Our critics weigh in on local exhibits

"2x4." Wallpaper is cool again. Design collective 2x4's first solo museum exhibit is plastered from floor to ceiling with vertical strips of the stuff, each documenting a different design project. Best known for collaborations with star-chitect Rem Koolhaas, 2x4's forte is the marriage of graphic design and three-dimensional environments. Its designs of wallpaper, signs, logos, and books are based on impeccable research and executed with eye-grabbing moxie. A case in point: the collective's schema for the interior of the Koolhaas-designed campus center at the Illinois Institute of Technology, which weaves history and present-day reality into one elegant, visual statement. The building is swathed in mural-size images of the grave faces of the institute's founders; on closer inspection, they dissolve into thousands of cheeky icons depicting student activities. Elsewhere, a series of custom wallpapers for Prada stores features strikingly anti-consumerist imagery: a stadium crowd holding up cards to form pictures of Maoist peasants; diagrams detailing the manifestly un-Prada-esque body measurements of the average American; and a patently fake, Edenic landscape populated by eerie, sexless, candy-colored mannequins. It's hardly the typical image of perfection that makes you want to buy, buy, buy, but then again, Prada shoppers might already be beyond all aspiration. The innovative exhibition design successfully embodies the collective's bold aesthetic and is fun to look at, but unfortunately, its small scale and close quarters make it difficult to absorb the details, which is where 2x4's true genius lies. Through Nov. 27 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free-$12.50; call 357-4000 or visit (Sharon Mizota) Reviewed June 29.

"Irreconcilable Differences." Despite the single name, leonardogillesfleur is a pair of artists (Leonardo Giacomuzzo and Gilles-Fleur Boutry), and their current exhibit is all about collaboration, as embodied in a custom bicycle built for two. The sleek, black, professionally altered velocipede is casually propped on one of its two kickstands in the middle of the gallery floor. There's only one catch: The two sets of seats, pedals, and handlebars are headed in opposite directions. At first glance, it's a cheap one-liner; you need only describe such a vehicle to appreciate its utter incompetence. So why go to the trouble of actually fabricating it? Because, as stupid as it sounds, actually seeing two bike chains pointing in different directions while anchored to the same set of gears expresses complete and utter deadlock in such a visceral way that the absurdity is palpable. The only other element in the show is a slide projection of the artist duo actually attempting to use the bike, perched atop the seats and handlebars. She's in a black evening gown and heels; he's in a red shirt and sneakers. They're obviously bound for different destinations, but going nowhere. Although leonardogillesfleur are known for video work, it's fitting that this image is as motionless as their useless bike. Rather than the sanguine picture of productive partnership (and romance) suggested by a "bicycle built for two," leonardogillesfleur remind us that unity does not ensure agreement. Through Oct. 15 at Mission 17, 2111 Mission (at 17th Street), Suite 401, S.F. Admission is free; call 336-2349 or visit (Sharon Mizota) Reviewed Sept. 28.

"New Work: Edgar Arceneaux." Summertime once afforded sun worshippers the opportunity to laze around on white, sandy beaches or swim out in cool, crystal waters -- that is, until they discovered how damaging those darn UV rays were to their skin. Good thing for Los Angeles-based artist Edgar Arceneaux, whose recent exhibit "Borrowed Sun" brought the planetary system's central star indoors, where it could be appreciated from a safer vantage point. Inspired by the artist's passion for language and science and his interest in creating startling connections among words, objects, places, and people, Arceneaux's room-size installation utilizes graphite drawings on vellum, a large-scale concrete sculpture, slides, and film to conjure cosmically inspired free-jazz musician Sun Ra, minimalist artist Sol LeWitt (whose first name means "sun" in Spanish), and 17th-century astronomer Galileo, who proved that the Earth revolves around the sun. Featuring selections from "Borrowed Sun" such as Broken Sol, The Immeasurable Equation, and Cycle a Single Moment, "New Work" runs through Nov. 27 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free-$12.50; call 357-4000 or visit (Joshua Rotter) Reviewed Aug. 10.

"Toys Take No Prisoners." If you spend as much time as artists John Casey, Dave Higgins, and John Rogers fabricating scatological monsters and skeletal Mickey Mouse figurines, or staging World War III battles with G.I. Joes and Hot Wheels, then clearly, you are a geek. But that's a good thing. This small but imaginative exhibit of artworks-cum-toys is surprisingly affecting, despite being crammed into display cases on the back wall of Super 7, a store dedicated to Japanese anime and pop ephemera. Casey's shriveled little figures look like twisted versions of shrunken apple-head dolls; Beantown Boyhas two angry-looking heads where his arms should be. The figures are ugly and pathetic but laced with small hopeful details -- one little guy's grotesquely oversize hand has fingers tipped with gold. Higgins' Atom Boy is a sculpture of the early Japanese anime character Astro Boy as an antique: a jointed toy with the springs exposed and a surface patina of age and use. This aged appearance quietly subverts the ever-youthful, super-shiny surface of such comic book characters. Unfortunately, the artist's other efforts -- including the aforementioned Skully Mouse -- are less nuanced, little more than Tim Burton-esque collectibles. Rogers' photographic tableaux of toy tanks and soldiers stopping at the minimart project the horror of military invasion into the benign world of child's play (and vice versa). He also contributes a stack of metal children's blocks that have been shot through with a .45. Cheery. Through Oct. 8 at Super 7, 1630 Post (at Laguna), S.F. Admission is free; call 409-4700 or visit (Sharon Mizota) Reviewed Sept. 28.

"Trust Me." Proving that you can't keep a good man down, or clothed, or away from controversy, "Trust Me" is a new exhibit featuring bits and pieces of the rampage that is Tony Labat's artistic career. Thirty years ago, the San Francisco Art Institute professor (then an undergraduate there) sent New Langton Arts' curators a dozen roses and a note, hoping to become one of their commissioned artists, but circumventing the usual essay/proposal route. They were charmed and gave his career a kick-start. The current exhibit is a perfect vantage point from which to gauge the value of that long-ago decision: The note said, "Trust me." The administrators did, and Labat is now an internationally shown performance and video artist, with a conceptually unfettered body of work spanning genres from painting to film, focusing largely on the absurdities and hypocrisies integral to the immigrant experience. Possibly his most notorious performance is Black Beans 'n Rice, during which he joined the audience in listening to his mother give her recipe for black beans live over the telephone from Cuba, while he stood on a canoe contending with a mirrored disco ball hanging from his nuts. The piece is incorporated into "Trust Me" with a commemorative disco decoration, poignant and funny on its own, even testicle-less. The breadth of Labat's oeuvre makes for a number of such interesting displays, including a fingernail nailed to a board and some of the infamous paintings made with his own crap. Much of the work represented here is intended to shock, yes, but the many awards and grants the artist has won are a reminder of the most basic rule of looking at art: This is all done for a reason, and it's up to you to suss it out. Trust him. Through Oct. 22 at New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom (at Eighth Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 626-5416 or visit (Hiya Swanhuyser) Reviewed Sept. 21.

Also Showing


111 Minna Gallery. "Fecal Face Dot Com 5 1/2 Year Anniversary Show": The art Web site celebrates with a show featuring work from more than 35 site regulars. Through Sept. 30. 111 Minna (at Second St.), 974-1719,

33 Grand. "No Place Like Home": New work by Kirk Stoller and Alex Munn. Through Oct. 9. 33 Grand (at Broadway), Oakland, 510-866-9501,

Alpha Bar & Lounge. "Jerk Beefy": New paintings and drawings by Tyler Gates. Opening reception is Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. Sept. 28-Oct. 11. 3848 Geary (Third Ave.), 244-6989.

Ampersand International. "Assisted Living": A new installation by Michael Campbell and Kevin King. Through Oct. 4. 1001 Tennessee (at 20th St.), 285-0170,

Andrea Schwartz Gallery. "Recent Paintings": New work by Griff Williams. Opening reception is Aug. 31 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Through Sept. 30. 525 Second St. (at South Park), 496-2090,

Braunstein/Quay Gallery. "Cynthia Ona Innis": New paintings and drawings. Through Oct. 1. "ACCESS Program: Lynn Koble": A new video-based installation. Through Oct. 1. 430 Clementina (at Fifth St.), 278-9850,

California Institute of Integral Studies. "Pursuing the Invisible": Mixed media work by Mark Faigenbaum. Through Oct. 7. "Inner Trees": Paintings by Luis Fernando Uribe. Through Oct. 21. "Compassion: Auras and Altars": Photo work by Kathy Beal. Reception and slide presentation is Sept. 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. Through Oct. 28. 1453 Mission (at 10th St.) (Namaste Hall), 331-2076.

California Modern Gallery. "One Year Anniversary Exhibit": Group show. Through Sept. 30. 1035 Market (at Sixth St.), 716-8661.

The Canvas Cafe and Gallery. "The Art Print": New work by Brett Amory, Eric Bailey, David Ball, Shawn Barber, Kim Cogan, Ryan Malley, Mars-1, and Lee Harvey Roswell. Opening reception is Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. Sept. 29-Oct. 29. 1200 Ninth Ave. (at Lincoln), 504-0060,

City Hall. "Insights 2005": New work by legally blind artists including Lois Ann Barnett, Ida Berkowitz, Sujit Kumar Bhattacharjee, James Cadiz, Martha B. Cowden, Prosper Davies, Elizabeth Dilbeck, Pete Eckert, John Ednoff, Rosemarie Fortney, Carmelo C. Gannello, Jack Gelman, Bobbie Gray, Bruce P. Hall, Pedro Hidalgo, Bobby Hightower, Tara Arlene Innmon, Lacee King, Laura Landry, Annie Leist, Emilio Manzanares, Mari S. Newman, Pearl Palmer, Michael Richard, Barbara Romain, Ken Rossi, Keith Rosson, Velma Stiers, Takashi Tanemori, John Theiss, Alison Ulman, Elva Vergari, and Kurt Weston. Through Oct. 28. "Heroes All": Tom Graves' photographs of WWII vets. Through Oct. 28. "Free Dinner": New paintings, installations, and more by Sara Thustra. Through Oct. 14. 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl. (at Fulton), 554-5184.

Civic Center BART. "Art on BART": A tour with performance art, interactive photography and more, curated by Amber Hasselbring. Sat., Oct. 1, 10:26 a.m. $5.80. 1150 Market (at Eighth St.), 989-2278,

Creativity Explored. "Mindful": New work by the CE artists; curated by Alison Pebworth. Through Oct. 13. 3245 16th St. (at Dolores), 863-2108,

Dolby Chadwick Gallery. "Recent Paintings": New work by Ada Sadler. Through Sept. 30. 210 Post (at Grant) (Second Fl.), 956-3560,

Frey Norris Gallery. "New Yorkers: Portraits by Harvey Dinnerstein": Paintings, pastels, and works on paper by Harvey Dinnerstein. Through Oct. 27. 456 Geary (at Taylor), 346-7812,

Friends Meeting House. "Mark Brecke: War Photographer": Photographs from Cambodia, Rwanda, Iraq, and more. Wed., Sept. 28, 7 p.m. $5. 65 Ninth St. (at Jessie), 431-7440,

Gallery 16. "Rex Ray: New Work": Solo exhibition of collage artist. Through Oct. 14. 1616 16th St. (at Rhode Island), 626-7495.

Gallery 555. Bean Finneran: The Oakland Museum of California presents "Up/Down/Around." Through Nov. 11. 555 City Center (near 12th St. and Clay), Oakland, 510-238-2200.

Gallery Paule Anglim. Louise Bourgeois: Drawings, hand-colored prints, and artist's books. Through Oct. 15. 14 Geary (at Kearny), 433-2710.

Giant Robot. "Some Total": Paintings produced collaboratively by Craig Dransfield, Maya Hayuk, and Brian Holderman. Through Oct. 3. 622 Shrader (at Haight), 876-4773,

Hang Annex. "Laugh Out Loud": Group show featuring the work of David Fullarton, Josh Keyes, David Lippenberger, Mark Soderstrom, and DAVe Warnke. Through Sept. 30. 567 Sutter (at Mason), 544-0610.

Hang Gallery. "City or Nature: Reverence and Esteem": New paintings by Brian Ida. Through Sept. 30. 556 Sutter (at Mason), 434-4264,

Hayes Valley Market. "Ephemeral Transformations": New work by Bert Bergen, Julia Aviva Bernstein, Brian Caraway, Tara Lisa Foley, Frozen Lava, and Tonya Thorton; curated by Bert Bergen. Opening reception is Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. Oct. 1-20. 580 Hayes (at Laguna),

Heather Marx Gallery. "Caught Up in the Moment": Sculpture exhibit with new work by Libby Black. Through Oct. 22. 77 Geary (at Grant) (Second Fl.), 627-9111.

Hosfelt Gallery. "Les Barricades Mystérieuses": New paintings by Arngunnur Yr. Through Oct. 8. 430 Clementina (at Fifth St.), 495-5454.

In Color 2. "Flags": Photography by Joe Brook, the editor of Slap magazine. Through Oct. 28. 2475 Third St. (at 22nd St.), 861-3997,

Istituto Italiano di Cultura. "Art & Architecture": Two-person show featuring sculpture and paintings by Bruce Hasson and architectural plans and models by Daniele Benvenuto. Through Sept. 30. 425 Washington (at Battery), 788-7142,

Jenkins Johnson Gallery. "Recent Work": Paintings by Doug Trump. Through Oct. 1. "Dreamscapes": New paintings by Jason Wheatley. Through Oct. 1. 464 Sutter (at Powell), 677-0770,

Juice Design. "Kari Byron and Laura Flippen": New sculpture and photography. Opening reception is Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. Sept. 29-Nov. 3. 3160A 16th St. (at Albion), 355-9900,

The Lab. "Fabulandia: Terra.": New work by David Hamill, Philip Ross, Tonya Solley Thornton, Genevieve Quick, and James Sansing, and Carrie Lederer. Opening reception is Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. Sept. 30-Oct. 29. 2948 16th St. (at Capp), 864-8855.

Low Gallery. "The Excavation Project": New work by Rita DiLorenzo, Jeff Ray, Randy Colsky, Tara Foley, and Oliver Halsman Rosenberg. Through Oct. 16. 487 14th St. (at Guerrero),

Madrone Lounge. "The Shape of Things": Group show with work by Joel Barber, Robin Coomer, Ryan Donegan, Matt Melamed, and Rob Racine. Through Oct. 1. 500 Divisadero (at Fell), 241-0202,

Mechanics' Institute Library. "Flowers & English Gardens": Photography by Margaretta K. Mitchell. Through Oct. 1. 57 Post (at Market), 393-0101,

Mission Dolores. "Ohlone Portraits": An exhibit that features life-size depictions of the Ohlone people, a Native American tribe. Through Oct. 1. $2-$3. 3321 16th St. (at Dolores), 621-8203.

New Langton Arts. "Trust Me": An exhibit examining the entirety of Tony Labat's career. Through Oct. 22. 1246 Folsom (at Eighth St.), 626-5416,

Newmark Gallery. "San Francisco Cityscapes": Group show of paintings. Through Oct. 1. 251 Post (at Stockton), No. 412, 392-3692,

One Taste. " Implied Body: In Its Absence the Body Is Realized": New oil paintings by Kim Weinberg. Through Oct. 23. 1074 Folsom (at Seventh St.), 503-1100,

Paul Thiebaud Gallery. "Twenty-Five Treasures": Group show. Through Oct. 29. free. 718 Columbus (at Filbert), 434-3055.

Polarity Post Production. "Source and Inspiration": Group show featuring the work of AnneKarin Glass, Deborah Tash, Diane Holland, Heather Hanan, Holly Calica, Jamie Erfurdt, Jennifer Mack, John Wilson, Judith Miller, Maurice Edelstein, Mike Kendall, Muffin Hyche, Lisette Lugo, Pat Koenigsberg, Pauline Crowther Scott, Sherri Cavan, Sylvia Buettner, and Tom Hyman. Through Oct. 15. 421-6622. 69 Green (at Front).

Receiver Gallery. "The Young Man's Game?": New work by Nathan Fox and Corey Goering. Opening reception is Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. Sept. 30-Oct. 31. 1314 Eighth Ave. (at Irving), 504-7287,

Red Ink Studios. "Open Portfolio Night 3": Artists are welcome to sign up a week in advance of this first come, first served event. Opening reception is Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. Oct. 1-5. 1035 Market (at Sixth St.), 596-4810,

Rena Bransten Gallery. "Photographs": New work by Doug Hall. Through Oct. 8. 77 Geary (at Grant), 982-3292,

Richmond Art Center. Add Your Voice to "Richmond Stories": Contribute to this ongoing art and oral history project by e-mailing answers to the following questions to How did you or your family come to Richmond in the first place? What are your happiest memories here? What have you liked most about your community? What historic events stand out most in your memory and your family stories? What stories seem to capture Richmond's essence? What issues and challenges have you faced here? What are your dreams for Richmond's next 100 years? Daily. "New Exhibitions": A number of exhbitions open, including work by Katie Baum, Alisa Golden, Monica Schmid, Sofie Siegmann, Darshan Amrit, Center for Tactical Magic, jD., Linda M. Ford, Lori Gordon, Elyse Hochstadt, Elizabeth Jameson, Helena Keeffe & Claudia Tennyson, Lisa Kokin & Lia Roozendaal, Robin Lasser & Adrienne Pao, Anna Maltz, Meredith Talusan, Lucrecia Troncoso, and Jenny Zhang. Through Oct. 30. 22540 Barrett (Civic Center Plaza), Richmond, 510-620-6772.

Robert Koch Gallery. "Edward Burtynsky: China": New large-scale photographs. Through Oct. 29. 49 Geary (at Kearny), 421-0122.

Rx Gallery. "Altered States": New work by Trevor Traynor, Jeremy Kidd, and Nate Pagel. Through Oct. 1. 132 Eddy (at Mason), 474-7973,

San Francisco Center for the Book. "Multiplicity for Millions": The art and history of the rubber stamp. Through Oct. 28. free. 300 De Haro (at 16th St.), 565-0545,

Sculpturesite Gallery. "Vernissage": Features selections by more than 20 artists, including large-scale pieces by Bruce Beasley, Jeffery Laudenslager, and Clement Meadmore. Through Oct. 8. free. 201 Third St. (at Howard), Suite 102, 495-6400,

SF Black and White Gallery. "Fifth Anniversary Limited Edition Prints": Twenty-five popular images of San Francisco. Through Oct. 31. 619 Post (at Taylor), 929-9424,

SF Citadel. "Fetish Art Photography": Work by by Larry Utley and Andrew Morgan. Through Dec. 31. 245 Eighth St. (at Folsom), 626-1746,

Shooting Gallery. "Red Paintings": New work by Lee Harvey Roswell. Through Oct. 1. 839 Larkin (at O'Farrell), 931-8035,

Southern Exposure. "Practice Makes Perfect: Bay Area Conceptual Craft": Group show including work by Ann Chamberlain, Amy Franceschini/Michael Swaine, David Ireland, Bernie Lubell, Christian Maychack, Jim Melchert, Scott Oliver, Stephanie Syjuco, Mark Thompson, Tony Tredway, and Anna Von Mertens. Through Oct. 15. 401 Alabama (at 17th St.), 863-2141,

Space Gallery. "Cross Street Directory": Photography by bike messengers. Opening reception is Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. Sept. 30-Oct. 7. 1141 Polk at Sutter, 674-1997.

Stormy Leather. "Fetish Art Photography": Work by Shilo McCabe. Through Dec. 31. 1158 Howard (at Rausch), 626-1672,

Traywick Contemporary. "Photo-Based": Group show by eight artists. Through Dec. 1. 895 Colusa (at Solano), Berkeley, 510-527-1214,

V. Breier. "Narratives in Clay": Group show of ceramic work. Through Oct. 29. 3091 Sacramento (at Baker), 929-7173,

Valencia Street (between 20th and 22nd Sts.). "Double Take: A Billboard Project": Art billboards by Felipe Dulzaides in various locations. Through Dec. 31. 626-5416. Valencia Street between 20th and 22nd Sts.

War Memorial and Performing Arts Center's Green Room. "Show Business: Irving Berlin's Broadway: Visual exhibition of the songwriter's work. Through Dec. 17. 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), 674-4764.

Wattis Institute's Logan Galleries. "General Ideas: Rethinking Conceptual Art 1987­2005": Featured artists include Francis Alÿs, Jennifer Bornstein, Carol Bove, Adam Chodzko, Martin Creed, Andrea Fraser, Liam Gillick, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jamie Isenstein, Emily Jacir, Emma Kay, Adam McEwen, Jonathan Monk, Gabriel Orozco, Rob Pruitt, Kay Rosen, Josh Shaddock, Santiago Sierra, Ron Terada and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Through Nov. 13. 1111 Eighth St. (at Hooper), 551-9210,

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. "Bay Area Now": A group show of challenging and experimental work by local artists. Through Nov. 6. 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787,

Museums Asian Art Museum. "In a New Light: The Asian Art Museum Collection": A display of more than 2,500 objects from the museum's permanent collection explores the major cultures of Asia. Daily. "Shadows, Masks and Music: Aspects of the Performing Arts in Asia": The museum displays a diverse collection of musical instruments, set designs, costumes, and masks that are used in Asian performances. Tuesdays-Sundays. Gallery Tours: Trained museum docents offer both general introductions to the museum's collections as well as tours that highlight special exhibitions. Tuesdays-Sundays, 11, 11:30 a.m., 1 & 2 p.m. Free with museum admission. Architectural Tours: Learn about the transformation of the old San Francisco main public library into the Asian Art Museum's new quarters with this regular tour. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays-Sundays, 12 & 2:30 p.m.; Thursdays, 12, 2:30 & 6:30 p.m. Free with museum admission. "Family Art Encounter": Drop in to make arts and crafts pieces related to the museum's current exhibits. First Saturday of every month, 1 p.m.; First Tuesday of every month, 11 a.m. Free with museum admission. Asian Art Museum Storytelling: Each weekend the museum leads a family-oriented tour through a particular exhibit, followed up by a retelling of stories related to the exhibits. Sundays, 1 p.m.; First Saturday of every month, 1 p.m. Free with museum admission. Target Tuesday Family Program: Each month this special family program presents an activity connected with Asian art and customs. First Tuesday of every month, 11 a.m. Free with museum admission. Free-$10. 200 Larkin (at McAllister), 581-3500,

Berkeley Art Museum. First Impressions: Free First Thursdays: Check out a world of art and film with free entry to the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive each month. Thursdays, 11 a.m. Free. 2626 Bancroft (at Telegraph), Berkeley, 510-642-0808,

Cable Car Museum. Permanent Exhibit: Located in a historic cable car powerhouse, the museum displays a variety of cable car gear, historic photographs, installations explaining how the cars work, and several antique vehicles. Daily. Free. 1201 Mason (at Washington), 474-1887.

California Academy of Sciences. "Astrobiology: Life in the Extreme": A permanent exhibition that explores the types of environments in the universe that could support life. Daily. 875 Howard (at Fifth St.), 750-7145,

California Historical Society Museum. "Eadweard Muybridge: San Francisco in Panorama": The photographer famous for motion studies also made panoramic images; here, see a room-sized picture of the city circa 1877. Through Oct. 8. Free-$3. 678 Mission (at Third St.), 357-1848.

Cartoon Art Museum. "Play Ball": Over 40 baseball cartoons from 1945-1965 by legendary cartoonist Willard Mullin. Through Oct. 30. 655 Mission (at New Montgomery), 227-8666,

Chabot Space & Science Center. "One Giant Leap: A Moon Odyssey": Take a simulated moonwalk, try on a space helmet, climb into a space capsule, and virtually land a lunar module in this exhibit. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Astronomy in California 1850-1950: Telescope Makers, Telescopes, and Artifacts": Take a look at California's rich history in astronomy with this display of telescopes, astronomy history documents, and other ephemera. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Skywise -- Astronomy Cartoon Exhibit": Help your child understand that vastness and majesty of space with this exhibit of astronomy comic strips. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Destination Universe": Take a virtual journey from the sun to the end of the cosmos with exhibits on nebulae, space travel, black holes, and moving galaxies. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Mars Encounter": The National Aeuronautics and Space Administration sponsors this exhibit on travel to Mars, which includes data on current and past missions, a giant tactile Mars globe, and Martian meteorites. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. 10000 Skyline (at Joaquin Miller, in Joaquin Miller Park), Oakland, 510-336-7300.

Exploratorium. "Light as an Aristic Medium 1930/2005": The exhibition counterpoints the film installation of Moholy-Nagy's "art machine" with a cutting edge work from today, Aequator, by German light artist Thomas Bertels. Through Jan. 8, 2006. free with museum admission. "Traits of Life": A major exhibition area with 30 biology exhibits and demonstrations that help visitors understand the fundamental elements common to all living things from humans to amoebas. Daily. Free with museum admission. "The Nobel Prize: 100 Years of Creativity": The multimedia exhibit "The Nobel Prize: 100 Years of Creativity" offers a historic overview of the prize and the personal stories of 50 Laureates, including artifacts such as Alexander Fleming's penicillin petri dish, Ernest Hemingway's library ticket, and Linus Pauling's paper cutouts of molecules. Through Oct. 2. Free-$12. 3601 Lyon (at Marina), 397-5673,

The Holocaust Center of Northern California. "Holocaust Center of Northern California": The newly opened center's first exhibit showcases its facilities, including a library with more than 15,000 historical volumes, a reading room for screening documentaries and holding educational talks, and ongoing displays of the center's thousands of photographs and artifacts. Tuesdays, Thursdays, 1-6 p.m.; Mondays, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 121 Steuart (at Mission), 777-9060,

International Museum of GLBT History. "Sporting Life: GLBT Athletics and Cultural Change From the 1960s to Today": A multimedia exhibit chronicling the participation of gay and lesbian people in a wide variety of sports. Through Dec. 31. 657 Mission, No. 300 (at New Montgomery),

Judah L. Magnes Museum. "Case Study: Emanu-El Sisterhood": Group show reflecting the history of changing social roles of California women in the 20th century. Through Feb. 5, 2006. "Houses and Housing": Group show on portability in Jewish art. Through May 15, 2006. "The Danube Exodus": Show by Peter Forgacs. Artist talk on Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. Through Dec. 31. Larry Abramson: Work from the show "Searching for an Ideal City." Artist's talk on Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. Through Feb. 19, 2006. Free. 2911 Russell (at Pine), Berkeley, 510-549-6950.

Lawrence Hall of Science. "Forces That Shape the Bay": The museum's permanent science park exhibit explores new ways to understand the bay. Daily. "Prove It -- A ChemMystery": Kids and adults attempt to solve crimes using the basic forensic skills they learn step-by-step at the exhibit. Daily. Free with admission, free-$8.50. Centennial & Grizzly Peak, Berkeley, 510-642-5132.

Legion of Honor. "Artwear: Fashion and Anti-Fashion": A retrospective of wearable art spanning 35 years and more than 100 pieces. The show begins its study with crocheted garments worn by 1960s fashionistas and moves through the decades to modern-day haute couture. Through Oct. 30. $2-$12. 750-3614. "Big Kids/Little Kids": Children aged 3 1/2 to 6 years and their parents take a gallery tour and then participate in a related hands-on art activity. Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. Free with museum admission, free-$8. "Doing and Viewing Art": Kids aged 7-12 and their families tour the Legion of Honor's galleries before taking part in a hands-on creative workshop led by a professional artist. Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. Free with museum entrance fee, free-$8. Ford Free Tuesdays: Get in free to the Legion of Honor every Tuesday, thanks to a grant from the Ford Motor Co. Tuesdays. Free. 100 34th Ave. (at Clement), 863-3330,

Pacific Heritage Museum. "Rustic Splendors": Ceramics from China. Through March 25, 2006. free. 608 Commercial (at Montgomery), 399-1124.

Pier 45. "Amusing America": The evolution of modern amusement parks and their effects on the American cultural landscape are examined in this conglomeration of photographs, penny-arcade machines, and other ephemera. Daily, 10 a.m. Free. Fisherman's Wharf (Taylor & Jefferson), 552-1266.

Randall Museum. "Endless Energy: Power for a Small Planet": An interactive exhibition exploring renewable energy options. Through Oct. 22. "Drop-In Art and Science Workshops": Each week kids and parents can participate in artistic activities that illuminate some aspect of science. Saturdays, 1 p.m. $3 per person. "Saturdays Are Special": Ongoing weekly drop-in, hands-on art and science workshops. Saturdays, 1 p.m. Free-$3. 199 Museum (at Roosevelt), 554-9600.

San Francisco Fire Museum. "Permanent Exhibits": Included among the items on display at this museum are antique fire extinguishers, old uniforms, cast-iron replicas of historic fire engines, hooks, ladders, and other ephemera. Daily. Free. 655 Presidio Avenue (at Bush), 563-4630.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. "Sparks, Waves, & Wizards: Communication at Sea": The permanent exhibit presents artifacts exploring the means of maritime communications. Daily. Free-$6. Fort Mason Building E (Marina & Buchanan), 561-7000.

San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum. "150 Years of Dance in California": The exhibit spotlights over a century of dance in the Golden State with photographs and programs. Daily. "Maestro!: Photographic Portraits by Tom Zimberoff": The artist captures a generation of national and international conductors in his portraits. Daily. 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), 255-4800,

San Jose Museum of Art. "Inside Out: Selections From the Permanent Collection": Highlights of the museum's 35th-anniversary exhibition include Mildred Howard's Abode: Sanctuary for the Familia(r), a chamber built of blue glass bottles, and Brian Goggin's Desire for the Other, a couch stuffed with household appliances. Daily. Free. 110 South Market (at San Fernando), San Jose, 408-271-6840.

SF Maritime Museum. Permanent Collection of Ship Models: A big collection of figureheads, maritime paintings, photos, and artifacts. Daily. free-$3. Fisherman's Wharf (at Polk), 556-3002.

SF Museum of Modern Art. "Building a Collection: Past, Present, and Future": Deborah Loft, professor of art history, presents outstanding artworks from the collection and their histories. Tue., Oct. 4, noon. Free. "Art and Conversation": Jill Dawsey, curatorial associate, discusses the legacy of conceptual art. Fri., Sept. 30, 1 p.m. Free. College Day: SFMOMA invites the college community to visit and view "The Art of Richard Tuttle." Spend time in the galleries looking at art, learn more about upcoming exhibitions and events, and attend a special program. Sat., Oct. 1, 11 a.m. Free. Paul Strand: Under the Dark Cloth: A film by John Walker. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays, 3 p.m.; Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays, 4 p.m. Continues through Oct. 20. "Responses to the Art of Richard Tuttle": Faculty members from Bay Area institutions share their reactions to and thoughts about Richard Tuttle's radical and innovative work. Sat., Oct. 1, 2 p.m. $4-$14. Richard Tuttle: Never Not an Artist: A film by Chris Maybach. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays, 1 p.m.; Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Continues through Oct. 16. "Architecture & Design Permanent Collection": An ongoing presentation featuring more than 100 works illustrating concepts in design and architecture. Daily. "The Art of Design": A permanent exhibition of works in the museum's architecture and design collection, including works of graphic and industrial design (such as the famous Fillmore rock posters by Bonnie MacLean, Victor Moscoso, and Stanley Mouse). Daily. "Matisse and Beyond: The Painting and Sculpture Collection": Magnificent works of painting and sculpture culled from SFMOMA's own collections provide a quick tour of modern art from Fauvism to Minimalism. Daily. "Between Art and Life: The Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Collection": The ongoing exhibition presents works from SFMOMA's own collections, with special installations on artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Robert Gober, Eva Hesse, Anish Kapoor, Sherrie Levine, Brice Marden, Gordon Matta-Clark, Barry McGee, Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg, and Kara Walker. Daily. "Picturing Modernity: Selections From the SFMOMA Collection": An exhibition of photographs from SFMOMA's own collection that illustrate a wide range of photographic styles. Daily. "The Art of Richard Tuttle": More than 300 works comprise this retrospective exhibit. Through Oct. 16. "New Work: Edgar Arceneaux": Featuring selections from "Borrowed Sun." Through Nov. 20, 11 a.m. Free-$12.50. "Robert Adams: Turning Back": Inspired by the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, photographer Robert Adams's most recent work presents a new look at the territory these explorers covered and the results of their effort. Sept. 29-Jan. 3. Member Reception: "Robert Adams: Turning Back": Join fellow members to celebrate the opening of "Robert Adams: Turning Back," a special photography exhibition reexamining the legacy of Lewis and Clark. Fri., Sept. 30, 7 p.m. Free for members. Free-$12.50. 151 Third St. (at Mission), 357-4000,

Zeum. "Toyz": Hands-on activities teach kids about the latest in tech toys. Daily. Free with museum admission, free-$7. 221 Fourth St. (at Howard), 777-2800.

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