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SFMOMA Honors Neri Oxman—Architect, Designer, Inventor and Professor—with the 2019 Contemporary Vision Award

Tickets Now on Sale for Dinner to be Held on October 30, 2019

Released: July 23, 2019 · Download (274 KB PDF)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (July 23, 2019) — The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announces architect, designer, inventor and professor Neri Oxman as the recipient of the museum’s 2019 Contemporary Vision Award. Oxman will be honored at a celebratory dinner held at SFMOMA on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, which will include a conversation between Oxman and Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design.

“Oxman boldly steps forward to address contemporary environmental concerns and existing systemic issues through science, technology and design, but mostly through imagination,” said Dunlop Fletcher. “Her vision of the future is one of hope and possibility, which we need.”

Neri Oxman, Gemini, 2014; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; photo: Katherine Du Tiel

Oxman’s work, documented in over 150 scientific publications, is in the permanent collections of SFMOMA; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among other public and private collections. Oxman’s sculptural furniture piece, Gemini (2014), was acquired by SFMOMA in 2015 and was the subject of extensive 3-D fabrication research conducted by the museum. Aguahoja (2018) — a large-scale structure, robotically fabricated from a single biodegradable material — was acquired in 2019. Selections of wearable sculptures from her planetary Wanderers project are currently on view in SFMOMA’s exhibition Far Out: Suits, Habs, and Labs for Outer Space, which underscores the importance of both applied and theoretical design in advancing new models for life beyond earth. Wide ranging and consistently thought provoking, Oxman’s work will be the subject of a monographic exhibition presented at SFMOMA in 2021.

The Contemporary Vision Award celebrates the extraordinary achievements of global leaders — creators, innovators and changemakers — whose work foregrounds contemporary art as a vital and meaningful part of public life. Organized by the Modern Art Council (MAC), an SFMOMA art experience group, this event raises essential funds to support the museum’s education and exhibition programs. All ticket levels include the option to sponsor the attendance of local educators who incorporate art in their classrooms.

About the Honoree

Neri Oxman is founding architect and principal of a forthcoming architecture practice, based in New York, and a tenured professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Media Lab, where she is the founding director of The Mediated Matter Group, an experimental design practice combining commissioned works with the creation of enabling technologies and scientific knowledge. Conducting research at the intersection of computational design, digital fabrication, materials science and synthetic biology, The Mediated Matter Group designs across disciplines and scales — from the micro scale to the building scale.

Oxman pioneered the field of Material Ecology, which studies relationships and outlines interactions between designed objects and structures and their environs. Unlike the ecology-agnostic Industrial Revolution, this new approach tightly links objects of design to the natural environment. Areas of application include architecture, product design and fashion design, as well as the design of new technologies for digital fabrication and construction.

Since 2005, Oxman and her team have won numerous awards and have grown in international scope and acclaim. Among Oxman’s many awards are the London Design Innovation Medal (2018) and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award (2018). Most recently, Oxman was the recipient of an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Institute of British Architects (2019). Oxman received her PhD in Design Computation as a Presidential Fellow at MIT. Prior to MIT, she earned an AA diploma from the Architectural Association in London after graduating from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology (with Honors) and attending the Hadassah Medical School at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

About the Contemporary Vision Award

The annual SFMOMA Contemporary Vision Award recognizes creative minds across all disciplines and professions who have helped redefine contemporary visual culture. Organized by the museum’s Modern Art Council (MAC), the award honors the extraordinary contributions of international cultural leaders and fosters a greater understanding of their achievements.

This year’s Contemporary Vision Award dinner is chaired by Modern Art Council member, Lizelle Green. Previous recipients of the Contemporary Vision Award include artists Annie Leibovitz, Christian Marclay and Kara Walker.

Proceeds from this event support the museum’s education and exhibition programs, which serve more than 60,000 students, teachers and families each year.

Presenting sponsors for the 2019 SFMOMA Contemporary Vision Award are Max Mara and Wells Fargo. In-kind support is provided by Official Wine Sponsors Franciscan and Ruffino; Official Spirits Sponsor Hangar 1 Distillery; and Official Beer Sponsor Fort Point Beer Company.

Ticket + Event Information

Visionary: $12,000 for a table of 10, or $1,200 per guest

Contemporary: $5,000 for a table of 10, or $500 per guest

Modern Art Council Chair: Courtney C. Dallaire

Contemporary Vision Award Chair: Lizelle Green

Committee: Anjou K. Ahlborn, Jennifer Benham, Florence Buatois, Lynn Carbone, Lesli Fellman, Molly Jordan, Betsy Linder, Laura Nagle, Sujata Pherwani, Linda Segervall-Baldini, Christine Suppes, Elizabeth Syufy Kelley, Stephanie Tuttle, Bea Wood

For tickets and a full list of ticket level benefits, visit sfmoma.org/cva.

To sponsor a local educator or for more information about the Contemporary Vision Award, please contact cva@sfmoma.org or 415.618.3263.


Jill Lynch 415.357.4172 jilynch@sfmoma.org
Clara Hatcher Baruth 415.357.4177 chatcher@sfmoma.org