The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) presents Pop! From San Francisco Collections, on view from March 6 through September 19, 2004. Drawn from local private and museum collections, as well as SFMOMA’s own, Pop! features some one hundred paintings, sculptures and works on paper. Included are pieces by such luminary New York artists as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and Roy Lichtenstein alongside works by California artists Ed Ruscha, Wayne Thiebaud, and Robert Arneson, among others, underscoring the role of the West Coast in this pivotal movement and demonstrating the wealth of quintessential Pop art holdings in the Bay Area. During the second half of the twentieth century, mass media and popular culture gained an unprecedented influence in America; Pop art was both a product and critique of this dramatic social change. Organized jointly by SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra and Curator of Painting and Sculpture Janet Bishop, this exhibition will focus on the influence of mass culture and the development of Pop art in America between 1955 and 1980. The exhibition is sponsored by UBS, the global financial services leader.
The exhibition will be installed thematically, demonstrating the range and depth of the movement. Among the themes addressed: American icons (Flag, 1958, by Jasper Johns, and George Washington, 1962, by Roy Lichtenstein), language (Johns’s 0 through 9, 1960), celebrity (Fig. 4 – Few And Far…, 1965, by Jess, and Andy Warhol’s Triple Elvis, 1962), comics (Dr. Midnight, 1962, by Mel Ramos, and Good Morning Darling, 1964, by Roy Lichtenstein), the dark side of Pop (Warhol’s Most Wanted Men, 1964), display (Wayne Thiebaud’s Penny Machines, 1961, and Candy Counter, 1969) and everyday objects (Fan, 1964, by Vija Celmins, and Hot Dog Stand, 1978, by George Segal). There will also be an entire room focusing on the work of Ed Ruscha, including his gunpowder drawings and artist books.
SFMOMA’s Education Department will present a lecture, Rethinking the Implications of Pop Art, by David Antin, poet, critic, and performance artist, on Saturday, April 17 at 2 p.m. in the Phyllis Wattis Theater, SFMOMA. A veteran of the New York and Los Angeles 1960s art scenes, Antin is internationally known for his “talk pieces”—reflective performances mixing criticism, comedy, storytelling, and social commentary—that critics have described as “a cross between Lenny Bruce and Ludwig Wittgenstein” and “a blend of Mark Twain and Gertrude Stein.” In this talk, Antin reassesses the implications and legacy of Pop art, a movement he was deeply involved with from its beginnings. Tickets to this event—$12 general and $8 SFMOMA members/students/seniors—are available at the Museum with no surcharge or through www.ticketweb.com.
Beginning March 6, ongoing video screenings will be presented at 4 p.m. weekdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays in the Koret Visitor Education Center at SFMOMA. These video screenings focus on artists whose work is represented in Pop! From San Francisco Collections, including Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol, and are free with museum admission. For a detailed schedule, see the Koret Center calendar at www.sfmoma.org or call 415.538.2693.
Docent-Led Gallery Tours, “Highlights from Pop! From San Francisco Collections,” are available daily (except Wednesdays) at 1:30 p.m. The gallery tours are free with Museum admission. Anyone interested should meet in the SFMOMA Haas Atrium. Additional education program information is available on the Museum’s Web site at www.sfmoma.org.
On Thursday, April 1 at 6 p.m. in SFMOMA’s MuseumStore, Ed Ruscha will appear to sign copies of his new self-titled monograph, which features 250 full-color reproductions and commentary by the artist.
Pop! From San Francisco Collections is sponsored by UBS, the global financial services leader. “UBS is pleased to support the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and to serve as Presenting Sponsor for this outstanding exhibition,” said Mark B. Sutton, chief executive officer of UBS Financial Services, Inc. “UBS has a long-standing commitment to fostering the arts and supporting the communities in which we live and work, and we are proud to help bring Pop! From San Francisco Collections to our clients, employees and the community of the San Francisco Bay Area.”
Additional generous support for the exhibition has been provided by Mimi and Peter Haas, and the James Family Foundation. Media sponsors: San Francisco Chronicle; SF Gate.com; KFOG 104.5/97.7; and ABC7, KGO-TV/DT.