Tauba Auerbach — S v Z

December 18, 2021–May 1, 2022
Floor 4

Tauba Auerbach’s interdisciplinary work asks us to consider the ways that structure, pattern, and gesture function at intricate and vast scales. Often testing the boundaries of rational systems such as language, logic, geometry, and physics, Auerbach (b. 1981, San Francisco) is driven by a curiosity about where these established principles break down or become subjective. Undermining what the artist calls the “habituated gaze,” the work contends with questions of what and how we perceive, exploring the existence of multidimensional space and the resonant capacity of certain shapes and forms.

Auerbach studies these ideas by manipulating them in drawings, sculptures, and paintings, employing them in custom-built production tools, and incorporating them into objects that can be lived with or worn. A continual student of new and traditional craft technologies, including weaving, marbling, glass working, and 3-D printing, the artist has a longstanding relationship with hand-lettering and calligraphy.

Building a web of connections across time and media, this exhibition—Auerbach’s first museum survey—brings together seventeen years of the New York-based artist’s artworks as well as designed and found objects, prototypes, reference materials, and open-edition publications produced and distributed by their imprint Diagonal Press. The title S v Z further embodies the close yet indeterminate relationship between form and meaning that surfaces throughout the artist’s practice.

Exhibition Preview

Tauba Auerbach — S v Z (installation view, SFMOMA); photo: Matthew Millman
Tauba Auerbach, Untitled (Fold), 2012; Collection of Maurice and Paul Marciano; ©️ Tauba Auerbach; photo: Steven Probert
Tauba Auerbach, Grain – Meander Arc, 2018; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, promised gift of Joachim and Nancy Hellman Bechtle;
© Tauba Auerbach; photo: Vergard Kleven
Tauba Auerbach in collaboration with Cameron Mesirow, A.K.A. Glasser, Auerglass Organ, 2009 (installation view, SFMOMA); collection of the artist; © Tauba Auerbach; photo: Matthew Millman
Tauba Auerbach, F, 2004; collection of the artist; © Tauba Auerbach; photo: Benjamin Blackwell
Tauba Auerbach, A Flexible Fabric of Inflexible Parts, 2018; courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York;
© Tauba Auerbach; photo: Steven Probert
Tauba Auerbach, Shadow Weave – Metamaterial/Slice Ray, 2013; private collection; © Tauba Auerbach; photo: Steven Probert

Exhibition Catalogue

Part artist's book, part exhibition catalogue, this volume chronicles Auerbach’s syntheses of abstraction, science, graphic design, and typography.
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Exhibition Resources

Find a PDF of all artwork labels included in the exhibition, plus stream a selection of music and media related to the exhibition and Auerbach's practice.
Stream the Media

Major support for Tauba Auerbach — S v Z is provided by Gay-Lynn and Robert Blanding and SFMOMA’s Collectors’ Forum.

Generous support is provided by Martha and Bruce Atwater, Joachim and Nancy Hellman Bechtle, Jim Breyer and Angela Chao, Katherine Harbin Clammer and Adam Clammer, Roberta and Steve Denning, The Mary Jane Elmore West Coast Exhibition Fund, Girlfriend Fund, The Elaine McKeon Endowed Exhibition Fund, Gina and Stuart Peterson, Lydia Shorenstein, The Sheri and Paul Siegel Exhibition Fund, and Sonya Yu.

Meaningful support is provided by Thomas and Lily Beischer, Dolly and George Chammas, The Agnes Cowles Bourne Bay Area Contemporary Arts Exhibition Fund, Agnes Gund, Maurice Marciano, and The Sanger Family Architecture and Design Exhibition Fund.

Header image: Tauba Auerbach, Pilot Wave Induction III, 2018 (clip); courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York; © Tauba Auerbach