SAN FRANCISCO, CA.-
The first public presentation of the celebrated Fisher Collection, one of the worlds foremost private collections of contemporary art, will be presented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
(SFMOMA) from June 25 through September 19, 2010. SFMOMA recently announced an unprecedented partnership with Doris and the late Donald Fisher, founders of the Gap, to provide a home at the museum for their outstanding collection of more than 1,100 works, most of which have never been displayed publicly. This sweeping exhibition, entitled Calder to Warhol: Introducing The Fisher Collection, will offer an extraordinary preview of the depth, breadth, and quality of the Fisher holdings, with iconic works by Alexander Calder, Chuck Close, Sam Francis, Philip Guston, Anselm Kiefer, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Wayne Thiebaud, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and many others. It will also serve as the centerpiece of SFMOMAs yearlong 75th anniversary celebration and exhibition series in 2010, entitled 75 Years of Looking Forward.
Organized by Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA, Calder to Warhol: Introducing The Fisher Collection will provide a window into the vast collection assembled by the Fishers over more than four decades. The entire fourth and fifth floors of the museum, including the Rooftop Garden, will showcase approximately 160 works of painting, sculpture, photography, and videoa distillation of the Fisher Collection that aims to reveal not only its scope but also its core attributes. The collection is particularly distinguished for its concentration of works by Alexander Calder, Chuck Close, Philip Guston, Ellsworth Kelly, Anselm Kiefer, Roy Lichtenstein, Agnes Martin, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol. Unlike most private collections, it includes extensive groupings of seminal pieces by these 20th-century masters and traces their creative evolution through entire bodies of work.
At this momentous time in SFMOMAs history, we are not only celebrating 75 years of accomplishments and innovation, were also looking forward to a new era of growth and community service that will be greatly enhanced by the museums presentation of these outstanding works of art from the Fisher Collection, said SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. Our collaboration with the Fisher family will give visitors access to some of the finest modern and contemporary masterpieces, placing SFMOMA among the greatest museums for contemporary art and elevating the cultural profile of the city as a whole. As the first unveiling of Doris and Dons incredible gift to the city of San Francisco, this exhibition will introduce the public to an incomparable group of iconic works that will inspire and educate generations of visitors in the years to come.
Since the 1980s, the Fishers have helped shape San Francisco into a national center for forwardthinking art collecting, says Garrels. It is an honor to tell the personal story of their collection through this tremendous body of art, which was assembled with love and determination over more than 40 years. Im thrilled to see how this work complements SFMOMAs own holdings.
The exhibition will be organized in sections, alternating concentrations of works from a single artist and groupings of works by others with shared perspectives. The presentation will also lend insight to the Fishers collecting methodology, emphasizing the collections unifying threads: its richness in American abstract art, its strengths in contemporary German painting and photography, its deep concentrations of work by the artists they most admired, and a marked commitment to representing, whenever possible, the growth of each artists work over time with key examples from every phase of their careers. This exhibition will be the first to convey these affinities and correspondences.
In the fifth-floor galleries, the presentation explores in-depth holdings of five artists in particularAlexander Calder, Ellsworth Kelly, Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, and Richard Serra, with large galleries devoted to numerous works by each. The Overlook Gallery will be devoted to minimalist art with works by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, and Donald Judd.
Half of the fourth-floor galleries will highlight the collections esteemed holdings of abstract art, beginning with gestural paintings by Sam Francis, Philip Guston, Lee Krasner, and Joan Mitchell. Early sculptures by Mark di Suvero and John Chamberlain will serve as counterpoints. Single galleries will be devoted to the paintings of Agnes Martin, Frank Stella, and Cy Twombly, as well as the later works of Philip Guston. Other galleries here will include paintings by Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Brice Marden, Robert Therrien, and sculptures by Martin Puryear.
The other half of the fourth floor will center on Pop and figurative art. Major groupings of Pop works by Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg will share a large gallery. Emphasizing a particular strength of the collection, two galleries feature the early and late paintings of Andy Warhol, with iconic pieces such as Triple Elvis (1962) and Silver Marlon (1963), and key works from the artists Most Wanted Men series and later self-portraits.
In addition, two galleries will be dedicated to the work of Chuck Close, showcasing four of the artists monumental portraits of other artists. Figurative works by David Hockney and Wayne Thiebaud will be shown together, as will groupings of photo-based works by John Baldessari, Sophie Calle, Barbara Kruger, Ed Ruscha, and Jeff Wall. Paintings by Richard Artschwager will be juxtaposed with Sigmar Polke, while the media arts galleries will present video installations by William Kentridge and Shirin Neshat. A final gallery features the paintings of Georg Baselitz, whose work the Fishers collected with great passion.
In the first completely new installation since the opening of SFMOMAs Rooftop Garden in May 2009, the outdoor space will display the Fisher Collections strengths in large-scale sculpture, with works by Alexander Calder, Mark di Suvero, Beverly Pepper, and Isamu Noguchi. Key pieces by British artists Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Barry Flanagan, Antony Gormley, and Richard Long will also be on view.
Upon completing an expansion of SFMOMAs facilities, the Fisher Collection will be presented in a dedicated new wing and will also be interwoven with works from SFMOMAs modern and contemporary holdings, enhancing SFMOMAs capacity to develop exhibitions and public programs in all areas of its collectionspainting and sculpture, photography, architecture and design, and media arts.