Fine Arts

  • Last Chance to See…
  • Signs: Wordplay in Photography at the de Young
  • Social Calendar
Friday Nights at the de Young
The Fourth Season of Friday Nights at the de Young starts this Friday, January 16! The museum is open Fridays until 8:45 pm with special programs for everyone.

  • January 16: Musical performances in celebration of Asian/American/Modern Art, featuring Hafez Modirzadeh and Mark Izu and Friends
  • January 23: Kearny Street Workshop, AAWAA, Corinne Okada Takara, and Ashley Knight

More information »

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Andrea Mantegna, The Virgin with the Sleeping Child, 1465/70. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
Last Chance

This weekend is your last chance to see what the San Francisco Chronicle called the "high point" in their round up of the best art of 2008, The State Museums of Berlin and the Legacy of James Simon at the Legion. "Wonderful surprises come at every turn…" in this exhibition that honors the cultural legacy of James Simon, perhaps the most important patron Berlin has ever known.  Over 100 works, borrowed from nine separate museums, spanning from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the 18th century A.D. are on view.

Chiura Obata, Setting Sun: Sacramento Valley, ca. 1925. Courtesy of Gyo Obata
Also closing this weekend is Asian/American/Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900–1970 at the de Young, the first comprehensive survey of Asian American modernism. This exhibition of works by artists of Asian ancestry who lived and worked in the United States showcases some of the most important individuals contributing to the canon of Asian American art, and advances awareness of this under-represented group in American art history.  Their art reflects the currents of identity and style that shift between aesthetics of diverse international geographies.

Maya Lin, 2 X 4 Landscape, 2006. Courtesy of the artist and PaceWildenstein
Finally, say goodbye to Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes, which includes the monumental 2×4 Landscape in the de Young’s Wilsey Court. In recent years, Lin has focused on a reconsideration of landscape in a time of ecological tension and change.  The body of work on view at the de Young engages the issue of our fragile connection to the environment in timely and poetic ways.

John Guttman, Bowbazaar Street, Calcutta, ca. 1945. Gelatin silver print
Signs: Wordplay in Photography

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco invite you to explore Signs: Wordplay in Photography, an exhibition opening on Saturday, January 17, 2009, in the Fisher Family Gallery (Gallery 12) at the de Young. This is on view through June 14, 2009.

The modern metropolis can be a site of sensory overload. A major contributor to the visual anarchy is the ubiquity of signs, signals, billboards, and video displays, all competing with each other for attention. Signs may shout or whisper in their efforts to sell, inform and warn. Alternately clichéd and creative, they have become unavoidable features of the urban landscape.

The communications theorist Marshall McLuhan called advertising "the greatest art form of the twentieth century." It is not surprising to find that signs appear with greater frequency in modern and contemporary photographs than in any other medium. Even before the Pop Art movement, they were admitted into the photographic frame as bold graphic elements. There they may simply provide documentary information, or they may give voice to silent pictures, though the messages that they convey in the photographic image may contradict their original purpose.

This exhibition explores the myriad uses of signs in the work of a range of 20th- and 21st-century photographers, from Walker Evans to Lee Friedlander and Ed Ruscha. Works are drawn from the museum collection, loans from Paul Sack Photographic Trust, and loans from private collections.

Andy Warhol, Self-portrait, 1986. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Social Calendar

Tickets are now on sale for two upcoming events you won’t want to miss:

San Francisco Tribal & Textile Arts Show Gala Preview Opening
Thursday, Feb 12, 6–9 pm at the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason
The Gala Preview Opening of the SF Tribal & Textile Arts Show benefits the collections of Textiles and the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the de Young. The evening features hors d’oeuvres by McCall & Associates, live entertainment, and the very best national and international art dealers and their treasures.  

Tickets:  $150 with complimentary valet parking. Information:

The Warhol Live POP PARTY at the de Young
Saturday, Feb 21, VIP Reception 8–9 pm, POP PARTY 9 pm–midnight
Join us to celebrate the opening of Warhol Live at the POP PARTY with Warhol-tinis, treats, go-go dancers, exhibition viewing and dancing to The Unauthorized Rolling Stones. Dress:  Studio or Factory fabulous!

VIP Reception, 8-9 pm. Sponsored by
Hosted bar, hors d’oeuvres, music, tours of Warhol Live and all-night access to the exclusive VIP lounges.  POP PARTY admission included. Advance tickets: $100 members, $125 non-members.  Tickets available at the door for an additional $25 per ticket.

POP PARTY, 9 pm–midnight.
Enjoy hosted signature cocktails, nibbles, exhibition viewing and dancing. Advance tickets:  $40 members, $55 non-members. Tickets available at the door for an additional $10 per ticket. Space is limited—please purchase your tickets soon!

Questions: or 415.750.7674

Warhol Live is presented by

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