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ONGOING 10/6-29

Lance Letscher finds material for his collages by tramping through junk shops in search of particular scraps of paper, which could be magazine pages, book covers, letters, recipes, or any number of ephemera. Of course, anybody can do this, and many do, attaching the bits to canvas and hoping nobody asks for an explanation. But Letscher approaches assembly like a craftsman, meticulously cutting the paper into precise forms and arranging them into visceral collages that hint at much more than mere nostalgia. From a distance the work in "Plan B" has pleasing mathematical symmetry, but a close look reveals the jumble of forgotten worlds.

Also showing is "Making Time" by Annie Cheung, who creates small, delicate towers from Ocean Beach sand. The opening reception for both artists is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday (and the exhibits continue through Oct. 29) at Steven Wolf Fine Arts, 49 Geary (at Kearny), S.F. Admission is free; call 263-3677 or visit www.stevenwolffinearts.com.
-- Michael Leaverton

Hey Husband
A Savage Marriage

WED 10/5

Anyone who has been married will be glad to know that a great wit has taken aim at the wedding-industrial complex. Syndicated columnist (for this and many other altweeklies) Dan Savage's new book, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family, reveals what happened when his mom decided it was high time for him to make his boyfriend an honest man. Long after adopting a son together, the couple must face an even greater challenge: attending a wedding expo. The free reading starts at 7 p.m. at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Call 863-8688 or visit www.booksmith.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

Pretty, Ugly

ONGOING 10/6-29

The meaning of Michelle Handelman's exhibit "This Delicate Monster" might be difficult to penetrate -- it's billed as a pop fable inspired by Charles Baudelaire's The Flowers of Evil, which is no simple text -- but not to worry: There's plenty to stimulate your senses on opening night. First come the video screens, featuring vignettes of fetish-garbed, lithe bodies frolicking in nature, sometimes disgustingly. Then there are the performers, similarly lithe, seated in chairs high on the gallery walls, who will laugh at you, taunt you, and generally freak you out. If the whole thing makes you alternatingly pissed and confused and hot and bothered, the artist has done her job. The opening-night performance starts at 6 p.m. Thursday (and the exhibit continues through Oct. 29) at the Rx Gallery, 132 Eddy (at Mason), S.F. Admission is free; call 474-7973 or visit www.rxgallery.com.
-- Michael Leaverton

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