Best in the West

The west coast is heading into fall with an impressive roster of museum shows. From San Francisco to Los Angeles, we’ve outlined the must-see exhibitions of the season.

In two side-by-side exhibitions, Northern California–based artist Wayne Thiebaud’s own work is featured alongside paintings by others that he personally selected from SFMOMA’s collection (Image Courtesy of Thiebaud and VAGA, New York).

SAN FRANCISCO

SFMOMA 
Two side-by-side exhibitions featuring work by Wayne Thiebaud alongside paintings by others personally selected by the Northern California-based artist are on view at SFMOMA.  For Wayne Thiebaud: Artist’s Choice, Thiebaud delved deep into the museum’s storage vault to select works by artists including Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Georgia O’Keeffe, Richard Diebenkorn. Spanning 50 years of the artist’s career, from his classic still life Confections (1962) to his grand landscape Canyon Mountains (2011–12) the works exhibited in Wayne Thiebaud: Paintings and Drawings are also drawn entirely from SFMOMA’s collection.

Also on view at SFMOMA is Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World,  a major exhibition of contemporary art from China spanning 1989 to 2008. (Image Courtesy of Zhang Huan).

Also on view this fall is Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World,  a major exhibition of contemporary art from China spanning 1989 to 2008, arguably the most transformative period of modern Chinese and recent world history. Featuring works by more than sixty artists and groups, the exhibition examines conceptually based performances, paintings, photographs, installations, videos, and socially engaged projects that question consumerism, authoritarianism, and the rapid development transforming society and China’s role in the world.

Other offerings at SFMOMA include Traveling Light, a thematic retrospective of Louis Stettner’s soberly attentive New York and Paris street photography, and To Fix the Image in Memory, Vija Celmins’ first retrospective in North America in more than 25 years.

Paul Gauguin’s, Reclining Tahitian Women, 1894, is included in “Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey,” on view at the de Young Museum (Image Courtesy of Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen).

de Young Museum
Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey,  the de Young’s first exhibition dedicated to the work of Paul Gauguin is on view from November 17, 2018 through April 7, 2019. Featuring more more than fifty paintings, wood carvings, and ceramics by the artist, the exhibition explores Gauguin’s inner quests, spiritual journey, and how his intimate relationships with his wife, other artists, and people he encountered during his sojourns shaped his experiences, his work, and his development as an artist. The relationships highlighted throughout the exhibition reveal the struggles, indulgences, awakenings, and betrayals of his personal and professional life that infused his extraordinary and enigmatic art.

Contemporary Muslim Fashions, also on view at the de Young, is the first major museum show to explore the complex, diverse nature of Muslim fashion worldwide (Image Courtesy of the de Young).

Contemporary Muslim Fashions, also on view at the de Young, is the first major museum exhibition to explore the complex, diverse nature of Muslim dress codes worldwide. The exhibition examines how Muslim women have become arbiters of style within and beyond their communities, and in so doing have drawn mass media attention to contemporary Muslim life.

Harvey Quaytman’s Riley Mumbling to Himself at Night, 1961-63, is featured in his solo-exhibition “Against the Static,” on view at BAMPFA (Image Courtesy of Van Doren Waxter, New York).

BAMPFA
Harvey Quaytman: Against the Static, a retrospective charting the trajectory of Quaytman’s work from the 1960s to the late 1990s is on view at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive through January 27, 2019.  As the artist’s first West Coast presentation, the exhibition is an unprecedented opportunity for Bay Area audiences to immerse themselves in the work of an artist whose singular contributions to 20th century modernism anticipate today’s renewed interest in the sculptural and material qualities of abstract painting.

An exhibition featuring a selection of paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Christina Quarles is on view at BAMPFA through November 18th (Image Courtesy of Regen Projects and Pilar Corrias. © Christina Quarles).

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Christina Quarles / MATRIX 271, an exhibition featuring a selection of paintings by the Los Angeles-based artist, is also on view at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive. For more information about the show,  and female artists to watch this fall click here.

Zoe Leonard’s TV Wheelbarrow, 2001, is among the works featured in “Zoe Leonard: Survey,” opening at MOCA Geffen in November (Image Courtesy of Galerie Gisela Capitain and Hauser & Wirth).

LOS ANGELES

MOCA Geffen
Zoe Leonard: Survey, on view at MOCA Geffen is the first large-scale retrospective of the artist’s work in an American museum.  Spanning the entirety of Leonard’s three-decades-long career, the survey highlights her engagement with various themes, including the history of photography, gender and sexuality, loss and mourning, migration, displacement, and the urban landscape.  

Also on view this fall at MOCA Geffen is Laura Owens, a mid-career survey of the LA–based artist and the most comprehensive show of Owens’s work to-date (Image Courtesy of Artist). 

Also on view this fall is Laura Owens, a mid-career survey of Los Angeles–based artist and the most comprehensive exhibition of Owens’s work to-date. Featuring over 60 paintings from the mid-1990s until today, the show highlights the significant strides Owens has made in recent years and illustrates how her early work sets the stage for gripping and groundbreaking new paintings and installations.

The most comprehensive West Coast exhibition to date of the work of Adrian Piper is on view at The Hammer through February 10, 2019 (Image Courtesy of Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin). 

Hammer Museum
Organized by The Museum of Modern Art, Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016  is the most comprehensive West Coast exhibition to date of the work of Adrian Piper. On view at The Hammer Museum through February 10, 2019, this expansive retrospective features more than 270 works gathered from public and private collections from around the world, and encompasses a wide range of mediums that Piper has explored for over 5 decades: drawing, photography, works on paper, video, multimedia installations, performance, painting, sculpture, and sound.

A site-specific mural by Los Angeles-based artist Math Bass will grace the Hammer’s lobby walls through February 10, 2019 (Image Courtesy of the Artist).

A site-specific mural by Los Angeles-based artist Math Bass will grace the Hammer’s walls through February 10, 2019. Playing with bodily and architectural scale for the Museum’s lobby wall, Bass invites the viewer to inhabit a liminal space where definition and hierarchy are playfully subverted to allow for new possibilities of experience.

West of Modernism: California Graphic Design, 1975-1995, an exhibition featuring the work of influential  designers, is on view this fall at LACMA (Image Courtesy of Jeffery Keedy).

LACMA
West of Modernism: California Graphic Design, 1975-1995, an exhibition featuring the work of influential  designers including Emigre, Inc., Ed Fella, April Greiman, Rebeca Méndez, Deborah Sussman, and Lorraine Wild, is on view LACMA. The exhibition is part of the museum’s Graphic Design Initiative, which was established in 2014 with the goals of systematically building a graphic design collection, organizing exhibitions and programs around the subject, and integrating graphic design into larger narratives of international art and design history. Drawn entirely from the museum’s collection, this show explores how the intense ideological debates and technological changes were manifest in posters and publications.

The first-ever complete presentation of Robert Rauschenberg’s monumental work entitled The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece (1981–98) is on display this fall at LACMA

Also on view at LACMA this fall is Rauschenberg: The 1/4 Mile, the first-ever complete presentation of Robert Rauschenberg’s monumental work entitled The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece (1981–98). Created over 17 years, the work is composed of 190 panels that, combined, measure a quarter mile in length. The work is comprised of an eclectic array of materials, including extiles, mass media images, and photographs by the artist intermingle with bold passages of paint, while everyday objects such as chairs, cardboard boxes, and traffic lights add sculptural depth. The 1/4 Mile reveals the broad scope of Rauschenberg’s practice through the multitude of mediums and techniques employed, and serves as a self-contained retrospective of his oeuvre.

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