by Charles Desmarais | DateBook
Summer may not be the peak time for visual arts exhibitions elsewhere, with so many attractions in the open air. But San Francisco’s foggy days can send visitors and even longtime residents scrambling to find a sheltered spot. A museum visit can every bit as enjoyable as a day at the beach, and a lot more comfortable while waiting for the sun.
Museums here are in full swing, and there are excellent galleries with active summer programs, often with broad surveys of their regular programs or introductions to newer artists. But many commercial art galleries in the Bay Area — as in in cities around the world — close for a month or more in summer, so if your destination is not on this list, be sure to double-check hours and days of operation.
Here are suggestions for exhibitions that will bring some sunshine indoors over the coming months:
“Andy Warhol — From A to B and Back Again”
The artist who virtually defined American culture from the late 1960s into the ’70s and who died in 1987 gets the star treatment he always required when alive. Beyond painting and sculpture, Warhol had his hand in film, music, design, photography and — as we learn from this deeply researched exhibition — the social changes surrounding sexual freedom and identity.
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Tuesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturdays through Sept. 2. Closed Wednesdays. Through Sept. 2. $19-$25; ages 18 and younger free. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St., S.F. 415-357-4000. www.sfmoma.org
If you think the 17th century has nothing to say to us and our families today, here is the show that will change your mind. In huge paintings full of action and color, Peter Paul Rubens made works that engaged his audience as big-screen adventure and horror films or costume dramas do today.
9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Through Sept. 8. $13-$28. Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., S.F. 415-750-3600. www.legionofhonor.famsf.org
Minnesota Street Project
Minnesota Street Project is not a single gallery or museum, but a complex housing 13 of the region’s best commercial and nonprofit exhibition spaces. And it’s all free. Frequent special events and pop-up exhibitions, like the San Francisco Art Book Fair July 19-21, round out the regular offerings.
Hours vary but most MSP tenants are open noon-5 p.m. Tuesday or Wednesday-Saturday. Free. Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota St. and 1150 25th St., S.F. 415-243-0825. www.minnesotastreetproject.com
Dilexi Gallery Multi-Venue Retrospective
Beginning in 1958, San Francisco’s Dilexi Gallery and its later outgrowth, the Dilexi Foundation, played a key role in California art history. Founded by the quiet impresario Jim Newman, Dilexi introduced and supported the avant-garde in the Bay Area and, to some degree, in Los Angeles as well. Four L.A. galleries join with Brian Gross Fine Art and Crown Point Press to celebrate the legacy.
“Dilexi Gallery: The Early Years”: 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Through July 27. Free. Brian Gross Fine Art, 248 Utah St., S.F. 415-788-1050. www.briangrossfineart.com
“Fred Martin: Beulah Land”: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Through July 28. Free. Crown Point Press, 20 Hawthorne St., S.F. 415-974-6273. crownpoint.com
“Ed Hardy: Deeper Than Skin”
The first comprehensive museum exhibition from the man who has done more than any other I know to popularize and explain the art and history of tattoo. A trained printmaker, Don Ed Hardy became a famous practitioner of tattooing. More than that, he collected both historical and contemporary “flash” — the preparatory drawings you see on parlor walls — and has written something like 25 books on the topic.
If you or a family member wear a tat, be sure to visit the museum website for discount admission — from $5 off for any tattoo, 50% off for a full sleeve, free admission for full body ink.
9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Through Oct. 6. $13-$28. De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, S.F. 415-750-3600. www.deyoung.famsf.org
“Tattoos in Japanese Prints”
Even as the Asian Art Museum works on construction of its new Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Pavilion, scheduled to open next spring, the San Francisco treasure deserves your attention. If you haven’t had enough of tattoos, or if your interests include masterworks of Japanese printmaking (and how could they not?), these 60 works from the famous collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are well worth a visit.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; Thursday until 9 p.m. Through Aug. 18. $20-$25. Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., S.F. 415-581-3500. www.asianart.org