ARThound

Geneva Anderson digs into art

San Francisco’s museums are reopening this week: What to see

de Young Calder Picasso

An installation view from “Calder-Picasso,” at the de Young museum, the first major museum exhibition to explore the artistic relationship between Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso, two of the most innovative and influential artists of the 20th century. Image courtesy: FAMSF

The Asian Art Museum, de Young Museum and SFMOMA all reopen to the public this week, after three plus months of closure. The Asian reopens this Thursday, March 4, followed by de Young on Saturday, March 6, and SFMOMA on Sunday, March 7. The news came today after Mayor London Breed’s announcement that San Francisco has entered the red tier, allowing cultural institutions to operate at 25% capacity. What that means for viewers is a combination of mask mandates, social distancing, and timed entry tickets to regulate capacity. What this means for museums, who rely desperately on the revenue from visitors, is cash flow. With the Bay Area’s vaccine rollout petering along, about to roll into full swing, and new highly transmissible variants of the virus that have cropped up in the Bay Area, it goes without saying that limiting community spread should be our highest priority. If you do decide to go, exercise every caution.

Each museum offers new, substantial exhibitions, installed during their recent pandemic closure. The Asian has Zheng Chongbin: State of Oscillation, an installation in dialogue with the museum’s ongoing transformation project. Working in the Osher Gallery, the Marin-based artist created ink paintings, videos, and an ephemeral chamber suffused with overlapping video imagery that heighten awareness of our bodies moving through space. In the museum’s Bogart Court, panels in varying transparency and patterns are suspended below skylights, directing the flow of natural light and manipulating sight-lines to create a novel spatial experience. The free flow of light and exploring ideas of transparency also informed architect Gay Aulenti’s impressive 2003 renovation of the Asian. After Hope: Videos of Resistance is comprised of 50 short videos made by artists across Asia and the Asian diaspora. Memento: Jayashree Chakravarty and Lam Tung Pang comprises two large-scale works that allow viewers to travel through Kolkata and Hong Kong, exploring the modern city as both a personal and political landscape.

The Asian will have free admission on Sunday, March 7, and will continue with free first Sunday of every month going forward.

Kolkata-based Jayashree Chakravarty’s Personal Space, is one of two works in Memento, the inaugural Hambrecht Contemporary Gallery installation at the Asian. At eight feet tall and more than 30 feet wide, the colossal mixed media on paper scroll furls and unfurls, establishing an architectural presence in the gallery. As you circle the work, attempting to chart a course through the chaos of streets, signs, and natural landmarks, you experience the disorientation the artist felt as the rapidly expanding city swallowed the countryside of her youth. Image: courtesy Asian Art Museum

The de Young is offering the traveling blockbuster, Calder-Picasso, which makes its first U.S. stop in San Francisco. Conceived and curated by Alexander Calder’s grandson Alexander S. C. Rower and Pablo Picasso’s grandson Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, it features over 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs. The exhibit is focused on both artists’ occupation with “the void” and how they transformed our conceptions of form and space—and thus the very definition of art itself.

New at the de Young is Nampeyo and the Sikyátki Revival, an installation of 32 pots by Nampeyo (ca 1860-1942), the renowned Tewa-Hopi potter. Examples of Hopi pottery from Nampeyo’s era and works by four generations of her descendants will be juxtaposed with her masterpieces.

Also, continuing at the de Young is Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, which opened in March 2020, was impacted by pandemic closure, and has been extended through May 2.

The de Young will offer free admission on Saturday, March 6 and continue with free Saturdays moving forward,

SFMOMA reopens with Close to Home: Creativity in Crisis, featuring new works by seven Bay Area artists ― Carolyn Drake, Rodney Ewing, Andres Gonzalez, James Gouldthorpe, Klea McKenna, Tucker Nichols, and Woody De Othello ― in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented social upheaval of 2020. Bay Area Walls, which spreads across three floors of the museum, is a series of commissions by local artists that continues the museum’s investigation of the pandemic and unfolding crises of 2020. It features works by Erina Alejo and Adrian L. Burrell, Liz Hernández, Muzae Sesay, and the Twins Walls Company (Elaine Chu and Marina Perez-Wong). The museum’s New Work gallery will showcase new works by conceptual artist Charles Gaines, emerging from his interest the controversial Dred Scott Decision of 1857, in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Missouri Compromise and decreed that Black people were not U.S. citizens and therefore could not sue for their right to freedom.

Music is an important vehicle for conceptual artist Charles Gaines. Manifestos 3, at SFMOMA, draws on seminal essays from James Baldwin and a speech from Martin Luther King. Gaines has translated text into notes, developing a system whereby letters of the alphabet are used in musical notation. The arrangement is recorded in a sound studio. For the gallery installation, the text is scrolled on a video monitor while the music it produced is played. Large-scale copies of the musical score are displayed that include the original text and viewers can see how the letter to note translation was done. Gaines says the music sounds atonal but is actually very tonal in a systematic sense. Image: SFMOMA

Before their public reopening, both the de Young and SFMOMA will have member preview days. SFMOMA will be free to the public on March 7 and tickets can be reserved online starting Wednesday, March 3 at roughly 10 a.m. Due to safety protocols in place which limit the number of visitors, reserving a ticket beforehand is essential. For more details on ticketing, admission and safety protocols, visit the websites: Asian Art Museum, de Young and SFMOMA.

March 2, 2021 - Posted by | Art, Asian Art Museum, de Young Museum, SFMOMA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: