Our critics weigh in on local exhibits

published: December 28, 2005

"Beaut Brute." Al Pacino's Scarface would approve. Taro Hattori's latest installation is a gangster's dream décor. The walls are lined with a row of assault rifles painstakingly constructed out of see-through plastic. In the center, two more rifles, of mirrored glass, lie casually atop a card table, also mirrored and trimmed in shaggy white fake fur. Above, the wall is draped with bunches of equally reflective, oversize grapes on fuzzy white vines, a cheap, disco-ized nod to the superabundance and amorality of Roman antiquity. The only thing missing is a few lines of coke. You could read Beaut Brute's exaggerated tackiness as a critique of the glamorization of violence, if the installation itself weren't guilty of same. By turning weapons into objets d'art, Hattori reminds us not only how we aestheticize mayhem, but also that guns are consumer goodies like anything else. Perhaps if the execution were a bit more streamlined, a little less funky, Hattori's intent would be clearer. The guns hover somewhere between coldly beautiful art and water guns on steroids. This ambivalence may ultimately be their message. Such products are really just exquisite toys for overgrown boys -- as in "Say hello to my little friend." Through Jan. 31 at Rocketworld, 660 22nd St. (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 318-8258 or visit www.rocketworld.org. (Sharon Mizota) Reviewed Dec. 28.

"Chuck Close: Self-Portraits 1967-2005." Step up to a Chuck Close painting and you'll see squares filled with abstract shapes, a precise arrangement of dots, or some other technique in miniature. Step back and you'll see Chuck Close. For nearly four decades the artist has rendered his own head, moving through styles but always retaining his signature mug-shot angle. Featuring more than 80 works, this show traces the arc of this astonishingly single-minded career. Since 1967 Close's stuck to his technique, laying a grid over a photo and painstakingly transferring the data in each square to a 9-foot-tall canvas with an airbrush. But along the way the grid itself started showing up, scoring the portraits with crosshatched lines, and Close began filling the squares with shapes, dots, and other designs. In 1988, he experienced chest pain while attending an arts ceremony at Gracie Mansion; by the end of the night he was nearly paralyzed. In rehabilitation, he strapped a brush to his wrist, trained his arm to do the work of his hand, and never looked back. Through Feb. 28 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 www.sfmoma.org. (Michael Leaverton) Reviewed Nov. 16.

"Dispersed: African Legacy/New World Reality." If you worried that the Museum of the African Diaspora might be the latest incarnation of dogmatic political correctness, fear not. This sophisticated inaugural exhibition of contemporary art asserts that African-American identity is a slippery, multifaceted thing. The featured artists explore diverse cultural and political histories with varying degrees of success, but their works all defy easy categorization. Most compelling is Safe House by San Francisco's Mildred Howard, a dainty house frame made of butter knives and carpeted with piles of silver -- dishes, platters, tureens, and the like. Toward the front of the house the objects are shiny and polished, but toward the back they're increasingly battered and tarnished, snaking out behind the house, where the butter knives become carving knives stuck violently into the wall. It's easy to read the piece as an allegory of the distance between master and slave, but it also eloquently suggests the oppression of women's domestic labor and the disparity between public face and private tragedy. Brazilian artist Marepe's installation of monks' robes -- an ambivalent attempt to redeem the Catholic missionaries who helped colonize much of the Americas -- is unnecessarily large and a bit obtuse. While Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons' video installation exploring her Afro-Cuban identity is multilayered and evocative, it never quite achieves the poetry it strives for. But perhaps more important than their individual merits are the ways in which these works defy stereotypical motifs and attitudes to honor the complexity and richness of the African-American experience. Through March 12 at MoAD, 685 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is free-$8; call 358-7200 or visit www.moadsf.org. (Sharon Mizota) Reviewed Dec. 28.

"Styrofoam Hummer (American Detritus)." Andrew Junge's sculpture is grotesque poetry: a Hummer made out of Styrofoam. Fresh from the Artist in Residence Program at the San Francisco dump, Junge reclaimed castoff pieces of the unrecyclable material, then cut, bonded, and sanded them into a full-size replica of our governor's favorite gas hog. The level of verisimilitude is amazing: The tow cable, windshield wipers, even the keyhole on the door are all meticulously sculpted. Junge chose to leave the Styrofoam its "natural" shade of white, so the effect is more ghostly than realistic. If you look closely, you can see familiar packing material patterns under the wheel wells and subtle seams on the tires where the artist has pieced square blocks together to make a rounded shape. But these details of fabrication are beside the point. The excesses of the H1 Hummer (a gas-guzzling, road-hogging, militarily inspired vanity) and the wastefulness of Styrofoam (too toxic to burn, too expensive to recycle) are a match made in trash heaven. Together they're the perfect expression of the often forgotten link between consumer luxury and the military campaigns enacted to preserve it. The consumer H1 turns military functionality into Army chic; Styrofoam Hummer brings the recklessness of that conversion full circle. Through Jan. 13 at View 155, 155 Grove (between McAllister and Grove), S.F. Admission is free; call 554-6080 or visit www.sfacgallery.org. (Sharon Mizota) Reviewed Nov. 30.

Galleries

111 Minna Gallery. "Ten Years of Alarm": Group exhibit celebrating a decade of this art and music magazine. Through Dec. 31. 111 Minna (at Second St.), 974-1719, www.111minnagallery.com.

City Art Gallery. "Affordable Art": Exhibit of art priced at $150 or less. Through Jan. 29, 2006. 828 Valencia (at 19th St.), 970-9900, www.cityartgallery.org.

City Hall. "Crude Reflections: ChevronTexaco's Rainforest Legacy": Photography by Lou Dematteis and Kayana Szymczak. Through Dec. 30. "Saint Francis Memorial Hospital: 100 Years of Caring for San Francisco": Photographs, artifacts and memorabilia from the hospital, collected over the past 100 years and curated by Gladys Hansen. Through March 31, 2006. "Crude Reflections: ChevronTexaco's Rainforest ": Photography by Lou Dematteis and Kayana Szymczak. Through Dec. 30. "Saint Francis Memorial Hospital: 100 Years of Caring for San Francisco": Photographs, artifacts, and memorabilia, curated by Gladys Hansen. Through March 31, 2006. 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl. (at Fulton), 554-5184.

Gallery 16. "a group of mostly unrelated things": New work by Lowell Darling, Lauren Davies, Michelle Grabner, Stefan Kirkeby, Martin McMurray, Tucker Nichols, Deborah Oropallo, Gay Outlaw, Rex Ray, Carol Selter, Alice Shaw, Wayne Smith, Alex Zecca, and others. Through Jan. 6, 2006. 1616 16th St. (at Rhode Island), 626-7495.

Gallery at Thoreau. "Roots & Branches": New work by James Gayles and Adunni. Through Dec. 31. 1016 Lincoln (at Torney), 561-7823, www.thoreau.org/gallery.html.

Geras Tousignant Gallery. "Sky": New work by Dhiren Babaria, Buck Ellison, Matthew Frederick, Andy Freeberg, James Scott Geras, Monika Steiner, Daniel Tousignant, and Jay Tyrrell. Through Jan. 10, 2006. 437 Pacific (at Osgood), 986-1647.

Giant Robot. "Let's Share": New work by Evah Fan, Jack Long, and Susie Ghahremani. Through Dec. 31. 622 Shrader (at Haight), 876-4773, www.gr-sf.com.

Hackett-Freedman Gallery. "Pairings II: Discovered Dialogues in Postwar Abstraction": New and old work by Richard Diebenkorn, Herbert Ferber, Helen Franken-thaler, Sam Francis, Giorgio Cavallon, Adolph Gottlieb, Patrick Heron, Howard Hodgkin, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Frank Lobell, Conrad Marca-Relli, Joan Mitchell, Manuel Neri, Judith Rothschild, Sean Scully, and Emerson Woelffer. Through Dec. 31. 250 Sutter (at Kearny) (Fourth Fl.), 362-7152, www.hackettfreedmangallery.com.

Heather Marx Gallery. "Histories": New work by Michael Hall, Erik Sandberg, and Maki Tamura. Through Jan. 28, 2006. 77 Geary (at Grant) (Second Fl.), 627-9111, www.heathermarxgallery.com.

Istituto Italiano di Cultura. "Emilio Vedova": Exhibition of paintings, mixed media, drawings and engravings. Through Jan. 5, 2006. 425 Washington (at Battery), 788-7142, www.sfiic.org.

Jack Hanley Gallery. "Saskia Leek: Points of Vanishing": New paintings. Through Jan. 28, 2006. 395 Valencia (at 15th St.), 522-1623.

Ligne Roset. "Monochromatica": New work by Logan Hicks, Miya Ando Stanoff, and Julie Nelson. Through Jan. 8, 2006. 162 King (at Fifth St.), 777-1030, www.lignerosetsf.com.

Lola Gallery. "Rags to Riches": Photographs of business districts in the 1970s, by Charles Gatewood. Through Jan. 21, 2006. 2517 Mission (at 21st St.), 401-6800.

The Luggage Store. "Explosive Compulsive": New work by Reed Anderson, Jen Liu, and Adriane Colburn. Through Jan. 14, 2006. 1007 Market (at Sixth St.), 255-5971, www.luggagestoregallery.org.

Main Library. "P3: Our Ongoing Journey in Pilipino American Design Aesthetics": Work by Christian Alcala, Bren Bataclan, Eduardo Datangel, Gloria G. Galang, Spike Lomibao, Al Perez, Alberic Rivera, Mark Santa Ana, Gerard Talampas and Raymond Virata. Through Jan. 31, 2006. 100 Larkin (at Grove), 557-4277, www.sfpl.org.

Mezzanine Gallery. "San Francisco Sun Up to Sun Down": Group show with work by Marius Starkey, Tom Schwabenlander, Lenea Maibaum, Scott Tracy, Jack Freeman, and Tom Hyman. Through Jan. 4, 2006. 342 Grant (at Bush), 673-3080.

Mission 17. "Truth and Lies": Through Jan. 7, 2006. 2111 Mission (at 17th St.), Suite 401, 336-2349, www.mission17.com.

Modernism. "Gottfried Helnwein": New paintings. Through Jan. 14, 2006. 685 Market (at Kearny), 541-0461, www.modernisminc.com.

National Product. "New and Improved": New work by El Rey. Through Jan. 14, 2006. 1845 Market (at Guerrero), 255-1920.

Needles & Pens. "The Copyist Conspiracy": Zine-related work by Bill Brown, Janelle Hessig, Sara Jaffe, Mike Taylor, Sean Tejaratchi, Cristy Roads, Andrew Scott, Icky Apparatus, Greta Snider. Through Dec. 31. 483 14th St. (at Guerrero), 255-1534, www.needles-pens.com.

Newmark Gallery. "Siblings": New work by Ilan Laks. Through Jan. 14, 2006. 251 Post (at Stockton), No. 412, 392-3692, www.newmarkgallery.com.

Precita Eyes Mural Center. "Adult Free-Play Art Time": Ongoing drop-in workshop with instructor Kristin Olsen; no experience necessary and no one turned away for lack of funds. Wednesdays, 7 p.m. $12. 348 Precita, 285-2287.

Receiver Gallery. "Postcards From Poketo": Poketo, an art and apparel company, presents work by established and emerging artists. Through Jan. 23, 2006. 1314 Eighth Ave. (at Irving), 504-7287, www.receivergallery.com.

Robert Koch Gallery. "Dylan": Photographs of Bob Dylan by John Cohen, Barry Feinstein, Don Hunstein, and Jim Marshall. Through Dec. 31. 49 Geary (at Kearny), 421-0122.

Robert Tat Fine Photographs. "The San Francisco Show": Photographs of the city, 1885 to 1960. Works by Carleton Watkins, Willard Worden, I. W. Taber, William Dassonville, Bill Heick, Cardinell-Vincent, and others. Through Dec. 31. 2344 Market (at Noe), 310-3628, www.roberttat.com.

Rx Gallery. "Love and Other Natural Disasters": New work by Michael Thrush. Through Jan. 7, 2006. 132 Eddy (at Mason), 474-7973, www.rxgallery.com.

Sculpturesite Gallery. "Geometry Transcended": A retrospective of work by sculptor Clement Meadmore. Through Feb. 18, 2006. 201 Third St. (at Howard), Suite 102, 495-6400, www.sculpturesite.com.

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

Steel Gallery. "Hope": Work by James Jarrett, Brigitte McReynolds and Merti Walker. Through Jan. 28, 2006. 3524 Sacramento (at Laurel), 885-1655, www.steelgalleryinc.com.

Stephen Wirtz Gallery. "Three New Photographers": New work by Apollonia Morrill, Paul Schiek, and Rachel Weeks. Opening reception is Jan. 5 at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 3-Feb. 7. 49 Geary (at Kearny), 433-6879, www.wirtzgallery.com.

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

Thomas A. Goldwasser Rare Books. "Barbara Alexandra Szerlip": Book art by Szerlip. Through Dec. 28. 486 Geary (at Taylor), 292-4698, www.goldwasserbooks.com.

Urbis Artium Gallery. "Worlds Apart": Group exhibit including work by Francesca Berrini, Diem Chau, Kathryn Arnold, and Lisa Allen. Through Dec. 31. 49 Geary (at Kearny), 369-9404, www.urbis-artium.com.

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. www.newlangtonarts.org. Valencia Street between 20th and 22nd Sts..

Varnish Fine Art. "Charles Glaubitz and Ron Garrigues": New paintings and sculpture. Through Jan. 14, 2006. 77 Natoma (at Second St.), 222-6131, www.varnishfineart.com.

Wattis Institute's Logan Galleries. "Capp Street Project: Jeanne Dunning": New photography. Through Feb. 21, 2006. 1111 Eighth St. (at Hooper), 551-9210, www.wattis.org.

White Walls Gallery. "Untitled": Group show featuring new work by Sylvia Ji, Caleb Neelon, Ogi, Sage Vaughn and Anthony Yankovic III. Through Jan. 10, 2006. 835 Larkin (at Alice B. Toklas), 931-1500, www.whitewallsf.com.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. "Recent Work by Wang Du": Large scale sculpture. Through March 5, 2006. "New Work by Cornelia Parker": Through March 5, 2006. 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787, www.ybca.org.

Museums

Asian Art Museum. "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. Free with museum admission. "The Poetic Vision of Abdur Rahman Chughtai (1897­1975)": A selection of fourteen paintings by Abdur Rahman Chughtai is on display in the South Asian gallery. Through April 2, 2006. "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. Free with museum admission. 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. 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. "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. 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. Mochitsuki! Japanese Mochi Pounding Party: Tue., Jan. 3, 11 a.m. 200 Larkin (at McAllister), 581-3500, www.asianart.org.

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. Hands-on Science: Visitors of all ages can examine microscopic aquatic life or study adaptations of marine animals with Academy docents and interns. Wednesdays-Fridays, 4 p.m. Snake Feeding: Watch whipsnakes feed off fish. Fridays, 2 p.m. free with museum admission. 875 Howard (at Fifth St.), 750-7145, www.calacademy.org.

Cartoon Art Museum. "Gross, Gruesome, and Gothic": This horrifying display features over 50 original cartoons from a wide array of artists and comics. Through March 12, 2006. Monthly Cartooning Classes for Adults: An intensive monthly workshop for aspiring comic artists, writers, and fans of the medium, taught by a professional cartoonist focusing on an area of his or her expertise. Fourth Saturday of every month, 1 p.m. $40-$50. 655 Mission (at New Montgomery), 227-8666, www.cartoonart.org.

Contemporary Jewish Museum. "Intersections: Reading the Space": New work by Irene Barberis, Parastou Forouhar, and Jane Logemann. Through Feb. 26, 2006. 121 Steuart (at Mission), 591-8800, thecjm.org.

de Young Museum. "Personal Perspectives: Aspects of American Photography": A survey of major American photographs from the museum's permanent collection. Through Feb. 12, 2006. "Re-Classifying History: Catherine Wagner": The work of Bay Area photographer Catherine Wagner will be the inaugural installation in the Connections Gallery of the new de Young. Through Feb. 12, 2006. "Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh": The exhibit highlights the art created during the glorious reign of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut. Through Feb. 5, 2006, 9:30 a.m. "Jasper Johns: 45 Years of Master Prints": "Jasper Johns: 45 Years of Master Prints" inaugurates the Anderson Gallery of Graphic Arts, a gallery dedicated to installations of modern and contemporary works on paper at the de Young. Through Feb. 12, 2006, 9:30 a.m. Highlights of the Art and Architecture of the New de Young: Enjoy a 50-minute, docent-led tour. Through Dec. 31, 2006, 10:30 a.m. "Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh": Free, 50-minute docent tours of the exhibit. Through Feb. 5, 2006, 11:30 a.m. free with museum admission. Introduction to the Masterworks of the New de Young Collections: Enjoy a 50-minute, docent-led tour. Through Dec. 31, 2006, 12:30 p.m. Friday Nights at the New de Young: Designed to focus on the special exhibitions and permanent collections, Friday Nights features live music, artist demonstrations, films, dance performances, lectures, and tours. Visit the Web site for the schedule. Through June 20, 2006, 6 p.m. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden (at JFK), 863-3330, www.thinker.org.

Exploratorium. "Light Insight": Luminous exhibits celebrate the wonders of light. Through Dec. 31. "Interactive Live Mouse Stem Cell Exhibit": Viewers get the opportunity to view cells in their state of becoming, transitioning from their pluripotent form (the undifferentiated state, with the potential to become different cell types) toward something more specialized: cardiac myoctyes, which will eventually become a mob of writhing heart cells. Through Jan. 1, 2006. Free with museum admission. "Light as an Artistic 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. 3601 Lyon (at Marina), 397-5673, www.exploratorium.edu.

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), www.glbthistory.org.

Judah L. Magnes Museum. Larry Abramson: Work from the show "Searching for an Ideal City." Artist's talk on September 11 at 2 p.m. Through Feb. 19, 2006. Free. "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. Free. "Houses and Housing": Group show on portability in Jewish art. Through May 15, 2006. Free. "The Danube Exodus": Show by Peter Forgacs. Artist talk on Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. Through Dec. 31. 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. "After the Ruins": Through June 4, 2006. "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. (near Clement), 863-3330, www.thinker.org.

Museum of the African Diaspora. "Linkages and Themes in the African Diaspora": Along with "Made in Africa," the inaugural exhibit of this new major museum. Through March 12, 2006. St. Regis Hotel, 685 Mission (at Third St.), 358-7200, www.moadsf.org.

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. "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, www.randallmuseum.org.

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, www.sfpalm.org.

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. Art:21: Stories: Kiki Smith: The 15-minute film plays daily except Wednesdays at 2 p.m. Through Jan. 29, 2006, 2 p.m. "Architecture & Design Permanent Collection": An ongoing presentation featuring more than 100 works illustrating concepts in design and architecture. Daily. Kiki Smith: "Kiki Smith: A Gathering" presents an array of Smith's work -- including sculptures, works on paper, prints, and paintings. Through Jan. 29, 2006. "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. "Double Feature: Steve McQueen and Peter Sarkisian": Exhibiton of the artists' work. Through May 21, 2006. SFMOMA Collection Highlights: In addition to spotlighting photographs, paintings, and sculptures in the SFMOMA collection, this audio guide includes a musical tour. Daily. $3. "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. "Architectural Abstractions": Through March 7, 2006. "Robert Adams: Turning Back": Inspired by the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, photographer Robert Adams' most recent work presents a new look at the territory these explorers covered and the results of their effort. Through Jan. 3, 2006. "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. Wangechi Mutu: Through April 2, 2006. $7-12.50. "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. "Wangechi Mutu": Through April 4, 2006. "Chuck Close: Self-Portraits 1967-2005": An exhibit corresponding with the publication of a book by the same title. Through Feb. 28, 2006. Daily Tours: Topics change daily for these free tours led by SFMOMA docents. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays, 11:30 a.m., 12:30, 1:30 & 2:30 p.m. Spotlight Tours: These innovative tours bring artists' voices directly to visitors, beginning with a short video clip of a featured artist, then moving into the galleries for viewing and discussion. Fridays-Sundays, noon. 151 Third St. (at Mission), 357-4000, www.sfmoma.org.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. "The Zine Unbound: Kults, Werewolves and Sarcastic Hippies": Self-publishing work by Scott Hug, Trinie Dalton, Griffin McPartland, and Chris Duncan. Opening reception is Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. Through Dec. 30. 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787, www.ybca.org.

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), 820-3320.