Apollo Magazine

12 Days: Highlights of 2016

Neal Benezra on the reopening of the SFMOMA and why 2016 will be an exciting year for the entire San Francisco Bay Area

Snøhetta expansion of SFMOMA, opening 14 May 2016 © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA

Snøhetta expansion of SFMOMA, opening 14 May 2016 © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA

Over the 12 days of Christmas, Apollo contributors and guests select their highlights of 2016

View the 12 Days series here

First and foremost, I am looking forward to the opening of the expanded and transformed SFMOMA on 14 May and debuting our new 10-storey addition designed by international architecture firm, Snøhetta. We are currently busy installing over 1,900 works, including extraordinary postwar and contemporary art from the Fisher Collection, more than 600 new gifts and promised gifts to the museum through our Campaign for Art and two exhibitions in our new Pritzker Center for Photography, which will be the largest gallery, research and interpretive space devoted to the medium in any U.S. art museum.

The Road West, U.S. 54 in Southern New Mexico (1938), Dorothea Lange. Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of Shirley Davis © Oakland Museum of California, the City of Oakland, gift of Paul S. Taylor

We have also commissioned artists such as Julie Mehretu, Claudy Jongstra and Leonor Antunes to create fantastic site-specific works for the museum. I’m excited to see our new building come alive with artwork and visitors, and I’m most gratified to be able to offer free admission to all visitors 18 and younger, helping to cultivate the next generation of art lovers.

Spectrum I (1953), Ellsworth Kelly. The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and promised gift of Helen and Charles Schwab © Ellsworth Kelly. Photo: Katherine Du Tiel

In addition to the vast array of inaugural exhibitions we’ll offer upon opening, SFMOMA will present ‘BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE’ in October 2016 after its initial iteration at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. This extensive retrospective will be the most comprehensive view of the multimedia artist’s work to date and will include film, photography, photograms, prints, drawings and paintings.

LOOKING GLASS (1964), Bruce Conner. Collection SFMOMA, gift of the Modern Art Council © Estate of Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Ben Blackwell

2016 will be an exciting year for the arts for the entire San Francisco Bay Area, enhancing its reputation as a vibrant cultural center. In January, 500 Capp Street – the restored home and study centre of the late conceptual artist David Ireland – will open, as well as the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in a great facility designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The Bay Lights installation by artist Leo Villareal will return to the San Francisco Bay Bridge at the end of January with the help of Illuminate the Arts. The Minnesota Street Project, slated to open in March, will offer economically sustainable spaces for art galleries, artists and related nonprofits to strengthen the city’s contemporary art community. We’re thrilled to be a part of a dynamic cultural centre with such a wide range of offerings for our visitors from throughout the Bay Area and around the globe.

Neal Benezra is the director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

View the rest of the 12 Days series here

Event details

The new SFMOMA opens to the public 14 May 2016.

BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE‘ will be at SFMOMA from 29 October–22 January 2017.

500 Capp Street will open on 15 January.

The Bay Lights will return to the San Francisco Bay Bridge on 30 January.

The Minnesota Street Project is slated to open in March.

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