Advance Exhibition Schedule

The transformed and expanded SFMOMA has nearly triple its previous exhibition space to show more of its outstanding collection of over 33,000 works, alongside those in the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, one of the world's greatest private collections of postwar and contemporary art on view at SFMOMA for the next 100 years.

Updated: June 23, 2017

Special Exhibitions

Walker Evans

On view September 30, 2017–February 4, 2018
Floor 3

A major photographer of the 20th century, Walker Evans’s iconic images of the Depression, his photo essays published during the 1940s and 50s and his definition of the “documentary style” influenced generations of photographers and other artists. Organized by the Musée National d’Art Moderne of the Centre Pompidou in Paris and conceived as a complete retrospective of Evans’s work, this exhibition examines the photographer’s fascination with vernacular culture. Through 300 prints assembled from major international collections, many of which have never before been exhibited, the exhibition presents a wide range of Evans’s photographs and his many sources of inspiration. Walker Evans includes documentation of the major subjects that Evans photographed during his career, as well as nearly 100 documents and objects, including many from the photographer’s personal collection of postcards, enameled plates, cut images and graphic ephemera. SFMOMA will be the only U.S. venue for this exhibition.

This exhibition is organized by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Major support is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher.

Image: Walker Evans, Barber Shop, New Orleans, 1935, printed 1971; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase

Robert Rauschenberg

On view November 18, 2017–March 25, 2018
Floor 4

From the 1940s until his passing in 2008, Rauschenberg worked with everything from photography to items scavenged from New York City streets to vats of bubbling mud. More than 150 of Rauschenberg’s artworks, including prints, sculptures, paintings and Combines (works that incorporate painting and sculpture), will be on view in the retrospective Robert Rauschenberg, celebrating the artist’s continual experimentation with materials and collaborative working processes. The exhibition demonstrates how, with razor-sharp humor and intelligence, Rauschenberg broke down boundaries between disciplines, anticipated many of the defining cultural and social issues of our time and redefined what art could be for the generations of artists who followed.

Temporary Exhibitions

2017 SECA Art Award

On view July 15–September 17, 2017
Floor 4

The 2017 SECA Art Award exhibition highlights five Bay Area artists, each with a dedicated gallery, in their first major museum presentations: Liam Everett, Alicia McCarthy, Sean McFarland, K.r.m. Mooney and Lindsey White. Everett’s paintings reveal traces of their making, evidence of deliberate and repetitive actions focused on movement and materials. In her intricately patterned compositions, McCarthy transforms surfaces into bursts of line and vibrant color. Using made and found photographs, McFarland reckons with the challenges of representing the landscape. Mooney incorporates natural, industrial and hand-crafted elements in sculptures that explore the relationships between bodies and objects. In her most recent work, White takes humor seriously, making photographs and sculptures inspired by stage performers such as comedians and magicians. The SECA Art Award, established in 1967 by SFMOMA’s Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art, has recognized and brought broader visibility to more than 70 Bay Area artists.

Generous support for the 2017 SECA Art Award is provided by SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art), an SFMOMA art interest group, and Carlie Wilmans.

Image: Alicia McCarthy, Untitled, 2015; photo: courtesy the artist and Jack Hanley Gallery

Noguchi's Playscapes

On view July 15–November 26, 2017
Floor 6

Noguchi’s Playscapes presents ideas about the democratization of art and public space by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988). The artist was a fervent believer that sculpture is an aesthetic and cultural tool capable of creating synergy between individuality and society. Observing that playgrounds offer a physical and social interaction not typically seen in a museum, Noguchi designed a number of public spaces where visitors could actively engage with art. The exhibition gathers his designs for several playgrounds, stand-alone play structures and other works that, while serious in subject, employ playful elements to engage the viewer. The body of work presented has become hugely influential for contemporary landscape architects, urban planners, artists and education specialists. Noguchi’s playscapes provoke a reconsideration of the role of art in recreation, education and community.

The exhibition is organized by the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo and the Fundacíon Olga y Rufino Tamayo, A.C., in collaboration with The Noguchi Museum in New York.

Image: Isamu Noguchi, U.S. Pavilion Expo ’70, 1968; © the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Kevin Noble


On view July 15, 2017–January 1, 2018
Floor 7 and multiple locations throughout the museum

Soundtracks is the museum’s first large-scale group exhibition centered on the role of sound in contemporary art. Focusing on the perceptual experience of space, the exhibition offers opportunities for discovering public architectural features and galleries throughout the newly expanded building. Spanning sculpture, audio and video installation and performance pieces made since 2000, the show takes its point of departure from key works in the media arts collection. Moving beyond medium-specific histories of sound art and electronic music, this cross-generational presentation highlights past SFMOMA commissions by Brian Eno and Bill Fontana, as well as new and diverse work from over twenty contemporary artists, including Ragnar Kjartansson, Christina Kubisch, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, O Grivo and Susan Philipsz, among others. Soundtracks is accompanied by a map and an online catalogue.

Support for Soundtracks is provided by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway.

Image: Ragnar Kjartansson, The Visitors, 2012; nine-channel HD video projection with sound, 64 min.; jointly owned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired through the generosity of Mimi Haas and Helen and Charles Schwab; © Ragnar Kjartansson; photo: Elísabet Davids, courtesy the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik

Julie Mehretu

On view Fall 2017
Floor 1

Beginning in the fall of 2017, a commission from Julie Mehretu will be on view in SFMOMA’s free public space. Consisting of two large-scale paintings, each measuring 32 by 27 feet, the commission will cover the expansive, angled walls of the museum’s Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Atrium. Mehretu is known for her densely layered abstract paintings and works on paper, which often incorporate the dynamic visual vocabulary of maps, urban planning grids and architectural forms. The installation is part of SFMOMA’s art commissioning program, a vital part of the museum’s commitment to sharing the art for our time with the Bay Area and beyond.

Single-Gallery Presentations

Louise Bourgeois Spiders

On view September 23, 2017–September 4, 2018
Floor 5

Louise Bourgeois Spiders explores the representation and symbolism of spiders within Bourgeois’s body of work. For Bourgeois, the spider embodied an intricate and sometimes contradictory mix of psychological and biographical allusions. Part reference to her mother, part to herself, the spider represents cleverness, industriousness and protectiveness. Bourgeois directly associated the weaving of a web to her mother’s tapestry needlework. She also referred to spiders as both fierce and fragile, capable of being protectors and predators. Filling the museum’s sculpture gallery on Floor 5, this exhibition illustrates the compelling complexity of Bourgeois’s conception of the spider with a selection of wall and floor spiders in a range of materials and scales from intimate to monumental.

Image: Louise Bourgeois, The Nest, 1994; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase through the Agnes E. Meyer and Elise S. Haas Fund and the gifts of Doris and Donald Fisher, Helen and Charles Schwab, and Vicki and Kent Logan; © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY; photo: Ben Blackwell

New Work: Kerry Tribe

On view October 7, 2017–February 25, 2018
Floor 4

This solo exhibition premieres an SFMOMA commission by Kerry Tribe, foregrounding questions around empathy, communication and performance. On view in the New Work gallery on Floor 4, the Los Angeles–based artist’s immersive video installation will offer insight into the world of Standardized Patients — professional actors trained to portray real patients in a simulated clinical environment as part of medical student training. Working closely with Standardized Patients in California, Tribe’s project builds upon central themes of her practice including language, perception, consciousness and the willing suspension of disbelief in documentary and narrative contexts.

Generous support for the New Work series is provided by Alka and Ravin Agrawal, Adriane Iann and Christian Stolz and Robin Wright and Ian Reeves.

Image: Kerry Tribe, production still from Standardized Patient, 2017; commissioned by SFMOMA, courtesy the artist and 1301PE, Los Angeles; © Kerry Tribe; photo: courtesy the artist and 1301 PE, Los Angeles