Selections from the SFMOMA Collection
February 6–July 7, 2009

This exhibition brings together works from the photography and architecture and design collections that gather around a sense of reduced form and sober purpose. Thomas Ruff’s interior photographs of Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, and Bernd and Hilla Bechers’ stark photographs of water towers join two experimental architecture projects by Simon Ungers: Speaking Architecture and the recently acquired Silent Architecture. These latter works assert an extraordinarily severe architectural language in finely rendered drawings and models made of rusted cold-rolled steel.

Austere: Selections from the SFMOMA Collection is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Support for this exhibition is provided by Craig Hartman and Jan O’Brien, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP.

Ruff, red curtain in building with white pole
Ungers, image of conic sculpture

Thomas Ruff, d.p.b. 03, 1999; collection SFMOMA; purchased through gifts of various donors; © Thomas Ruff

Simon Ungers, Theatre, 2000; collection SFMOMA; Accessions Committee Fund; Estate of Simon Ungers