The Walker Arts Center continues to flesh out what is considerably a very dynamic exhibition schedule for the next two years. Additions to the Walker Art Center’s 2020–2021 exhibition schedule include two new solo exhibitions by female artists, Faye Driscoll: Thank You for Coming(February 27–June 14, 2020) and Candice Lin(April 17–August 29, 2021) as well as a Walker collection show of women artists, Don’t let this be easy(July 16–March 14, 2021). For her first solo museum exhibition, Faye Driscoll incorporates a guided audio soundtrack, moving image works, and props to look back across the entirety of her trilogy of performances Thank You For Coming—Attendance(2014), Play(2016), and Space(2019)—works that were presented and co-commissioned by the Walker and subsequently toured around the world over the past six years. Another newly added exhibition, Candice Lin, is the first US museum solo show by the artist, co-organized by the Walker Art Center and the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts (CCVA). Lin is creating a site-specific installation that responds to the space of the gallery at each institution, allowing the shape of the work to evolve over the course of its presentation.
The Walker-organized exhibition Don’t let this be easy highlights the diverse and experimental practices of women artists spanning some 50 years through a selection of paintings, sculptures, moving image works, artists’ books, and materials from the archives.
The initiative is presented in conjunction with the Feminist Art Coalition (FAC), a nationwide effort involving more than 60 museums committed to social justice and structural change.
Other upcoming exhibitions include An Art Of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018 (February 16–September 20, 2020), a survey of six decades of Johns’ work in printmaking drawn from the Walker’s complete collection of the artists’ prints including intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, lead relief, and blind embossing; The Paradox of Stillness: Art, Object, and Performance (formerly titiled Still and Yet) (April 18–July 26, 2020), is an exhibition that rethinks the history of performance featuring artists whose works include performative elements but also embrace acts, objects, and gestures that refer more to the inert qualities of traditional painting or sculpture than to true staged action.
Additional exhibitions include Michaela Eichwald’s (June 13–November 8, 2020) first US solo museum presentation, bringing together painting, sculpture, and collage from across the past 10 years of her practice; Designs for Different Futures (September 12, 2020 – January 3, 2021)—a collaborative group show co-organized by the Walker Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago—brings together about 80 dynamic works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries to come; Rayyane Tabet(December 10, 2020– April 18, 2021), a solo show by the Beirut-based multidisciplinary artist featuring a new installation for the Walker that begins with a time capsule discovered on the site of what was once an IBM manufacturing facility in Rochester, Minnesota.
AN ART OF CHANGES: JASPER JOHNS PRINTS, 1960–2018, February 16–September 20, 2020
When Jasper Johns’s paintings of flags and targets debuted in 1958, they brought him instant acclaim and established him as a critical link between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. In the ensuing 60 years, Johns (US, b. 1930) has continued to astonish viewers with the beauty and complexity of his paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints. Today, he is considered one of the 20th century’s greatest American artists.
In celebration of the artist’s 90th birthday, An Art of Changes surveys six decades of Johns’s work in printmaking, highlighting his experiments with familiar, abstract, and personal imagery that play with memory and visual perception in endlessly original ways. The exhibition features some 90 works in intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, and lead relief—all drawn from the Walker’s comprehensive collection of the artist’s prints.
Organized in four thematic sections, the show follows Johns through the years as he revises and recycles key motifs over time, including the American flag, numerals, and the English alphabet, which he describes as “things the mind already knows.” Some works explore artists’ tools, materials, and techniques. Others explore signature aspects of the artist’s distinctive mark-making, including flagstones and hatch marks, while later pieces teem with autobiographical imagery. To underscore Johns’s fascination with the changes that occur when an image is reworked in another medium, the prints will be augmented by a small selection of paintings and sculptures.
Curator: Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts.
Exhibition Tour Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh: October 12, 2019–January 20, 2020 Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: February 16–September 20, 2020 Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan: October 24, 2020–January 24, 2021 Tampa Art Museum, Florida: April 28–September 6, 2021
Opening March 10, 2020 (and running through to June 28, 2020) the exhibition, “Photography’s Last Century: The Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection” (The Met Fifth Avenue, Galleries 691–693, The Charles Z. Offin Gallery, Karen B. Cohen Gallery, and Harriette and Noel Levine Gallery) will celebrate the remarkable ascendancy of photography in the last hundred years and the magnificent promised gift to The Met of over 60 extraordinary photographs from Museum Trustee Ann Tenenbaum in honor of the Museum’s 150th anniversary in 2020. The exhibition will include masterpieces by the medium’s greatest practitioners, including Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Ilse Bing, Joseph Cornell, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Andreas Gursky, Helen Levitt, Dora Maar, László Moholy-Nagy, Jack Pierson, Sigmar Polke, Man Ray, Laurie Simmons, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Edward Weston, and Rachel Whiteread.
Tenenbaum collection is particularly notable for the breadth and
depth of works by women artists, for a sustained interest in the
nude, and for its focus on artists’ beginnings: Strand’s 1916
view from the viaduct confirms his break with the Pictorialist
past and establishes the artist’s way forward as a cutting-edge
modernist; Walker Evans’s shadow self-portraits from 1927
mark the first inkling of a young writer’s commitment to visual
culture; and Cindy Sherman’s intimate nine-part portrait series
from 1976 predates her renowned series of “film stills”
and confirms her striking ambition and stunning mastery of the medium
at the age of 22.
exhibition will feature a wide range of styles and pictorial
practice, combining small-scale and large-format works in both black
and white and color. The presentation will integrate works starting
from the 1910s to the 1930s, with examples by avant-garde American
and European artists, through the postwar period, the 1960s, the
medium’s boom in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and up to the
Last Century: The Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection
is curated by Jeff L. Rosenheim, Joyce Frank Menschel Curator
in Charge of the Department of Photographs at The Met and will be
accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. The catalogue is made
possible in part by the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Inc.
The exhibition will be featured on the Museum’s website, as well as
on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The Whitney Museum of American Art announced today that its 2021 Biennial, the 80th edition, will be co-organized by two brilliant members of the Museum’s curatorial department, David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards. The 2021 Whitney Biennial exhibition will open in the spring of 2021 and is presented by Tiffany & Co., which has been the lead sponsor of the Biennial since the Museum’s move downtown.
Pratt Brown Director Adam D. Weinberg noted: “The central
aim of the Biennial is to be a barometer of contemporary American
art. Each Biennial is a reflection of the cultural and social moment
as it intersects with the passions, perspectives, and tastes of the
curators. David and Adrienne will be a great team. They are
inquisitive, curious, and are acutely attuned to the art of the
current moment. No doubt they will bring fresh outlooks to this
historic exhibition and reinvent it for these complex and challenging
a long history of exhibiting the most promising and influential
artists and provoking debate, the Whitney Biennial is the Museum’s
signature survey of the state of contemporary art in the United
States. The Biennial, an invitational show of work produced in the
preceding two years, was introduced by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in
1932, and it is the longest continuous series of exhibitions in the
country to survey recent developments in American art.
Initiated by founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, the Whitney Biennial is the longest-running survey of American art. More than 3,600 artists have participated, including Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, Alexander Calder, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Mitchell, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, Lynda Benglis, Frank Bowling, Joan Jonas, Barbara Kruger, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, David Wojnarowicz, Glenn Ligon, Yvonne Rainer, Zoe Leonard, Kara Walker, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Mike Kelley, Lorna Simpson, Renée Green, Wade Guyton, Julie Mehretu, Cecilia Vicuña, Mark Bradford, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Ellen Gallagher, Rachel Harrison, Wu Tsang, Nick Mauss, Sarah Michelson, Laura Owens, Postcommodity, Pope.L, Jeffrey Gibson, and Tiona Nekkia McClodden.
The biennials were originally organized by medium, with painting alternating with sculpture and works on paper. Starting in 1937, the Museum shifted to yearly exhibitions called Annuals. The current format—a survey show of work in all media occurring every two years—has been in place since 1973. The 2019 Biennial (still on partial view on the Museum’s sixth floor until October 27) was organized by two Whitney curators, Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley. It featured seventy-five artists and collectives working in painting, sculpture, installation, film and video, photography, performance, and sound.
Breslin was recently named the DeMartini Family Curator and
Director of Curatorial Initiatives, a role he will assume this
month. Since joining the Museum in 2016 as DeMartini Family Curator
and Director of the Collection, Breslin has spearheaded the Museum’s
collection-related activities, curating a series of major collection
exhibitions and overseeing acquisitions. Working closely with his
curatorial colleagues, he has organized or co-organized four timely
and thematized collection displays, including Where We Are:
Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900–1960, An
Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s
Collection, 1940–2017, Spilling Over: Painting Color
in the 1960s, and The Whitney’s Collection:
Selections from 1900 to 1965, which is currently on view on
the Museum’s seventh floor. In 2018, he co-curated (with David
Kiehl) the landmark retrospective David Wojnarowicz:
History Keeps Me Awake at Night.
came to the Whitney from the Menil Drawing Institute, where he
created an ambitious program of exhibitions and public and scholarly
events and helped to shape the design of the Institute’s new
facility. He also oversaw work on the catalogue raisonné of the
drawings of Jasper Johns and grew the collection. Prior to the
Menil, Breslin served as the associate director of the research and
academic program and associate curator of contemporary projects at
the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA; he also oversaw
the Clark’s residential fellowship program and taught in the
Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
Breslin co-edited Art History and Emergency: Crises in the Visual
Arts and Humanities (Yale University Press, 2016), a volume that
grew from a Clark Conference he organized with art historian Darby
2018, Adrienne Edwards was named Engell Speyer Family
Curator and Curator of Performance at the Whitney. Previously,
she served as curator of Performa since 2010 and as Curator at
Large for the Walker Art Center since 2016.
the Whitney, Edwards curated Jason Moran, the artist’s first
museum show, now on view on the Museum’s eighth floor. She
originated the exhibition at the Walker in 2018; it previously
traveled to the ICA Boston and the Wexner Center for the
Arts. The exhibition features a series of performances, Jazz on a
High Floor in the Afternoon, curated by Edwards and Moran. She
organized the event commencing the construction of David
Hammons’s Day’s End, featuring a commission by composer
Henry Threadgill and a “water” tango on the Hudson
River by the Fire Department of the City of New York’s
Marine Company 9. Earlier this year, Edwards organized Moved
by the Motion: Sudden Rise, a series of performances based on
a text co-written by Wu Tsang, boychild, and Fred Moten,
which presented a collage of words, film, movements, and sounds.
Performa, Edwards realized new boundary-defying commissions,
as well as pathfinding conferences and film programs with a wide
range of over forty international artists. While at the Walker, she
co-led the institution-wide Mellon Foundation Interdisciplinary
Initiative, an effort to expand ways of commissioning, studying,
collecting, documenting, and conserving cross-disciplinary works.
Edwards’s curatorial projects have included the critically
acclaimed exhibition and catalogue Blackness in Abstraction,
hosted by Pace Gallery in 2016. She also organized Frieze’s
Artist Awardand Live program in New York in 2018. Edwards
taught art history and visual studies at New York University
and The New School, and she is a contributor to the National
Gallery of Art’s Center for the Advanced Study in Visual Art’s
forthcoming publication Black Modernisms.
Rothkopf, the Whitney’s Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve
Crown Family Chief Curator, said, “David and Adrienne truly
represent the best spirit and ideals of the Whitney. Not only are
they devoted to—and beloved by—living artists, but they bring to
the art of our time a deep historical and scholarly awareness. The
most recent editions of the Biennial have reaffirmed its vitality and
relevance, and I look forward to discovering how another pair of
Whitney curators will lend their voices to our signature exhibition.”
Now On View Through May 3, 2021 in the Art of the Americas Wing, Level 3, Exhibition Includes Works Across Media by more than 100 Women Artists
For centuries, women-identified artists have struggled to receive recognition for their accomplishments. Despite more than a century of feminist activism and great strides towards social, professional and political equality, women remain dramatically underrepresented and undervalued in the art world today. In response, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has reinstalled the entire third floor of its Art of the Americas Wing with approximately 200 artworks made by women over the last 100 years—a “takeover” that aims to challenge the dominant history of art from 1920 to 2020 and shine a light on some of the many talented and determined women artists who deserve attention. The thematic exhibition coincides with the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, as well as the MFA’s 150th anniversary—a yearlong celebration focused on enhancing the power of art and artists, honoring the past and re-imagining the future.
Take the Floor seeks to acknowledge and remedy the
systemic gender discrimination found in museums, galleries, the
academy and the marketplace, including the MFA’s inconsistent
history in supporting women artists. The exhibition also explores art
and suffrage—emphasizing that both could give women a voice in
their community and the world. At the same time, it recognizes that
past feminist movements, including the campaign for the right to
vote, were not inclusive or immune from systemic racism. By looking
at 20th-century American art through the lens of modern-day
feminism—which advocates for equity and intersectionality (the way
an individual’s race, class, gender and other identities combine
and overlap)—MFA curators hope to broaden the stories that are told
during the yearlong commemoration of women’s suffrage in 2020.
drawn from the MFA’s collection, the works featured in Women
Take the Floor include paintings, sculpture, prints,
photographs, jewelry, textiles, ceramics and furniture. The central
gallery, dedicated to portraits of women created by women, provides a
large convening space where visitors are invited to share
perspectives and participate in a wide range of programs scheduled to
take place throughout the run of the exhibition. Women Take the
Floor is on view through May 3, 2021. Sponsored by
Bank of America. Generously supported by the Carl and Ruth
Shapiro Family Foundation. Additional support from the Jean S.
and Frederic A. Sharf Exhibition Fund, and the Eugenie
Prendergast Memorial Fund.
goals are to celebrate the strength and diversity of work by women
artists while also shining a light on the ongoing struggle that many
continue to face today. We see these efforts of recognition and
empowerment to mark a first step to redress the systematic
discrimination against women at the MFA, and within the art world,”
said Nonie Gadsden, Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator of American
Decorative Arts and Sculpture, who led a cross-departmental team of
curators in organizing Women Take the Floor.
coordinated a cross-departmental curatorial team for the exhibition,
including Reto Thüring, Beal Family Chair, Department of
Contemporary Art; Erica Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of
American Paintings; Lauren Whitley, Senior Curator of Textiles
and Fashion Arts; Patrick Murphy, Lia and William Poorvu
Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings and Supervisor, Morse Study
Room; Karen Haas, Lane Senior Curator of Photographs; and
former MFA Curatorial Research Associates Caroline Kipp,
Emelie Gevalt and Zoë Samels.
ensure the exhibition represented a broad range of perspectives, the
MFA convened a roundtable discussion with local women community
leaders to inform interpretation and give feedback on the project,
particularly on the Women Depicting Women
gallery. As a result, outside voices are a key feature of
the central space, and informed interpretation throughout the
exhibition. Porsha Olayiwola, the current poet laureate for
the city of Boston, will write a new poem and perform it on video,
and the local feminist collective The
Cauldron has identified quotes from feminist voices, which
will be featured in the entry space.
core space of the exhibition focuses on Women
Depicting Women: Her Vision, Her Voice.
The works on view range across time and place, as well as social,
political and cultural contexts, yet all represent a highly
individual interpretation of female portraiture. Highlights
throughout the run of the exhibition will include celebrated
paintings by Frida Kahlo, Alice Neel and Loïs Mailou
Jones; photographs by Andrea Bowers, Maria Magdalena
Campos-Pons, Laura McPhee and Cindy Sherman; and the
recently acquired portrait of feminist activist Rosemary Mayer
by Sylvia Sleigh.
the decades following the campaign for women’s suffrage, a greater
number of women successfully pursued careers as professional artists
and designers. Yet the road was not easy—nor was it open to all.
Women on the Move: Art and Design in the
1920s and 30s in the John Axelrod Gallery considers
the contributions of pioneering artists like painters Georgia
O’Keeffe and Loïs Mailou Jones and ceramicists Maria
Martinez (San Ildefonso Pueblo) and Maija Grotell. At the
same time, the gallery highlights works by important women artists
who have garnered less recognition, including sculptor Meta
Warrick Fuller, painter Helen Torr and potter Nampeyo
Man’s Land, on view in the Melvin Blake
and Frank Purnell Gallery, is devoted to six artists who have
each reimagined the representation of landscape, creating personal
interpretations of the world around them. Working across decades,
geographies and media, Luchita Hurtado, Doris Lindo Lewis, Loren
MacIver, Georgia O’Keeffe, Beverly Pepper and Kay Sage
explored the metaphoric possibilities of both real and imagined
landscapes, often through the use of symbols that allude to female
Presented in the Saundra B. and William H. Lane Galleries, Beyond the Loom: Fiber as Sculpture highlights pioneering artists who radically redefined textiles as modern art in the 1960s and 1970s: Anni Albers, Olga de Amaral, Ruth Asawa, Sheila Hicks, Kay Sekimachi and Lenore Tawney. Co-opting a medium traditionally associated with women’s work and domesticity, they boldly broke free from the constraints of the loom to create large-scale, sculptural weavings that engaged with contemporary art movements such as Minimalism. A second rotation in the same space, Subversive Threads, will open late spring 2020, focusing on contemporary artists who have used textiles to challenge notions of identity, gender and politics.
of Action, on view in the Saundra B. and William H.
Lane Galleries, builds on recent scholarship and recognizes the
contributions of Joan Mitchell, Grace Hartigan, Helen
Frankenthaler, Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner and ceramicist
Toshiko Takaezu to the formation and expansion of action
painting in the mid-20th century, a movement typically credited to
their male counterparts.
Publish Women: The Print Boom celebrates three
entrepreneurs who founded printmaking workshops in the late 1950s and
1960s and played an underappreciated role in the revitalization of
American printmaking: Tatyana Grosman of Universal Limited
Art Editions (New York), June Wayne of Tamarind
Lithography (Los Angeles) and Kathan Brown of Crown
Point Press (San Francisco). These will be presented in two
rotations in the Robert and Jane Burke Gallery. The third
rotation, Personal to Political: Women Photographers,
1965–1985, will feature work by more than 35 photographers
active during these pivotal decades when women were making major
inroads into the fields of photojournalism, fashion, social
documentary and fine art photography.
and Abstraction at Midcentury takes an expansive look at
abstraction, exploring how women artists reshaped the natural world
for expressive purposes in a wide range of media including paintings,
prints, textiles, ceramics, furniture and jewelry. Among the artists
featured in this space are painters Carmen Herrera, Esphyr
Slobodkina and Maud Morgan; designers Greta
Magnusson-Grossman and Olga Lee; and Clare Falkenstein,
Laura Andreson, Margaret de Patta and others who contributed
to the development of the studio craft movement.
exhibition will also include a space for reflection and feedback. In
addition to a video of Olayiwola performing her newly
commissioned poem, a curated bookshelf—including texts on
feminist history and women artists—and a seating area will be
available for visitors. Additionally, curators will select responses
left by the public in an open feedback area to add to the in-gallery
interpretation in Women Depicting Women—creating a
dynamic “living label” that will grow throughout the
installation’s 18-month run.
selection of speeches will be available in conjunction with Amalia
Pica’s Now Speak! (2011)—a cast concrete
lectern that encourages visitors to make spontaneous declarations or
deliver a performance of a historical speech. The texts were chosen
by C. Payal Sharma, an independent racial equity and justice
consultant based in Boston. A “living artwork,” Now Speak!
will also serve as the centerpiece of various public programs taking
place in the gallery.
programming in the space will include a Creative Residency
with ImprovBoston in October, as well as Artist
Demonstrations with painter Joann Rothschild (September
15), weaver Nathalie Miebach (October 13 and 16) and
printmaker Carolyn Muskat (November 10 and 13). On October
9, violinist Ceren Turkmenoglu will perform a program of
works by Ottoman-Turkish women composers of Turkish classical music,
spanning form past to recent times. Public tours of the exhibition
include an hour-long “Curated Conversation” with exhibition
curator Nonie Gadsden on September 29, and 15-minute Spotlight
Talks on October 9.
Women Take the Floor, the MFA is participating in the
Feminist Art Coalition (FAC), working collectively with
various art museums and nonprofit institutions across the U.S. to
present a series of concurrent events in the fall of 2020—during
the run-up to the next presidential election—that take feminist
thought and practice as their point of departure. Fellow participants
include Art21; CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art;
Center for Curatorial Studies, Hessel Museum of Art,
Bard College; The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and
Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), RPI; Fine Arts Museums
of San Francisco; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; MIT
List Visual Arts Center; The Renaissance Society, Art
Institute of Chicago; UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film
Archive (BAMPFA); and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
of the Americas at the MFA
the Museum’s founding in 1870, it has been committed to collecting
art of North, Central and South America from all time periods. Its
diverse holdings rank among the most significant in the nation and
feature masterpieces ranging from gold of the Ancient Americas, Maya
ceramics, and Native American (prehistoric to contemporary) objects,
to one of the finest collections of art of the United States from
colonial through modern times. Additionally, the MFA’s Art
the Americas collection contains more than 13,000 examples
of American decorative arts (furniture, silver, ceramics, glass and
metalwork) and sculpture made across the Americas from the 17th
century to the present––embracing masterworks of artisan and
artist alike. More than 5,000 objects from the Museum’s collection
of works from the Americas are on view in the 49 galleries of the Art
of the Americas Wing, as well as in the Sargent
Rotunda and Colonnade.
Also displayed in these galleries are works from the Americas drawn
from the Museum’s Prints and Drawings;
Photography; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments
SFMOMA to Debut Major Vija Celmins and René Magritte Exhibitions in 2018
The Train: RFK’s Last Journey, Susan Meiselas, John Akomfrah and Alexander Calder Among the Highlights of SFMOMA’s Ambitious Exhibition Schedule
Museum Takes Its Popular “Send Me SFMOMA” Initiative Global with Partnerships in the U.S., Europe, Asia and New Zealand, Enabling Other Institutions to Share Their Collections in New Ways
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announced details of its 2017–18 exhibition schedule and cutting-edge digital initiatives. One of the world’s foremost museums of modern and contemporary art, the newly expanded and transformed SFMOMA opened in May 2016, with nearly triple the exhibition space and a greatly augmented collection. Since then the museum has broadened its activities serving artists, scholars and more than 1.2 million visitors in its first year.
“We are committed to presenting an expansive spectrum of art from the 20th and 21st centuries, revisiting the innovations of modern artists — including René Magritte and Robert Rauschenberg — and introducing our large audiences to the important and timely work of contemporary artists such as Vija Celmins, John Akomfrah, and Susan Meiselas,” said Neal Benezra, Helen and Charles Schwab Director at SFMOMA. “Since our opening last spring, we have welcomed more than twice the number of visitors the museum received historically, with more families and youth visitors than ever before. In the coming year, we look forward to engaging visitors with seven floors of dynamic art and design exhibitions, while connecting a devoted body of online followers to the riches of the collection.”
Looking Back on the Opening Year
Since its May 2016 opening, the expanded and transformed SFMOMA, designed by Snøhetta, has served as an engaging gathering place for diverse audiences, enabling the museum to foster deeper ties with its community.
The museum can now display a greater breadth of its 34,000 works of architecture and design, media arts, painting and sculpture and photography, as well as postwar and contemporary art from its groundbreaking partnership with the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection. Currently on view at the museum are Julie Mehretu’s site-specific painting HOWL, eon (I, II)(2017), created as part of a new art commissioning program; a major Walker Evans retrospective, for which SFMOMA is the only U.S. venue; Soundtracks, the museum’s first large-scale group exhibition centered on the role of sound in contemporary art; and New Work: Kerry Tribe, the premiere of the artist’s immersive video installation, commissioned by SFMOMA, which offers insight into the world of Standardized Patients — professional actors trained to portray real patients in a simulated clinical environment as part of medical students’ training.
In support of SFMOMA’s mission to engage with the art and artists of our time, the museum has made two major curatorial appointments since opening, including the appointment of Eungie Joo to the newly established role of curator of contemporary art. The role cements the museum’s commitment to new generations of artists across all mediums, as well as new thinking and scholarship on a local, national and international level. Clément Chéroux, entering his second year as senior curator of photography, has brought a global perspective and deep expertise in the realm of modern and contemporary photography.
The new SFMOMA has become a place of conversation, collaboration and learning across disciplines, as nearly 50,000 K–12 students have been brought into the museum to explore the arts since the building’s opening. Public dialogue has flourished in the SFMOMA community through more than 100 events and programs, including Public Tours and Artist Talks. Coinciding with the 2017 FOG Design+Art Fair, the symposium Yours, Mine, and Ours: Museum Models of Public-Private Partnership brought together international museum leaders and visionary collectors to discuss the current and future state of collaboration between museums and collectors. Also in the past year, the Performance in Progress program brought three groundbreaking commissioned live works to the museum, and the new Modern Cinema film series, established by SFMOMA and SFFILM, presented more than 50 film screenings. In September 2017, the museum launched Public Knowledge, a two-year initiative in partnership with the San Francisco Public Library that aims to promote public dialogue on the cultural impact of urban change through artist projects, research collaborations, public programs, and publishing. Participating artists include Burak Arikan, Bik Van der Pol, Minerva Cuevas, Josh Kun and Stephanie Syjuco.
SFMOMA’s digital offerings also expanded greatly in the past year, with the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, offering pioneering digital experiences to visitors at the museum and online. The SFMOMA app, a 2017 Webby Award honoree with over 100,000 downloads, reinvented the museum audio guide with location-aware technology and unique gallery tours voiced by Errol Morris, Philippe Petit and the cast of HBO’s Silicon Valley. Other popular interactive elements include the digital photogram kiosk Self Composed, developed in partnership with Adobe Design, in the Pritzker Center’s Photography Interpretive Gallery and touch screens and digital tables in the galleries that allow visitors to explore artworks and the careers of artists more deeply.
SFMOMA’s restaurant In Situ also received rave reviews for its innovative concept and menu. It was awarded the San Francisco Chronicle’s Restaurant of the Year in 2016, named one of Eater’s Best New Restaurants in America in 2017 and became a finalist in the prestigious James Beard Awards’ Best New Restaurant category.
In 2018 SFMOMA will present major exhibitions of René Magritte and Vija Celmins, each of whom redefined the boundaries of art with their very distinct practices.
A global exclusive presentation,René Magritte: The Fifth Season(May 19–October 28, 2018) will focus on the latter half of Magritte’s career, a period of remarkable artistic transformation and revitalization. Featuring more than 50 paintings and a dozen works on paper, the exhibition will reveal Magritte as an artist who subverts our expectations of the world around us. The Fifth Season will open with the artist questioning the modernism of his youth, experimenting with elements of Impressionism, Fauvism and Expressionism, and follow his developing strategies for illuminating the ways that paintings both create and expose the gaps between appearance and reality.
Spotlighting the work of one of the most important artists of her generation,Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory(December 2018–March 2019) will be the first North American retrospective of the artist’s work in more than 25 years. In a continuation of SFMOMA’s commitment to exhibiting and collecting artists who emerged in the 1960s, the exhibition will highlight Celmins’ “re-descriptions” of the physical world through art as a way of understanding human consciousness through lived experience. SFMOMA will present the global debut of this retrospective, which will feature 140 works including paintings, drawings, and sculptures.
The Pritzker Center for Photography, the largest space dedicated to photography in any art museum in the United States, will continue to highlight SFMOMA’s dedication to the medium withThe Train: RFK’s Last Journey, examining a historically important event from different perspectives; Selves and Others: Gifts to the Collection from Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, looking at the complexity of identity through portraits; and Carolyn Drake: Wild Pigeon, presenting a recent acquisition.
The Train: RFK’s Last Journey, March 17–June 10, 2018
On June 8, 1968, three days after the assassination of Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, his body was carried by a funeral train from New York City to Washington, D.C. for burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Just two months after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and five years after President John F. Kennedy’s death, Robert Kennedy’s passing united diverse communities grieving the loss of a politician who had represented hope for much of the nation during a tumultuous decade.
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of his death, The Train: RFK’s Last Journey looks at this historical journey through three distinct artists’ projects shown together for the first time. Presented in three rooms, each dedicated to one artist, the exhibition features approximately 80 photographs, a video installation and a 70mm film projection.
“This multidisciplinary exhibition shows how art can inform and expand our understanding of history through photographs, videos and documents from different points of view,” said Clément Chéroux, senior curator of photography at SFMOMA. “By bringing historical andcontemporary works together in dialogue, we aim to demonstrate a fresh approach to photography at SFMOMA.”Continue reading →
TheInternational Photography Hall of Fame and Museumannounced its 2017 class of Photography Hall of Fame inductees, and first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.Kenny Rogers, Ernest H. Brooks II, Harry Benson, Edward Curtis, William Eggleston, Anne Geddes, Ryszard Horowitz, James Nachtwey, Cindy Sherman, and Jerry Uelsmann will be recognized for the contributions they’ve made to the photography industry by the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. (IPHF)
The IPHF annually awards and inducts notable photographers or photography industry visionaries for their artistry, innovation, and significant contributions to the art and science of photography. The 2017 Awards and Induction Event will take place on November 17th, 2017 in St. Louis, MO, home of the IPHF in the Arts District, Grand Center.
A nominating committee of IPHF representatives and notable leaders with a passion for preserving and honoring the art of photography selected the inductees. To be eligible for induction, nominees were considered based on the noteworthy contributions they made to the art or science of photography that had a significant impact on the photography industry and/or history of photography. The inductees, though widely differing in style and practice, are individually seen as significant innovators in their respective fields. They are all risk takers who introduced the world to new means of artistic representation and expression.
Kenny Rogers, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, photographer, and author, will receive the 2017 IPHF Lifetime Achievement Award, the first of its kind awarded by the IPHF.Continue reading →
Report Engages Audience with 2016’S Art Trends, People, News, and Events
Artsy, in collaboration with, today launched an immersive experience that will guide users through the most important art and culture moments, influential artists and curators, and most impactful exhibitions of 2016. Presented as an easily digestible, accessible look at the past year in art, the feature takes a broader look at the art world, connecting important moments in that sphere to current events in the world at large. This is the fourth iteration of Artsy and UBS’s ongoing partnership, following their collaboration on The Art Market (in Four Parts), a four part series exploring the contemporary art market.
The Year in Art feature is informed by data gleaned from UBS’s Planet Art mobile app (an aggregator of contemporary art news) and Artsy’s proprietary data, as well as input from Artsy’s close collaborators—artists, curators, collectors, critics, and others—which was then interpreted and filtered through Artsy’s editorial team. The feature highlights particularly impactful “moments” in the global art calendar from the past year, including Brexit (exploring a possible cooling of the art market); the re-emergence of Dread Scott’s flag (and its adoption by the Black Lives Matter movement); and the release of the Oculus Rift headset (focusing on the proliferation of virtual reality in society at large), amongst others. Articles announcing The Most Influential Living Artists of 2016, Most Influential Curators of 2016, Top Emerging Artists of 2016, andArtists to Watch in 2017round out the feature, providing a robust snapshot of the past year, and a reference for years to come.
Artsy is the leading resource for learning about and collecting art from over 4,000 leading galleries, 700 museums and institutions, 60 international art fairs, and select auctions. Artsy provides free access via its website (Artsy.net) and iPhone and iPad apps to 500,000 images of art and architecture by 50,000 artists, which includes the world’s largest online database of contemporary art. Artsy’s encyclopedic database spans historical works, such as the Rosetta Stoneand the Colosseum, to modern and contemporary works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Richard Serra, Sarah Lucas, and Cindy Sherman. Powered by The Art Genome Project, a classification system that maps the connections between artists and artworks, Artsy fosters new generations of art lovers, museum-goers, patrons, and collectors.
“This is the latest initiative in our overarching mission to drive the conversation around art forward in a thoughtful and accessible way,” notes Marina Cashdan, Artsy’s editorial director. “As interest and engagement with visual culture grows, globally rich features such as this are important references and touchstones to understanding society’s relationship to the most influential art and artists of today. Partnering with UBS on our fourth project together, and having access to Planet Art’s detailed analytics, was integral to realizing this comprehensive feature.”
UBS’s long and substantial record of patronage in contemporary art enables clients and audiences to participate in the international conversation about art and the global art world through the firm’s global art platform. In addition to the UBS Art Collection, considered one of the world’s largest and most important corporate collections of contemporary art, UBS has an extensive roster of contemporary art programs that include the firm’s long-term support for the premier international Art Basel shows in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong, for which UBS serves as global Lead Partner; the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and a global exhibition tour of WOMEN: New Portraits, an exhibition of newly commissioned photographs by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. Continue reading →
Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection Complete The Reinstallation Of The Whitney’s Collection In Its New Building
The Selfie, often seen as the height of narcissism in what is essentially an increasingly narcissistic world, is the modern version of what has long been a celebrated art form throughout history: The Portrait. Portraits are one of the richest veins of the Whitney’s collection, thanks to the Museum’s longstanding commitment to the figurative tradition, championed by its founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.
The mysterious power and fascination of the portrait—and the ingenious ways in which artists have been expanding the definition of portraiture over the past 100 years—are celebrated in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection, to be presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art this spring. The works included in this exhibition propose diverse and often unconventional ways of representing an individual. Many artists reconsider the pursuit of external likeness—portraiture’s usual objective—within formal or conceptual explorations or reject it altogether. Some revel in the genre’s glamour and allure, while others critique its elitist associations and instead call attention to the banal or even the grotesque.
Drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection, the exhibition features more than 300 works made from 1900 to 2016 by an extraordinary range of more than 200 artists, roughly half of whom are living. The show will be organized in twelve thematic sections on two floors of the Museum, with works in all media installed side by side. Floor Six, predominantly focused on art since 1960, opens first, on April 6; Floor Seven, which includes works from the first half of the twentieth century alongside more contemporary offerings, will open on April 27. The exhibition will remain on view through February 12, 2017.
Once a rarified luxury good, portraits are now ubiquitous. Readily reproducible and ever-more accessible, photography has played a particularly vital role in the democratization of portraiture, and will be strongly represented in the exhibition. Most recently, the proliferation of smartphones and the rise of social media have unleashed an unprecedented stream of portraits in the form of selfies and other online posts. Many contemporary artists confront this situation, stressing the fluidity of identity in a world where technology and the mass-media are omnipresent. Through their varied takes on the portrait, the artists in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection demonstrate the vitality of this enduring genre, which serves as a compelling lens through which to view some of the most important social and artistic developments of the past century.
Barkley L. Hendricks (b. 1945). Steve, (1976). Oil, acrylic, and Magna on linen canvas, 72 × 48in. (182.9 × 121.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase and gift with funds from the Arthur M. Bullowa Bequest by exchange, the Jack E. Chachkes Endowed Purchase Fund, and the Wilfred P. and Rose J. Cohen Purchase Fund 2015.101. Image Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY.
Many iconic works from the collection will be included by such artists as Alexander Calder, Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol. In addition, a number of major new acquisitions will be exhibited at the Whitney for the first time, including Barkley L. Hendricks’s full-length 1976 portrait, Steve; Urs Fischer’s 2015 towering candle sculpture of Julian Schnabel (making its debut); Joan Semmel’s painting of two nude lovers, Touch (1977); Henry Taylor’s depiction of Black Panther leader Huey Newton (2007); Deana Lawson’s striking color photograph The Garden (2015); and Rosalyn Drexler’s Pop masterwork Marilyn Pursued by Death (1963). The exhibition will extend to the Museum’s outdoor galleries on Floors Seven and Six, the latter of which will feature Paul McCarthy’s monumental bronze sculpture White Snow #3 (2012), also a new acquisition.
Following is a selection of several of the sections in which the exhibition will be divided:
On the seventh floor, the section “Portrait of the Artist” brings together self-portraits with portraits of artists and other members of the creative community, a moving window into the way artists see themselves and their relationships with one another. On view will be Edward Hopper’s iconic self-portrait in oil in a brown hat, as well as a pair of drawings by Hopper and Guy Pène du Bois, each depicting the other and made during a single sitting. Other works depict artists with the tools of their trade—Ilse Bing is seen in a photograph holding the shutter release of her camera; Mabel Dwight uses a mirror as an aid in drawing herself; Andreas Feininger photographs himself regarding a strip of film through a magnifying glass. Other works in this section include Cy Twombly photographed by Robert Rauschenberg; Jasper Johns by Richard Avedon; Georgia O’Keeffe drawn by Peggy Bacon; Edgard Varèse sculpted in wire by Alexander Calder; Langston Hughes photographed by Roy DeCarava; Berenice Abbott by Walker Evans; Yasuo Kuniyoshi by Arnold Newman; and a double portrait of Joseph Stella and Marcel Duchamp taken by Man Ray.
In the early decades of the twentieth century, a spectrum of new, popular leisure pursuits—vaudeville, theater, cabaret, sporting events, and above all, motion pictures—thrust performers and entertainers into the public eye as never before. For the crowds that flocked to see them, the stars of these entertainments became larger-than-life figures, and an array of media outlets, from tabloid newspapers to glossy magazines to radio, sprang up to broadcast their exploits to captivated audiences across the nation. Artists eagerly delved into these new phenomena, creating portraits that stoked the public’s growing fascination with celebrities. At the turn of the century, painters such as Howard Cushing and Everett Shinn investigated the changing terms of fame and glamour as flashy public spectacles eclipsed Gilded Age refinement. Following World War I many artists joined in the commercial opportunities offered by the booming entertainment industry—particularly photographers, whose easily reproducible images carried a special air of authenticity. Foremost among them, Edward Steichen pioneered the aesthetic of the “closeup” in his stylish magazine portraits of movie stars and other luminaries, such as Marlene Dietrich, Dolores Del Rio, and Paul Robeson. Other photographers such as James Van Der Zee, Toyo Miyatake, and Carl Van Vechten called attention to vanguard performers whose race or ethnicity placed them outside the mainstream, challenging the sanitized imperatives of popular culture.
Under the rubric of “Street Life” the exhibition presents artists who took to the pavement with their cameras, photographing subjects as they encountered them, sometimes surreptitiously. These images, which often capture fleeting, serendipitous moments, present a counterpoint to the premeditated, sedentary sitter of historical portraits. At the turn of the last century it became clear that the camera could become an apparatus for the indictment of a society’s ills and a group of socially aware photographers became activists in addition to observers of the urban environment. An early work in the exhibition, Lewis Hine’s Newsies at Skeeters Branch, St. Louis, Missouri (c. 1910), exemplifies this type of politically motivated street photography. Other works documenting the spectacle of urban life include Walker Evans’s subway photographs; Helen Levitt’s images taken on the streets of Yorktown and Spanish Harlem; and examples from Garry Winogrand’s Women Are Beautiful portfolio. Artists featured in this section also include Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, and Nan Goldin. The tradition of street photography is carried through to more recent works by Dawoud Bey and Philip-Lorca di Corcia.
PORTRAITS WITHOUT PEOPLE
Is likeness essential to portraiture? The works in this section, spanning the past one hundred years, ask this question as they pursue alternate means for capturing an individual’s personality, values, and experiences. Often, the presence of the individual or his or her character is implied through objects and symbols that resonate with hidden meaning. Gerald Murphy’s Cocktail (1927), a bold, Jazz Age still life suggests a uniquely autobiographical approach: the accoutrements of a typical 1920s bar tray were based on Murphy’s memory of his father’s bar accessories and the cigar box cover shows a robed woman surrounded by items that allude to Murphy himself, including a boat (he was an avid sailor) and an artist’s palette. Marsden Hartley’s Painting, Number 5 (1914–15), a portrait of Karl von Freyburg, uses German imperial military regalia to stand in for the presence of the officer with whom the artist had fallen in love. In Summer Days (1936), Georgia O’Keeffe adopted the animal skull and vibrant desert wildflowers as surrogates for herself, symbols of the cycles of life and death that shape the desert world she made her home. Jasper Johns’s portrait of a Savarin coffee can full of brushes stands for Johns himself; and James Welling’s portrait of Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, CT, may be viewed as a sort of portrait of the famous architect. In a number of works in this section, body parts or personal possessions may allude to the subject, such as Jay DeFeo’s teeth; Alfred Stieglitz’s hat; and Ed Ruscha’s shoes. Forgoing likeness in favor of allusion and enigma, these artists expand the possibilities of the portrait, while also acknowledging that the quest to depict others—and even ourselves—is elusive. Continue reading →
Celebrating an extraordinary and transformative gift of more than 850 works collectively given to the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Centre Georges Pompidou by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, both institutions will present consecutive exhibitions featuring a selection of works from the gift. The Whitney’s presentation of Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner opens on November 20 in the Museum’s new downtown home and runs through March 6, 2016. The Pompidou’s exhibition follows the New York presentation, opening in Paris on June 9, 2016. The exhibition is organized by Elisabeth Sussman, curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Christine Macel, chief curator and head of the department of contemporary and prospective creation, Centre Pompidou, with Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator, Whitney Museum of American Art. An illustrated catalogue documenting the collection will accompany the exhibitions.
Bernadette Corporation, Creation of a False Feeling, 2000. Inkjet print: sheet, 70 1/2 × 49 13/16 (179.1 × 126.5); image, 60 11/16 × 47 1/16 (154.1 × 119.5). Promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner P.2014.10
Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, noted, “We are delighted to present this exhibition in honor of the magnanimous gift of art we received from Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner—one of the largest in the Whitney’s history and a tremendous statement of support for the Museum and its new building. Thea and Ethan are among the most astute collectors of late twentieth-century and early twenty-first-century art and their gift adds enormous strength to the Whitney’s collection. We are deeply grateful to them and are pleased to be collaborating with our friends at the Pompidou.”
This exhibition celebrates this remarkable gift as well as the perspicacious collecting of Westreich Wagner and Wagner by exploring several of the ideas and themes that recur in the collection across generations, mediums, and nationalities: the rise of mass media and the darker side of advertising; the adoption of street style and the punk aesthetic; the decorative arts and their ability to communicate often political messages; reflections on how technology has radically altered commerce, communication, and industry; and the artist as celebrity, among others.
Charline von Heyl, Boogey, 2004. Acrylic, oil, and charcoal on canvas, 82 1/16 × 78 1/8 (208.4 × 198.4) Promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner P.2011.472
Westreich Wagner and Wagner began collecting art in the 1980s and continue to collect today. They have consistently focused their attention on emerging artists, acquiring works soon after they were made, often straight out of the artists’ studios. Many of these artists were relatively unknown at the time, but have since become some of the most heralded figures of their generation—notably Robert Gober, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, and Christopher Wool. The couple has also pursued a specific interest in photography, building deep holdings of the work of landmark figures such as Lee Friedlander and Robert Adams while also acquiring photographs by a diverse range of artists, including Liz Deschenes, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Annette Kelm, and Josephine Pryde. Continuously motivated by the learning challenges posed by new expressions and ideas, the two have examined the world around them through the eyes of the artists whose work they follow and acquire; their collection is a unique, personal reflection on the “contemporary moment” as it has evolved over the last several decades.
Liz Deschenes, Green Screen #7, 2001. Chromogenic print: sheet, 49 9/16 × 66 (125.9 × 167.6) Promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner P.2014.12
The gift to the Whitney encompasses nearly five hundred and fifty works, representing a cross section of mediums, by more than seventy-five artists and collectives. In some cases works are by artists who will enter the collection for the first time and in others they add depth to our holdings of artists we have championed. The Pompidou is receiving more than three hundred works by some forty European artists. While the collection is divided between the two institutions, with works by American artists going to the Whitney and by non-American artists going to the Pompidou, the exhibitions draw from both gifts aiming to reveal the international dialogue intrinsic to contemporary art.Continue reading →