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July celebrates not only the birth of the American nation, but also that of many notable artists from various time periods and artistic movements. As the month draws to a close, here’s a quick look at some important figures and their works which have passed through the galleries of the de Young and Legion of Honor.

July 9th: David Hockney (1937)

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Image courtesy of © David Hockney

The de Young presented David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition, from October 26, 2013 through January 20, 2014. Assembled by Hockney exclusively for the de Young, this exhibition marked the return to California of the most influential and best-known British artist of his generation.

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Amidst a suite of art historical references including Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece (1512–1516) and Cubism, Jasper Johns hangs three ghoulish, bleeding cast-wax forearms from hooks. The artist made these casts from the same model (a friend’s son) at three-year intervals, and they “grow” and “age” from left to right. Each arm drips a different color of blood: red, yellow, or blue. The painting’s title is referenced beneath the blue arm, where Johns silkscreened reproductions of pages from John Cage’s 1943–1944 composition, “The Perilous Night.” On view now in Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection. 
Jasper Johns (American, b. 1930). Perilous Night, 1982. Encaustic on canvas with objects. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Collection of Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Amidst a suite of art historical references including Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece (1512–1516) and Cubism, Jasper Johns hangs three ghoulish, bleeding cast-wax forearms from hooks. The artist made these casts from the same model (a friend’s son) at three-year intervals, and they “grow” and “age” from left to right. Each arm drips a different color of blood: red, yellow, or blue. The painting’s title is referenced beneath the blue arm, where Johns silkscreened reproductions of pages from John Cage’s 1943–1944 composition, “The Perilous Night.” On view now in Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection

Jasper Johns (American, b. 1930). Perilous Night, 1982. Encaustic on canvas with objects. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Collection of Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Shamanism of the Pacific Northwest may have originated in the practices of ancestors from what is now Siberia, who traversed the Bering Strait and navigated the waters of the Arctic and Pacific oceans to come to these lands tens of thousands of years ago. A shaman served as the people’s primary point of contact with the supernatural realm. Equipment such as rattles and crowns of bear claws created sonic aids to better communicate with the spirit world and foster the health of individuals and the community. These and other objects would often depict the spirit companions of the shaman. 
On view in Lines on the Horizon: Native American Art from the Weisel Family Collection. 
Bear effigy, ca. 1870. Haida. Wood and paint. Gift of the Thomas W. Weisel Family to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 2013.76.126

Shamanism of the Pacific Northwest may have originated in the practices of ancestors from what is now Siberia, who traversed the Bering Strait and navigated the waters of the Arctic and Pacific oceans to come to these lands tens of thousands of years ago. A shaman served as the people’s primary point of contact with the supernatural realm. Equipment such as rattles and crowns of bear claws created sonic aids to better communicate with the spirit world and foster the health of individuals and the community. These and other objects would often depict the spirit companions of the shaman. 

On view in Lines on the Horizon: Native American Art from the Weisel Family Collection

Bear effigy, ca. 1870. Haida. Wood and paint. Gift of the Thomas W. Weisel Family to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 2013.76.126

Meditation room now open in Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection. 
Barnett Newman (American, 1905-1970). Stations of the Cross, 1958—1960. Oil on canvas. Collection of Robert and Jane Meyerhoff. National Gallery of Art.

Meditation room now open in Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection

Barnett Newman (American, 1905-1970). Stations of the Cross, 1958—1960. Oil on canvas. Collection of Robert and Jane Meyerhoff. National Gallery of Art.

Happy birthday, Jim Dine! Along with several of his contemporaries, including Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Sam Francis, Dine collaborated with Chinese-American poet Walasse Ting on the masterwork, 1 ¢ Life. The subject of the exhibition, "A book like hundred flower garden": Walasse Ting’s 1 ¢ Life, the impressive artist book is now on view in Gallery 17. 
Jim Dine (American, b. 1935). Untitled, Plates on pp. 144-145 in the book, 1 ¢ Life, 1964. Color lithograph. Museum purchase, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts Endowment Fund. 1965.68.204.61

Happy birthday, Jim Dine! Along with several of his contemporaries, including Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Sam Francis, Dine collaborated with Chinese-American poet Walasse Ting on the masterwork, 1 ¢ Life. The subject of the exhibition, "A book like hundred flower garden": Walasse Ting’s 1 ¢ Life, the impressive artist book is now on view in Gallery 17. 

Jim Dine (American, b. 1935). Untitled, Plates on pp. 144-145 in the book, 1 ¢ Life, 1964. Color lithograph. Museum purchase, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts Endowment Fund. 1965.68.204.61

Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay is officially open! Share your thoughts and pics of the exhibition with us @deyoungmuseum #gayessay.
Join us this afternoon at 3 p.m. for an exclusive, one-day-only event with photographer Anthony Friedkin, who will be signing copies of the exhibition catalogue for Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay. The catalogue is available for purchase in the Museum Stores. 
Anthony Friedkin (American, b. 1949). Jean Harlow, Drag Queen Ball, Long Beach, 1971. Gelatin silver print. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Anonymous gift

Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay is officially open! Share your thoughts and pics of the exhibition with us @deyoungmuseum #gayessay.

Join us this afternoon at 3 p.m. for an exclusive, one-day-only event with photographer Anthony Friedkin, who will be signing copies of the exhibition catalogue for Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay. The catalogue is available for purchase in the Museum Stores

Anthony Friedkin (American, b. 1949). Jean Harlow, Drag Queen Ball, Long Beach, 1971. Gelatin silver print. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Anonymous gift

Today is the first day of the World Cup soccer tournament! During the British colonization of Africa in the early 19th century, the sport of soccer was introduced to the continent. As the game increased in popularity, traditional African symbols depicted on chiefs’ stools gave way to symbols projecting Western influence and power. This intriguing stool depicts the feet of two opposing athletes, each poised to kick a ball. It is carved from a single piece of hardwood, with the exception of the ball, which actually spins. Currently on view in Gallery 40.
Stool, Ca. 1920–1930. Ghana, Asante people. Wood. Museum purchase, Volunteer Council Acquisition Fund. 1999.12

Today is the first day of the World Cup soccer tournament! During the British colonization of Africa in the early 19th century, the sport of soccer was introduced to the continent. As the game increased in popularity, traditional African symbols depicted on chiefs’ stools gave way to symbols projecting Western influence and power. This intriguing stool depicts the feet of two opposing athletes, each poised to kick a ball. It is carved from a single piece of hardwood, with the exception of the ball, which actually spins. Currently on view in Gallery 40.

Stool, Ca. 1920–1930. Ghana, Asante people. Wood. Museum purchase, Volunteer Council Acquisition Fund. 1999.12

After the United States government forced the tribes of the Great Plains onto reservations in the late 19th century, native artists began painting images on paper, rather than on animal hides. This new material was typically acquired through trade, recycling, or conquest. Known as ledger art, these drawings frequently appear across the ruled lines and numbered pages of new, repurposed, or abandoned account ledger books used by traders and the military. 
On view in Lines on the Horizon: Native American Art from the Weisel Family Collection. 
Ledger drawing, ca. 1880. Cheyenne (Tsitsitsas). Colored pencil on paper. Gift of the Thomas W. Weisel Family to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 2013.76.128

After the United States government forced the tribes of the Great Plains onto reservations in the late 19th century, native artists began painting images on paper, rather than on animal hides. This new material was typically acquired through trade, recycling, or conquest. Known as ledger art, these drawings frequently appear across the ruled lines and numbered pages of new, repurposed, or abandoned account ledger books used by traders and the military. 

On view in Lines on the Horizon: Native American Art from the Weisel Family Collection

Ledger drawing, ca. 1880. Cheyenne (Tsitsitsas). Colored pencil on paper. Gift of the Thomas W. Weisel Family to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 2013.76.128

Hans Hofmann’s Autumn Gold was the first painting that Robert and Jane Meyerhoff purchased for their collection. According to Mrs. Meyerhoff, “This painting taught us to see how the manipulation of color can energize a two-dimensional surface.” Now on view in Modernism from the National Gallery: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection.
Hans Hofmann (American, born Germany, 1880-1966). Autumn Gold, 1957. Oil on canvas. Collection of Robert and Jane Meyerhoff © 2013 Renate, Hans & Maria Hofmann Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Hans Hofmann’s Autumn Gold was the first painting that Robert and Jane Meyerhoff purchased for their collection. According to Mrs. Meyerhoff, “This painting taught us to see how the manipulation of color can energize a two-dimensional surface.” Now on view in Modernism from the National Gallery: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection.

Hans Hofmann (American, born Germany, 1880-1966). Autumn Gold, 1957. Oil on canvas. Collection of Robert and Jane Meyerhoff © 2013 Renate, Hans & Maria Hofmann Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

I wanted to photograph gay people who weren’t afraid to tell the world that they were gay, who were out the door every day, every moment of their life, who were living a gay life. I wanted to celebrate what I saw as a sense of their personal freedom.
Anthony Friedkin on The Gay Essay (opening this Saturday, June 14), previewed by SFGate here.