SFMOMA presents a series of commissions and other site-responsive wall projects by local artists that actively engage with pressing issues of our time. Many of 2020’s inaugural projects delved into the consequences of a year of social isolation and unrest, polarizing news, racial injustice, economic crises, all against a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now ongoing, the program is designed to support local artists who are keenly attuned to our community and current moment.
Reggie Burrows Hodges: Incline
Opened September 30, 2023
Reggie Burrows Hodges: Incline features the debut of Labor: Keepers Orchard, the Bay Area artist’s newest and largest painting to date. Made with paint and pastel on deep black grounds, Burrows Hodges’ softly beautiful narrative works feature people as they steer, serve, soar and shine. Keepers Orchard is the most recent entry in Hodges’ series, Labor, which highlights the people who tend the land, from the artist’s hometown of Compton to his current home in the Bay Area. In this monumental, 25-foot work, Hodges depicts a single worker in a sweeping California landscape with the majesty of Impressionist painting, shadowed by a contemporary awareness of the beauty, bitterness, and fragility of our world. The artist’s work suggests questions around our relationship to the environment at a crucial turning point: in which direction are we inclined to turn?
Sadie Barnette: SPACE/TIME (2022)
October 15, 2022–June 2024
Oakland-based artist Sadie Barnette uncovers and reanimates stories of resistance, resilience, and love through an ongoing retelling of her family’s history. SPACE/TIME, a site-specific commission developed in dialogue with Afterimages: Echoes of the 1960s from the Fisher and SFMOMA Collections, celebrates life against the backdrop of political turmoil and everyday moments from the 1960s to today, highlighting intergenerational legacies and collective possibilities. Weaving together images from her personal archive with text-based drawings and her frequently used adornments: spray paint, glitter, and rhinestones, Barnette collapses the expansive arc of time that connects generations and dimensions and points to unknowable futures that for Barnette “need to be imagined and fought for.
Twin Walls Mural Company: Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams (2020)
Elaine Chu and Marina Perez-Wong, together known as Twin Walls Mural Company, deploy themes of healing and resilience in response to imbalances stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, generational trauma, pollution, and inequality, as well as to Perez-Wong’s ongoing battle with stage IV breast cancer. The vibrant work imagines healing for the current world we live in and hope for ourselves and our loved ones, and features portraits of students from Oakland School for the Arts and members of the Radical Monarchs.
SPACE/TIME was commissioned and executed by Sadie Barnette as a part of Bay Area Walls, a series of commissions initiated in 2020.
The presenting sponsor for Bay Area Walls is Gap Inc.
Major support is provided by the Roberta and Steve Denning Commissioning Endowed Fund.
Generous support is provided by the Patricia W. Fitzpatrick Commissioning Endowed Fund, Diana Nelson and John Atwater Commissioning Fund, and the Denise Littlefield Sobel Commissioning Endowed Fund.
Header Image: Twin Walls Mural Company, Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams, 2020 (in process); photo: Katherine Du Tiel