Doug Aitken’s EMPIRE one of a suite of off-site projects planned for SFMOMA’s under-construction period

June 19, 2012  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

Today SFMOMA makes the official announcement about plans for the period we’ll be under construction, beginning in 2013. Instead of relocating to a temporary home while we’re building, the museum “will use this period to experiment with new ideas, engage in dialogue with a range of cultural partners, and create innovative ways for audiences to experience the museum’s collection.” Think collaborative and traveling exhibitions, site-specific installations, and neighborhood festivals, to unfold throughout the Bay Area and beyond. As the headline says, Doug Aitken’s Empire — a trilogy of video installations reflecting on migration and myths of the West — will be one of many exciting off-site projects happening around and about during the two+ years we’ll be in hard-hat season.

Doug Aitken, _Frontier_ (installation view), 2009, from the _Empire_ trilogy; Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; and Regen Projects, Los Angeles; © Doug Aitken

Doug Aitken, _Frontier_ (installation view), 2009, from the _Empire_ trilogy; Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; and Regen Projects, Los Angeles; © Doug Aitken

Bay Area Museum Partnerships

SFMOMA will copresent, with other local institutions, major thematic exhibitions that highlight both iconic and lesser-seen works from all areas of the museum’s collections. In summer 2014 we’ll be working with the Asian Art Museum on a provocative East/West examination of beauty in art from both museums’ collections. The presentation will feature unexpected pairings, like SFMOMA’s Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988) by Jeff Koons with the Asian Art Museum’s sculpture of a Hindu goddess (as buffalo demon slayer) (1000–1100 A.D.):

Jeff Koons, _Michael Jackson and Bubbles_, 1988; 42 in. x 70 1/2 in. x 32 1/2 in.; ceramic, glaze, and paint; Collection SFMOMA, purchased through the Marian and Bernard Messenger Fund and restricted funds; © Jeff Koons

_The Hindu deity Durga victorious over the buffalo demon_, 1000-1100 A..D.; India, Tamil Nadu state; granite; The Avery Brundage Collection; © Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Also in 2014 SFMOMA will partner with YBCA, taking as a starting point SFMOMA’s growing collection of photography from South Africa. Reflecting YBCA’s multidisciplinary approach to programming, this collaboration will focus on the work of a few key artists, performers, and writers to consider the cultural geography of the country both during and after apartheid.

David Goldblatt, _Woman smoking, Fordsburg, Johannesburg, 1975_, 1975; printed 2010; pigment inkjet print; 23 5/8 in. x 29 1/2 in. (60 cm x 75 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt, _George Nkomo, Hawker, Fourways, Johannesburg. 21 August 2002_, from the series _Intersections_, 2002; pigment inkjet print, 23 5/8 x 29 1/2 in. (60 x 75 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © David Goldblatt

And the kickoff to the multi-venue series of off-site collaborations will be at the Contemporary Jewish Museum starting in summer 2013, with a presentation drawn entirely from SFMOMA’s collection, looking at art and spirituality in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Jackson Pollock, _Guardians of the Secret_, 1943; 48 3/8 in. x 75 3/8 in.; oil on canvas; Collection SFMOMA; Albert M. Bender Collection, Albert M. Bender Bequest Fund purchase; © 2012 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Philip Guston, _Red Sea; The Swell; Blue Light_, 1975; 73 in. x 237 1/2 in.; oil on canvas; Collection SFMOMA, purchased through the Helen Crocker Russell and William H. and Ethel W. Crocker Family Funds, the Mrs. Ferdinand C. Smith Fund, and the Paul L. Wattis Special Fund; © Estate of Philip Guston

Another super-cool bit: The Architecture and Design department is commissioning a floating pavilion from Los Angeles–based architect Greg Lynn, to be docked near Fort Mason. The structure will function as an SFMOMA venue for public programs and also provide a viewing platform for the 2012 America’s Cup races.

For more details on the slate of partnership programming, site-specific installations, outdoor commissions, live art festivals, and all the other excitements, go here.

4 Comments

  1. Mark Hendricks Says:

    SFMOMA should use the empty Kaiser Center right next to the Oakland Museum of California.

  2. Suzanne Says:

    Nice. That would have been great indeed!

  3. blh Says:

    Really excited for EMPIRE, when will we know more about the sites and any potential public programs?
    Greg Lynn is another strong choice. In fact, the Aitken/Lynn interview in Broken Screens was an exceptional read, I hope we get an opportunity to hear them in discussion as part of this program.
    I’ll go ahead and RSVP now just in case, blh plus one please.

    Great job SFMOMA.

  4. Suzanne Says:

    As sites and programs are firmed up, we’ll announce here, and you can check in at sfmoma.org as well–and thanks for the tip on that interview, blh, I’m going to look for it

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