City Life Org – SFMOMA Announces Exceptional List of Summer Exhibits

Julien Charrière, The Entropic Stories of Blue Fossils III, 2013; collection of LAB Partners LP, Salt Lake City; Julian Charrière/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany

Engaging new displays throughout the museum inspire dialogue about culture, nature and history

A wide range of exhibits debut at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) this summer, sparking discussion and exploring how we perceive and interact with our environment.

Diego Rivera’s America is the most in-depth examination of the artist’s work in over 20 years, highlighting the central themes and subjects the artist explored during the two decades he worked in Mexico and the United States. In a two-part exhibition, the artist Amalia Mesa-Bains transforms a gallery with his installation Venus Envy, Chapter I and presents a selection of works from the SFMOMA’s permanent collection. Influenced by the artist’s expeditions to various glacial regions, the immersive presentation Julian Charrière: Erratic explores humanity’s interconnection with extreme environments and highlights the precariousness of human interference in our natural world.

Lines of sight: photographs from the collection presents more than 200 works from SFMOMA’s collections and explores various themes, from studio portraiture to photography without a camera, to the relationship between the body and the landscape. Bringing together chairs and lamps from over 35 designers, Conversation Pieces: Contemporary furniture in dialogue creates an inviting framework for discourse on the cultural relevance of home design. New work: Toyin Ojih Odutola presents a new series of drawings that merge forms of storytelling to envision the future of Africa and other worlds.

Diego Rivera’s America

July 16, 2022–January 2, 2023

Floor 4

The most in-depth examination of the artist’s work in over 20 years, Diego Rivera’s America will offer a new critical and contemporary understanding of one of the most aesthetically, socially and politically ambitious artists of the 20th century. Through a careful selection of some 160 objects, the exhibition will explore central themes of Rivera’s work in Mexico and the United States from the early 1920s to the early 1940s. prolific, Rivera created a new vision of North America, informed by his travels to Mexico and the United States.

Featuring extraordinary easel paintings, portable drawings and frescoes, as well as filmed projections of murals, the exhibition will highlight the close relationship between Rivera’s mural painting and studio practices. Diego Rivera’s America will revisit a historical moment when Rivera, more than any other artist of his time, contributed not only to forging Mexican national identity, but also to imagining a shared American past and future.

Diego Rivera, flower seller, 1926; Honolulu Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Philip E. Spalding, 1932; © Bancode México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, DF / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: courtesy of the Honolulu Museum of Art

Amalia Mesa-Bains

Venus Envy I

Madrinas and Hermanas

June 18, 2022–November 6, 2022

Floor 2

Amalia Mesa-Bains presents a two-part exhibition featuring the autobiographical installation Venus Envy, Chapter I: The first communion moments before the end and Madrinas and Hermanas (godmothers and sisters), a selection of works from the SFMOMA permanent collection curated by the artist.

Presented for the first time since its initial production in 1993, Venus Envy, Chapter I is the first in a series of autobiographical Mesa-Bains installations made over several decades. Drawing from the artist’s childhood experience of his First Communion, the installation features objects, images, memories and clothing and examines gender codes in Catholic rituals and ceremonial rites of passage.

Covering two adjacent galleries is Madrinas and Hermanas (godmothers and sisters), featuring works from the museum’s collections. Accompanied by texts written by Mesa-Bains, the selection includes the works of artists from whom she drew inspiration, such as Frida Kahlo, as well as friends and peers Yolanda López, Mildred Howard and Hung Liu, among others.

Amalia Mesa-Bains, Venus Envy I (or The First Communion moments before the end) (detail), 1993/2022; courtesy of the artist and Rena Bransten Gallery; photo: Amalia Mesa-Bains; © Amalia Mesa-Bains

Lines of sight: photographs from the collection

August 6, 2022–May 7, 2023

Floor 3

Lines of sight: photographs from the collection illuminates some of the myriad ways in which SFMOMA’s expanding contemporary collections intersect with and diverge from earlier photographic traditions. Covering the history of the medium, this dynamic presentation of over 200 photographs examines various themes, including studio portraiture and the relationship between body and landscape.

One gallery is devoted to Louis Carlos Bernal’s brightly colored photographs of the late 1970s Southwest. A suite of galleries tackles the question of what constitutes a photograph through a selection of cameraless works, humorous and irreverent stills from Man Ray to a large-scale cyanotype installation by Meghann Riepenhoff.

Seydou Keïta, Untitled, 1952–1955, printed in 1996; SFMOMA collection, Foto Forum purchase; © Seydou Keïta / SKPEAC

Julian Charrière: Erratic

August 6, 2022–May 14, 2023

Floor 7

The fascinations of the Arctic and Antarctic have captured our collective imagination for centuries. Over the past decade, French-Swiss artist Julian Charrière has traveled to remote and hostile polar regions to explore humanity’s interconnection with these otherworldly environments that have come to represent the precariousness of our future.

The artist’s first solo exhibition on the West Coast, Julian Charrière: Erratic presents works across media that revolve around the artist’s poetic engagement with icescapes challenging our constructions of different temporalities, while drawing attention to the long-standing traces and effects of human interference in nature. The central work of this cinematographic and sensory exhibition is To no terrestrial pole (2019), a panoramic film combining haunting images of glaciers taken at night during the artist’s expeditions to various glacial regions.

Through immersive encounters with Charrière’s work in this timely exhibition, visitors are invited to approach an environmentally, culturally and politically charged geography with a keen sense of ecological awareness.

Julien Charrière, To no terrestrial pole, (installation view, MASI Lugano); Julian Charrière/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany; photo: Jens Ziehe

Conversation Pieces: Contemporary furniture in dialogue

August 20, 2022–June 25, 2023

Floor 6

Conversation Pieces brings together over 40 works of contemporary design, each engaging in dialogue, emphasizing intellectual and emotional connection, and at times, moving into a complex and compelling demand for broader cultural attention.

Mid-20th century modern design has become a symbol of social progression, an outward expression of shedding post-war historical weight, and an opportunity to start afresh. Industrial manufacturers enthusiastically ventured into the production of mass consumer goods as military requirements diminished. Decades later, the popularity of mid-century modern design still has a firm grip on the consumer market; however, contemporary 21st century designers are changing the conversation and reintroducing cultural significance to furniture. By drawing attention to domestic material culture, the works on display address questions of purpose, representation and sustainable fabrication.

Organized in collaboration with interior designer Alexandra Loew, based in Los Angeles, the exhibition is intended to be welcoming and informal, with benches for visitors at the same height as the works on display and including sounds from several designers. In keeping with the collection’s broader mission to recognize thought-provoking critical works of architecture and design, the works on display are sometimes shocking, often daring and always conversation starters.

Germane Barnes, Uncomfortable lies the head that wears the crown, 2020; SFMOMA collection, purchase from the Membership Committee Fund; © Germaine Barnes

New work: Toyin Ojih Odutola

September 3, 2022–January 22, 2023

Floor 4

At Toyin Ojih Odutola New job The exhibition takes place in 2050 in Eko, the Yoruba name for today’s Lagos. Inspired by the speculative fiction of Octavia E. Butler and the poetry of Dionne Brand, this new body of work examines how bodies, psyches and architectures might respond to a crowded and mutated world. Designed during the pandemic containment and following that of Ojih Odutola A compensatory theory exhibition at the Barbican Centre, London (2020); Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Denmark (2021); and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2021-2022), New work: Toyin Ojih Odutola fuses forms of storytelling to envision the future of Africa and other countries around the world.

Born in 1985 in Ile-Ife, Nigeria and based in New York, Ojih Odutola is known for her drawings of figures, interior architecture and landscapes that draw on references ranging from art history to the artist’s own education. Often produced in narrative series, his drawings describe scenes or chapters of encompassing universes. The artist’s distinct layered marking method highlights skin and surface topographies.

Toyin Ojih Odutola, Local News, 2021; © Toyin Ojih Odutola; courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

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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 global architects Snøhetta and Mario Botta. In addition to our seven floors of galleries, SFMOMA offers 45,000 square feet of free, art-filled public space open to all.

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James C. Tibbs