San Francisco

San Francisco

“Icons: Magnets of Meaning”

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
151 Third Street
April 18–August 5, 1997

Lipstick, Minicam, Kitchenaid, compound words specific to consumer society (okay, lipstick predates it a bit), are elevated to the status of “Icons” at SFMoMA. The appeal of the twelve featured objet types (from blue jeans, surfboards, and BMWs to the CBS Eye and the place-marking “@” of the Internet) goes beyond promises of total knowledge, speedy transcendence, and a fabulous ass. “By taking such icons out of context and looking at them purely as forms,” explains Aaron Betsky, curator of Architecture and Design at SFMoMA, “we begin to understand how they can become anchors in a world of sprawl.” The result? An exhibition featuring gadgets, logos, and leisure wear (and their second life in high Pop art). The museum s also commissioned icons by yen designers to address time-honored themes of love, hate, hope, fear, place, nonplace, and power. Adorno lans to boycott the opening.