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Constellations: Photographs in Dialogue

November 20, 2021–August 21, 2022
Floor 3

Constellations: Photographs in Dialogue explores how additions to the collection expand, deepen, and complicate the stories a museum can tell. From Edward Weston to Zanele Muholi, the exhibition weaves together historical and contemporary voices, bringing fresh narratives to light.

The photographs on view showcase the collection’s strengths, particularly in Japanese photography, the documentary tradition, and work by Bay Area artists. Constellations also highlights SFMOMA’s ever-expanding contemporary photography holdings, featuring artists such as Poklong Anading, Daisuke Yokota, Wendy Red Star, and Clare Strand, alongside familiar favorites including Imogen Cunningham and Ansel Adams.

The four curators collaborating on this exhibition have each chosen a single image or group of new acquisitions as a point of departure. The result is six unique galleries, all creating moments of dialogue, resonance, and even tension, suggesting just some of the many ways to interpret SFMOMA’s remarkable photography collection.

Exhibition Preview

Kou Inose, Aomori, 1983; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Kou Inose
Poklong Anading, Anonymity, 2004–2012 (detail); collection SFMOMA, Anonymous Donors’ Challenge Fund; © Poklong Anading
Wendy Red Star, Fall, from the series Four Seasons, 2006, printed 2017;
collection SFMOMA, gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D.; © Wendy Red Star


Browse a selection of archival clips and previous interviews with artists featured in the exhibition.


Generous support for Constellations: Photographs in Dialogue is provided by The Black Dog Private Foundation, Katie Hall and Tom Knutsen, Nion McEvoy and Leslie Berriman, Kate and Wes Mitchell, and the Lisa Stone Pritzker Family Fund.