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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opens the 2017 SECA Art Award exhibition
Alicia McCarthy, Untitled, 2017, Gouache, spray and latex paint on wood, 60 x 60 inches. Private Collection.


SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The 2017 SECA Art Award exhibition, the first to be held in the new SFMOMA, features five Bay Area artists in their first major museum presentations. Liam Everett, Alicia McCarthy, Sean McFarland, K.r.m. Mooney and Lindsey White join the ranks of the more than 70 artists who have received the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) Art Award since 1967. Previous winners include Tauba Auerbach, Chris Johanson, Barry McGee, Trevor Paglen and Mitzi Pederson.

This year’s exhibition is organized by Jenny Gheith, assistant curator of painting and sculpture, and Erin O’Toole, Baker Street Foundation Associate Curator of Photography, who selected the winners from nearly 250 applicants over a 10-month period. The process began with nominations by SECA members, previous art award winners, SFMOMA staff and members of the local arts community. The five awardees were chosen from a group of 16 finalists, which also included Amy Balkin, Nate Boyce, Will Brown, Ajit Chauhan, Ala Ebtekar, Constance Hockaday, Cybele Lyle, Mads Lynnerup, Ben Peterson, Richard T. Walker and May Wilson.

“The 2017 SECA Art Award exhibition is the first to take place in the museum in over five years, and the scale and profile of the exhibition has expanded along with the museum,” said O’Toole. “We are excited that a broader audience will be exposed to the work of the best contemporary artists working in the Bay Area today,” continued Gheith.

The exhibition is being held in the temporary exhibition galleries on the museum’s fourth floor, and each artist has a dedicated gallery. Liam Everett’s paintings reveal traces of their making, evidence of deliberate and repetitive actions focused on movement and materials. In her intricately patterned compositions, Alicia McCarthy transforms surfaces into bursts of line and vibrant color. Using made and found photographs, Sean McFarland reckons with the challenges of representing the landscape. K.r.m. Mooney incorporates natural, industrial and hand-crafted elements in sculptures that explore the relationships between bodies and objects. In her most recent work, Lindsey White takes humor seriously, making photographs and sculptures inspired by stage performers such as comedians and magicians.

Accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue edited by the curators that includes essays and interviews with the artists. The exhibition is jointly curated by Jenny Gheith, assistant curator of painting and sculpture, and Erin O’Toole, Baker Street Foundation Associate Curator of Photography.






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