The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) announce their contemporary art program through summer 2018, with new commissions by DIS and Lynn Hershman Leeson and a major exhibition by Julian Schnabel. The program opens dialogues between living artists and the unique buildings and sites of the de Young and Legion of Honor, and works in FAMSF’s encyclopedic collection, revealing new meanings and juxtapositions across decades and genres.
“The response to our program launch has been fierce and we will continue to broaden the discourse with multifaceted projects conceived for the de Young and Legion of Honor in the coming year,” said Max Hollein, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “A new series of outdoor paintings by Julian Schnabel that will transform the Legion of Honor’s courtyard into a temporary gallery, a major film production by DIS commissioned for the de Young’s atrium and a new media installation by Lynn Hershman Leeson that reflects the particular history of the museums, put us at the center of artistic production and institutional reflection.”
Highlights of the contemporary art program in 2017–2018 also include two recent acquisitions. The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music (2014), a video work by Vietnamese American artist collective The Propeller Group, resonating powerfully with FAMSF’s Southeast Asian holdings, is currently on view at the de Young; the site-specific, panoramic diptych San Francisco Wall Painting (1970/2017), by artist Richard Jackson, which will be installed at the de Young in January 2018, adds to FAMSF’s holdings of works by California artists and is a significant addition to the renowned collection of American art.
Genre-Nonconforming: The DIS Edutainment Network
December 2, 2017–April 29, 2018
Genre-Nonconforming: The DIS Edutainment Network will reveal a “DIS-topian” take on the future of education—decentralized and open-access, yet communal and physically connected. The result of a collaboration with a group of international artists, The DIS Edutainment Network will include a cooking show by Will Benedict and Jeffrey Sorensen, a nature show by Korakrit Arunanondchai, a video by Mckenzie Wark, a visual essay by Aria Dean, a talk show by Hannah Black, a docu-short on seasteading in Tahiti by Daniel Keller, a report on reparation hardware by Ilana Harris Babou, a cartoon by Amalia Ulman, a docu-short on economic utopias by Christopher Kulendran Thomas, a Nollywood fictional drama exploring the influence of technology and digital culture in South Africa by the artist collective CUSS Group, and a contribution by the Women’s History Museum. The different “programs” will be connected and disrupted by interstitials conceived by Darren Bader and DIS.
“The DIS Edutainment Network proposes a counter-strategy to our incomprehensible moment of post-truth, a clickbait cultural landscape that has generated misinformation and overexposure as a general condition,” states DIS.
Lynn Hershman Leeson: VertiGhost
December 16, 2017–March 25, 2018
de Young, Legion of Honor
Lynn Hershman Leeson will premiere a new commission; VertiGhost, inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), key scenes of which were filmed at the Legion of Honor. The multidimensional installation will draw the viewer into an online and offline narrative about the construction of identity and ideas of authenticity. At the core of the project will be a film, weaving together stories of two paintings associated with the de Young and Legion of Honor. Featuring interviews with a conservator, art historian, and a psychologist about the construction of truths in both art and life, Hershman Leeson creates a meditative foil to a reality riddled with fake news. The film will be accompanied by a 3D installation, incorporating the viewer’s movements into scenes of the film in real time. A live feed of the installation will be broadcasted on the VertiGhost webpage, raising questions around how our digital lives impact and obscure notions of the self.
“It has been a unique and uncanny pleasure to re-create an iconic film concerned with authenticity in the very location of Vertigo, and to learn about the ‘ghosts’ haunting both museums, providing ample material for a project questioning identity and representation, in this era where fiction and reality have become increasingly blurred,” states Lynn Hershman Leeson.
April 21–August 5, 2018
Legion of Honor
A site-specific project by Julian Schnabel will open at the Legion of Honor in April. His artistic attitude is embodied in audaciously scaled and shaped paintings, incorporating classical pictorial elements, oscillating between abstraction and figuration. Mining a vast array of sources and materials, composed and distributed across surface and support in defiance of notions of moderation, rationality, and order, his approach to the use of materials is highly experimental. Julian Schnabel will feature a body of significantly sized, sculptural paintings in the iconic Court of Honor, plus three other distinct bodies of new work in the galleries dedicated to Auguste Rodin’s sculptures; the artist’s response to the physical space of the Legion of Honor and eternal themes in its collection.
“These paintings might be the culmination of my entire painterly practice since 1977, as they epitomize so much of what had been the essential characteristics of the smallest and most nascent proposals of how imagery, drawing, and material could be called a painting,” says Julian Schnabel. “It seems to me this is as far as I could go and as far as I can currently take painting—this week.”
About the FAMSF Contemporary Art Program
Overseen by Claudia Schmuckli, Curator-in-Charge, Contemporary Art and Programming, FAMSF’s contemporary art program was launched in 2016. In its first year, it featured German multimedia artist Carsten Nicolai, who performs and writes music under the name Alva Noto, British media artist Hilary Loyd and American artist Leonardo Drew, each of whose installations transformed the de Young’s Wilsey Court. At the Legion of Honor, Swiss artist Urs Fischer and British artist Sarah Lucas each presented work in dialogue with Auguste Rodin: The Centenary Installation.
About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco oversee the de Young, located in Golden Gate Park, and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park. It is the largest public arts institution in San Francisco, and one of the most visited arts institutions in the United States.