Seventeen seconds. That's the average time that artgoers look at a painting, according to a much-cited study in the journal Empirical Studies of the Arts. Here are three artworks that are worth spending upwards of 17 minutes with. All three works are featured in temporary San Francisco exhibits, so the window of opportunity is short:
Take me, take me, take me . . . to the Palace of Love, by Rina Banerjee: For three centuries, visitors from around the world have flocked to Agra, India, to revel in the presence of the Taj Mahal. Banerjee brings the Taj to San Francisco with this deliciously red facsimile — a 20-foot-tall inspiration that hovers off the ground and lets anyone enter and walk under its airy spell. Where the real Taj is made of priceless stone and other rich material, Banerjee's Taj is constructed from everyday objects, giving Take me an added level of wonder. Part of "Tender Mahal — Lifted," through July 13 at Hosfelt Gallery, 260 Utah St., S.F. Free; 495-5454 or hosfeltgallery.com.
Antioch Creek, by Larry Sultan: A migrant worker sits on a bed of fallen cherry blossoms, under a tree that's in brilliant full bloom. With his photographic virtuosity, Sultan captured a moment of quiet reflection. He also captured a lie. Sultan paid the man to sit in nature — part of Sultan's 2006 series called "Homeland," that has migrant workers posing in public spaces that seem counter-intuitive. Antioch Creek is a dream scene that didn't last for the worker that Sultan hired. The image is both haunting and majestic — the kind of photo that hits you hard before it finally lets go. Part of "Proximities 1: What Time Is It There?," through July 21 at the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., S.F. Tickets: $8-$12; 581-3500 or www.asianart.org.
Water Logic, by Ian Kimmerly: Waves of paint — turquoises, greens, whites, and deep blues — crisscross the canvas as they show off their ridges and painterly texture. And then, square in the middle of this colorful pastiche, lies a group of young bathers who are slightly out of focus. Water Logic is a unique marriage of hazy figuration and painterly abstraction — a meditation on remembering the past and being in the present moment. Part of "Continuous Wave," through July 6 at Dolby Chadwick Gallery, 210 Post St., S.F. Free; 956 3560 or dolbychadwickgallery.com.