With FOG Design + Art taking place this week in San Francisco, we’re sharing the must-see exhibitions around town you won’t want to miss.
Jeffrey Gibson: This Burning World
ICA San Francisco
October 1, 2022–March 26, 2023
On October 1, 2022, multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson debuted the sweeping exhibition “This Burning World” at ICA SF. The provocative show examines our complex relationship to mother Earth through a poetic video shot in the Hudson Valley and through multisensory installations—openings in the gallery floor allow for an intimate connection to the planet itself. In one room, a Red Maple tree hangs both majestically and vulnerably in front of neon imagery. Throughout the show, videos of nature’s awe-inspiring beauty are magnified and digitally altered, revealing both the innocence of the natural world and our profound influence on it.
“Indigenous kinship philosophies have provided the conceptual and philosophical framework for this installation. These perspectives acknowledge the elements of our natural environments as our equal ancestors, living relatives, and as extensions of our own minds and bodies,” said Gibson. “When we damage or treat the land without regard for its own sustainable well-being, we are in turn hurting and damaging ourselves and disregarding our own well-being, safety, and health.”
Resting Our Eyes
ICA San Francisco
January 21, 2023 – June 25, 2023
The Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco presents a new exhibition, “Resting Our Eyes,” showcasing the works of 20 multi-generational and multidisciplinary Black artists. Curated by Tahirah Rasheed and Autumn Breon, the exceptional show celebrates the freedom of Black women by exploring the nuances of self-adornment, rest, and repercussions of the colonial gaze. Featuring work by Sadie Barnette, Hank Willis Thomas, Genevieve Gaignard, Simone Leigh, Lorna Simpson, and Mickalene Thomas, the inspirational exhibition will open on January 21 with a spoken word performance by artist Porsche Veu. The show’s curators invited Kimberly Fomby, founder of Sucre Couture, to design special statement jewels in honor of the exhibition. Notable works include Carrie Mae Weems’ striking photography, Helena Metaferia’s collaged paper headdresses, Alison Saar’s dynamic sculpture work, and Adana Tillman’s fabric appliques and hand embroidery.
Mike Henderson: Chicken Fingers
January 14, 2023 – March 25, 2023
Haines Gallery presents “Mike Henderson: Chicken Fingers, 1976-1980” in a special solo show of rarely seen early abstract paintings, currently on view through March 25. The compelling and colorful figurative works speak to the artist’s emotional state during a time of fierce protest against social inequalities. During this period, Henderson moved away from overtly political works and instead explored the magic and optimism of transcendent spaces. The use of mixed media, burnt canvas remnants, vintage fabric, and objects, alongside moon-like shapes and dreamlike skies, conjure timeless feelings of hope and wonder.
David Huffman: Odyssey
January 13, 2023 – February 25, 2023
Jessica Silverman presents “David Huffman: Odyssey,” an exhibition of paintings and works on paper from 2004 to 2009, currently on view through February 25. Oakland-based artist David Huffman skillfully explores our uncertain world through the creation of “Traumanauts,” Black astronauts who surf through the depths of a murky universe searching for truth, solace, and home. Invoking his family’s sense of activism and revolution in the face of trauma and inequality, Huffman has developed an artistic dialogue in Afrofuturism which revolves around the history of Black slavery. Through his deft use of gesso, glitter, and acrylic, Huffman examines themes of memory and loss in sweeping and moody scenes of fire, fury, loneliness, and ultimately, new horizons.
Pae White: Slow Winter Sun
January 13, 2023 – February 25, 2023
Jessica Silverman presents the solo exhibition “Pae White: Slow Winter Sun,” currently on view through February 25. California-based artist Pae White debuts a collection of intricate tapestries, ceramics, and paper clay paintings. Deeply inspired by the craft movement in her hometown of Pasadena, and the magical metamorphosis of coastal ecology, White embraces the evolving beauty of nature’s objects through both handmade and brilliantly revised industrial practices. In her deft hands, textures take on otherworldly proportions by way of lush cashmere, cotton, embroidery, paint, and weaving. The artist’s “Undoing Done” sculptures reveal jewel-like serpents winding seductively around wood, the result of a signature glazing process.
February 18, 2023 – June 1, 2024
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents “Corporeal,” a dynamic exhibition of sculptures that explore the human figure and its relationships in remarkable and meaningful ways. Artist Rose B. Simpson explores pain and healing in the Indigenous community through the traditional practice of working with clay, Nick Cave’s Soundsuit is a fantastical costume in which race, class, and gender are removed entirely, and Antony Gormley illustrates energies unseen and beaming in the form of metal work. Additional artists such as Petah Coyne, Magdalena Abakanowicz, and Rebecca Belmore offer their own unique visions of the miraculous body in relation to its environment.
Ashely Ross: 10/27/03
Museum of the African Diaspora
December 14, 2022 – March 5, 2023
Museum of the African Diaspora presents a compelling exhibition by Ashely A. Ross titled “10/17/03,” currently on view through March 5. The Bay Area-based artist uses poignant, staged black-and-white photographs in dialogue with personal archival documents in order to explore themes of religion, family, and legacy within the Black community. Childhood memories are juxtaposed with adult realizations and the duality of life is brought deftly to the surface.
The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion
Museum of African Diaspora
October 5, 2022 – March 5, 2023
Museum of African Diaspora presents “The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion,” currently on view through March 5. The sweeping show, curated by Antwaun Sargent and organized by Aperture, New York, spotlights the artistry of 15 contemporary and international fashion photographers. In colorful and luminous imagery, themes of race, beauty, gender, and power are beautifully represented in over 100 artworks by barrier-breaking artists such as Jamal Nxedlana, Renell Medrano, Micaiah Carter, Awol Erizku, Adrienne Raquel, and Namsa Leuba.
“The works in this exhibition signal a dramatic and long overdue transformation taking place in fashion and art today, one driven by the bold vision of a breakout group of Black creatives who are stewarding the representation of the Black figure in the marketplace,” said Monetta White, Executive Director of MoAD. “The stunning images and the compelling narratives they construct vividly claim space on the world stage for a Black aesthetic. This is a must-see exhibition.”