Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’
de Young Museum
I have not seen this exhibition (because I have neither renewed my FAMSF membership, nor managed to convince the bitchy membership counter boys to let me in for free), so I’m just going to judge the exhibition website for the de Young’s latest touring celebrity, Girl With a Pearl Earring.
That’s right, SHE WINKS. Oh this is painful. Vermeer’s iconic masterpiece (reduced to a not-even-clever gif) and other treasures from the Mauritshuis are currently touring the globe (or parts of it) while the Dutch museum undergoes extensive renovations. Good for the Mauritshuis for making some buckets of ducats while closed, but one wonders how much the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco are shelling out for the traveling show. Read the rest of this entry »
“Everybody is concerned about time. You know we never have enough time to do anything, and especially to see art.” – Christian Marclay.Well I got PLENTY of time to see your art Mr. Marclay. Cinephiles of San Francisco rejoice! Christian Marclay’s The Clock is at SFMOMA through June 2nd, when the museum closes for those massive expansions you may have heard about. The Clock made big news two summers ago, when it won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale. The 24-hour-long video piece has been heralded as a masterpiece of time-based media, and has been show all over the country (New York, Boston and Los Angeles) and the world (Russia and Israel). Finally Norcal gets the opportunity to see this life-changing (I don’t use that term loosely) video piece.
My life was changed last year when I saw The Clock multiple times at LACMA—the museum purchased an edition of The Clock and had it on view during regular hours, as well as organized several 24-hour screenings. I went to one of the 24-hour screenings and stayed from 8:00PM till 12:15AM. This week, I went to SFMOMA and took in a mere two hours and 15 minutes of The Clock—from 2:45 till 5:00PM. Taking in another chunk of The Clock allowed me to see how the work varies at different times of day. SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS AHEAD. Read the rest of this entry »
SFMOMA, Cantor Arts Center, LACMA
This week, SFMOMA released additional renderings of its eminent expansion including new views of the interior. Snohetta (the chic, Norwegian architects) and SFMOMA haven’t been apologetic or really skirted the issue about plans to basically gut the entire existing building, keeping only Mario Botta’s postmodern façade. Climbing SFMOMA’s imposing stairs is literally my first memory of being in a museum. As a kid, I tried to recreate the alternating bands of polished and flame-finished black granite of these stairs with a set of sleek dominoes on my living room floor. A friend and I lamented the demise of Botta’s staircase the last time we visited SFMOMA and we brainstormed potential artist projects that might utilize the soon-to-be-dismantled stairs. (The SFMOMA expansion is going to be LEED Certified so maybe some of the black stone will be reclaimed.)
Alas, the released images show all of this will be eliminated in the expansion, sacrificed for the sake of greater street presence and improved openness to pedestrian traffic flow. (The $555 million expansion will also double the current amount of gallery space, so there is that.) New public space includes a multi-storied, glass-fronted gallery open to Howard Street. In the renderings, this gallery space is filled with a massive Richard Serra corten-steel sculpture. This isn’t just a filler “scalie” artwork; Serra’s Sequence (2006) will be installed in the new space when the Snohetta expansion opens in 2016. Sequence is part of the Fisher collection, the donors who generous donated many buckets of ducats for the expansion, and who are kinda-sorta donating their incomparable trove of contemporary art to the museum.
De Young Museum
On my most recent visit home to San Francisco, I had a museum day with my mom. My mom was insistent we see the Hamish-Bowles-curated Balenciaga and Spain at the De Young Museum. My mom had already seen it (bought the catalogue), and had been raving to me about its unconventional display. The clothes are integrated into a background of paintings (one by Miro, a reproduction of Velazquez’s Las Meninas), photographs of the Spanish landscape and matadors; sometimes lively flamenco music accompanies the designs. I wanted to glean something from the exhibition to point out to my mom that she might not have noticed. This came from the object labels. Each label included the requisite materials, date, lending organization, and donor. However, in some cases an additional “worn by” line was added.
Who were some of the women wearing Cristobal Balenciaga’s bolero jackets and flamenco-inspired gowns?
Restitution Issue: Norton Simon Museum
Adam and Eve, painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder in c. 1530, are a pair of panel paintings currently on view in Pasadena, at the Norton Simon Museum. There hasn’t been an update on the painted pair since October, but the ownership of the Adam and Eve remains an unresolved dispute. Marei Von Saher is the daughter-in-law of Jacques Goudstikker, a previous owner of the Adam and Eve. During the 1940s, Goudstikker fled Holland and was forced to sell the panels to the Nazis under duress. The issue of restitution would seem clear if this case was that simple. A questionable, century-long provenance and a legal tangle both complicate the case. Let’s explore.
Norton Simon bought the Cranach panels from George Stroganoff-Scherbatoff , a Russian, in 1971. Stroganoff-Scherbatoff was the heir of an aristocratic family who claimed to have owned the paintings prior to 1917. Stroganoff-Scherbatoff received/bought the paintings from the Dutch Government in a restitution agreement in 1966. The Dutch Government was restituted the paintings (remember Goudstikker fled Holland during WWII) after WWII. The Nazis forced Goudstikker to sell them in the 1940s. Goudstikker had bought the paintings from the Soviet government at an auction in 1931. The Russian government had confiscated Adam and Eve from the family of Stroganoff-Scherbatoff prior to 1917. Seems like a resolved case of restitution: Russian heir gets stolen paintings back and then sells them to a collector (Norton Simon).