On view from December 8, 2012 through June 02, 2013, Don’t Be Shy, Don’t Hold Back: The Logan Collection at SFMOMA celebrates the 15th anniversary of a gift of contemporary art from renowned collectors Vicki and Kent Logan that took SFMOMA’s collection in bold new directions. Showcasing nearly 40 major works from the 1960s to the 2000s, the presentation spotlights iconic artists like Marlene Dumas, Philip Guston, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, and Zhang Xiaogang. The exhibition is organized by Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA.
In 1997, the Logans made a gift to SFMOMA of more than 250 contemporary works, at the time one of the largest numbers of works to be given to the museum by a single donor. Additional gifts followed, with 330 total works gifted to the museum by the Logans over the years, significantly strengthening and broadening the museum’s collection.
The exhibition is organized thematically to highlight key areas of impact on SFMOMA’s collection: iconic artists and the foundation of the collection; artists working in New York in the 1980s; and late-20th century art that is distinctively international in perspective focusing especially on the “Young British Artists” and Chinese and Japanese artists.
“Works from the Logan collection have been included in innumerable presentations of SFMOMA’s collection in its galleries, allowing the museum a stronger and more complex consideration of both modern and contemporary art than would otherwise have been possible,” said Garrels. “This exhibition celebrates the transformation of the museum’s collection through the Logans gift.”
The foundations of the Logan collection gift included pieces by some of the most important artists of our time—Chuck Close, Philip Guston, Anselm Kiefer, Bruce Nauman, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, and Andy Warhol—adding depth to the museum’s holdings of these key artists. But the Logans were also strong advocates for young, emerging artists, and the collection includes works by many artists who were expanding and pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. Works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, John Currin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Cady Noland, and Jeff Koons, among others, significantly broadened the museum’s holdings of artists working in New York in the 1980s. The Logan gift also transformed the museum’s representation of artists working internationally from the 1980s forward, with pieces by the “Young British Artists” such as Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin; European artists such as Marlene Dumas; and Chinese and Japanese artists such as Takashi Murakami and Zhang Xiaogang. Before the Logan gift, these artists were either completely absent from the museum’s collection or represented by a single work, and many of those artists are now recognized as among the most important artists of this new generation.
In addition to the works on view in the galleries, a commission for the museum’s atrium by Gu Wenda, which first premiered in the SFMOMA exhibition Inside Out: New Chinese Art in 1997, will be reinstalled for the first time since that exhibition. The piece, entitled united nations–babel of the millennium, is a large-scale installation of rectangular panels made from hair, glue, and rope that incorporates invented scripts from many different languages.
Vicki and Kent Logan began to actively collect contemporary art in 1993. From the outset, they formed the collection with the idea that it would be given to a public institution where the works could provide a forum for critical appraisal and discourse. They developed several defined themes and directions in their collecting: they were guided by an overarching belief that art is a mirror of culture and society, and they sought out art that would raise important and provocative issues. Their goal was to assemble a collection of art that is vigorous and vital, by artists whose integrity and intensity have brought a new vision to bear on assumptions about both art and culture.
Artists in the Exhibition
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, Chuck Close, John Currin, Marlene Dumas, Tracey Emin, Fang Lijun, Gilbert & George, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Philip Guston, Richard Hamilton, Damien Hirst, Anselm Kiefer, Jeff Koons, Glenn Ligon, Liu Wei, Takashi Murakami, Bruce Nauman, Cady Noland, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Saville, Thomas Schütte, Yinka Shonibare, Mark Tansey, Fred Tomaselli, Andy Warhol, Gu Wenda, Christopher Wool, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Xiaogang