Archive for March, 2009

One on One: Stephanie Pau on The 1000 Journals Project

03.30.2009  |  By
Filed under: One on One

Alongside our new curator “One on One” talks, we’ll be doing occasional ‘one on one’ blog posts, from curators, staff, public, on a particular work or exhibition they’re interested in. Today’s post is from Stephanie Pau, our Manager of Interpretation:

I feel fortunate that at SFMOMA, educators (like myself... More

The Return of Ulysses, video

03.27.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

A short clip to give you an idea of what it’s been like:

William Kentridge’s restaging of Monterverdi’s The Return of Ulysses has been a collaboration with the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa, and Pacific Operaworks in Seattle, with musical direction by Stephen Stubbs.  More reviews, for the curious, at Dwell, and at SF... More

The Return of Ulysses, redux

03.26.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Last night was the glamorous opening night benefit for The Return of Ulysses. I wasn’t there (benefit=$$$$$), but I’m sure it was fabulous. I *was* at the preview/dress rehearsal on Tuesday night: it was  curious, and delightful. The puppets (handcarved) are fantastic-looking and quite expressive, which was a surprise to me, grown-up pu... More

Collection Rotation: San Francisco Opera

03.23.2009  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Our regular feature, “Collection Rotation“. Once a month I invite a local guest to organize lists, groupings, or ‘exhibitions’ from our permanent collection. To coincide with the opening of William Kentridge’s direction of the Monteverdi opera The Return of Ulysses, I asked San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley to pair bits of opera with a selection of images. Thanks to Jon Finck and Kip Cranna and everyone at the Opera who collaborated on this fabulous rotation. Note: Listen loud.

James Nachtwey, Un... More

The Return of Ulysses moves in at Project Artaud Theater

03.23.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Moving the set in from the truck to the theater.

I ran over to Theater Artaud yesterday afternoon to catch a bit of the unloading of set and puppets for the William Kentridge + Pacific Operaworks + Handspring Puppet Company’s restaging of Claudio Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses.  In case you’ve missed this: Kentridge has brought us a puppet opera, being presented in conjunction with William Kentridge: Five Themes.  An amusing tidbit: there’d been a lot of rumors here that the puppets were being shipped in kid-size coffins, and until a few days ago we were gleefully awaiting the arrival of some morbid-looking little boxes. But of course, uh, musical equipment and the like: those heavy steel cases, carefully padded: they’re called “coffins”.

No one had the key to unlock them yesterday, but we have a correspondent onsite at Artaud this morning who promises to try to get some pictures when the coffins are pried open. Many more pictures of th... More

And links.

03.12.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Sarah Hromack on SECA artist Trevor Paglen, at Art in America.

At Rhizome, an interesting interview with Mika Tajima, who will be here in May (with/as New Humans) doing a cool LiveArt project, involving a kind of film set, with the interior architecture of the SFMOMA Atrium recreated as scenery flats and installed in the Schwab room. There will be a... More


03.12.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

This, from recent SFMOMA visitor Dave McLean’s Flickr photostream, expresses an emotion one understands people do occasionally feel in the galleries:

The snapshot is of a work on view now, Kind mit Pudeln (Baby with Poodles), by an artist I like quite a lot, Katharina Fritsch. From this work’s description in our collections pages online, here’s one answer to the WTF?

Four circles of 224 poodles, arranged in tight, densely packed rings, surround an infant poised on an eight-pointed gold star. The points of the star create eight radiating axes by which the poodles are aligned. The result is a stunning visual play of repetitive patterns in space.

Fritsch’s intention is to lodge an indelible visual image in the mind of the viewer, indissolubly fusing experience and memory. Although some viewers may find the poodles threatening, they also appear to be on alert watch, guarding over the child. And despite the ominous atmosphere, a strange undercurrent of humor is pres... More

One on One: Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher on Simon Ungers

03.10.2009  |  By
Filed under: One on One

We’ve just started a great new onsite series here: curator “One on One” talks. Each Thursday evening at 6:30pm, one of our curators shares their perspective on a single work on view. Talks last about twenty minutes and take place in the galleries: a really great opportunity for conversation with some of the marvelous people on staff here. From Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, Assistant Curator, Architecture and Design:

I hope you will join me this Thursday night, March 12, in a discussion about an exciting new accession into the Arch... More

The Future of the Past: Utopia/Dystopia 1965 – 1984

03.07.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Essay

[The film series The Future of the Past, starting this Saturday, explores the rich cinematic history of imagining the future. Released from 1965 through the iconic Orwellian year 1984, the films present not-too-distant worlds that reflect extremes in the social, moral, and political trends of their time.]

A few months ago Frank Smigiel, associate c... More

03.03.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

There’s a great piece, none-too-swoony, on the SECA exhibition at the new Art in America site today, by Bay Area independent curator and artist Joseph Del Pesco. Definitely worth a look.

And while I’m here,  I’ll also point you to this lovely interview with SFMOMA Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Gary Garrels, still somewhat recently returned to the bay.  He’s quite a nice guy, incredibly smart. Gives a great interview, too.


Incoming: William Kentridge: Five Themes

03.03.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Opening March 14.  Exhibition details here.


Institutional transparency:

03.03.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Back Page

Finally, the terms are explicit.

In other news,  former SFMOMA director David Ross on the Colbert Report, re:  Shepard Fairey and questions of copyright infringement. (From Tim Buckwalter)


Visible Means of Support: Kerry James Marshall Atrium Comission

03.02.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Our newest atrium commission, which had its official opening/unveiling last Thursday,  features artist Kerry James Marshall, who has just produced two murals on what I suppose can no longer be fairly called our Lewitt walls. The paintings were realized in collaboration with Precita Mural Eyes Center; for those of you not local to the Bay, Precita E... More