City life has fascinated artists for hundreds of years. Early twentieth-century artists in the United States often depicted the physical and social realities, as well as the potential emotional disconnect, that can accompany urban density. In recent decades, artistic focus shifted to the ramifications of climate change, localism, and globalization. City Limits, City Life encourages audiences to think about urbanism in a larger context and coincides with collective efforts to enliven and transform downtown San Jose.
This group exhibition of contemporary portraiture explores the aesthetic, psychological, and emotional implications of the gaze in photography today. Here, the traditional view of a portrait is subverted: instead, a dynamic and ambiguous relationship between object and subject develops. The power of the gaze is blurred the moment the sitter becomes a partner in the art-making process.
This exhibition showcases some of the public’s longtime favorite works from the Museum’s permanent collection, in celebration of SJMA’s forty-fifth-anniversary year. Sleight of Hand asks visitors to look carefully at the allure of style and to further explore artists’ use of mesmerizing detail and similitude.
This exhibition sets out to disrupt the status quo and show that art is anything but just an inanimate object. For its forty-fifth anniversary, SJMA invited creative movers and shakers from the realms of design, comedy, performance, music, writing, and dance to disrupt this exhibition of its permanent collection with their personal artistic responses to the art on view. Their interventions can take whatever form and be in whatever media, and in whatever scale, they so choose.
American artist Robert Henri (1865 – 1929), one of the most influential artists of the early 20th century, made the first of his three trips to California in 1914. Henri was enchanted by the light, landscape, and the people he encountered during his sojourns here—and was compelled by the cultural diversity that has come to define California. This closely focused exhibition of approximately a dozen works reveals Henri’s fascination with the nations’ growing diversity.
Jasper Johns, William de Kooning, Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol— these stellar American artists are now part of the American canon of contemporary art history. Yet when Emily Fisher Landau collected their art (and works by numerous other now-prominent artists), they were radically adventurous and far from famous. Landau became one of the preeminent collectors of postwar art in the United States. This exhibition is in essence a survey of American art since the 1960s: it is drawn from Landau’s historic promised gift to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
In intriguing tableaus staged with toy figures and miniature dioramas, influential photographer David Levinthal explores history and pop culture, from the Wild West and baseball to pornography and the horrors of the Holocaust. SJMA’s exemplary collection, features the finest examples from Levinthal’s career from 1975 to the early 2000s.
This spring the San Jose Museum of Art goes public with a selection of exciting acquisitions from the last three years. Initial Public Offering marks the debut of various works in SJMA’s galleries. From Clare Rojas’s folk-inspired narrative paintings to Tim Hawkinson’s cardboard and urethane foam sculpture Scout (2006-2007)—the artist’s absurdly humorist take on the human figure—the works in this exhibition signal a bold, new direction for SJMA’s permanent collection.
Artists give us a chance to view the world in new ways and through their eyes. We view their works and notice tiny details—what makes a structure an architectural gem, the heat of a moment, weather that can change our mood. The artist frames a view and uses angles and perspective to guide what we see. As you look for yourself, do you feel small or powerful? Can you fly or do you feel the dirt on your belly? Are you energized or at peace?
You are what you eat. This exhibition—the catalyst for an accompanying festival of activities presented by thirty partnering organizations—celebrates and explores the role that food plays in our lives. The agricultural bounty of our region has brought waves of immigration (Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Mexican, Vietnamese) and shaped a rich history of cultural diversity, which today we share in part via food. From food trucks to molecular gastronomy, food helps define the Bay Area’s communities.
Food punctuates daily life and shapes family traditions. It is a manifestation of commonality and culture. Your childhood may have been nurtured by food memories—of meals and mealtimes, of abundance or want, of family roles and rituals. We each may take our small comforts from Wonder Bread, roti, pita, tortillas, challah, injera, or bánh….
Our “daily bread” takes centerstage in the first installment of Around the Table, Jitish Kallat’s expansive installation Epilogue (2010 – 2011). Here, Kallat honors his late father through a deeply personal series of photographs of progressively eaten roti (the round, traditional South Asian flatbread).
Consider the letter. At its most basic, it consists of one or more straight or curved lines, sometimes touching or forming geometric shapes. With these simple lines, humans build complex codes, communicate with each other, and grapple with the mysteries of the universe. The artists in Mark My Word use letters, challenging us to see them for what they really are, objects to be played with, read literally or not, or combined to enhance a story. In the Koret Family Gallery, we invite you to engage in your own word play.
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