The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is dedicated to making the art for our time a vital and meaningful part of public life. Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, a thoroughly transformed SFMOMA, with triple the gallery space, an enhanced education center and new free ground-floor public galleries, opened to the public on May 14, 2016.
In addition to presentations drawn from its outstanding collection of approximately 50,000 artworks, as well as the renowned Doris and Donald Fisher Collection and the Pritzker Center for Photography, SFMOMA presents the following special and temporary exhibitions.
**Please note, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, these dates are subject to change.**Download the Advance Exhibition Schedule
Updated: September 21, 2020
Opening October 4, 2020
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.
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, Lynn and Edward Poole, the Thomas Weisel Family, Pat Wilson, 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.
Image: 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; photo: John Wilson White
Opening Spring 2021
Floor 1, Roberts Family Gallery
In a groundbreaking partnership with City College of San Francisco, SFMOMA will host Diego Rivera’s monumental mural The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on the Continent, more commonly known as Pan American Unity. The mural, originally painted in front of a live audience at the 1940 Golden Gate International Exposition on San Francisco’s Treasure Island, is comprised of 10 fresco panels, and measures a total of 22 feet high and 74 feet wide (nearly 1,800 square feet). It was Rivera’s last project outside of Mexico, and is not only a treasured part of San Francisco history, but also one of the most important works of public art in the United States. Pan American Unity will be installed in SFMOMA’s free-to-visit Roberts Family Gallery on the ground floor in conjunction with an exhibition opening in October 2020. This extended and unprecedented loan will be the subject of a number of exciting new public programs including lectures, tours, talks, concerts, workshops and more.
Image: Diego Rivera, The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent (Pan American Unity), 1940; © Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frieda Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico D.F. / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York; image: courtesy City College of San Francisco
The most in-depth examination of the artist’s work in more than 20 years, Diego Rivera’s America will provide a new critical and contemporary understanding of one of the most aesthetically, socially and politically ambitious artists of the 20th century. Through a careful selection of some 160 objects, the exhibition will explore central themes of Rivera’s work in Mexico and the United States from the early 1920s through the early 1940s. During these two key decades in a prolific career, Rivera created a new vision for North America, informed by his travels between Mexico and the United States. Featuring extraordinary easel paintings and drawings of this period, as well as several portable frescoes, the exhibition will highlight the close relationship between Rivera’s mural and studio practices. Diego Rivera’s America will revisit a historical moment when Rivera, more than any other artist of his time, was instrumental not only in forging Mexican national identity, but also in imagining a shared American past and future.
The Presenting Sponsors for Diego Rivera’s America are Bank of America, the Evelyn D. Haas Exhibition Fund, Sir Deryck and Lady Va Maughan, Helen and Charles Schwab, and Pat Wilson. Major support is provided by the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich Family Foundation, and the Bernard Osher Foundation. Generous support is provided by Jessica and Matt Farron, Mary Robinson, Nancy and Alan Schatzberg, and Margaret V. B. Wurtele. Meaningful support is provided by the Robert Lehman Foundation. Research and planning support for Diego Rivera’s America is provided in part by the Koret Foundation. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Funding for the conservation of Pan American Unity was generously provided through a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.
Image: Diego Rivera, The Flower Carrier, 1935; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Albert M. Bender Collection, gift of Albert M. Bender in memory of Caroline Walter; © Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Katherine Du Tiel
Opening Fall 2021
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 — will include her prolific and varied output over the last 16 years. Included are Diagonal Press, the artist’s imprint for open-editioned publications, and Auerglass Organ (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, Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté, Roberta and Steve Denning, the Elaine McKeon Endowed Exhibition Fund, Gina and Stuart Peterson, The Sanger Family Architecture and Design Exhibition Fund, Lydia Shorenstein, Sheri and Paul Siegel, and Sonya Yu and Zachary Lara. Meaningful support is provided by Thomas and Lily Beischer, Dolly and George Chammas, and Agnes Gund.
Image: Tauba Auerbach, Extended Object (detail), 2018; private collection; © Tauba Auerbach; photo: Steven Probert
Opening October 4, 2020
Organized to accompany David Park: A Retrospective, this exhibition will examine the weekly figure drawing sessions initiated by Park, Elmer Bischoff and Richard Diebenkorn in 1953. These artists’ gatherings, which expanded during the decade to include additional friends and colleagues, were held in each other’s Bay Area studios with hired models, both male and female. Together, the artists focused on mastering the human form by repeatedly drawing models in various poses, and experimenting with both traditional and alternative materials. The show will feature 32 drawings and two sketchbooks that capture the collegial and dynamic nature of these sessions.
Generous support for David Park and His Circle: The Drawing Sessions is provided by Bobbie and Mike Wilsey.
Image: David Park, Figure in Chair, ca. 1958; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, bequest of Lydia Park Moore and Roy Moore; © Estate of David Park; courtesy Natalie Park Schutz, Helen Park Bigelow, and Hackett Mill, San Francisco; photo: Don Ross
Opening Spring 2021
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 vision plan for San Francisco’s Hunters 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.
Image: Tatiana Bilbao, Torre Guatemala, 2015; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee Fund Purchase; © Tatiana Bilbao Estudio; photo: Katherine du Tiel
Opening October 17, 2020
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.
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; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Cauleen Smith; photo: courtesy the artist, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, and Kate Werble Gallery, New York
Opening Spring 2021
New Work: Charles Gaines will present Manifestos 4 (2020), an installation comprising four drawings, two videos and a musical composition for sextet as well as Skybox 2 (2020), an immersive experience of text and the unknown. The conceptual artist’s new works emerge from research into the Dred Scott Decision of 1857, which decreed that Black people were not U.S. citizens and therefore could not sue for their right to freedom. Many believe the ruling, one of the most controversial decisions of the Supreme Court, authorized racism and has left an indelible stain on the foundation of this country. In his charged return to this historical court ruling and its trial documents, Gaines disarms these texts by subjecting them to his rules-based methodologies, disrupting our understanding of rational information and the realm of the sublime.
Generous support for New Work: Charles Gaines is provided by Alka and Ravin Agrawal, SFMOMA’s Contemporaries, Adriane Iann and Christian Stolz, and Robin Wright and Ian Reeves.
Image: Charles Gaines, Manifesto 3, 2018; © Charles Gaines; image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth; photo: Fredrik Nilsen
Gregory Halpern created the photographs in Let the Sun Beheaded Be over several months in the French archipelago of Guadeloupe. The exhibition title refers to a 1948 book by Aimé Césaire, a poet from Martinique who evoked the surreal as a lens through which to contemplate the forced migration and violent colonial past that shaped the Caribbean. Like Césaire, Halpern grapples with this history by conveying his experience of the islands through poetic and visceral details and motifs that drew his attention. A photographer who focuses on place as subject matter, he commingles life and death, nature and culture, and beauty and decay in enigmatic color images of Guadeloupe’s residents and lush landscape, as well as monuments related to the brutality of its past. Halpern’s photographs are grounded in reality, but edge toward the dreamlike. They serve as records of the encounters that punctuate daily life in a place layered with complex history, while simultaneously blurring the relationship between documentary and personal perception.
This exhibition marks a new partnership between SFMOMA and the Hermès Foundation. Gregory Halpern: Let the Sun Beheaded Be is an edition of Immersion, a French-American Commission of the Hermès Foundation. It is mentored by Clément Chéroux.
Image: Gregory Halpern, Untitled, from the series Let the Sun Beheaded Be, 2019; courtesy the artist; © Gregory Halpern