On the fourth floor, there are a series of rooms ranging from claustrophobic to expansive, each featuring a single artist.
I was attending the museum as a guest of my friend Patrick Vaz, above, in front of a Robert Ryman painting. We happened to be sharing the room with a cluster of people experiencing the museum with a docent, who was asking them in her best schoolmarm voice, "And what quality is the same in every one of these paintings?" Patrick shot me a warning, evil eye to prevent me from blurting out, "THEY'RE ALL WHITE!" until we had moved into the next room. (I couldn't help myself.)
We went through the Richard Serra room (me: "hate him," Patrick: "I usually understand what he's trying to do, and it's interesting, but I'm not sure that's enough.")
One of the largest rooms was dedicated to Frank Stella, whose work doesn't seem to be aging very well.
Patrick confessed to loving the Sigmar Polke painting above the first time he saw it, but on the second time through the exhibit, it struck him as uncomfortably close to being a documentary rendition of a dirty oven, which reminded him of his own dirty oven at home, and all aesthetic pleasure was taken away.
We stumbled into another one of the exhibits, dedicated to multi-screen art movies by the recently deceased Bruce Conner.
Patrick was fighting a low-level migraine, and the quickly flashing images were threatening to set off a Pokemon level seizure, so we didn't stay long.
In a 1954 paean to Grace McCann Morley in "Time" Magazine, of all places, there is the following wonderful quote:
"But in trying to make San Franciscans bigger art buyers, Director Morley has run into one unmovable obstacle. "San Franciscans are spoiled by the view." she explains. "If they buy less than people in Cleveland, it is because they need it less. I only own a few pieces myself."