What Matters: A Proposition in Eight Rooms

Floor 4
Entry to this exhibition is included with general admission. Please note below special hours for participating in MEND PIECE.

What Matters: A Proposition in Eight Rooms features thought-provoking contemporary works from the museum’s collection that offer individual artistic responses to questions about life and art. Presented as a series of episodes with rotating artworks, the first proposition includes works by Matthew Barney, Rosa Barba, João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva, Walter Hood, Byron Kim, Tatsuo Miyajima, Yoko Ono, Ebony G. Patterson, Lorna Simpson, and Naama Tsabar.

These works propose engagements with both physicality and the ephemeral, addressing tangible matter of artistic media as well as urgent subject matters. Presented across eight rooms, What Matters addresses materials, conditions of space and architecture, and, most importantly, social relations. The first episode’s spiritual center is Yoko Ono’s MEND PIECE, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art version (1966/2021), where visitors will be invited to sit together at a table and discover their own means of repairing broken ceramic cups and saucers. In this participatory work, the communal act of mending furthers efforts to, in Ono’s words, “mend the earth.”

In the second episode of What Matters, opening in 2024, works by contemporary artists Abraham Cruzvillegas, Sky Hopinka, Deana Lawson, and Guadalupe Maravilla will continue the exploration of collective healing, impermanence, and intentionality.

Visitors are invited to participate in MEND PIECE, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art version Friday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.


Header: Yoko Ono, MEND PIECE (Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York City version), 2015/2018. Artwork © 2015 Yoko Ono, courtesy Rennie Collection, Vancouver; photo: Blaine Campbell.

Exhibition Preview

Naama Tsabar, performance on Work On Felt (Variation 11) Midnight Blue, 2016 (performance view from Transitions #4, 2018); photo: Serge Hasenböhler, courtesy Kunsthaus Baselland; © Naama Tsabar
Ebony G. Patterson, …three kings weep…, 2018 (installation view, Pérez Art Museum Miami); collection SFMOMA, Shawn and Brook Byers Fund for Women Artists; © Ebony G. Patterson; photo: Oriol Tarridas, courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery
Byron Kim, Sunday Painting 5/6/01, 2001; collection SFMOMA, gift of Rosina Lee Yue; © Byron Kim; photo: Katherine Du Tiel
Lorna Simpson, Cloudscape, 2004 (installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles); collection SFMOMA, purchase, by exchange, through a gift of Michael D. Abrams; © Lorna Simpson; photo: Brian Forrest, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Tatsuo Miyajima, Counter Line, 1997; Accessions Committee Fund purchase, gift of Emily L. Carroll and Thomas Weisel, Collectors Forum, Patricia and Raoul Kennedy, Pam and Dick Kramlich, Vicki and Kent Logan, Eve and Harvey Masonek, Elaine McKeon, Christine and Michael Murray, Chara Schreyer, and Helen and Charles Schwab; © Tatsuo Miyajima
Rosa Barba, Boundaries of Consumption, 2012; purchase, by exchange, through a gift of Peggy Guggenheim; © Rosa Barba / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Katherine Du Tiel
Matthew Barney, DRAWING RESTRAINT 14, 2006; gift of the artist; © Matthew Barney; photo: Ben Blackwell
João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, Fruit Polyhedron, 2009 (filmstrip detail); collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Revolving Fund; © João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva

Presenting support for What Matters: A Proposition in Eight Rooms is provided by The Norah and Norman Stone Fund for Exhibitions of Contemporary Art.