Kerry James Marshall, Souvenir III, 1998; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; © Kerry James Marshall; photo: Ben Blackwell
Joan Brown, Afterimages, The Visitors, the SECA Art Award + More
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announces an exciting schedule of exhibitions opening this fall and winter, underscoring the museum’s commitment to modern and contemporary art from both local and international artists.
Comprising approximately 80 colorful paintings and sculptures, Joan Brown spans the charmingly personal and engaging career of one of San Francisco’s most important local heroes. Afterimages: Echoes of the 1960s from the Fisher and SFMOMA Collections features intergenerational dialogues between artists whose work engages with the cultural currents of the 1960s to now. In the new commission Bay Area Walls: Sadie Barnette,the Oakland-based artist reflects on Black legacies and collective possibilities across space and time.
Ragnar Kjartansson’s popular The Visitors is an atmospheric video installation presented across nine screens that transports viewers to Rokeby Farm in upstate New York as musicians from Kjartansson’s band perform in various rooms of this historic mansion. The posthumous retrospective Bernd & Hilla Becher celebrates the artists who are widely considered the most influential German photographers of the postwar period. This year’s cross-disciplinary 2022 SECA Art Award Exhibition recognizes five outstanding Bay Area artists: Binta Ayofemi, Maria Guzmán Capron, Cathy Lu, Marcel Pardo Ariza and Gregory Rick.
November 19, 2022–March 12, 2023
This exhibition, featuring approximately 80 of Joan Brown’s paintings and sculptures, will be a major retrospective and the most expansive presentation of the artist’s work in more than 20 years. Joan Browncharts the turns and devotions of a visionary who was once dismissed by critics as unserious but who was rooted firmly in research and impassioned curiosity that remains uniquely compelling today. Deeply embedded in the Bay Area art scene, Brown drew inspiration from many sources to create a charmingly offbeat body of work that merges autobiography, fantasy and whimsy, with weightier metaphysical and spiritual imagery and themes.
Presenting support for Joan Brown is provided by Janet and Clint Reilly and anonymous donors.
Major support is provided by the Agnes Cowles Bourne Bay Area Contemporary Arts Exhibition Fund, the Mary Jane Elmore West Coast Exhibition Fund, The Elaine McKeon Endowed Exhibition Fund, the Stuart G. Moldaw Public Program and Exhibition Fund, Susan and Bill Oberndorf, the Bernard and Barbro Osher Exhibition Fund, Rummi and Arun Sarin Painting and Sculpture Fund, and the Thomas Weisel Family.
Additional support is provided by Maryellen and Frank Herringer and Fred Levin.
Afterimages: Echoes of the 1960s from the Fisher and SFMOMA Collections
October 15, 2022–ongoing
Afterimages: Echoes of the 1960s from the Fisher and SFMOMA Collections examines how the cultural currents and consciousness-shifting artistic movements of the 1960s continue to be relevant today. Marked equally by hope and loss, the decade ushered in a transformative period of rapid social, political and technological change. Artists associated with Pop art dissolved the division between “high” and “low” culture by incorporating media imagery and new modes of commercial production into their work. In the same period, artists engaged conceptual and minimal strategies to transform industrial materials and serially repeated forms to question social structures and methods of artistic production. This intergenerational exhibition reflects on how these pioneering artistic developments have remained active, driving forces in contemporary art and culture. Organized as a series of thematic galleries, this presentation features works by Felix González-Torres, Kerry James Marshall, Anne Truitt and Andy Warhol and highlights new acquisitions by artists such as Theaster Gates, Tadaaki Kuwayama, Jac Leirner, Helen Mirra and Rakuko Naito. Together, these artists demonstrate the continual resonance of the past.
Bay Area Walls: Sadie Barnette
October 15, 2022–June 2023
Oakland-based artist Sadie Barnette uncovers and reanimates personal and shared stories of resistance and resilience from her family archive. Installed in dialogue with Afterimages: Echoes of the 1960s from the Fisher and SFMOMA Collections, her Bay Area Wallscommission brings together family photographs, images of otherworldly everyday objects and text-based drawings to reflect on Black legacies and collective possibilities across space and time.
This site-specific installation includes an intervention on the window that overlooks the Floor 5 sculpture terrace that glows with Barnette’s signature pink and is inscribed with the title SPACE/TIME. Nearby, an immersive photo mural with framed graphite drawings and oversized rhinestones reveals new dimensions of her family history with references to the materials and objects that recur in Barnette’s work: glitter, spray paint, musical equipment and Hello Kitty. Just as personal and political events collide and coexist in life, here Barnette juxtaposes snapshots of birthday parties and weddings with images of her father in his army uniform before he left for Vietnam and as a Black Panther after he returned. By adding cosmic imagery and a recent in-camera collage of her father in a swirling pink void, Barnette brings these photographs to the present, addressing the expansive arc of time that connects generations.
Situating her work against the backdrop of American politics from the 1960s to now, Barnette explains, “When I think about the systems my father has lived under, and that we continue to struggle against, there’s a point at which you want to imagine something so different that we haven’t seen yet . . . if you can fathom and imagine outer space, you’re at once acknowledging how impossible it all is, and how much potential there is in that uncontainable unknowable-ness.”
SPACE/TIME was commissioned and executed by Sadie Barnette as a part of Bay Area Walls, a series of commissions initiated in 2020.
Gap Inc. is the Presenting Sponsor for Bay Area Walls.
Major support for Bay Area Walls is provided by the Roberta and Steve Denning Commissioning Endowed Fund.
Generous support is provided by the Patricia W. Fitzpatrick Commissioning Endowed Fund, Diana Nelson and John Atwater Commissioning Fund, and the Denise Littlefield Sobel Commissioning Endowed Fund.
Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors
November 5, 2022–January 2, 2024
Acclaimed Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s atmospheric video work The Visitors (2012) returns to SFMOMA for its second presentation at the museum. When first presented as part of the SFMOMA exhibition Soundtracks in 2017, this immersive installation quickly became an audience favorite, creating a community of fans. Nine video screens feature projections of Kjartansson and eight musician friends’ intimate performances for the camera in a single durational take. Each performer, including the artist on guitar in a bathtub, is filmed warming up, playing an instrument and singing heartfelt lyrics taken from an intensely personal poem, Feminine Ways, by the artist’s ex-wife, artist Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir.
“Once again I fall into / My feminine ways” is one of the repeated refrains sung within the romantic setting of the historic Rokeby Farm. This large mansion in upstate New York, full of bohemian décor and seductive atmospheres, is now a living museum and multitrack recording studio. Through a flow of cinematic and harmonic compositions, The Visitors reflects a place where reality merges with fiction, contradictory feelings of sorrow blend with happiness, and moments of humor turn to emotional catharsis. The hour-long loop of lingering melody builds dense layers of past feeling and deeper emotions, creating moments of melancholic contemplations and leaving viewers with a sense of longing unfulfilled.
Bernd & Hilla Becher
December 17, 2022–April 2, 2023
The renowned German artists Bernd and Hilla Becher (1931–2007; 1934–2015) changed the course of late 20th-century photography. Working as a rare artist couple, they focused on a single subject: the disappearing industrial architecture of Western Europe and North America that fueled the modern era. Their seemingly objective style recalled 19th- and early 20th-century precedents but also resonated with the serial approach of contemporary Minimalism and Conceptual art. Equally significant, it challenged the perceived gap between documentary and fine art photography.
Using a large-format view camera, the Bechers methodically recorded blast furnaces, winding towers, grain silos, cooling towers and gas tanks with precision, elegance and passion. Their rigorous, standardized practice allowed for comparative analyses of structures that they exhibited in grids of between four and 30 photographs. They described these formal arrangements as “typologies” and the buildings themselves as “anonymous sculpture.”
Featuring 200 works of art, this posthumous retrospective celebrates the Bechers’ remarkable achievement and is the first exhibition ever organized with full access to the artists’ personal collection of working materials and their comprehensive archive. The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in association with Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur.
2022 SECA Art Award Exhibition
December 17, 2022–May 29, 2023
Since 1967, SECA (the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art) has honored recipients of the SECA Art Award with an exhibition at SFMOMA and an accompanying publication. The award distinguishes Bay Area artists whose work has not, at the time of nomination, been accorded substantial recognition from a major institution. Recipients are chosen by SFMOMA curators after a series of studio visits attended by SECA members. The 2022 SECA Art Award exhibition will highlight new work from this year’s award winners: Binta Ayofemi, Maria Guzmán Capron, Cathy Lu, Marcel Pardo Ariza and Gregory Rick.
Binta Ayofemi’s primary medium is the cities of Oakland and San Francisco, with works that focus on Black and Indigenous presence, land and spatial practices and modes of Black abstraction. Through a juxtaposition of bright fabrics, bold prints and a variety of textures, Maria Guzmán Capron creates commanding icons in positions of tenderness, power, vulnerability and movement with a dynamic patchwork of hand-sewn textiles and applied paint.
In installations that push the limits of ceramics, Cathy Lu manipulates Chinese art imagery and cultural references to deconstruct assumptions about Asian American identity and claims of authenticity. Marcel Pardo Ariza explores the relationship between kinship and queerness through constructed photographs, color sets and site-specific installations. Gregory Rick creates vibrant, large-scale paintings that depict scenes of conflict and struggle in high-contrast, cartoon-like imagery.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the United States and a thriving cultural center for the Bay Area. Our remarkable collection of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design and media arts is housed in a LEED Gold-certified building designed by the global architects Snøhetta and Mario Botta. In addition to our seven gallery floors, SFMOMA offers 45,000 square feet of free, art-filled public space open to all.
Visit sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.