Nothing Stable under Heaven reflects on the contested past, the turbulent present, and the unpredictable future, examining how individual and collective voices can be heard in an uncertain world. The title is taken from an essay by James Baldwin, in which he claims the role of the artist in society is to reveal its inherent instability. Featuring contemporary work from the museum’s collection by artists such as Andrea Bowers, Hans Haacke, Emily Jacir, Arthur Jafa, and Glenn Ligon, this exhibition explores the ways that these artists inform our understanding of urgent social, ecological, and civic issues—including security and surveillance, evolving modes of communication, and political resistance.
|Kevin Beasley||An Te Liu|
|Dawoud Bey||Kerry James Marshall|
|Andrea Bowers||Mike Mills|
|Tiffany Chung||Richard Misrach|
|Tony Feher||Simon Norfolk|
|Amy Franceschini||Lisa Oppenheim|
|Felix Gonzalez-Torres||Jorge Otero-Pailos|
|Hans Haacke||Trevor Paglen|
|Leslie Hewitt||Mauro Restiffe|
|Jessica Jackson Hutchins||Judith Joy Ross|
|Emily Jacir||Michal Rovner|
|Arthur Jafa||Allan Sekula|
|Rinko Kawauchi||Taryn Simon|
|An-My Lê||Penelope Umbrico|
|Glenn Ligon||Tobias Wong|
Nothing Stable under Heaven is a collaboration between the Architecture + Design, Education + Public Practice, Media Arts, Painting + Sculpture, and Photography Departments.
Major support for Nothing Stable Under Heaven is provided by Helen and Charles Schwab.
Header image: Rinko Kawauchi, Untitled, from the series Ametsuchi, 2012; collection SFMOMA, Foto Forum purchase; © Rinko Kawauchi