craving a serious dose of wonder. As you walk down the hall toward the gallery you are greeted with Peter Alexander's oversize painting of the glory of Los Angeles at night, juxtaposed on a nearby wall with a massive photo of the hellmouth that is the Turkmenistan oil fire that has been burning out of control for several decades now. That narrow space between awe and fear is elucidated again in a grouping of images that leads from Vanessa Marsh's luminous photograms of the night sky to Fred Tomaselli's celebration of the discovery of the Higgs boson and on to Michael Light's images of nuclear tests in Nevada. Many of the artists use their practices to directly investigate the world around them, as in a series of Klea McKenna's gorgeous Kona rainstorm photograms where each unique droplet is captured for all time, and I was also delighted to see an article about the mysterious sliding stones of Death Valley and the scientists who figured out how they move. Just as the title of the exhibition encourages us to ponder the Judaic concept of a new day beginning at sunset and not at sunrise, the artworks in Night Begins the Day invite a shift away from conventional perspectives. Inspiration is inevitable.