Bill Dane

American (Pasadena, California, 1938)

San Francisco

photograph | gelatin silver print
Not on view at this time; find out where you can see works from our collection at locations around the Bay Area while our building is closed for expansion
  • San Francisco

    Bill Dane, San Francisco, 1973; gelatin silver print, 6 3/4 in. x 4 1/2 in. (17.15 cm x 11.43 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of the artist; © Bill Dane

Since the late 1960s Bill Dane has been chronicling the life before our eyes, pursuing what curator and critic John Szarkowski called "the discovery of classical measure in the heart of God's own junkyard." By framing his shots to include just enough information to surprise or disorient the viewer, Dane offers a new perspective or, as he has put it, "a new reality." San Francisco (1973) is typical of the accepting distance and engaged humor with which he approaches his subjects. A sunbather seemingly attempts to block out the world, but the world goes by nonetheless (in three modes of transport) on the beach below. Movement and stasis exist on different planes and in opposite directions. The photographer's shadow at the bottom of the frame acts like a signature, a good natured sign of his complicity in the scene.

6 3/4 in. x 4 1/2 in. (17.15 cm x 11.43 cm)
Acquired 1997
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of the artist
© Bill Dane


voyeurism, surveillance, bikinis, swimsuits, sunbathing, balconies, leisure, police, horses, horseback riders, bicycling, jogging, exercising, sports, everyday life, shorelines, San Francisco, Bay Area, California

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