Culture / Art Republik

San Francisco MOMA Gets Ambitious Facelift

Aiming to become one of the largest spaces for art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art gets Snohetta to help revamp

May 06, 2016 | By Staff Writer

After a new $305 million revamp, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art aims to rival other world-class art spaces in New York, Paris, and London. The museum will be unveiled May 14 following three-years in the hands of Norwegian architecture firm Snohetta. The expansion doubles the galleries to 170,000 square feet, setting up one of the largest modern art spots in the United States. The whole expansion was designed specially to accommodate the art collection by collectors Doris and Donald Fisher, founders of the Gap clothing chain.

The main addition to the whole museum is the 10-floor ‘annex’ that towers over the main building. Its exterior features white fiberglass-reinforced polymer built in such a way as to ‘wave’ when light bounces off, mirroring the waves of the city’s bay and fog banks.

“The signature material in this building is glass” said museum director Neal Benezra, noting that it was done to show that they’re “transparent”. This is most reflected at the ground level, with large glass windows where a massive steel artwork by Richard Serra “Sequence” is located. Also featured is an “Untitled” eight-meter-wide white mobile that hangs in the atrium above the central staircase.

Among the extraordinary works on display are 20th century artists such as Diego Rivera, Henri Matisse, Alfred Stieglitz, and Andy Warhol. There are also career surveys of individual artists, including what is touted as a one-of-a-kind collection by the painter and abstract sculptor Ellsworth Kelly. Its special new Pritzker Center for Photography, which takes up almost an entire floor, is billed as the largest in the country.

The Fisher art collection was handed over to the SFMOMA in a 100-year trust, after they looked into building a private museum. The Fishers started collecting in the 1970s, leading up to 1,100 works by 185 artists. This collection was previously displayed in two galleries at the Gap headquarters in San Francisco. The museum will display part of the collection on several floors of SFMOMA, with several thematic exhibits focused on pop art icons such as Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, as well as artists who emerged in post-war Germany like Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter.

Other than the Fisher collection, the museum has enriched its own reserves thanks to a campaign started in 2009 trying to convince wealthy collectors to entrust them with art. More than 3,000 pieces have been promised, including works of Francis Bacon, Alberto Giacometti, Yves Klein and Jackson Pollock. Six hundred of these will be on exhibit for the reopening.

You can check out more on the museum at the SFMOMA’s official website over here.

This story was written in-house, based on an AFP report and with an image from the AFP.

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