SAN FRANCISCO – The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to share a preview of exhibitions opening in late 2022 and early 2023 at the de Young and Legion of Honor museums.
Lhola Amira: Facing the Future
de Young museum
December 17, 2022–December 3, 2023
Lhola Amira: Facing the Future launches the Museums’ new contemporary African art program, foregrounding the permanent collection as a living aesthetic practice. The artist’s first solo exhibition in the US brings together the site-specific, mixed-media sound installation Philisa: Zinza Mphefumlo Wami—or portal for spiritual reflection and connection—and the single-channel video projection exploring indigenous forms of healing within the African diaspora, IRMANDADE: The Shape of Water in Pindorama (2018–2020). Designed to be accessible to all, Amira’s new Philisa is presented in dialogue with artworks in the collection that serve as conduits between the spirit and human worlds. Visitors are invited to approach culturally, environmentally, and politically charged histories with a heightened sense of spiritual awareness. The artist will consecrate the African art galleries as a sacred space, keeping the tradition of a ceremonial welcome alive.
Paperworks: Fifteen Years of Acquisitions
Legion of Honor
December 17, 2022–June 25, 2023
Paperworks inaugurates a new gallery at the Legion of Honor for the ongoing presentation of works on paper from the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Fine Arts Museums’ department of prints, drawings, photographs, and artists’ books. The exhibition features select acquisitions made over the past fifteen years (2007–2022) and is organized thematically in four sections: Ecologies of Place, Dynamics of Power, Self and Identity, and Process and Design. Viewed together, Paperworks contextualizes the Museums' collection, revealing significant through lines that unify visually disparate works and connect people across time and space.
Sargent and Spain
Legion of Honor
February 11–May 14, 2023
Sargent and Spain is the first exhibition to explore the influence of Spanish culture on the dynamic visual practice of the American expatriate artist John Singer Sargent (1856–1925). Celebrated as the leading society portraitist of his era, John Singer Sargent influenced a generation of American painters. His captivation with Spain, which developed over the course of seven visits taken from 1879 to 1912, resulted in a remarkable body of work. The exhibition will present an array of Sargent’s dazzling oils, watercolors, drawings, and never-before-exhibited photographs from his personal collection, which showcase Spain’s rich culture (both historic and modern), its people, and its magnificent urban and rural landscapes. Sargent and Spain will be on view at the Legion of Honor museum, the exclusive West coast venue for this exhibition.
Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence
de Young museum
March 4–July 9, 2023
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are honored to host the US premiere of Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence, a new, monumental body of work created against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and the worldwide rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Expanding upon American artist Kehinde Wiley’s Down series from 2008, and inspired by Hans Holbein the Younger’s The Dead Christ in the Tomb (1521–1522), the exhibition meditates on the deaths of young Black people slain all over the world. Holbein’s painting triggered an ongoing investigation into the iconography of the fallen and recumbent figure in Western art, which Wiley reconceptualized into paintings and sculptures in a range of states, including struck down, wounded, dead, resting, in ecstasy, or an ambiguous combination thereof. These works stand as elegies and monuments, underscoring the fraught terms in which Black bodies are rendered visible, especially when at the hands of state-sanctioned violence.
Ansel Adams in Our Time
de Young museum
April 8–July 23, 2023
A self-described “California photographer,” Ansel Adams had his first museum exhibition at the de Young in 1932. In a San Francisco homecoming, more than 100 of his most iconic works are on view in Ansel Adams in Our Time alongside those of 23 contemporary artists who share his deep concern for the environment, Catherine Opie, Richard Misrach, Trevor Paglen, and Binh Danh among them. An unremitting activist for conservation and wilderness preservation in the spirit of his 19th-century predecessors, Adams is today beloved for his lush gelatin silver prints of the national parks. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in partnership with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Ansel Adams in Our Time is enhanced at the de Young by the addition of works from the permanent collection and new interpretive framing that explores Adams’s close connection to the Bay Area and the state of California more broadly.
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Current Exhibitions at the de Young
Faith Ringgold: American People
Through November 27
Hung Liu: Golden Gate (金門)
Through January 8, 2023
Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs
Through February 12, 2023
Nampeyo and the Sikyátki Revival
Through July 2, 2023
To Teach and Inspire: The Julia Brenner Textile Collection
Through July 9, 2023
Current Exhibitions at the Legion of Honor
Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy
Through November 27
Michelle Erickson: Wild Porcelain
Through November 20
About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, are the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.
The de Young museum originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opened in 2005. Reflecting an active conversation among cultures, perspectives, and time periods, the collections on view include American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international modern and contemporary art. The Legion of Honor museum was modeled after the neoclassical Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris. The museum, designed by George Applegarth, opened in 1924 on a bluff in Lincoln Park overlooking the Golden Gate. It offers unique insight into the art historical, political, and social movements of the previous 4,000 years of human history, with holdings including ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; and the largest collection of works on paper in the western United States.
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco respectfully acknowledge the Ramaytush Ohlone, the original inhabitants of what is now the San Francisco Peninsula, and acknowledge that the Greater Bay Area is the ancestral territory of the Miwok, Yokuts, Patwin, and other Ohlone. Indigenous communities have lived in and moved through this place over hundreds of generations, and Indigenous peoples from many nations make their home in this region today. Please join us in recognizing and honoring their ancestors, descendants, elders, and communities.