The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Announce 2021 Exhibitions

Wangechi Mutu, "Shavasana II"​, 2019; Patrick Kelly, Oliviero Toscani, Spring/Summer 1989 Collection; Pablo Picasso, "Nu couche (Reclining Nude)", 1932.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Announce 2021 Exhibitions

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to share a preview of exhibitions opening in 2021 at the de Young and Legion of Honor museums. Although we strive to provide the most up-to-date information, the dates listed below may change due to circumstances caused by COVID-19. Please check with the press office for the most current information.

Calder-Picasso
February 27–May 23, 2021
de Young 

Conceived by the artists’ grandsons Alexander S. C. Rower and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, Calder-Picasso is the first major museum exhibition to explore the artistic relationship between Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso, two of the most innovative and influential artists of the 20th century. In more than 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs—including many famous works—the exhibition presents a compelling visual conversation centered around the artists’ exploration of the void, or the absence of space, which both Calder and Picasso defined from the figure through to abstraction. With its US museum debut at the de Young, the exhibition will then travel to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 
Read More | Images

Nampeyo and the Sikyátki Revival
February 27, 2021–Ongoing 
de Young 

Celebrating the artistic ingenuity of Nampeyo, famed Tewa-Hopi potter, the de Young museum presents an installation of 32 pots from the collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. During her lifetime, Nampeyo (ca. 1860–1942) was, and remains today, perhaps the most renowned potter from the American Southwest. The single-gallery exhibition highlights Nampeyo’s work, juxtaposed with examples of Hopi pottery from her time. Exquisite ceramics made by ancestral Hopi artists demonstrate Nampeyo’s sources of inspiration, and artworks by four generations of her descendants attest to the master potter’s enduring legacy.
Read More | Images

Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave 
April–August 29, 2021
Legion of Honor

As the ash from Mount Vesuvius began to rain down on Pompeii in AD 79, the people of the city were engaged in two of their most important daily activities: eating and drinking. As the only U.S. venue, the Legion of Honor is proud to host Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave, the first exhibition to focus on the love of food and drink in Pompeii. Bringing to San Francisco a treasure trove of more than 150 objects, including magnificent Roman sculpture, mosaics, frescoes, precious metals, and more, this spectacular exhibition features many pieces presented in the United States for the very first time, all acting as witnesses to the destruction of that tragic day.
Read More | Images

Wangechi Mutu: I Am Speaking, Are You Listening?
May 1–November 7, 2021
Legion of Honor

Wangechi Mutu: I Am Speaking, Are You Listening? is a site-specific exhibition of new and recently created sculpture, collage, and film by visionary Kenyan American artist Wangechi Mutu. Staked out from the Court of Honor through the entire first floor of the museum, visitors will journey through the artist’s universe of powerful female characters, hybrid beings, and fantastical landscapes, challenging traditional art histories, mythologies, and conventional techniques of archiving and remembering. Part of the Fine Arts Museums’ contemporary art program and three years in the making, I Am Speaking, Are You Listening? responds to the permanent collection and neoclassical architecture of the Legion of Honor, a museum built for the presentation of European art history and presided over by Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker.
Read More | Images

Iliazd: Publishing as an Art Form

June 12 – October 10, 2021
Legion of Honor

Drawn from the formidable collection of Ilia Zdanevich's work in the Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books, Iliazd: Publishing as an Art Form will look at the work of this Russian Modernist whose collaborators included Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Alberto Giacometti, Max Ernst, and Joan Miró. Ilia Zdanevich (Iliazd) created and published twenty-one artist’s books while working in Paris from 1921-1975, sixteen of which currently are in the Fine Arts Museums' collection. This will be the first US museum exhibition devoted to the work of this under-recognized artist in more than thirty years.
Images

To Teach and Inspire: The Julia Brenner Textile Collection
July 3, 2021–June 26, 2022
de Young 

Between 1923 and 1938, Mrs. Gustave (Julia) Brenner donated more than 1,000 textile fragments to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. To Teach and Inspire: The Julia Brenner Textile Collection features a selection of 18th- to 20th-century printed textiles from this collection, which has served as a foundational holding of the Museums’ textile arts collection for nearly 100 years.
Images

Hung Liu: Golden Gate 
July 17, 2021–January 2, 2022
de Young 

Hung Liu: Golden Gate, a new installation in Wilsey Court by renowned artist Hung Liu, will combine new and existing work to highlight international and domestic narratives of migration. Based in Oakland, Liu is one of the most important Chinese-born artists working in the US today. Reimagining some of her most iconic paintings through the lens of her personal history, she places herself among and celebrates the migrants who arrived in California from both land and sea.
Read more | Images

Judy Chicago: A Retrospective
August 28, 2021 –January 9, 2022
de Young 

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco celebrate pioneering feminist artist Judy Chicago with the first retrospective of her work. Spanning from her early engagement with the California Light and Space Movement in the 1960s to her most current body of work—a searing investigation of mortality and environmental devastation—the exhibition includes about 150 paintings, drawings, ceramic sculptures, prints, and videos that chart the boundary-pushing path of the artist. Organized on the heels of the 40th anniversary of the first presentation of Chicago’s iconic work The Dinner Party in San Francisco, and spotlighting the recent 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the US, Judy Chicago: A Retrospective pays homage to an artist of exceptional foresight and consequence.
Read More | Images

Color into Line: Pastels from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and California Collections 
October 2, 2021–February 13, 2022
Legion of Honor

The exhibition Color into Line: Pastels from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and California Collections offers a fresh understanding of the art of pastel. With the appearance of a painting, the immediacy of a drawing, and the timeless matte finish of an ancient fresco, pastel is one of the most versatile mediums and adaptable techniques used throughout art history. Told through a selection of eighty works, the exhibition spans five centuries, from the early Renaissance to the present day, showing masterpieces by Rosalba Carriera, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, John Altoon, and Wayne Thiebaud, among other artists. Highlighting technical aspects and the design process behind the works, the exhibition is drawn primarily from the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the department of works on paper at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and supplemented with selected works from key Bay Area public and private art collections. Color into Line provides audiences a rare opportunity to appreciate the artistry of pastel through local works not usually on public view.
Read More | Images

Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love
October 23, 2021–April 24, 2022
de Young 

Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love celebrates the remarkable career and legacy of African American fashion designer Patrick Kelly (ca. 1954–1990). During his brief, yet influential rise in the late 1980s, Kelly’s bold and bright creations stood out on the streets, in nightclubs, and especially on the runway. With 80 of Kelly’s fully accessorized ensembles and footage from his groundbreaking fashion shows, the exhibiiton situates Kelly and his designs in the broader context of art and fashion history by looking deeply at his inspirations, including his childhood, heritage, and muses from art, fashion, and Black history. Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love will reveal the designer’s enduring message of love—one that boldly asserted Black empowerment and fearlessly pushed the boundaries of fashion.
Read More | Images

Jules Tavernier and the Elem Pomo
December 18, 2021–April 17, 2022
de Young 

Jules Tavernier and the Elem Pomo brings together more than 40 works—including paintings, watercolors, and photographs—to tell the story of the artist Jules Tavernier’s extraordinary career, with a focus on his masterwork Dance in a Subterranean Roundhouse at Clear Lake, California (1878). Major works by Tavernier (b. France, 1844–1889) are presented alongside historic and contemporary Pomo basketry and regalia from the Elem Pomo Indian Colony, revealing the resiliency and vitality of Elem Pomo culture. We are pleased to partner with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, to present this exhibition, which explores the artist’s work from his travels in Nebraska, Wyoming, California, and the Hawaiian Islands through a multiplicity of voices and perspectives, including those of Pomo curators, offering new interpretations of his body of work.
Images
 

Additional exhibitions at the de Young

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving
Through May 2, 2021 

Bouquets to Art 2021
June 8–13, 2021 

The Turkmen Storage Bag
Through June 13, 2021 

Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI 
Through June 27, 2021


Additional exhibitions at the Legion of Honor

Book of Now: Dieter Roth & Ed Ruscha 
Through June 6, 2021