June 1 to July 22 – Isaac Julien: Once Again…(Statues Never Die) and Jeffrey Gibson: Once More with Feeling at Jessica Silverman Gallery: Isaac Julien’s exhibition is inspired by the historical relationship between Alain Locke, a Harlem Renaissance philosopher, and Albert C. Barnes, a philanthropist known for championing African material and visual culture. Jeffrey Gibson will premiere nine new collages, incorporating found objects and images, beadwork, and textiles into intricate arrangements. Drawing on his Cherokee and Choctaw heritage throughout his varied practice, Gibson has turned to collage as a medium towards both self-discovery and inquiry into consumption, empowerment, and non-Western modes of relating to one another. The artist collects offcuts, paper scraps, objects, and imagery and stores them over decades in his studio. He assembles these disparate items to create new works, relating forgotten materials to the fractured history of Native peoples. Jessica Silverman Gallery is located at 621 Grant Avenue in San Francisco.
June 1 to August 1 – What’s That About curated by Saif Azzuz at Anthony Meier Gallery: This group exhibition curated by artist Saif Azzuz includes Bay Area artists whose practices have intersected with Azzuz’s during his time in the region. As evidenced by its title, the exhibition pushes back—through a direct and somewhat humorous acknowledgement—against the all-too-common practice of asking artists to explain what their work is about. By foregrounding the work’s physical properties and eschewing its conceptualization, Azzuz invites a more personal approach to the works on view, prompting viewers through the very absence of an ideational conceit to look more closely, think more deeply, and directly engage with the materials, processes, and emotional effects that cohere in each piece. Anthony Meier Gallery is located at 21 Throckmorton Avenue in Mill Valley.
June 2 to July 22 – Rex Ray and Zuzana Licko at Gallery 16: In the early 1990s, the San Francisco Bay Area was the epicenter of computer-based design. These two artists helped shape the future while straddling the fields of fine art and graphic design. Zuzana Licko founded Emigre magazine with her husband, fellow typographer and graphic designer Rudy VanderLans, in 1984. Emigre set the standard for digital typography and design and led to the creation of the Emigre Fonts type foundry, which is credited for being the first digital type foundry. Rex Ray (1956-2015) began his career as a graphic designer but soon devoted his studio practice to the making of handmade fine art. Ray was a beloved San Francisco artist and designer and major cultural force in the Bay Area. He was recognized worldwide for his distinct compositions, saturated colors, and unapologetic devotion to beauty. Gallery 16 is located at 501 3rd Street in San Francisco.
Tuesday, June 6, 6 to 10 pm – Headlands Center for the Arts Benefit Art Auction at Fort Mason Center: Headlands’ Annual Benefit Art Auction features work by emerging and established artists and Headlands Alumni as well as unique, only-at-Headlands experience packages. With a silent auction culminating in the live auction and gala on June 6, this fundraising event supports the big ideas and innovative work that Headlands makes possible. Purchase tickets to the event here.
June 16 to September 2 – What Are Words Worth? at McEvoy Foundation for the Arts: This exhibition explores the expansive holdings of artworks in the McEvoy Family Collection that engage language, literature, and typography. The exhibition’s title, borrowed from lyrics in the Tom Tom Club’s 1981 song “Wordy Rappinghood,” references the poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850). Expanding upon this playful reference to poetry, the modern and contemporary photographs, paintings, and prints on view examine the many fascinating ways that words can stimulate imagination and creativity. McEvoy Foundation for the Arts is located at 1150 25th Street in San Francisco.
June 24 to July 29 – Alicia McCarthy and Muzae Sesay at Pt.2 Gallery: Pt.2 Gallery is featuring two solo shows by Oakland based artists. Alicia McCarthy engages with the immediate world around her and uses a decidedly focused color palette on mixed-media panels. Sincere and intense but also playful, McCarthy transforms found wood surfaces into bursts, geometric blocks of color and woven patterns that are often emphasized by text and spray paint. Muzae Sesay’s artistic focus derives from a relentless commitment to understanding our collective relationship to space, memory, community, and the perceived truths within them. His current work connects with the feelings that arise from testing the absoluteness of the strict and rigid aspects of physics and pragmatism found in architecture, design, and our built environment. Utilizing skewed perspectives of space and shape collapsed into two-dimensional planes of color, he creates surreal geometric interiors, exteriors, landscapes, and structures—presenting a situation in which to be experienced and explored. Pt.2 Gallery is located at 1523b Webster Street in Oakland.
Ongoing to August 5 – Forecast 2023 at SF Camerawork: This is SF Camerawork’s annual survey exhibition. Each year SF Camerawork invites an esteemed jury of artists, curators and critics to select and showcase the work of emerging imagemakers, with an eye toward current movements, trends and concerns in contemporary photography. This year, Bay Area artists Ashima Yadava and Minoosh Zomorodinia have selected the work of Mary Campbell, Harvey Castro, Amy Elkins, Shao-Feng Hsu (Juror’s Choice Award), Kei Ito, and Helia Pouyanfar from over 180 entries from around the world. SF Camerawork is located at Fort Mason Center for Arts, 2 Marina Blvd, building A in San Francisco.