Archive for November, 2009

Reframing Conservation

11.30.2009  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

In the first in an occasional series of posts focused on issues of conservation, managing editor of communications Apollonia Morrill talks with director of conservation and collections Jill Sterrett, about an installation by Barry McGee, and the ways the field of  conservation evolves to meet the demands of new artwork.

As a student of art history, I was always fascinated by the field of conservation. I started out studying medieval art; of those who work in with this material, conservators seemed most linked to its inner life and its makers. ... More

Not New Work

11.30.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Try as we might to get away from the museum, it always lures us in with something bright. This summer in San Francisco, we had the Richard Avedon exhibition and the show which matched Georgia O Keeffe and Ansel Adams (as some wags call it, Ma and Pa Kettle on the Farm.) Then there’s “Not New Work,” curated by SFMOMA’s Apsara Di Quinzio and selected by Vincent Fecteau from the museum’s own hoard of antiquity.

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871 Underground

11.29.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

I first paid a visit to 871 Fine Arts when it was housed at 49 Geary. This must have been about three years ago. The long and wide room had posters on its walls, as well as original works by George Herms, Jim Dine, Franz Kline, and many others. In the very back was a tight square room packed with art books organized into interesting sections: Prints, Drawings, California Artists. The poetry section had an emphasis on its inevitable intersection with visual art. I went back a few times, often during the first Thursdays, in which the building was... More

Happy Thanksgiving

11.26.2009  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

SISTER-hood is powerful.

11.25.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

1.

I was about sixteen years old, I was sitting on my bedroom floor, it was linoleum, I was writing on it with black nailpolish and smoking cigarettes. My mother knew I smoked and she hated it so I was forbidden to smoke outside in the streets where someone  might see me and judge her a bad mother for my habits, and I was not allowed to smoke in front of her, because she judged herself a bad mother for my habits. So that left my bedroom and that’s where I was, vandalizing my bedroom, lighting up Marlboro Lights, seeing if anyone wanted ... More

Tomo Yasuda

11.21.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

I remember when Tomo was only in one band. It was [Hey] Willpower first, or wait, Window Window, and then Tussle and then Coconut? Maybe his two solo albums came first. I’m not sure that’s right, but I do remember that I was never worried as he was joining up with group after group. He just seemed to snowball into a force that was needed simultaneously by three groups with three distinct sounds. The kind of role I would ordinarily ascribe to a producer or arranger. Not to even mention other pairings that lasted a show or two or were... More

Tim Miller and (My) Friends

11.21.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

I had to dress up to see Tim Miller at Yerba Buena tonight, because my friends are so fashionable. Like, Page McBee and Michael Braithwaite are the cutest couple ever, both looking like andro Blythe doll with cooler haircuts and more plaid. Page is a writer working on a collection of poetic essays about the body and until recently was stirring shit up as a Bitch Magazine blogger, posting  a controversial piece about trans women that really should not have been controversial at all except for pesky 2nd wave feminism rearing its tranemy (that wo... More

Five Questions: Timothy Buckwalter

11.20.2009  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA visitors, artists, staff, or guests. Here's Timothy Buckwalter in the Koret Visitor Education Center.]

Name/Place of residence/Occupation/Hobby?

My name is Timothy Buckwalter. I live in Albany, California. I’m an artist and I’ve recently started curating and I also write about art. I have a blog about art. If I... More

1001 Words: 11.19.09

11.19.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

*an ongoing series of individual images presented for speculation and scrutiny, with only tags at the bottom to give context. Because sometimes words are never enough…


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Visitor Flickr Photo of the Week

11.18.2009  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Nick, a.k.a kukkurovaca, took this picture of Ellsworth Kelly’s Stele I in the SFMOMA Rooftop Garden. Looks like the person on the left is entering another dimension.  The dapper gentleman on the right may have just returned from it.

Nick says:

There’s no real story to this photograph—If I remember correctly, I had just gone to see the Avedon exhibit for the first time, and the Adams-O’Keeffe for the third or fourth time, probably. I went up to the roof, got a beverage, and sat down to people-watch. I had my camera w... More

Pieces From Living Rooms

11.17.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Collection of Bill Berkson & Constance Lewallen

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Collection Rotation: Fayette Hauser

11.16.2009  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

[Our monthly feature, Collection Rotation: some wonderful guest organizes a mini-exhibition from our collection works online. This month's guest-curator is the marvelous Fayette Hauser, shining, beautiful Cockette, costume designer, & collector extraordinaire. On December 3, we're hosting the Cockettes for a rare film screening and celebration of... More

Destiny’s Sacred Jazz Celebration

11.16.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

I Just returned from Jazz harpist Destiny Muhammad’s Birthday Celebration at the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts in Oakland. Tonight Destiny hosted a group of musicians ranging from an extremely impressive youth jazz ensemble (youngest member 10 years old.) to a string trio featuring Vincent Tolliver and Tarika Lewis to internationally recognized artists such as Dwayne Wiggins of Toni! Tony! Tone!

Destiny Muhammad is a harpist in the tradition of Jazz innovators such as Dorothy Ashby and of course the legendary Alice Coltrane. Both Joh... More

Githinji Wambire’s West Oakland Studio Part 1

11.15.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

As one of the creative artists and culture workers in West Oakland I’m often times on Pine Street in deep west Oakland talking and interacting with the artists, writers and musicians there. Just last week I stopped in to pay a visit to painter Githinji WaMbire at his 1018 Pine street studio. Githinji is a Kenyan artist working in Oakland. I came to “chop it up” with him and get some healing vibe from his sanctuary. It didn’t take me long to realize that this space is also a stage that Githinji uses to perform the ritual theater ... More

The Importance of Being Eileen

11.13.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Eileen Myles, my favorite writer in the whole world living or dead, read at Modern Times bookstore Wednesday night. It’s now Friday and I haven’t gotten around to writing about it because I keep being paranoid that I have swine flu and taking to my bed at embarrassing hours. I think I am just exhausted from those tours I was on. Eileen has been traveling the entire world reading from her newest book, The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art. Wednesday night she read from the title essay, which recounts her visit to the... More

Visitor Flickr Photo(s) of the Week

11.13.2009  |  By
Filed under: Back Page


I love the matching blue shirts and the Avedon gestures of these two.  The pictures come from Anitechi’s flickr, and she writes:

“This trip was our honeymoon, and I was glad there were fabulous exhibitions in my favorite museum. I appreciate that you like these photos. It will be a special experience to see our photos on SFMOMA’s blog.”

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(Almost) Free Video: Art21 and Remix Manifesto

11.12.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

I heard an anecdote somewhere that the three words in the English language that evoke the most visceral response are “free,” “sex,” and “sale.” I’m not exactly sure if there’s a particular order to which is more popular, and it’s funny to think how someone could come up with a good marketing slo... More

The Anecdote Archive

11.10.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

I shot the first video anecdote just before catching a train leaving NY Penn Station at a coffee stand with Marisa Jahn. The night before, I had been in a bar near MOMA with Mexican curator Sofía Olascoaga, and after telling her about the general idea she said “Oh, like an anecdote archive?” and I said, “Yes, exactly.” Minutes later Sofía and I were  feasting on a Korean dinner with Tom Finkelpearl, director of the Queens Museum.  On the way to dinner, Tom gave an incredible account of a performance project, which wo... More

Why Photography Now? 15 artists / 1 question – Part II

11.09.2009  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

(The second in a two-part series from assistant curator of photography Lisa Sutcliffe, who organized both of our current collection exhibitions of Asian photography: The Provoke Era and Photography Now. Lisa posed a single question to the artists whose works are included in Photography Now. Part one is here.)

This week we’re returning to the question Why Photography Now? Photography Now: China, Japan, Korea presents SFMOMA’s new acquisitions by contemporary photographers working in Asia, and was conceptualized as a companion to our current ... More

BAITLINE!!!

11.08.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Dirt princess seeks unicorn for woodland frolic, I’ll put some shine on that horn…..Desperately seeking Sugar! Hi Sugar, I miss you lady. If yr around and want some awkward conversation call me…..FTMS- Are you feeling the rush of the roids? Wish you could afford a hooker? Call me anytime. I’m into being a worn out mattress. ... More

Frieze-ing in London (pt 2): postface

11.08.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

The second installment of a semi-diaristic series of entries relating to travels and exhibitions in London and New York during October 2009. Read part 1 here

—————

Dear Open Space Diary (heretofore again lovingly referred to as “OSD”),

Gahhhhh! Well, I have utterly failed in my attempt at providing intre... More

Floating School – Paul Kagawa, 1976

11.06.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

While investigating various histories relevant to the Pickpocket Almanack program, Renny Pritikin pointed me to a rare publication surveying SFAI’s brave departure from business as usual, organized by Tom Marioni. It was a year-long series of weekly projects called The Annual or Annual Space. The series involved institutional partnerships and off-site locations including two events at SFMOMA.

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Visitor Flickr Photo of the Week

11.06.2009  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

I was instantly charmed by this image of stockings that match the SFMOMA grand staircase and walls.  Thanks Marco!

Here’s what he had to say about the shot:

“The legs belong to my girlfriend Holly. The story is nothing special, I was feeling creative after we saw the Robert Frank and Richard Avedon photographs and I saw the similarity ... More

Ariel?

11.05.2009  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

I can tell you a bit about Ariel Schrag because I spent the last 4 weeks introducing her every night on the Sister Spit tour. Ariel grew up in the Bay Area, and did she waste her high school years drinking too much at the Rocky Horror Picture show and falling in love with bisexual witches named Perry? No she did not. Ariel, who went to Berkeley High, began documenting her experience as an out queer in the form of comics. They were ultimately compiled into 4 graphic novels – Awkward and Definition (9th and 10th grade, published in one volu... More

1001 Words: 11.04.09

11.04.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

*an ongoing series of individual images presented for speculation and scrutiny, with only tags at the bottom to give context. Because sometimes words are never enough…


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One on One: Jennifer Fletcher on Robert Overby

11.03.2009  |  By

[Part two of a conversation, keyed to our One on One series, between Michelle Barger, deputy head of conservation, and Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, assistant curator of architecture and design, on Robert Overby's Hall painting, first floor.]

Michelle Barger: How did you come to chose Hall painting, first floor for your One on One talk? Were you familiar with Overby’s work as a commercial designer prior to becoming an artist, and did this play into your decision?

Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher: In 2000, I was working at the UCLA Hammer Museum as the curatorial assistant when Robert Overby: Parallel, 1978-1969 was exhibited, so I have been familiar with all the various strains of his work since then, including the graphic design. However, this was before switching from a curatorial interest in contemporary art to architecture. When I was combing through the permanent collection database recently in search of works for an exhibition proposal, I was thrilled to discover that SFMOMA had one of ... More

Desert Obsessions: Apsara DiQuinzio on Utah earthworks

11.02.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

[Assistant curator of painting + sculpture Apsara DiQuinzio, on the Utah desert, Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels, and more. Part I is here.]

In August I went to Utah for the first time to continue my art-mediated obsession with desert landscapes. I traveled to a portion of The Great Basin—famous home to the Great Salt Lake,... More