FALL ARTS If there’s such a thing as seasonal themes in the art world, then we’re about to see the summer of performance art gradually give way to the autumn of geography. Look for big institutional shows and smaller gallery projects that present ideas about places and spaces. To that point, this roundup starts with two exhibits that should get you out of the city.
Barry McGee Arguably the most famous and influential visual artist to emerge from the Bay Area in the last few decades, McGee is getting the mid-career survey treatment at the Berkeley Art Museum. His activist-leaning work pulls from graffiti, comics, sign painting, and hobo art, usually in ways that interrupt and transform the spaces where they’re installed. The exhibition promises a broad retrospective sampling from early work to new projects, and if for some reason you haven’t already heard of Barry McGee, this is your chance to get up to speed. Through Dec. 9; bampfa.berkeley.edu
ZERO1: Seeking Silicon Valley ZERO1, the Silicon Valley-based (and funded) art and tech biennial, is curated this year to showcase international perspectives on place and placelessness in the post-Internet world. Over 150 artists from 13 countries will participate. Take heart, commute-averse, projects will be hosted at venues throughout (and in the sky above) the Bay Area. Among those, Nelly Ban Hayoun’s space opera music video penned by Bruce Sterling and performed by NASA employees; ISHKY’s Pi in the Sky, which utilizes skywriting planes to remind you of what comes after 3.14; and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s interactive pirate radio station. Sept. 12-Dec. 8; www.zero1biennial.org
Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art Comparing six global cities that are important regional cultural centers but not global art commerce centers, Six Lines of Flight brings together progressive artists from San Francisco; Beirut, Lebanon; Cali, Columbia; Cluj, Romania; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Tangier, Morocco. If it’s as good as I hope, the exhibition will showcase possible models for social art making that bridge regional and transnational identities. Sept. 15-Dec. 31; www.sfmoma.org.
re(collection) In the wake of the March 2011 tsunami that devastated northern Japan, volunteers and cleanup workers salvaged and preserved more than 750,000 family snapshots and photos, a community performance both defiant and touching. Some of those photos make up this exhibition, alongside collaborations and new work by Mark Baugh-Sasaki, Ariel Goldberg, Mayumi Hamanaka, Taro Hattori, Sean McFarland, Kari Orvik, and Kelli Yon. Sept. 12-Nov. 3; www.theintersection.org
Guy Overfelt: Blacklight I confess. I’m sending you on a blind date to Guy Overfelt’s October show. I have no idea what he has planned, but if recent work — which usually involves burning rubber, inflating stuff, and performance — is any indicator, the 2012 SECA nominee will not disappoint. Oct. 6-Nov. 3; www.evergoldgallery.com
The Parade: Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg Dazzling, funny, and unsettling, “The Parade” combines kaleidoscopic, person-sized bird sculptures with five stop-motion animated films by Djurberg featuring ingenious synchronized soundtracks scored by Berg. I caught this in a rush at the New Museum in New York; can’t wait to spend more time with it here. Oct. 12-Jan. 27; www.ybca.org
Liam Everett Liam Everett’s lovely and haunting minimal abstract paintings usually incorporate alcohol, paint, and salt to distress and age unstretched canvases, making vibrant palimpsests and riffing on color field painting and installation work. Nov. 1-Dec. 22, www.altmansiegel.com
Jasper Johns: Seeing with the Mind’s Eye Elder statesman of the American post-war period and pop art master sees a new major retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Organized with Johns and spanning the last 60 years, this latest survey of Johns’ work will include 85 paintings, works on paper, and sculptures, many of them from Bay Area collections. Nov. 3-Feb. 3; www.sfmoma.org