San José Museum of Art announces new acquisitions

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San José Museum of Art announces new acquisitions
Leo Valledor, LUST, 1975. Gift of Lipman Family Foundation. Photo by J. Arnold, Impart Photography.

SAN JOSE, CA.- The San José Museum of Art announced the acquisition of 86 works by a diverse roster of 27 artists. Acquired through purchase and gifts from generous donors from July 2020 through June 2021, these recent additions demonstrate SJMA’s collecting strategy in action by focusing on gender parity, cultural diversity, and artistic innovation. Many of the works are by women artists, artists of color, or artists with connections to the Bay Area. Also included are major gifts from Californian art collectors Eileen Harris Norton and David Hoberman, and from the estates of artists Sonya Rapoport and Brett Weston.

“I am grateful to our generous Acquisitions Committee and curatorial team for their thoughtful strategy on these important acquisitions. These influential artists not only reflect the innovative spirit of San José and Silicon Valley, but also represent the cultural heritages and lived experiences of our community and beyond,” said S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director, San José Museum of Art. “These important and timely works will expand the range of voices represented in our collection and enrich our community for generations to come by creating new opportunities for scholarship and discovery.”

These works expand the Museum’s mission of showcasing significant art historical developments in modern and contemporary art from the 1960s to present, including works by Uta Barth, Tony Feher, Jorge Pardo, and the San Francisco-born artist Leo Valledor. Examples of artworks that address pressing contemporary issues and events include Carrie Mae Weems’ People of a Darker Hue (2016), a video paying tribute to the police killings of unarmed Black people; and Stephanie Syjuco’s Chromakey Aftermath 1 and 2 (Flags, Sticks, and Barriers) (2017), photographs of staged protest props in bright chroma green that explore how media bias distort the meaning of public protests. Also acquired is a selection of five photographs from Laura Aguilar’s “Stillness” and “Motion” series that will be on view in the upcoming exhibition Our whole, unruly selves. Aguilar, an active member of the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities of Los Angeles, shifted away from constructions of identity in this photographic series to focus on the materiality of the body.

These additions also expand the Museum’s holdings of artists with connections to the San Francisco Bay Area such as Sadie Barnette, Jean Conner, Russell Crotty, Kim Dingle, Tim Hawkinson, Kenyetta A. C. Hinkle, Sonya Rapoport, Lordy Rodriguez, Stephanie Syjuco, Leo Valledor, and San José-raised brothers and artist-duo Bruce and Norman Yonemoto.

Building on SJMA’s commitment to celebrate the creative impact in the South Bay, this group of acquisitions features Pae White’s Noisy Blushes (2020), the largest artist’s commission in the Museum’s history. The sculpture comprises 12,000 hexagonal stainless-steel disks suspended within SJMA’s atrium and unveiled to the public in October 2020 to celebrate the Museum’s 50th anniversary.

Additional artists whose works were recently acquired include Judy Chicago, Vanessa German, Ramiro Gomez, Steffani Jemison, Hayv Kahraman, Maia Cruz Palileo, Arlene Shechet, Jiro Takamatsu, and Brett Weston.

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