This summer, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will reinaugurate a series committed to showcasing new art with the exhibition New Work: Evan Holloway and Dave Muller. From its inception in 1987, the New Work series was conceived as a means to feature the best and most innovative expressions of contemporary art. Artists such as Matthew Barney and Christopher Wool were given their first solo museum exhibitions through the New Work program, establishing the series as an important vehicle for the advancement of contemporary art. Over the ensuing decade, the series featured artists such as Jasper Johns, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Tatsuo Miyajima, Doris Salcedo, Luc Tuymans, Kara Walker, and Andrea Zittel, among many others.
After a five-year hiatus, SFMOMA is reintroducing New Work with three exhibitions per year. The first presentation features the work of two Los Angeles–based artists, Evan Holloway and Dave Muller. Organized by SFMOMA Curatorial Associate Tara McDowell, New Work: Evan Holloway and Dave Muller will run from July 1 to October 24, 2004, and will be on view in the Museum’s fifth-floor galleries in conjunction with the exhibition Between Art and Life: The Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Collection, a new presentation of the institution’s significant collection of post-1960 contemporary art.
“The New Work series reaffirms SFMOMA’s commitment to the art of today and tomorrow. We want to engage audiences by presenting vital work by the artists of our time. Forward-looking and dynamic, New Work is the perfect coda to the presentation of our contemporary painting and sculpture collection in the adjacent galleries,” states SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra.
Sculptor Evan Holloway will present his work Map, 2003. The large-scale sculpture is made of tree branches painted on one side with the color spectrum and on the other with the gray scale, unnaturally joined at right angles to produce a geometric meditation on shape, structure, composition, color, and form—much like a modernist sculpture by Alexander Calder or Alberto Giacometti. Holloway’s delightfully humorous and strange tinkering with the order of nature speaks to our contemporary moment, one in which a generation of artists (who often live in cities) seek to explore their ambivalent relationship with nature and the sustainability of our environment. Holloway received his BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1989 and his MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1997. His work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions including at the Whitney Biennial (2002), the Seattle Art Museum, and the Barbican, London.
The cityscapes by Bay Area native Dave Muller, aptly titled Sprawling, reflect a similar ambivalence about our relationship with the urban environment. For SFMOMA, Muller will create a site-specific new drawing installation depicting the San Francisco skyline comprising more than a hundred individual drawings—a disjointed vision filtered through memory and suggestive of the myths, stereotypes, idiosyncrasies, and politics of place. The project will be akin to his recent depiction of Vancouver’s skyline for the Vancouver Art Gallery (2003), where he incorporated elements ranging from the sincere (cherry blossoms) to the civic-minded (beaux-arts facades) to the humorously kitschy (chainsaw-art wooden bears), capturing the spirit of the city and hinting at its politics with critical insight. Muller received his BA from the University of California, Davis. He attended the School of Visual Arts, New York, from 1990 to 1991 and received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1993. He was born and raised in Marin County.
Holloway and Muller will be participating in a panel discussion at SFMOMA on September 30, 2004, examining contemporary art on the West Coast.
The New Work series is generously supported by Collectors Forum, an auxiliary of SFMOMA and the founding patron of the series. Major funding is also provided by Mimi and Peter Haas, Nancy and Steven Oliver, Robin Wright, and the Betlach Family Foundation.