Release date: August 12, 2009
Portrait of Bill Fontana ©Jonty Wilde
On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, the Modern Art Council of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will host the 2009 Bay Area Treasure Award luncheon, honoring esteemed artist Bill Fontana. Organized by the Modern Art Council, SFMOMA's premier fund-raising auxiliary, this annual lifetime achievement award recognizes Bay Area artists who continually define and redefine contemporary art. Fontana is the tenth honoree; previous award recipients are painters Robert Bechtle, Manuel Neri, Nathan Oliveira, and Wayne Thiebaud; sculptor Richard Serra; industrial designer Sara Little Turnbull; architect Lawrence Halprin; and photographers Ruth Bernhard and Larry Sultan.
Fontana's most recent work, Spiraling Echoes, can be experienced in the rotunda and upper walkways of San Francisco City Hall. Spiraling Echoes was commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and is presented as part of the Art at City Hall program. For more information on Spiraling Echoes, visit sfartscommission.org.
Proceeds from the 2009 Bay Area Treasure Award benefit the museum's exhibitions and public programs.
Event Chair: Candace Cavanaugh
Modern Art Council President: Jill Barnett
Tuesday, November 3, 2009 • Noon
The St. Regis San Francisco
125 Third Street
$750 Grand Benefactor
For tickets or more information, call the Modern Art Council at 415.357.4125 or visit sfmoma.org/pages/interest_mac
Bay Area Treasure is made possible by major support from BMW Concord.
About the Artist
Bill Fontana is a world-renowned pioneer of sound art who has created monumental, site-specific installations around the globe. For the past thirty years, Fontana has used sound as a sculptural medium to interact with and transform our perceptions of visual and architectural spaces. Installed on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, London's Millennium Bridge and Big Ben, and on New York's Brooklyn Bridge, his sound sculptures marry public space and contemporary art. In 1997, SFMOMA acquired Sound Sculpture with a Sequence of Level Crossings (1982), an eight-channel audio installation that reproduces the auditory experience of trains speeding by in the landscape. The work is the first by Fontana acquired by an American museum.
Fontana studied philosophy and music at The New School for Social Research in New York and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Berliner Künstler programm des DAAD, and the Arts Council England. His work has been exhibited at SFMOMA; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; the Post Museum, Frankfurt; the Vienna Art History and Natural History Museums; the Tate Modern; the National Gallery of Victoria; the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; and the Kolumba Museum, Cologne. He has done radio sound art projects for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, NPR, KQED, the BBC, West German Broadcasting (WDR), Radio Sweden, Radio France and the Austrian State Radio. Born in 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio, Fontana lives and works in San Francisco.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, SFMOMA is currently undergoing a major expansion project that will significantly enhance gallery, education, and public spaces, enabling the museum to better showcase more of its expanded permanent collection. While the museum is temporarily closed for construction, through 2016, SFMOMA is “on the go” with an extensive array of off-site programming across the Bay Area, including collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, major outdoor projects and commissioned installations, and new education initiatives.
Visit sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.