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California and the West

Photography from the Campaign for Art
May 14–September 5, 2016
Floor 3

California and the West — the title taken from Edward Weston’s celebrated book — consists of gifts and promised gifts to the museum that depict wild nature as a spiritual resource, illustrate how land here has been used over time, and explore diverging photographic approaches, from evocation to documentation to self-conscious art making. Arranged roughly chronologically, from the medium’s invention in the nineteenth century to the present, this exhibition reveals changes in the landscape as well as shifts in photographic attitudes and subject matter. Artists on view include Ansel Adams, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Lewis Baltz, Imogen Cunningham, and Lee Friedlander, as well as Dorothea Lange, Ed Ruscha, Larry Sultan, Edward Weston, and Minor White, among others.

Exhibition Preview

Artwork image, Michael Jang's Golden Gate Bridge Fiftieth Anniversary
Artwork image, Ansel Adams, Surf Sequence
Sepia-toned black and white photograph of a tall cascading waterfall seen from below
Artwork image, Timothy H. O'Sullivan's Cañon de Chelle
Artwork image, Edward Weston, Nude on Dune
Black and white photograph of empty two-lane highway receding into the flat horizon with a cloudless sky above
Artwork image, Robert Adams's Arvada, Colorado, from the series Gone? Colorado in the 1980s
Artwork image, Jim Goldberg, Countess Vivianna de Blonville
Artwork image, Larry Sultan, Hamilton Field
Untitled (Garage Floor)

Michael Jang, Golden Gate Bridge Fiftieth Anniversary, 1987; collection SFMOMA, gift of the Woodrow Jang family; © Michael Jang; photo: Don Ross

Ansel Adams, Surf Sequence, 1940; promised gift of Launny and Weezie Steffens; © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust; photo: Don Ross

Carleton E. Watkins, Yosemite Falls, View from the Bottom, Yosemite, ca. 1878; gift of Helen and Charles Schwab through the Art Supporting Foundation; photo: Don Ross

Timothy H. O’Sullivan, Cañon de Chelle from the album Photographs Showing Landscapes, Geological and Other Features of Portions of the Western Territory of the United States, Obtained in Connection with Geographical and Geological Explorations and Surveys West of the 100th Meridian, 1871-1873; gift of Betsy and Mark Gates; photo: Katherine Du Tiel

Edward Weston, Nude on Dune, 1936; collection SFMOMA, gift of Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein; © 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Katerine Du Tiel

Dorothea Lange, The Road West, U.S. 54 in Southern New Mexico, 1938; collection of the Sack Photographic Trust and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of Shirley Ross Davis; © Oakland Museum of California, the City of Oakland, gift of Paul S. Taylor; photo: Don Ross

Robert Adams, Arvada, Colorado, from the series Gone? Colorado in the 1980s, 1984–87; promised gift of Randi and Bob Fisher; © Robert Adams; photo: courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Jim Goldberg, Countess Vivianna de Blonville, from the series Rich and Poor, 1982; promised gift of Robert Mailer Anderson and Nicola Miner; © Jim Goldberg; photo: Don Ross

Larry Sultan, Hamilton Field, from the series Homeland, 2009; collection SFMOMA, purchase through a gift of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser; © Estate of Larry Sultan

Matt Lipps, Untitled (Garage Floor), 2008; promised gift of Lynn Kirshbaum

Major support for California and the West: Photography from the Campaign for Art is provided by Lisa and John Pritzker. Generous support is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher and The Bernard Osher Foundation.

Additional support is provided by The Black Dog Private Foundation.

Header image: Michael Jang, Golden Gate Bridge Fiftieth Anniversary (detail), 1987; collection SFMOMA, gift of the Woodrow Jang family; © Michael Jang; photo: Don Ross