I Walked My Feet Off in San Francisco

5 08 2007

Yes, indeed, my feet haven’t “hurt so good” in a long time! I was in San Francisco this past week on business but decided to stay an extra night and spelunk the art museums on Friday and Saturday. I visited both fine arts museums, the Legion of Honor and the de Young, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

At the Legion of Honor, I saw many of Auguste Rodin’s famous scuptures including my favorite, The Thinker who I captured with my camera as he sits at the grand, classically themed museum entrance.  The Legion’s Rodin collection is one of the largest in the world and, besides The Thinker,  includes other of the artist’s most famous works like The Kiss and The Three Shades. I also got a personal docent tour of the porcelain collection…v, v, cool!

Rodin’s Thinker

The de Young was rocking! The museum stays open late on Fridays and hosts special events. My luck, they were celebrating the Guardian’s Best of the Bay awards. Live music, drinks, drag queens, women and men in fishnets and feather boas, musicians whose hair resembles that of Nephradora Tonks in the Harry Potter series all made for lively people-watching in addition to the art viewing.

As you can see from my photo below of the de Young’s sculpture garden, it houses decidedly more contemporary art than the Legion. The two coolest things on exhibit right now is Nan Kempner’s haute couture clothing and Hiroshi Sugimoto’s  provacative photos.

de Young sculpture garden

I was impressed with Nan’s taste in clothing and felt a connection with her love of the business suit, but I was blown away, quite unexpectedly, by Hiroshi Sugimoto’s architecture series. In particular, he has a photo of the twin towers taken in 1997. In retrospect, it is a very telling photo. The buildings appear at an odd angle and are somewhat out of focus as if the artist’s eye was foretelling the future and capturing the ghost of the buildings.

His seascapes are likewise brilliant. He plays with natural light, meteorological conditions and focus to compare and contrast photos of seascapes that look like they were taken from the same vantage point but were, in fact, taken all over the world. To me, it demonstrates how sea and sky are common denominators on earth…the same and yet different everywhere. Check it out…it’s v, v, cool!

Lastly, I spent the entire day yesterday at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Note the sculpture in the foreground and the stunning architecture of the occulus above the museum’s lobby…again very telling about its art collection. Here I got back in touch with modern art in its “classical” form…that is no form in many cases.

Currently, SFMOMA is host to a spectacular Matisse exhibit which examines the gap between the 2-dimensional art of painting and the 3-dimensional art of sculpture. Turns out Matisse often composed the same subect in both media and frequently jumped back and forth until he ended up with his final work. Looking at the two together allows a glimpse into the artist’s process and shows how Matisse’s works evolved from the realistic to the abstracted. Fabulous!! If the exhibit comes to a MOMA near you, check it out…or better still, make the trip to SF!!

SFMOMA

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2 responses

11 01 2010
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