75 Years of Looking Forward

Focus on Artists
January 16–May 23, 2010

From its early days, SFMOMA has been devoted to fostering close relationships with artists, and these ties often have led to significant holdings of their works. This exhibition looks at SFMOMA’s long-term relationships with 18 modern and contemporary arists whose iconic works have been influential in defining movements from Abstract Expressionism to Postminimalism and beyond, with individual galleries featuring works by a single artist. The first half of the exhibition includes eight American artists whose practice fundamentally impacted the development of abstract art in the United States: Richard Diebenkorn, Philip Guston, Ellsworth Kelly, Brice Marden, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, and Clyfford Still. The second section showcases an international selection of artists — Diane Arbus, Matthew Barney, Robert Gober, Dan Graham, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Doris Salcedo, Kara Walker, Jeff Wall, and Andy Warhol — whose work has signaled a shift toward more psychological, social, and historical content in art.

Focus on Artists is part of 75 Years of Looking Forward, a series of exhibitions and events organized in celebration of the museum’s anniversary. Major support is provided by the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund.

clyfford still, red abstract painting
Diebenkorn, Ocean Park painting
Andy Warhol six self portraits painting
Gerhard Richter, Lesende (Reading)

Clyfford Still, Untitled, 1951-1952; collection SFMOMA, gift of the artist; © The Clyfford Still Estate

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park #54, 1972; collection SFMOMA, gift of Friends of Gerald Nordland; © Estate of Richard Diebenkorn

Andy Warhol, A Set of Six Self-Portraits, 1967; collection SFMOMA, gift of Michael D. Abrams; © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Gerhard Richter, Lesende (Reading), 1994; collection SFMOMA, purchase through the gifts of Mimi and Peter Haas and Helen and Charles Schwab, and the Accessions Committee Fund: Barbara and Gerson Bakar, Collectors Forum, Evelyn D. Haas, Elaine McKeon, Byron R. Meyer, Modern Art Council, Christine and Michael Murray, Nancy and Steven Oliver, Leanne B. Roberts, Madeleine H. Russell, Danielle and Brooks Walker, Jr., Phyllis Wattis, and Pat and Bill Wilson; © Gerhard Richter