Our critics weigh in on local exhibits

"New Work: Marilyn Minter." A single ice-blue eye looks uninterestedly into the distance, surrounded by a thick layer of cosmetic lacquer somewhere between the colors of blood and flamingo. It's a beautiful image, but not a happy one: Has the eye been made up to look injured? The photorealist painting in question, LA to NYC, leaves the viewer confused, but unable to look away. It and a slew of other glittering, color-drenched, large-scale photographs and paintings comprise this show, which will probably net the New York artist a raging horde of devoted S.F. fans. Through July 24 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free-$10; call 357-4000 or visit (Hiya Swanhuyser) Reviewed April 13.

"Robert Bechtle: A Retrospective" and "Robert Bechtle Prints." The middle-class slopes of Potrero Hill and the suburban roads of Alameda don't exactly scream with picturesque possibility, but painter Robert Bechtle has spent his life turning them into art. Using the mundane as fodder for his masterpieces, Bechtle finds riveting subjects in the most ordinary of things. The everyday-ness of his paintings brings with it a familiarity that is tangible, but the uncanny exactitude of his lines, shadows, and sun rays is what makes his landscapes so realistic and inviting. A Bay Area native with an artistic career that spans half a century, the 72-year-old painter is now having his first major retrospective here in town. "Robert Bechtle: A Retrospective" runs through June 5 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is $6-10; call 357-4000 or visit "Robert Bechtle Prints" runs through April 29 at Crown Point Press, 20 Hawthorne (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is free; call 974-6273 or visit (Hiya Swanhuyser) Reviewed Feb. 16.

"Weedee Peepo: Portraits, Icons, y Gente." This first in a series of exhibits commemorating Galería de la Raza's 35th anniversary is a tribute to its community. Although its title is somewhat unfortunate -- a phonetic spelling of an accented "We the people" -- the exhibit is smartly curated given the broad topic and time frame. Representative works from the Galería's founders and key artists span three decades but are carefully selected and arranged to show a remarkable continuity of style and purpose. A classic of feminist and Chicana art, Yolanda López's 1978 Self-Portrait as the Virgin of Guadalupedisplays affinities with Ester Hernández's pastel drawings of prominent Latino women; Barbara Carrasco's 2004 portrait of labor organizer Dolores Huerta takes its clean, graphic style from the activist posters of the '70s. Among the contemporary works, Gabriela Hasbun's color photographs of older Mission District businesses that have survived gentrification are quirky documents of a changing cultural and economic landscape. But you don't have to set foot inside to see the show's most exciting work: Installed in the gallery's storefront windows, Pato Herbert's lenticular photographs -- the faceted technology that turns kitschy images of Jesus into Mary and back again -- convert his black-and-white images of youth into interactive portraits of racial harmony. From a series titled "No Haters Here," the large backlit faces change from black to Latino to Asian as you stroll by. Through June 4 at Galería de la Raza, 2857 24th St. (at Bryant), S.F. Admission is free; call 826-8009 or visit (Sharon Mizota) Reviewed April 27.

Also Showing


111 Minna Gallery. "San Francisco Notables": An exhibit of local luminaries' portraits by the artists from Creativity Explored. Thu., April 28, 7 p.m. $40. Ultramega Art Conglomerate: A Sacramento-based collective consisting of artists, graphic designers, musicians, skaters, and graffiti kids has a group show. Through May 4. free. 111 Minna (at Second St.), 974-1719,

Andrea Schwartz Gallery. "Still, Life": Mixed media on panels by Danäe Anderson. Opening reception is April 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Through May 25. 333 Bryant (at Second St.) (Suite 180), 495-2090.

Anthony Meier Fine Arts. "Robert Beck": New work including photography, sculpture, painting, and drawing. Opening reception is April 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. Through May 13. 1969 California (at Octavia), 351-1400,

Arspace Gallery. "Karina Figueroa": The tattoo artist's washy, painterly portraits with odd pastel hues and broad brushstrokes show a keen eye for figure drawing. Mondays-Wednesdays. Continues through May 14. free. 1286 Folsom (at Ninth St.),

Artemis Gallery. "Bohemian Art Chicks": Group show of art made by women, curated by Dee Dee Russell. Opening reception is April 7 from 5 to 10 p.m. Through May 15. 545 Sutter (at Powell), 788-1866.

Artseal Gallery. "Fifth Anniversary Exhibition": Curator Adam Gendell celebrates the gallery's fifth anniversary with a group exhibition. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Continues through June 30. Free. 1847 Larkin (at Pacific), 567-3523.

Berkeley Public Library/Central Branch. "Overcoming Faceless Labor: Farmworkers Through the Lens of Almudena Ortiz": Ortiz's compelling black and white photographs highlight the Mexican immigrant farmworkers' experience. Through June 15. Free. 2090 Kittredge (at Shattuck), Berkeley, 510-981-6100.

Blue Room Gallery. "Patrick Duegaw: Paintings": Large-scale paintings by Patrick Duegaw. Opening reception is April 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. Through May 15. "The Spirit of Lady Godiva": Nude photography by Harvey Drouillard. Opening reception is April 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. Through May 15. 2331 Mission (at 19th St.), 282-8411.

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