The Bay Area is an exceptional place to see provocative and beautiful art. With innovations in digital art as well as in more classic forms of sculpture and painting, there’s so much to see in San Francisco. Depending on your preferred media and style, there is an art gallery that will fit your sensibilities.
For a place to see some of the most stimulating and groundbreaking art that the Bay Area has to offer, check out these cool galleries.
871 Fine Arts
Not completely an art gallery, 871 Fine Arts is a bookstore that specializes in art and photography and also produces exhibitions on its walls. You can browse the large collection of out-of-print exhibition catalogues while you take in the modern and contemporary art collections that grace the rooms.
Formerly an apartment gallery, City Limits prides itself on bringing contemporary art to the masses. Visit this space, and you’ll see the art of many unknown but emerging artists who have truly unique voices. If you want to see what’s coming up in the Bay Area, this is the gallery to visit.
Crown Point Press
Since its beginning in 1962, Crown Point Press has been teaching and displaying printed art in the San Francisco area. Both the studio and the gallery are housed in the same location, so you can see artists working on relief presses while you visit the exhibits. Many of these invited artists aren’t printmakers themselves, so you’ll see them experimenting in a new medium, and the results are beautiful.
You’ll be drawn in by the odd location and cryptic press releases of this underground gallery, but you’ll stay for the thought-provoking and experimental art that you’ll find on the walls. Some of the most interesting works of art in the Bay Area are selected and displayed at Et Al, and it’s easy to see why the artists and curators of this little gallery are some of the most unique people you’ll ever meet.
If you want to get to know San Francisco more intimately, you need only look at the beautiful photographs taken around the city. Many of the best images can be seen at Fraenkel Gallery, which offers photographs in museum-quality exhibits. Look for work by esteemed photographers Diane Arbus and Katie Grannan in the main area, and see smaller groups of character studies in the back of the room.
You’ll find the white interior against the stark black windows and doors striking at Ratio 3, but it’s the minimalist weavings, textiles and graffiti art that sets this gallery apart from others in the city. The art takes big risks, and you’ll be part of the local and international dialogue at this gallery.
Do you know a cool art gallery that we haven’t mentioned? We want to know about it in the comments below!