transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks
March 30–August 4, 2019
Floor 3

The exhibition snap+share gives visitors a new way to visualize — and experience — how photographs have become so ubiquitous in our daily lives. Whether through early examples of 1960s and ’70s mail art, physical piles of pictures uploaded to the Internet over a 24-hour period, or a working refrigerator that allows participatory meme-making, visitors can trace the evolution of sharing photographs.

Spanning the history of mail art to social networks, the show presents a variety of artists working in various media, from framed paper-based art to immersive installations. Some of these artists include On Kawara, Ray Johnson, Moyra Davey, Erik Kessels, Corinne Vionnet, and David Horvitz. Exploring how networks are created through the act of sending images out into the world, this exhibition reveals just how those networks have changed in the age of the Internet.

Exhibition Preview

a cat peering through a rectangular cutout of a wall or ceiling
black and white photo with me written in blue ink
photograph with florescent lights reflected in blue hue
photograph of a baby in heart print clothing and blanket
photograph of golden gate bridge with multiple overlays and blurred
a man sticking his head in a refridgerator
an image composed of several postcards
a room filled with photographs piled high
Eva and Franco Mattes, Ceiling Cat, 2016; courtesy Postmasters Gallery, New York, and Team Gallery, Los Angeles; © Eva and Franco Mattes

Unknown, Untitled, ca. 1920–60; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of Peter J. Cohen

Thomas Bachler, Untitled, from the series Reiseerinnerungen (Souvenirs), 1985; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Thomas Bachler

Philippe Kahn, Sophie Lee Kahn birth picture, first photograph shared instantly through a digital camera, cellphone, and server with 2,000 people, June 11th, 1997, 1997; courtesy The Lee-Kahn Foundation; © Philippe Kahn

Corinne Vionnet, San Francisco, 2006, from the series Photo Opportunities, 2005–14; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, John Caldwell, Curator of Painting and Sculpture (1989–93), Fund for Contemporary Art purchase; © Corinne Vionnet

David Horvitz, 241543903, 2009–ongoing; courtesy the artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin; © David Horvitz

On Kawara, I Got Up…, 1975; Robert Harshorn Shimshak & Marion Brenner; © One Million Years Foundation, courtesy One Million Years Foundation and David Zwirner

Erik Kessels, 24HRS in Photos, 2011; courtesy the artist; © Erik Kessels

Aram Bartholl, Map, 2019 (installation view, SFMOMA); courtesy the artist, Hello world! -® Nils Klinger; © Aram Bartholl; photo: Katherine Du Tiel

Featured Artists

Thomas Bachler
Aram Bartholl
Joseph Beuys
Moyra Davey
Jan Dibbets
Walker Evans
Jeff Guess
Lynn Hershman Leeson
Kate Hollenbach
David Horvitz
Ray Johnson
On Kawara
Erik Kessels
William Larson
Eva and Franco Mattes
Peter Miller
Ken Ohara
Stephen Shore
Endre Tót
Corinne Vionnet

Exhibition Catalogue

By placing special emphasis on Mail Art of the 1960s through the 1980s, this book embodies SFMOMA’s recontextualization of this diverse art movement and its connection to the modern consumption of photography through social media.
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Major support for snap+share: transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher.

Generous support is provided by The Black Dog Private Foundation, Katherine Harbin Clammer and Adam Clammer, Katie Hall and Tom Knutsen, Melinda and Kevin P.B. Johnson, Nion McEvoy and Leslie Berriman, Wes and Kate Mitchell, and Diana and Steve Strandberg.

Header image: Eva and Franco Mattes, Ceiling Cat, 2016; courtesy Postmasters Gallery, New York, and Team Gallery, Los Angeles; © Eva and Franco Mattes