Press Office Exhibition

SFMOMA Presents Vibrant Range of Spring 2020 Exhibitions

Six New Exhibitions Celebrate a Wide Array of Artistic Mediums and Perspectives

Released: December 18, 2019 · Download (532 KB PDF)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (December 18, 2019) — The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) presents a robust slate of exhibitions this spring, including presentations dedicated to architect Tatiana Bilbao, pioneer of Bay Area Figurative Art David Park, internationally acclaimed mixed media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, multifaceted designer and artist Tauba Auerbach, interdisciplinary artists Theaster Gates and Cauleen Smith and photographer Gregory Halpern. These six thought-provoking new exhibitions span the museum’s curatorial departments and underscore the museum’s commitment to innovation, wide-ranging artistic excellence and new ways of seeing the world.

Tatiana Bilbao, Torre Guatemala, 2015; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee Fund Purchase; © Tatiana Bilbao Estudio; photo: Katherine du Tiel

Tatiana Bilbao: Architecture from Outside In

March 21–August 2020
Floor 6

Mexico City–based architect Tatiana Bilbao considers domesticity from policy to livability. Her approach is based in an empathic understanding of local conditions — from the external socio-economic, environmental and sometimes political factors, to the internal — meeting with and learning from future inhabitants. Tatiana Bilbao: Architecture from Outside In will comprise models, drawings and photographs that illustrate Bilbao’s extensive research and proposals in response to how we live today, including a proposed masterplan for San Francisco’s Hunter’s Point neighborhood.

The residential projects of Tatiana Bilbao Estudio reflect the realities of contemporary lifestyles by incorporating flexibility without sacrificing dignity and domestic pride. Bilbao considered the Hunter’s Point community when redesigning its existing power substation into a net zero environmentally safe building, envisioning its transformation from community detriment to galvanizer by proposing surrounding public gathering spaces, neighborhood amenities and services as part of a large masterplan. This proposal, featured in the exhibition, will become an opportunity to consider a new urbanism that prioritizes civic health and community empowerment.

Meaningful support for Tatiana Bilbao: Architecture from Outside In is provided by the Gensler Family Foundation and Emily Rauh Pulitzer.

David Park, Two Bathers, 1958; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase through gifts of Mrs. Wellington S. Henderson, Helen Crocker Russell, and the Crocker Family, by exchange, and the Mary Heath Keesling Fund; © Estate of David Park; courtesy Natalie Park Schutz, Helen Park Bigelow, and Hackett Mill, San Francisco; photo: John Wilson White

David Park: A Retrospective

April 11–September 7, 2020
Floor 4

At the age of 38, David Park (1911–1960) abandoned a carload of his abstract expressionist canvases at the city dump and started painting “pictures” — a radical decision that led to the development of Bay Area Figurative Art. Organized by SFMOMA, this exhibition will be the first major museum exhibition of Park’s work in three decades and the first to examine the full arc of his career. Approximately 125 works will be on view, ranging from his tightly controlled paintings from the 1930s to his final works on paper from 1960. The heart of the show will be a rich selection of the 1950s Bay Area Figurative canvases for which he is best known — boldly executed compositions featuring musicians, domestic and vernacular scenes, portraits, boaters and bathers — that reveal an artist deeply connected to human experience at the peak of his powers, reveling in the expressive and sensuous qualities of pure paint. An accompanying exhibition, David Park and His Circle: The Drawing Sessions, will examine the weekly figure drawing sessions initiated by Park, Elmer Bischoff and Richard Diebenkorn in 1953.

Major support for David Park: A Retrospective is provided by Doris Fisher, Patricia W. Fitzpatrick in honor of Neal Benezra, Janet and Clint Reilly, and anonymous donors. Generous support is provided by Jean and James E. Douglas, Jr., Mary J. Elmore, Christine and Pierre Lamond, the Stuart G. Moldaw Public Program and Exhibition Fund, Susan and Bill Oberndorf, the Bernard and Barbro Osher Exhibition Fund, the Thomas Weisel Family, and Anita and Ronald Wornick. Meaningful support is provided by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art. Additional support is provided by Robert and Daphne Bransten, Susan A. Engs, and Helyn Goldenberg and Michael Ayer.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Vicious Circular Breathing, 2014 (installation view, Pseudomatismos, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, 2015); Borusan Contemporary Art Collection; ©️ Rafael Lozano-Hemmer / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VEGAP, Spain; photo: Oliver Santana

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Unstable Presence

April 25–November 1, 2020
Floor 7

The first major survey presented in the U.S. of the internationally acclaimed artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, this immersive exhibition will explore our presence in fundamentally unstable environments through a focused selection of 16 large-scale installations. Born in Mexico City and based in Montreal, Lozano-Hemmer encourages visitors to interact with and become a part of the artworks, many of which investigate the intersections of art, technology, science and politics. This presentation will feature, among other major works, Vicious Circular Breathing (2013) and Pulse Spiral (2008), two sculptural installations that respectively collect and recirculate the breath and the heartbeat of participants, as well as Zoom Pavilion (2015), a room-sized projection that captures and tracks patterns of our behavior in public space. Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Unstable Presence is co-organized by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and SFMOMA, which will be the exclusive U.S. venue for this exhibition.

Generous support for Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Unstable Presence is provided by Debbie and Andy Rachleff, Carlie Wilmans, and Pat Wilson.

Tauba Auerbach, Extended Object (detail), 2018; private collection of Allan Schwartzman; © Tauba Auerbach; photo: Steven Probert

Tauba Auerbach — S v Z

April 25–September 7, 2020
Floor 4

Tauba Auerbach examines the boundaries of perception through an art and design practice grounded in math, science and craft. Her multifaceted interests often focus on duality, connectedness, rhythm and form, and intersect with questions about the structure of the universe. Working in a wide range of media, Auerbach has created compositions that explore the properties of letters and symbols; drawings, books and large-scale installations that study binary relationships; trompe l’oeil paintings that experiment with depth and dimension; weavings and glass sculptures embedded with wave forms; and videos that interpret theories in quantum physics.

This exhibition, Auerbach’s first museum survey, presents her prolific and varied output over the last 16 years. Included are Diagonal Press, the artist’s imprint for open-editioned publications, and Auerglass (2009), a two-person pump organ created by Auerbach and the musician Glasser (Cameron Mesirow). This immersive presentation is designed by Auerbach, along with an in-depth catalogue that serves as both an artist book and an index of work, process and references, created in collaboration with graphic designer David Reinfurt.

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 Elaine McKeon Endowed Exhibition Fund, and Sheri and Paul Siegel. Meaningful support is provided by Thomas and Lily Beischer and Dolly and George Chammas.

Left: Theaster Gates, Do you hear me calling? Mama Mamama or What Is Black Power? (still), 2018; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Theaster Gates; photo: courtesy the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles
Right: Cauleen Smith, Sojourner (still), 2018; Kate Werble Gallery; © Cauleen Smith; photo: courtesy the artist, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, and Kate Werble Gallery, New York

Future Histories: Theaster Gates and Cauleen Smith

April 25–November 1, 2020
Floor 7

Bringing together the work of two interdisciplinary artists, this presentation will center on video projections that each take archival magazine photography as a departure point. Gates’s Do you hear me calling? Mama Mamama or What Is Black Power? (2018) pays homage to the power of women by exploring the idea of the Black Madonna through reworking three decades of images appropriated from the Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Company archives, including Ebony and Jet magazines. A U.S. premiere, this two-channel installation will interweave scenes of musicians and singers, amplifying a performative approach to cultural legacies.

Smith’s Sojourner (2018) culminates with a feminist reimagining of an unpublished photograph from a 1966 Life assignment. Throughout the work, women performers take banners sewn with texts by jazz musician Alice Coltrane to different sites associated with community organizing and spiritual or artistic visionaries.

Meaningful support for Future Histories: Theaster Gates and Cauleen Smith is provided by Wayee Chu and Ethan Beard.

Gregory Halpern, Untitled, from the series Let the Sun Beheaded Be, 2019; courtesy the artist; © Gregory Halpern

Gregory Halpern: Let the Sun Beheaded Be

May 30–August 10, 2020
Floor 3

The first exhibition of Immersion, a three-year residency project in partnership with the Hermès Foundation and the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris, Gregory Halpern: Let the Sun Beheaded Be will be on view from May 30 through August 10, 2020 in the museum’s Pritzker Center for Photography. The project features French and American photographers sent to each other’s countries or territories to create original bodies of work, which will be exhibited both in San Francisco and France. Gregory Halpern’s newly commissioned body of work was created during his three-month stay in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe. The artist was mentored by SFMOMA’s Senior Curator of Photography Clement Chéroux.

Support for Gregory Halpern: Let the Sun Beheaded Be is provided by Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson.


Jill Lynch 415.357.4172 jilynch@sfmoma.org
Clara Hatcher Baruth 415.357.4177 chatcher@sfmoma.org
Emma LeHocky 415.357.4170 elehocky@sfmoma.org
Taylor Brandon 415.915.1782 tbrandon@sfmoma.org