​Bruce Conner, MEA CULPA (still), 1981; courtesy Conner Family Trust; © Conner Family Trust
Exhibition

Bruce Conner

It’s All True

October 29, 2016–January 22, 2017

Floor 4

Realist. Surrealist. Hippie. Punk. Bruce Conner (1933–2008) was all of these and more. A pioneer in experimental film, collage, photography, conceptual works, and paintings, he challenged the limitations of medium, genre, and style, constantly breaking new ground. Both of and ahead of his time, Conner continues to exert influence over artists working today. Bruce Conner: It’s All True is the first comprehensive retrospective of this pivotal American artist’s incredible output, bringing together over 250 objects in various media, including film and video, works on paper, assemblages, photographs and photograms, performance, and more. Spanning his five-decade career, the exhibition presents aspects of Conner’s work that have rarely been seen before, from paintings he made in the 1950s to photos from the Bay Area punk scene in the 1970s to video work from the 2000s, as well as numerous works produced in the last decade of his life.

Major sponsorship of Bruce Conner: It’s All True is is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Henry Luce Foundation

Generous support is provided by Marguerite Steed Hoffman, Robin Wright and Ian Reeves, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

National Endowment for the Arts

Header image: ​Bruce Conner, MEA CULPA (still), 1981; courtesy Conner Family Trust; © Conner Family Trust

Exhibition Preview

  • Video still, Conner, Mea Culpa

    Bruce Conner, MEA CULPA (still), 1981; courtesy Conner Family Trust; © Conner Family Trust

  • Film still, Bruce Conner Breakaway

    Bruce Conner, BREAKAWAY, 1966 (still); collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Conner Family Trust, San Francisco

  • Artwork image, Bruce Conner Untitled

    Bruce Conner, UNTITLED, May 10, 1957; collection of Guillaume Malle; © 2016 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: © Christie’s Images Limited, 2008

  • Artwork image, Bruce Conner Child

    Bruce Conner, CHILD, 1959; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Philip Johnson; © 2016 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art, New York


  • Artwork image, Bruce Conner, Tick-Tock Jelly Clock Cosmotron

    Bruce Conner, TICK-TOCK JELLY CLOCK COSMOTRON, 1961; the Art Institute of Chicago, restricted gift of Janss Foundation, Twentieth-Century Purchase Fund; © 2016 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


  • Artwork image, Bruce Conner Mexico Collage

    Bruce Conner, MEXICO COLLAGE, 1962; di Rosa Collection, Napa, California; © 2016 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Johnna Arnold


  • Artwork image, Bruce Conner and Edmund Shea, Sound of Two Hand Angel

    Bruce Conner and Edmund Shea, SOUND OF TWO HAND ANGEL, 1974; collection of Tim Savinar and Patricia Unterman; © 2016 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and Edmund Shea Trust


  • Film still, Bruce Conner, Crossroads

    Bruce Conner, CROSSROADS (still), 1976; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Accessions Committee Fund purchase) and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, with the generous support of the New Art Trust; © The Conner Family Trust

  • Artwork image, Bruce Conner, The Artist

    Bruce Conner, THE ARTIST, March 21, 1990; collection of Joel Wachs; © 2016 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Karl Puchlik, courtesy Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles

  • Artwork image, Bruce Conner, BURNING BRIGHT

    Bruce Conner, BURNING BRIGHT, 1996; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee Fund: gift of the Gerson and Barbara Bakar Philanthropic Fund, Collectors Forum, Diane and Scott Heldfond, Patricia and Raoul Kennedy, Phyllis and Stuart G. Moldaw, Byron R. Meyer, Madeleine H. Russell, Chara Schreyer, Elle Stephens, Norah and Norman Stone, and Phyllis Watts; © 2016 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Exhibition Catalogue

The catalogue accompanying Bruce Conner: It’s All True offers a highly anticipated contemporary perspective on the artist. Contributors include exhibition curators Stuart Comer, Rudolf Frieling, Gary Garrels, Laura Hoptman, and Rachel Federman; conservators Michelle Barger, Roger Griffith and Megan Randall; along with Dara Birnbaum, Kevin Beasley, Carol Bove, Stan Brakhage, David Byrne, Diedrich Diederichsen, Johanna Gosse, Kellie Jones, Christian Marclay, Greil Marcus, Michael McClure, Henry S.Rosenthal, Dean Smith, Kristine Stiles, and the artist collective Will Brown. Published by SFMOMA in association with University of California Press.

Bruce Conner: It’s All True

Realist. Surrealist. Hippie. Punk. Who was Bruce Conner (1933–2008)? Find out in these stories, videos, online screenings, and more.