September 5 to November 9– Vincent Fecteau at The Wattis Institute: Vincent Fecteau’s sculptures sit on white pedestals and claim the gallery space with their unnerving color schemes. Driven by impulse and intuition, the artist folds, cuts, turns over, and twists his sculptures using everyday materials such as rubber bands, paper clips, seashells, and string. His sculptures are tools that try to access the abstract. Fecteau doesn’t invent an abstract form as much as he learns how to find one. This exhibition, the artist’s first in the Bay Area in over 15 years, features an entirely new body of work. The Wattis Institute is located at 360 Kansas Street.
Opening reception: Thursday, September 5, 5:30 – 8pm
September 6, 5 to 9pm– Imprint at Creative Growth: During Oakland’s First Friday, Creative Growth will host a one-night-only celebration and exhibition of work from the Creative Growth print archive. The gallery walls will be lined with an assortment of prints created by artists over the years using a variety of techniques including reductive block print, screen print, monotype, intaglio, and chine-collé. Also, during the exhibition there will be a block printing workshop where everyone is invited to bring or buy a t-shirt to embellish with rare block prints from the studio. All art sales and proceeds from the night go to supporting the 150+ Creative Growth artists. Creative Growth is located at 355 24th Street in Oakland.
September 6 to January 26– The Body Electric at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA): In an age dominated by digital technology, The Body Electric explores themes of the real and virtual, the organic and artificial, moving from the physical world to the screen and back again. Looking across the past 50 years, the exhibition presents works by an inter-generational and international group of over 45 artists who have seized upon the screen as a place to rethink the body and identity. Featuring video, sculpture, photographs, virtual reality, and more, the exhibition places a particular emphasis on gender, sexuality, race, and class. YBCA is located at 701 Mission Street.
Opening night party: Friday, September 6, 7 – 10pm
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September 5 to October 19– Another West at Fraenkel Gallery: This exhibition is curated by photographer, Richard Misrach, who has been photographing the American West for more than 50 years. Comprised of work by eleven established and emerging artists, the exhibition surveys contemporary approaches to the Western landscape. The artists exhibited use a variety of strategies to reveal the consequences and aftermath of the American concept of Manifest Destiny. Included in the show are works by Johnnie Chatman, Lewis deSoto, Mercedes Dorame, Mishka Henner, Nancy Holt, Zig Jackson, An-My Lê, Meghann Riepenhoff, Ed Ruscha, David Benjamin Sherry and Tabitha Soren. By presenting wide-ranging responses from artists with diverse backgrounds, the show illustrates shifting echoes of established traditions. Fraenkel Gallery is located at 49 Geary Street, 4th Floor.
Opening reception: Thursday, September 12, 5:30 – 7:30pm
September 12 to October 19– Matt Lipps: Where Figure Becomes Ground at Jessica Silverman Gallery: When Lipps was a teenager in the 1990s, he escaped the norm of high school by immersing himself in the glamorous world of magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He became an obsessive fan of individual supermodels and a connoisseur of fashion photographers such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Steven Meisel and Ellen Von Unwerth. Lipps selects and cuts out iconic 1990s fashion campaigns from women’s magazines and combines them with documentary photographs culled from US Camera Annual, a magazine published between 1938 and 1969 for a largely male audience of professional and amateur photographers. As revealed by the glossy reflections of scotch tape, the works are created by analog means. The artist cuts paper with X-acto knives, layers the fashion shots on top of the documentary pictures, creating a visual puzzle where inside becomes outside. At a time when American society is caught in a perpetual present of selfies and digital news images, Lipps engages with the physicality of photography and explores its gendered history. Lipps elevates a feminized photographic genre while interrogating a masculine one, recombining them in ways that renew the relevance of both. Jessica Silverman Gallery is located at 488 Ellis Street.
Opening reception: Thursday, September 12, 6-8pm
September 7 to October 26– SHIFT at EUQINOM Gallery: Klea McKenna utilizes the photogram process and innovates within this technique to not only record light and shadow, but to translate touch and texture into visible imprints. McKenna’s works are embossed with the patterns of textiles and natural artifacts, transforming the paper into sculptural images. The works in SHIFT continue McKenna’s ongoing series made from textiles and women’s clothing from the last 200 years. This work address’ the history and cultures from which these fabrics originate and the stories of colonialism, migration, cultural appropriation, and women’s labor and sexuality that are embedded in them. In these recent works McKenna loosens the boundaries, allowing for more personal expression. Photographic toners create warm earth tones while hand drawn lines and streaks of light animate the subjects. In her newest work, McKenna introduces plants, specific to the region from which the textiles originate, using the shadows and patterns of the leaves as a context for the textiles. EUQINOM Gallery is located at 1295 Alabama Street.
Opening reception: Friday, September 13, 6 – 9pm
September 14 to November 9– Adia Millett: Infinite Edges at Traywick Contemporary: This will be Traywick Contemporary’s first solo exhibition with Oakland artist Adia Millett. Her cross-disciplinary practice includes quilt-making, painting, drawing, photography, collage and sculpture. Weaving African American experiences with broader ideas of identity, personal memory and collective history, Millett is interested in the fragile interconnectivity among all living things. A creative fluidity allows her to transition from medium to medium in an intuitive way, with a process-oriented, tactile approach. Her paintings feature abstracted, geometric shapes that imply movement with colorful forms that expand and collapse freely among glittery backgrounds. Millett’s textiles draw on the domestic and artistic traditions of quilt-making, piecing them together in an improvisational way that combines materials with specific cultural references. Traywick Contemporary is located at 895 Colusa Avenue in Berkeley.
Opening reception: Saturday, September 14, 3 – 5pm
September 14, 7:30 to 9pm– Under The Stars at Headlands Center for the Arts: This outdoor event led by Headlands Artists will include music, performance, storytelling, cinema, and installations. Performances and screenings will take place in The Commons and hot beverages, as well as Vietnamese food prepared by Little Window, will be available for purchase in the Mess Hall. Participating artists include Mark Allen, Vero Majano, Alex Arzt, Stacey Steers, Joshua Short, Fay Victor, and Ja’Tovia Gary. Headlands Center for the Arts is located at 944 Simmonds Road in Sausalito.
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September 18 to December 8– In Plain Sight at Mills College Art Museum: The exhibition brings together artists whose work points to the invisible systems and unknowable mysteries that shape and define our lives. The exhibition features the work of Kathryn Andrews (Los Angeles), castaneda/reiman (San Francisco), Dario Robleto (Houston), and Weston Teruya (San Francisco). A seeming paradox, the phrase “hiding in plain sight” contains elements of both obscuring and exposing, and it implies that secrets, while visible, may only be noticed or revealed upon close inspection. Through strategies of layering, embedding materials, replacing one material for another, and giving concrete form to invisible phenomena, the artists in the exhibition reference history and art history, pop culture, science, and personal identity. Mills College Art Museum is located at 5000 MacArthur Blvd in Oakland.
Opening reception: Saturday, September 21, 5 – 7pm
September 21, 4 to 8:30pm– SF Camerawork Benefit Auction at SF Camerawork: This annual auction is SF Camerawork’s most important fundraiser and features over 60 photographers and a carefully curated group of thought-provoking photographs from around the world (all framed and ready to hang). Auction night in SF Camerawork’s beautiful gallery is a vibrant and buzzing event anchored by a live auction with legendary auctioneer Rick Wester. The night will include wine from Baker Lane as well as cocktails and a delicious, sustainable spread from local chef Leif Hedendal. SF Camerawork is located at 1011 Market Street, 2nd floor.
Buy tickets here.