Advance Exhibition Schedule

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 over 34,000 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.


Updated: December 18, 2018

Special Exhibitions


JR: The Chronicles of San Francisco

Opening April 25, 2019
Floor 1, Roberts Family Gallery

Celebrate the voices of our extraordinary, unique and diverse city in The Chronicles of San Francisco, by internationally recognized artist JR. Over the course of two months in early 2018, the artist set up a mobile studio in 22 locations around San Francisco, where he filmed and interviewed nearly 1,200 people from across the city’s multifaceted communities. In the completed work, a digital mural scrolls across a seamless bank of screens, bringing together the faces and untold stories of the people we encounter every day. Presented in SFMOMA’s Roberts Family Gallery off of Howard Street, this work is free and accessible to the public.

Image: JR and Roberto de Angelis at work in San Francisco, 2018; photo: Camille Pajot, courtesy JR-art.net


Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again

On view May 19–September 2, 2019
Floor 4

Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again — the first Warhol retrospective organized in the U.S. since 1989, and the largest in terms of scope of ideas and range of works — will be an occasion to experience and reconsider the work of one of the most inventive, influential and important American artists. With more than 300 works of art, many assembled together for the first time, this landmark exhibition, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, will unite all aspects, media and periods of Warhol’s 40-year career.

Leadership support of Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again is provided by Kenneth C. Griffin. Bank of America is the National Tour Sponsor. Presenting support is provided by Carolyn and Preston Butcher. Major support is provided by SFMOMA Collectors' Forum. Generous support is provided by Sir Deryck and Lady Va Maughan, the Bernard and Barbro Osher Exhibition Fund, Arun and Rummi Sarin, and Nancy and Alan Schatzberg.


Soft Power

On view October 2019–February 2020
Floors 4 + 7

Soft Power is an exhibition of recent work and new commissions by 20 artists from around the world. Artists gathered here understand themselves as social actors, question their responsibility as citizens, and are aware of their role as public intellectuals and provocateurs. They are part of a generation of artists who explore the potential of art, and the potency of artist as citizen. Neither explicitly political nor purely abstract, works in the exhibition will take various forms, from sculpture, to architectural intervention, to performance. The title comes from the phrase coined by political scientist Joseph Nye in the 1980s that describes how one country persuades other countries to do what it wants without force or coercion. Soft Power appropriates this term as a provocation.

Lead support for Soft Power is provided by The Fund for Contemporary Art. Generous support is provided by Diana Nelson and John Atwater.


Temporary Exhibitions


The Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism

On view December 22, 2018–April 28, 2019
Floor 6

Distinctive architecture, uninhibited ocean views, bold supergraphics, shared open space and meditative tranquility — these were the beginnings of The Sea Ranch, a beacon of Modernism on the Northern California coast. Designed by a small group of Bay Area architects and designers in the early 1960s, the development was envisioned as a progressive, inclusive community, guided by the idealistic principles of good design, economy of space and harmony with the natural environment. This exhibition brings together original sketches and drawings from the project's designers, along with archival images, photographs of The Sea Ranch today and a full-scale architectural replica. The environmentally attentive design philosophies explored at The Sea Ranch, along with the now-iconic graphics, resonated globally and continue to influence architecture and design today.

Major support for The Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism is provided by the Gensler Family Foundation and The Coastal Real Estate Company – Liisberg & Kalinoski. Generous support is provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Estate of Arnold A. Grossman, The Sanger Family Architecture and Design Exhibition Fund, and the Diane and Howard Zack Fund for Architecture and Design. Additional support is provided by Sydney and Ray Feeney.

Image: Rush House interior and ocean view, 2018; photo: © Leslie Williamson


snap+share: transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks

On view March 30–August 4, 2019
Floor 3

With millions of images sent across the Internet and social media every day, snap+share will offer a new way to visualize — and experience — how photographs have become ubiquitous in our daily lives. Spanning the history of mail art to social networks, this unique exhibition will explore the outward gesture of sharing pictures, instead of the more traditional, inward act of taking photographs. Among the many works visitors will encounter are the first-ever camera photo sent by phone, as well as Erik Kessels’s monumental roomful of printed photographs uploaded online in 24 hours. They will also be welcomed to participate in David Horvitz’s contemporary meme-making project by putting their heads in a working freezer in the galleries, while Eva and Franco Mattes’s piece representing a popular cat meme will peer down from overhead. The exhibition will continue outside the museum walls, with Aram Bartholl’s massive Google Maps’ red geo pin sculpture installed atop the museum.

Major support for snap+share: transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher. Generous support is provided by The Black Dog Private Foundation, Katie Hall and Tom Knutsen, Melinda and Kevin P.B. Johnson, Nion McEvoy, Wes and Kate Mitchell, and Diana and Steve Strandberg.

Image: David Horvitz, 241543903, 2009–ongoing; courtesy the artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin; © David Horvitz


Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here

On view April 20–August 4, 2019
SFMOMA and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Suzanne Lacy is a pioneer of socially engaged art and public practice, promoting dialogue and collaborations with communities — artists, activists, organizations, schools — throughout her prolific career. Co-presented by SFMOMA and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here is the first retrospective of the Los Angeles–based artist. At SFMOMA, visitors can explore Lacy’s entire career, from her earliest feminist work to her latest immersive video installations. The YBCA presentation offers a new, experimental approach to authorship and participation, revisiting key collaborative projects through the lens of today. This includes an in-depth focus on The Oakland Projects (1991–2001), a series on youth empowerment, media education and policy. Both venues will host live activations in the galleries and a vibrant range of public programs.

Major support for Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Generous support is provided by Lionel F. Conacher and Joan T. Dea.

Image: Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz, In Mourning and in Rage, 1977; performance, December 13, 1977, City Hall, Los Angeles; © Suzanne Lacy; photo: Maria Karras, courtesy the artists



Far Out: Suits, Habs and Labs for Outer Space

On view July 2019–January 2020
Floor 4

Fifty years after the first footsteps on the Moon, our ongoing journey into space continues to capture worldwide attention and global resources. Far Out: Suits, Habs and Labs for Outer Space will present an arc of visionary proposals at the nexus of design, art and engineering that have propelled us ever farther on our cosmic quest. Designs for space suits, habitats and laboratories will be exhibited, alongside select films and artworks from NASA, Raymond Loewy, Neri Oxman and Tom Sachs, among others. This exhibition will celebrate the idealistic designs — both realized and conceptual — taking us towards the final frontier.


Single-Gallery Presentations


New Work: Rodney McMillian

On view February 9–June 9, 2019
Floor 4

Los Angeles–based artist Rodney McMillian’s work addresses how American political and social histories shape issues of class, race and gender. In his first solo museum presentation on the West Coast, McMillian will bring together his long-standing interest in the representation of the American landscape with an exploration of home as a place and a state of mind. The exhibition will feature a painted abstract panorama spanning the entirety of the gallery paired with a soundscape interweaving iconic 1980s songs performed by McMillian and the voice of a social advocate proposing radically new language and polices around the condition of homelessness. This immersive installation will question the political systems that promise freedom and equality for all and highlight the power of the individual to affect hope and create change.

Generous support for New Work: Rodney McMillian is provided by Alka and Ravin Agrawal, SFMOMA’s Contemporaries, Adriane Iann and Christian Stolz, and Robin Wright and Ian Reeves.

Image: Rodney McMillian, Untitled (landscape on blue afghan), 2018; courtesy the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; © Rodney McMillian; photo: Jeff McLane