Sunday, October 23, 2016
The New SFMOMA 3: A Few of Our Favorite Things
The Fisher Family collection has brought a number of treasures to the public sphere at SFMOMA, including the huge, wonderful Cy Twombly 1971 Untitled painting above, where a docent was dutifully explaining its significance to a young couple.
There is also a beautiful Diebenkorn, the 1973 Ocean Park #67.
In a New York Times review of the building's opening, Roberta Smith wrote: "The cornucopia of new or newly promised gifts includes a cache that is neither: the 1,100-work postwar collection — of which a selection of 260 is on view — accumulated by Donald and Doris Fisher, founders of the Gap, who had once considered building a private museum. In 2009, their holdings were lent to the museum for 100 years, which is also a bump up of some kind, although the collection is entirely too white, male and blue-chip, and comes with stipulations that may prove restrictive." At least we have Duane Hanson's 1994 hyperreal sculpture Policeman to guard all that treasure.
It was refreshing leaving the floors dedicated to the Fisher Collection and stumbling across a small, second floor exhibition dedicated to Northern California artists, including the great hippie-era UC Davis ceramics guru Robert Arneson represented by the California Artist self-portrait above.
Nearby was another recent museum acquisition, a late, 1963 Edward Hopper painting, Intermission.
Also representing NoCal was a gorgeous Wayne Thiebuad, the 1997 Flatbed River.
My favorite discovery of the afternoon was the feminist, Communist painter Alice Neel (1900-1984) whose 1978 portrait of a gay artist friend, Geoffrey Hendricks, and his boyfriend Brian perfectly captures that moment in time.