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Nam June Paik

May 8–October 3, 2021
Floor 4

A mesmerizing riot of sights and sounds, Nam June Paik brings together more than 200 works by the visionary experimental artist who bridged art, music, performance, and technology in groundbreaking ways, and whose influence is still felt in the art, pop culture, music, and film of today.

One of the first truly global and transnational artists, Paik foresaw the importance of mass media and new technologies, coining the phrase ‘electronic superhighway’ in 1974 to predict the future of communication in an internet age. This exhibition — the artist’s first-ever West Coast retrospective — celebrates Paik’s collaborative approach that transcended genres and traditions, while also highlighting the artist’s innovative, playful, and profoundly radical work.




Exhibition Guide
Access a comprehensive guide + floor plan, or browse 5 must-see works that were included in the show, selected by exhibition curators.
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Exhibition Preview

Nam June Paik's Chongo Cross, featuring 9 tv screens along with copper and metal instruments.
Image details: Nam June Paik, Sistine Chapel, 1993/2021 (installation view, Nam June Paik, SFMOMA, 2021); courtesy the Estate of Nam June Paik; © Estate of Nam June Paik; photo: Andria Lo.
Nam June Paik, TV Garden, 1974–77/2002 (installation view, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam); Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; © Estate of Nam June Paik; photo: Peter Tijhuis
Nam June Paik, Chongro Cross, 1991; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Phyllis C.Wattis Fund for Major Accessions; © Estate of Nam June Paik; photo: Katherine Du Tiel
Nam June Paik, Untitled (TV Buddha), 1978; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of the Hakuta family; © Estate of Nam June Paik; photo: Don Ross
Nam June Paik, TV Crown, 1965/1999; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of the Hakuta family; © Estate of Nam June Paik; photo: Katherine Du Tiel
Peter Moore, Charlotte Moorman with TV Cello and TV Eyeglasses,1971; Peter Wenzel Collection, Witten, Germany; © 2021 Barbara Moore / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY, Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Nam June Paik, Merce / Digital, 1988; collection Roselyne Chroman Swig, San Francisco; © Estate of Nam June Paik

Major support for Nam June Paik is provided by Dana and Bob Emery.

Generous support is provided by Lionel F. Conacher and Joan T. Dea, Debbie and Andy Rachleff, and Pat Wilson.

This exhibition is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional support is provided by Eleanor and Francis Shen.