Friday, March 10, 2017

Five Spring Shows at SFMOMA

I went to SFMOMA twice last week and, in addition to many of the usual delights, saw five astonishing new shows. Above is an image from Diane Arbus: In the Beginning, a beautiful exhibition inside of which, alas, picture taking is not allowed. You will have to take my word for its splendidness (or, if you're around, go see it yourself). One thing that particularly struck me were Arbus' titles for her images--turns out that, in addition to being a world-class photographer, she was also a kind of spare modern poet. My favorite title was "Young Man Holding a Paper Bag at Night." I mean, just, come on!

One of my visits was with my coworkers and the other was with my family. Mabel's favorite show was Paul Klee at Play which featured the artist's paper-mache puppets and tiny whimsical drawings--she looked carefully at each one.

Quite possibly my favorite was Tomás Saraceno: Stillness in Motion — Cloud Cities an astonishing installation that you don't know is coming until you go around a corner, at which point it made the kiddo rush forward and made me laugh out loud at its wonder and audacity. Here are a bunch of pictures of people moving through and around this surreal space:

And then there was a funny thing: drifting through the show German Art After 1960: The Fisher Collection, which has been up since the museum reopened a year ago and which I've probably walked through at least twenty times, I suddenly came upon brand new room! I mean, the room has always been there, but it had something else hanging in it before. Just recently they've changed it to a room full of works (above and below) by the artist Günther Förg--someone who I'd never heard of before and whose art just knocked my socks off!

Last of all, a show you really have to experience in person order to appreciate, William Kentridge: The Refusal of Time--an immersive happening that mixes together five separate video installations, a large-scale mechanical moving wooden sculpture, music, light, sound, and I'm not even sure what all else to make you feel as though you've wandered onto another planet. So cool.

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