Sculpture of a woman with a beehive for a head in a garden

Pierre Huyghe, Exomind (Deep Water), 2017. Cast concrete with wax hive and bee colony, 28 3/8 x 23 5/8 x 31 1/8 in (72.1 x 60 x 79.1 cm), Beehive dimensions variable. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Wattis Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2021.4 © Pierre Huyghe / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

About Contemporary art

Established in the fall of 2016, the department of Contemporary Art and Programming (CAP) is the youngest curatorial department of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Since our founding, we have focused on acquiring newly commissioned or recent artworks in conjunction with an innovative and dynamic program of exhibitions, installations, and interventions in dialogue with the Museums historical sites, architecture, and collections. As the only department not delineated by either medium or geography, we collect works in all media and across geographies to reflect the global reach and diversity of both the contemporary art landscape and the Museums’ collections. 

Our current holdings are modest in number but significant in scope, as each new acquisition expands on or redefines the identities of the de Young and the Legion of Honor in view of a self-critical reassessment of the institutions’ histories and trajectories. CAP actively collaborates with other curatorial departments to identify and acquire artworks that incite dialogues, embrace a multiplicity of perspectives, and shed new light on both the past and the present. Reflecting our commitment to fostering an inclusive, diverse, and forward-looking dialogue around pressing societal issues and concerns, notable acquisitions include works by Wangechi Mutu, Pierre Huyghe, Hito Steyerl, Lisa Reihana, and Carrie Mae Weems, among many others.