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February 8, 2010

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.

Mixed media installation by Barry McGee
Untitled (1996), created by Barry McGee. From the SFMoMA Collection; purchased through the Ruth Nash Fund and Louis Vuitton N.A.. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: The Anniversary Show exhibit, on view through January 16, 2011.
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Zig-zag Chair by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld
Zig-zag Chair (1934), designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld. From the SFMoMA Collection; gift of Michael and Gabrielle Boyd. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: The Anniversary Show exhibit, on view through January 16, 2011.
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Pier Luigi Nervi: Space and Structural Integrity exhibition poster
Pier Luigi Nervi: Space and Structural Integrity exhibition poster (1961), designer unknown. From the SFMoMA Collection. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: Dispatches from the Archives exhibit, on view through July 6, 2010.
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Composition (No. III) by Piet Mondrian
Composition (No. III) Blanc-Jaune (Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue) (1935-42), painted by Piet Mondrian. From the SFMoMA Collection; purchased through a gift of Phyllis Wattis. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: The Anniversary Show exhibit, on view through January 16, 2011.
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Presence by Adaline Kent
Presence (1947), sculpted by Adaline Kent. From the SFMoMA Collection; gift of the Women's Board and the Membership Activities Board. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: The Anniversary Show exhibit, on view through January 16, 2011.
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Guardians of the Secret by Jackson Pollock
Guardians of the Secret (1943), painted by Jackson Pollock. From the SFMoMA Collection; purchased through the Albert M. Bender Bequest Fund. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: The Anniversary Show exhibit, on view through January 16, 2011.
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Les valeurs personnelles by René Magritte
Les valeurs personnelles (Personal Values) (1952), painted by René Magritte. From the SFMoMA Collection; purchased through a gift of Phyllis Wattis. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: The Anniversary Show exhibit, on view through January 16, 2011.
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Two Buildings: San Francisco 1959 exhibition mailer
Two Buildings: San Francisco 1959 exhibition mailer (1959), designer unknown. From the SFMoMA Collection. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: Dispatches from the Archives exhibit, on view through July 6, 2010.
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<i>20th Century Design U.S.A.</i> exhibition poster (1960), designer unknown. From the SFMoMA Collection. On display as part of the SFMoMA's <a href="http://www.sfmoma.org/exhibitions/411"><i>75 Years of Looking Forward: Dispatches from the Archives</i></
20th Century Design U.S.A. exhibition poster (1960), designer unknown. From the SFMoMA Collection. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: Dispatches from the Archives exhibit, on view through July 6, 2010.
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Design in Scandinavia exhibition poster by Tapio Wirkkala
Design in Scandinavia exhibition poster (1957), designed by Tapio Wirkkala. From the SFMoMA Collection. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: Dispatches from the Archives exhibit, on view through July 6, 2010.
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San Francisco Victorian graphite drawing by Ewan Gibbs
Graphite drawing by Ewan Gibbs depicting San Francisco's Victorians. (2009) Commissioned by the SFMoMA. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: Ewan Gibbs: San Francisco exhibit, on view through June 27, 2010.
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Clouds, from Tunnel Overlook, Yosemite National Park, California by Ansel Adams
Clouds, from Tunnel Overlook, Yosemite National Park, California (ca. 1934), photographed by Ansel Adams. From the SFMoMA Collection; gift of Mrs. Walter A. Haas. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: The View From Here exhibit, on view through June 27, 2010.
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Mixed media installation by Barry McGee
Untitled (1996), created by Barry McGee. From the SFMoMA Collection; purchased through the Ruth Nash Fund and Louis Vuitton N.A.. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: The Anniversary Show exhibit, on view through January 16, 2011.

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.)

Two Buildings: San Francisco 1959 exhibition mailer
Two Buildings: San Francisco 1959 exhibition mailer (1959), designer unknown. From the SFMoMA Collection. On display as part of the SFMoMA's 75 Years of Looking Forward: Dispatches from the Archives exhibit, on view through July 6, 2010.

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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