previews

  • Dawoud Bey, A Boy in Front of the Loews 125th Street Movie Theater, Harlem, NY, 1976, gelatin silver print, 14 × 11".

    Dawoud Bey, A Boy in Front of the Loews 125th Street Movie Theater, Harlem, NY, 1976, gelatin silver print, 14 × 11".

    “Dawoud Bey: An American Project”

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    February 15–May 25, 2020

    Curated by Corey Keller and Elisabeth Sherman

    This first full-scale retrospective of Dawoud Bey’s work in twenty-five years, which includes approximately eighty pieces from the 1970s to the present, and is co-organized with the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, should deliver a knockout punch. Like Robert Frank and Walker Evans, Bey is a chronicler and portraitist of American lives. Like that of Cartier-Bresson, his work on the streets captures “the decisive moment.” Bey has also been a documentarian of the art life around him: As a young photographer in early-’80s New York, Bey immortalized important actions and performances by the likes of David Hammons, Senga Nengudi, and Maren Hassinger, all of whom, like him, were affiliated with the groundbreaking gallery Just Above Midtown, which showcased a variety of artistic practices among a cadre of avant-gardists. Travels to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, June 27–October 18; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, November 20, 2020–April 4, 2021.

  • “SOFT POWER”

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    October 26, 2019–February 17, 2020

    Curated by Eungie Joo with Jovanna Venegas

    At a moment when authoritarianism is on the rise and artful rhetoric no longer persuades, “SOFT POWER” takes its title from a Reagan-era term for exerting influence not through brute force and violence but via cultural and social values. The exhibition is curated by Eungie Joo with Jovanna Venegas and is Joo’s first major group show in the US since “The Ungovernables” at New York’s New Museum in 2012. The biographic itineraries of the twenty participating artists slant the geopolitics of the show toward Asia and the Americas, with a majority of the works being new commissions. To envision how this diverse group of artists (and a heterogeneous public) might wield soft power of their own, Joo invokes Manthia Diawara’s concept of “solidarity between intuitions”—a palliative proposition for our fragmenting age.