7 Exhibitions to Look Out for in the Bay Area

By: Merlyn Maldonado
Thumbnail courtesy of Gary Sexton

As summer unwinds, what better way to cool down than by taking refuge in a museum. If you are in the Bay Area with the urge to get your dash of art, look no further. Here are EnVi’s recommendations for the exhibitions you will not want to miss. 

“Shifting the Silence” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

If you are looking to enjoy art created by women, “Shifting the Silence” features the work of thirty-two women artists who use abstraction to enhance the viewer’s understanding of the world we inhabit. Named after artist Etel Adnan’s 2020 book about history and existence, “Shifting the Silence” embraces experimentation, impermanence, and subjectivity.

The list of featured artists includes Firelei Báez, Liz Hernández, Lorna Simpson, and Haegue Yang. This exhibition includes sculpture, photography, textile, video, painting, and time-based installation.

The exhibition is on view through September 5, and more details for it can be found here.

“The Obama Portraits Tour” at the de Young Museum

This summer the de Young Museum hosts the nationally acclaimed exhibition “The Obama Portraits Tour.” First unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in February 2018, the official portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama highlight the power of portraiture and its potential to engage communities.

The artists behind the portraits, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, are the first African Americans to be commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to create official portraits of a president or first lady. 

The exhibition is on view through August 14, and more details for it can be found here.

“Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy” at the Legion of Honor Museum 

If you are a fashion aficionado, you will want to check out this exhibition that celebrates the extraordinary designs of Guo Pei–hailed as China’s first couturier. The exhibition includes more than 80 works from the past two decades highlighting her most important collections shown on Beijing and Paris runways. 

Through her stunning fashions, Guo Pei creates a fantasy that fuses the influences of China’s imperial past, decorative arts, European architecture, and the botanical world. The exhibition reveals Guo Pei’s career as remarkable yet emblematic of China’s emergence as a leader in the fashion world in the early twenty-first century.

The exhibition is on view through September 5, and more details for it can be found here.

“David Huffman: Terra Incognita” at the Museum of the African Diaspora

MoAD presents the first museum show surveying David Huffman’s “Traumanaut” series. Emerging from Huffman’s lifelong interest in science fiction, formalist abstraction, and social justice movements, the “Traumanauts” are futuristic beings that travel the galaxy in constant search for home. 

This exhibition showcases the extensive narrative that Huffman has been designing since the early 1990s across a range of media including large-scale canvas, works on paper, ceramics, video, and printmaking. With influences from cartoons, the Black Power movement, and poetics of basketball, Huffman’s work explores an Afrofuturistic landscape that brings viewers into his celestial world. 

The exhibition is on view through September 18, and more details for it can be found here.

“Samora Pinderhughes: The Healing Project” at the Yerba Buena Center For The Arts

Worked on for over eight years by composer and multidisciplinary artist, Samora Pinderhughes, “The Healing Project” takes multiple forms: musical songs, films, an exhibition, community gatherings, live performances, and a digital library of audio interviews. 

Rooted in interviews and relationships Pinderhughes has fostered, the artworks featured have been formed by over 100 collaborators. This exhibition explores the daily realities of violence, incarceration, detention, and policing in communities across the United States. A constellation of creative works, “The Healing Project” highlights the forms of healing and care strategies that emerge from these same communities. 

The exhibition is on view through September 4, and more details for it can be found here.

“Hella Feminist” at the Oakland Museum of California 

Bringing together historic objects from the Museum’s collection such as posters, pins, and photographs alongside newly commissioned works by artists, the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) celebrates the lesser-known stories of feminism in Oakland and the Bay Area.

Rooted in the idea that discrimination against all elements of identity are interlinked and that no element can be addressed in isolation, “Hella Feminist” aims to challenge, provoke, and inspire visitors to reconsider and expand their understanding of feminism and its complicated history.

The exhibition is on view through July 29-Jan 2023, and more details for it can be found here.

“Carlos Villa: Worlds in Collision” at the Asian Art Museum

This exhibition invites you into San Francisco-born Carlos Villa’s world of feathers and photographs, capes and masks, bones and tattoos. The first major museum retrospective dedicated to the work of a Filipino American artist, “Carlos Villa: Worlds in Collision” celebrates Villa’s exuberant work and enduring influence as a teacher, curator, and activist. 

Villa was a groundbreaking American artist whose work broadened the horizons of 20th-century modernism. The exhibition focuses on Villa’s drawings, mixed-media paintings, and constructions from the 1970s, the decade when the artist burst onto the art scene with a vibrant, multicultural aesthetic. 

The exhibition is on view through October 24, and more details for it can be found here.

Want more summer-related recommendations? Check-out EnVi’s Travel Beauty Kit!