Robert Bechtle on Richard Diebenkorn’s Coffee (1959). “An artist looks at those hands and says, ‘That guy knows how to paint hands, but he’s not trying to prove it to you. They’re doing what they need to do to get that coffee cup up to her lips, and that’s it.’ ” Click thumbnail for larger version, yo... More
Posts Tagged “75 Reasons to Live”
Our beloved Megan Brian, education and public programs coordinator, who can clearly do anything, stepped in at the 11th hour when one of our speakers couldn’t make her talk, and gave us this brilliant bit on Marilyn Minter’s Strut (2005). More on the artist.
Artist Leslie Shows on Arthur Dove’s Silver Ball No. 2 (1930). “I love the literalness of using metallic silver paint to depict a silver ball … yet he also uses this silver paint in the atmosphere around the silver ball, so the silver depicts not only silver but depicts the luminousness of moonlight, luminousness of the atmosphere... More
Jeffrey Fraenkel opened his San Francisco photography gallery more than 30 years ago. On Diane Arbus, and A Young Brooklyn Family Going for a Sunday Outing, N.Y.C. (1966, printed ca. 1971): “I come back to her work because of what she tells me about what it’s like to be human.” Thanks so much, Jeffrey.
Remember the end of Manhattan, when Woody Allen asks himself what makes life worth living? About this time last January, during SFMOMA’s three-day 75th anniversary celebration, 75 people from the Bay Area creative community gave extremely short talks — 7.5 minutes or less! — on a single work of their choosing from the museum’s collection. As The Anniversary Show and the museum’s 75th anniversary year are drawing soon to a close (Jan 16, to be exact), we’re going to celebrate by screening these videos all day long, TOMORROW, in the Phyllis Wattis Theater. Do come down.
11 a.m.–5 p.m. FREE.
AND: Following the 75 Reasons marathon, we’ll be screening David Wojnarowicz’s FIRE IN MY BELLY, beginning at 5:30 p.m. There will be a public discussion, with members of the Bay Area arts community and SFMOMA curators, following the screening. ALSO FREE.More
Kaja Silverman, art historian and film theorist, on Robert Rauschenberg’s Cy + Roman Steps (I – V) (1952).
Poet Lisa Robertson, on German artist Eva Hesse’s Sans II (1968). “Identity is the state’s authority.”
Rachel Rosen, director of programming for the San Francisco Film Society, on Eadweard Muybridge’s Panorama of San Francisco from California Street Hill (1877).
Remember the end of Manhattan, when Woody Allen asks him... More
Bill Fontana is a composer and sound artist. SFMOMA has commissioned what will be a truly fantastic new site-specific installation by the artist, opening this month. Bill talks here about his appreciation for the sound qualities of Dan Graham’s 1994 sculpture Double Cylinder (The Kiss). I remember that after his talk, one listener sugges... More
Carey Perloff is the artistic director of the American Conservatory Theater. She likens Robbert Flick’s Along Ocean Park, Looking West, Summer (1980) to a curtain rising at the theater. Thanks, Carey, for so fantastic a talk. Readers, click the thumbnail for a larger image and slightly better view on the small pictures that make up the whole work... More
Chip Lord is a media artist working with video and digital photography, and was a founding member of the art and architecture collective Ant Farm. He’s talking about Terry Fox‘s 1976 sculpture, A Metaphor. And for more Terry Fox, see Sarah Roberts’s talk on Pendulum Spit Bite, just below. Thank you, Chip!
Remember the en... More
Sarah Roberts is SFMOMA Associate Curator of Collections and Research, and she’s talking here about Terry Fox’s print Pendulum Spit Bite (1977). It’s quite delicate and especially difficult to read in the video, click the thumbnail for a slightly better view. Or come down and see it in person! The work is only on view through next... More
Craig Baldwin is a filmmaker, curator, and publisher, and as long-time host of ATA‘s Other Cinema has been premiering experimental, essay, and documentary works for over a quarter century. He’s talking about the legacy of Wallace Berman and the art/poetry journal Semina (1955-1964). Keep your eye out for Rick Prelinger w/ video camera ... More
Rick Prelinger is a archivist, writer and media-maker, and founder of the Prelinger Archives. Here he’s talking about Willard E. Worden‘s Observatory in Ruins, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco (1906), imagining the observatory’s contested construction and subsequent collapse by earthquake, as prophecy towards a proposed re... More
Iain Boal is a writer and historian. He’s speculating here (to quite a crowd) about the couple in Elaine Mayes‘s Interracial Couple and Baby, Golden State Park, August, 1968. If you click the thumbnail at left, the image will open larger in a new window; you may find it helpful to be able to be able to click back and forth to the pictu... More
Martin Venezky is a designer, and the owner of Appetite Engineers. He’s speaking here about a untitled tintype, taken in a portrait studio ca. 1870 by an unknown photographer, of a young man in cowboy attire. “I look at it more as a picture of aspiration rather than occupation.” (Click the thumbnail for a larger view.) A wonderf... More
Jennifer Sonderby is SFMOMA’s head of graphic design. Jennifer’s talking about Leslie Shows’s painting Two Ways to Organize (2006), and how she decided to put it on the cover of the (massive) anniversary catalogue, 75 Years of Looking Forward. Many thanks to Jen for a fantastic talk, and equanimity in an extremely noisy, crowded g... More
Allison Smith is an artist. During the anniversary weekend, two of her SMITHS projects were running simultaneously on our fifth floor, so we especially appreciated her coming down to give her talk on J. Wilbur Sandison‘s photograph Quilt (ca. 1940s). “I love the idea of an artwork that is as much the conversation as the material ... More
Anne McGuire is an artist whose work plays with conventions of perception. In her talk on Anne Bremer‘s Sentinels (1920), Anne imagines prairie girl Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s life as compared to the life of the cosmopolitan painter and poet Anne Bremer, born as they were just one year apart. Thank you Anne!
Remember the end of Manhattan,... More
San Francisco-based writer Rebecca Solnit‘s forthcoming book Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas reimagines traditional map-making in 22 inventive maps, 7 of which SFMOMA is issuing this year in broadside copies linked to a series of Live Art events. The second program of the series is this weekend. Rebecca speaks here about what it meant, e... More
Sam Green is a documentary filmmaker living in San Francisco. For a possibly irrelevant anecdote from me on Sam’s selection of this curious untitled photograph by an unknown photographer, see my note on Anne Walsh’s talk, here. Click the thumbnail for a larger view of the picture.
Remember the end of Manhattan, when Woody Allen asks him... More
Anne Walsh is a visual artist. (And former Open Space columnist!) I can’t resist offering a bit of program back-story on her selection of this untitled picture by an unknown photographer: When I asked our speakers to participate, I sent them long lists of every work expected to be on view during the Anniversary weekend, that is, hundreds a... More
Larry Rinder is the director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and is speaking here about Lebbeus Woods‘s San Francisco Project: Inhabiting the Quake 1995). I’ve been posting these talks out-of-sequence per their anniversary-weekend chronology, however it’s worth mentioning that Larry gave the 75th talk of the ... More
Renée Green is an artist, writer, and filmmaker, and her fantastic talk is on On Kawara‘s MAR. 16, 1993, from the “Today” Series (1993). “What is life anyway? A series of repetitions, but not exactly?” Thank you, Renée.
Stephen Hartman is a psychoanalyst. He’s also written for us here at Open Space, during our summer of Berlin Alexanderplatz. He’s talking here about Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s Untitled (Golden) (1996); contradiction; shame and ecstasy; and neutrality and disclosure in psychoanalysis. Yes, that is a wetsuit our friend is wearing. Step... More
Rudolf Frieling is curator of media arts here at SFMOMA. He’s talking about Felix Gonzalez-Torres‘s Untitled (Golden) (1995). The gold curtain just begs for a dramatic entrance and exit: compare Stephen Hartman’s—very different—talk on the same piece, coming up later today. Thanks Rudolf!
Remember the end of Manhattan, when Wo... More
Rex Ray is an artist and graphic designer (and a doll). He’s talking about Andy Warhol’s Self-Portrait (1967). Rex talks in some detail about the painting and it isn’t always visible in the video, so here’s a link so you can flip back and forth and look at it while he’s talking. Loads more on Warhol here. Warhol Wednes... More