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This is the official Tumblr of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. We post all sorts of museum-related goodness, plus submissions of artwork from you, our talented and magnificent followers, on Fridays.

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    #TBT x 3: In 1993, artist Rachel Whiteread became the first woman to receive the Turner Prize! In 2004, SFMOMA invited Whiteread to give an artist talk, in which she traced her artistic development from cast sculptures of domestic spaces and objects to her monumental public works. For your listening pleasure, we’ve just published audio from the talk→In 2009, Whiteread’s Contents was on view at SFMOMA alongside works by Anish Kapoor and Julie Mehretu in the exhibition Between Art and Life: The Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Collection. 

    #TBT x 3: In 1993, artist Rachel Whiteread became the first woman to receive the Turner Prize! 

    In 2004, SFMOMA invited Whiteread to give an artist talk, in which she traced her artistic development from cast sculptures of domestic spaces and objects to her monumental public works. For your listening pleasure, we’ve just published audio from the talk→

    In 2009, Whiteread’s Contents was on view at SFMOMA alongside works by Anish Kapoor and Julie Mehretu in the exhibition Between Art and Life: The Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Collection

    Posted on Thursday, March 20th 2014

    Robert Rauschenberg, Rosalie/Red Cheek/Temporary Letter/Stock, 1971; Collection SFMOMA, Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Major Accessions; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York Detail of Rosalie/Red Cheek/Temporary Letter/Stock, 1971; Collection SFMOMA, Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Major Accessions; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY Detail of Rosalie/Red Cheek/Temporary Letter/Stock, 1971; Collection SFMOMA, Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Major Accessions; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

    SFMOMA NEWS: Meet Rosalie

    SFMOMA has just acquired a 1971 wall sculpture by Robert Rauschenberg titled Rosalie / Red Cheek / Temporary Letter / Stock. Rauschenberg moved from New York to Captiva Island, Florida, in fall 1970, and began a new series, the Cardboards, that repurposed used boxes as raw material for sculpture. Rosalie neatly encapsulates this Florida-to-New York transition through two mailing labels that the artist affixed to the “Red Cheek” apple cider box during his move. He addressed one label to himself in the general delivery for Captiva; the other, a return label, bears the address of his New York studio. 

    SFMOMA acquired Rosalie through the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Artwork Gift and Purchase program, and the sculpture has been added to the Rauschenberg Research Project, our online Rauschenberg catalogue published last summer.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 5th 2014

    
I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions — tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on — and the fact that lots of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I communicate those basic human emotions… The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationships, then you miss the point!

Mark Rothko on the Transcendent Power of Art and How (Not) To Experience His Paintings, via Brainkpickings→
Have you ever had a strong emotional experience when viewing a work by Rothko?

    I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions — tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on — and the fact that lots of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I communicate those basic human emotions… The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationships, then you miss the point!

    Mark Rothko on the Transcendent Power of Art and How (Not) To Experience His Paintings, via Brainkpickings

    Have you ever had a strong emotional experience when viewing a work by Rothko?

    Posted on Saturday, March 1st 2014

    Photographs by Lindeka Qampi, a self-taught photographer whose work documents daily life in townships outside of Cape Town. Nicholas Hlobo's abstract two- and three-dimensional works speak to the complexity of identity through the use of highly suggestive materials that fuse Xhosa
and gay cultural references. Works by the Handspring Puppet Company, whose performances have foregrounded South African realities against global mythologies, personal narratives, and local stories. Athi-Patra Ruga creates fantastical characters who
change their geographies in novel ways. Installation view of William Kentridge's Kemang Wa Lehulere's Installation view featuring work by Anton Kannemeyer, who depicts topics both racy and taboo. Here we see the aftermath of the dress rehearsal for Athi-Patra Ruga's When you head to YBCA for

    PREVIEW: Public Intimacy at YBCA

    Disrupting expected images of South Africa, Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa explores the poetics and politics of the everyday. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa, Public Intimacy reveals the nuances of human interaction in a country still undergoing significant change. 
    The opening party for Public Intimacy is TONIGHT, and Athi-Patra Ruga will perform The Elder of Azania tomorrow at YBCA, 6pm.

    Posted on Friday, February 21st 2014

    Jill Sterrett, director of collections and conservation at SFMOMA, studies the surface of Ellsworth Kelly’s painting Gaza, 1952-56; photo: courtesy SFMOMA Paints and pigments from SFMOMA’s Artist Materials Archive, a comprehensive library of some 300 pieces of artist materials and tools related to works in the collection; photo: courtesy SFMOMA [L-R] Ellsworth Kelly and Gary Garrels, SFMOMA’s Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture; photo: courtesy SFMOMA SFMOMA conservationist working on Gu Wenda’s united nations — babel of the millennium (1999), a site-specific work composed of human hair, rope, and glue.

    MUSEUM NEWS: Introducing The Artist Initiative!

    SFMOMA is thrilled to announce The Artist Initiative, a long-term project dedicated to collaborating with living artists in order to put their voices at the center of our evolving approach to art conservation and collection research. Supported by a $1.75 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, one of the main objectives of The Artist Initiative is to share new research with the museum community, and surface findings for the public through web publishing and enriched in-gallery experiences.

    “Traditionally thought of as a solitary pursuit in backrooms of museums, art conservation is rapidly emerging as a collaborative and relationship-based practice in the museum of the 21st century,” said Jill Sterrett, director of collections and conservation at SFMOMA. ”As art making has grown from an individual endeavor to comprise more collaborative or shared experiences, so too has conservation, engaging many disciplines within the museum. An ever-growing array of unorthodox artist materials—ranging from food to the internet—adds to the demand for a corollary shift in thinking from museums.” 

    WHAT THIS MEANS: We’ll now be working with artists directly to preserve their works. We’ll then share our findings with the museum community, and you!

    The Artist Initiative will begin by diving into five areas of SFMOMA’s collection: Photography in the 1970s, The Art of Ellsworth Kelly, Up Close with Vija Celmins, Julia Scher’s Predictive Engineering, and Bay Area High-Tech Design. READ MORE→

    Read the NYTimes’ article covering this announcement

    Posted on Monday, February 10th 2014

    As you all most likely know by now, President Obama made an offhand remark this week that manufacturing work is possibly more lucrative than pursuing work in the arts. Seems like a good moment to remember the profound role that the arts play in fostering creativity and innovation!

How have you put your arts education to work?
    As you all most likely know by now, President Obama made an offhand remark this week that manufacturing work is possibly more lucrative than pursuing work in the arts. Seems like a good moment to remember the profound role that the arts play in fostering creativity and innovation!
    How have you put your arts education to work?

    Posted on Friday, January 31st 2014