SFMoMA 75th Anniversary Show

Though the iconic Mario Botta building that houses the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has only graced the city's South of Market neighborhood since 1995, the museum itself has brought modern and contemporary art to the West Coast since 1935. To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the SFMoMA has filled its floors with 75 Years of Looking Forward, a fantastic exhibition comprising six shows that feature six views--backward- and forward-looking and more--of the museum's history and future. The shows are on display through May 23, 2010--and some longer. If you can't make it to the anniversary exhibition or can't wait to see what's on view in Botta building, view our slideshow of images from the 75 Years of Looking Forward exhibits.

I recently headed down to the SFMoMA to view the exhibition, which opened in its entirety on January 16. The first floor of exhibit space houses The Anniversary Show, a retrospective of the museum's history in over 400 works. The show highlights the different eras and important acquisitions of the museum with fascinating detail. My favorite display: Next to the SFMoMA's first Jackson Pollock, The Guardians of the Secret, are the letters between the SFMoMA and Peggy Guggenheim, from whom the painting was purchased, negotiating the sale, which was reduced from $750 to $500 to fit the SFMoMA's budget at the time. The Anniversary Show also features paintings by De Stijl artist Piet Modrian, scultures by Adaline Kent, and a wonderful collection of mid-century chairs, including the Zig-Zag chair by De Stijl designer Gerrit Rietveld, Favela chair by the Campana brothers, Cross Check chair by Frank Gehry, and more.

The other shows are The View from Here, featuring photographs of California by artists like Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange; Focus on the Artists, which examines the relationships between the SFMoMA and 18 modern and contemporary artists; Long Play: Bruce Conner and the Singles Collection, a new film acquisition making its debut in this exhibition; Ewan Gibbs: San Francisco, a commissioned selection of graphite drawings by British artist Ewan Gibbs; and Dispatches from the Archives, a selection of posters and mailers from exhibits past.(The last two, Ewan Gibbs: San Francisco and Dispatches from the Archives, were my favorites.)

The shows are on display through May 23, 2010--and some longer. If you can't make it to the anniversary exhibition or can't wait to see what's on view in Botta building, view our slideshow of images from the 75 Years of Looking Forward exhibits.

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