Visual raids

We place our bets on the best gallery and museum shows this fall
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Kimberly Chun

1. Billy Childish Who can fathom the mind of a Childish? The insanely productive garage rock legend carves out a space in yet another medium, exhibiting the woodcuts and paintings that inspired him to cofound the stuckism art movement, a figurative response to the Charles Saatchi–championed so-called Young British Artists.

Sept. 5–30. Reception Sept. 5. Needles and Pens, 3253 16th St., SF. (415) 255-1534, www.needles-pens.com

2. "American Cuisine" To serve man? Ramekon O'Arwisters riffs on the notion that people of color will be dished at America's last supper, cooking up sculpture and other pieces that examine the cultural codes crammed into Oreos, watermelons, bananas, and other loaded comestibles.

Sept. 14–Oct. 14. Luggage Store Annex, 509 Ellis, SF. (415) 255-5971, www.luggagestoregallery.org

3. "Cliff Hengst and Scott Hewicker: S.A.N.E." The acronym may stand for the head-scratching "something, anything, nothing, everything," but we can all relate to the bad trips, group gropes, and ritualized get-downs of psychedelic flip-outs both yesterday and today. Those are the focus, filtered through '60s exploitation flicks, of Hewicker's paintings and videos, while Hengst relies on handmade signs and wall drawings to explore other unhinged hues. In conjunction with the exhibit, the duo have also put together Good Times: Bad Trips (Gallery 16 Editions), a volume of ill-fated acid-gobbling accounts.

Sept. 14–Nov. 3. Reception Sept. 14. Gallery 16, 501 Third St., SF. (415) 626-7495, urbandigitalcolor.com/gallery16/galleryframe.html

4. "John Slepian: Caged" Is it an alien hedgehog or some hairy displaced and dismembered body part? The onetime San Francisco Art Institute instructor's interactive sculpture delves into what makes us feel human and how we identify with the, ugh, other.

Nov. 29, 2007–Jan. 5, 2008. Catharine Clark, 150 Minna, SF. (415) 399-1439, www.cclarkgallery.com

5. Maria Forde Keep your peepers peeled for this follow-up to the San Francisco artist's 2006 solo show, "A Strange 31 Years," which comprised 32 oils based on each pop culture–dappled year of her life.

Dec. 1–22. Little Tree Gallery, 3412 22nd St., SF. (415) 643-4929, www.littletreegallery.com

ALEXIS GEORGOPOULOS

1. "Bruce Conner and James Rosen" Multimedia artist and filmmaker Conner will show a number of highly detailed drawings, contrasting with Rosen's take on the often-religious paintings of old masters.

Oct. 31–Nov. 24. Gallery Paule Anglim, 14 Geary, SF. (415) 433-1501, www.gallerypauleanglim.com

2. "Something Was There: Early Work by Diane Arbus" An exhibition of more than 60 prints highlights the otherworldly, haunting world of Diane Arbus, capturing her early years, from 1956 to 1962.

Sept. 6–Oct. 27. Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary, SF. (415) 981-2661, www.fraenkelgallery.com

3. "Will Rogan" The artist's photographs work an uncanny magic as deceptively everyday subjects are choreographed in a poignant, poetic way.

Oct. 4–Nov. 3. Jack Hanley Gallery, 395 Valencia, SF.

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