New work by R.H. Quaytman debuts

New work by R.H. Quaytman debuts

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Both images: R. H. Quaytman, “I Love—The Eyelid Clicks / I See / Cold Poetry, Chapter 18,” 2010.
© R.H. Quaytman.
Courtesy Miquel Abreu Gallery.
Photo by Adam Reisch.

December 2, 2010

New Work: R. H. Quaytman
October 22, 2010 – January 16, 2011

151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103-3107

R.H. Quaytman’s newest body of paintings continues the artist’s ongoing investigation of the interrelationship of site, history, and object. The artist developed this series, titled I Love—The Eyelid Clicks/ I See /Cold Poetry, Chapter 18, using photographs in SFMOMA’s collection that resonate with motifs explored in the poems of Jack Spicer, such as the moon, mirrors, baseball, TV, male lovers, and the camera. The “chapter’s” title is taken from a poem by Spicer, an important poet associated with the San Francisco Renaissance of the 1950s and 1960s, who similarly worked in series. Quaytman uses the photographs, mostly by unknown photographers, to reflect on his life and work.

Collectively the paintings—methodically produced on beveled-wood panels in seven proportional sizes based on the golden ratio—portray a tantalizing range of patterns and surfaces. Like words in a poem, they are singular elements whose effects are amplified in combination, creating an optical experience that engages the architecture of the surrounding gallery space. The pulsing sense of movement generated as the eye takes in the flickering optical patterns and shifts in scale and perspective in these paintings emphasizes the dynamic visual relationship between figure and ground. Chapter 18 reflects Quaytman’s ruminations on the context for which it was made, involving the particulars of the museum and a specific moment in San Francisco’s history.

New Work: R.H. Quaytman is on view through January 16, 2011, and is organized by SFMOMA Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture Apsara DiQuinzio.

Bill Fontana: Sonic Shadows
Through October 16, 2011

Commissioned for SFMOMA’s 75th Anniversary in 2010, a site-specific installation by San Francisco–based sound art pioneer Bill Fontana explores both visible and invisible features of the museum building. Sonic Shadows reveals the internal resonance of structural elements like the fifth-floor pedestrian truss bridge and boiler room pipes, transforming them into musical instruments. This sound sculpture utilizes ultrasonic speakers and vibration sensors to create an acoustic translation of the dramatic architectural space below the oculus skylight. As visitors cross over the bridge, their footfalls contribute to real-time recordings of ambient sounds. While Fontana’s past collaborations with SFMOMA relocated environmental sounds from the regional landscape, this new work creates a live composition generated by the building itself.

Sonic Shadows is organized by Rudolf Frieling, SFMOMA curator of media arts.

For more information, contact:

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
December 2, 2010

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