Viewing The Snowman, Walker Evans and More at SFMOMA
San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the world so I’ll make any excuse to visit. This past week, I was invited to preview the latest installation at SFMOMA – The Snowman by Peter Fischli and David Weiss and I decided it was just the reason I needed to head north.
It was a crisp, sunny day when I arrived and I headed straight to the museum to visit The Snowman. Originally introduced in 1987 as public art at a German power-plant the rotund fellow has since made the rounds at various museums around the world. He was last at the Art Institute of Chicago and now will be spending a few months at SFMOMA.
Peter Fischli was on hand to introduce us to The Snowman who makes his home in a refrigerated box and is naturally formed through condensation on copper coils. Dependent on caretakers to survive – simply unplug the cord and the snowman is no more – Fischli finds it to be the perfect metaphor for art and the museum. Take away a museum and its roll as a conservator and art too will die. Luckily, the museum does exists and so does The Snowman and you can visit him in San Francisco until March.
When I last visited SFMOMA for the Diane Arbus exhibit it was the only gallery open and I never had the change to explore the rest of the museum. Luckily, this time the entire museum was open and I spent the next few hours exploring all 7 floors of it.
SMOMA boasts an impressive collection of modernist masterworks and I was especially excited to view first hand Matisse’s Woman With A Hat.
In addition there were various Calder’s, Lichtenstein’s and more to excite my curiosity.
I was especially excited to view the Walker Evans exhibition that is currently on display through February 4, 2018.
Evans was a photographer who covered a wide variety of subjects over his lengthy career and is particularly associated with the work he did with the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression. Already a fan of his photographs of Cuba I was excited to view the remainder of his works in this career retrospective.
No subject was too ordinary or mundane for Evans and his ability to raise images of passersby, derelict building and even piles of garbage into works of art is pure genius. One of my favorite sections is a slide show of sidewalk shop displays in the mid-century. Filmed in color everyday objects like women’s skirts, broom and fruit burst out of the frame like vibrant works of pop art. For a few short minutes I was transported back in time to the streets of New York and fully felt the beauty of the era.
Thanks to The Snowman I finally had the change to properly tour SFMOMA and thoroughly enjoyed my visit. With several ambitious exhibitions scheduled for 2018, including a Magritte retrospective, I’m sure Ill soon be back.