The Bay Area has long been an important center for pioneering clay movements. In the 1960s, ceramic artists radically rethought traditional approaches to ceramics and the history of clay as a functional, vessel-based art form. Pioneers such as Peter Voulkos, Robert Arneson, and Viola Frey brought expressive potential and experimental techniques to traditional methods of clay sculpting, ultimately transforming the field.
The ceramic sculptures in this exhibition are wildly inventive expressions of the human figure; they range from earthy abstractions to larger-than-life busts and whimsical characters. The exhibition draws from the Museum’s collection and also includes two loans by Bay Area artists from a new generation who are continuing this region’s legacy of prominence and innovation in the medium.
William Wegman is best known for his heartwarming and amusing photographs of his Weimaraner dogs. Artists Including Me: William Wegman introduces another very personal side of this widely loved artist. With his signature quick wit, Wegman reflects on his life as an artist and on his artistic heroes. Here, he reimagines arthistorical masterpieces and art-world scenarios. Wegman’s alternative versions are part homage, part visual pun, and part parody.
Dixon and Barbara Farley shared their Marin home with an impressive, constantly growing collection of modern and contemporary art. Dixon Farley’s dedication (in particular to the work of Bay Area artists) never faltered, and he added new works to his collection up until his death in 2011. He had long wanted this carefully selected group of works to find an appreciative and appropriate public venue and, in 2000, he and Barbara made a promised gift of seventy-three artworks to SJMA—“a terrific home for my collection,” he said. Now, fifteen years later, the San Jose Museum of Art has the honor of exhibiting this intimate collection for the first time.
SJMA will present the first solo museum exhibition in the United States of the renowned Japanese artist Tabaimo. Tabaimo creates alluring, large-scale, surreal animations that unfold from everyday objects and experiences such as train rides or dollhouses. The resulting installations immerse the viewers in an ever-changing environment. She creates her animations from thousands of drawings made with a traditional Japanese calligraphy brushes, and her imagery recalls Edo-period ukiyo-e prints and makes oblique reference to manga, anime, and Japanese pop culture.
SJMA will premiere this cross-disciplinary exploration of the U.S.-Mexico border developed collaboratively by photographer Richard Misrach and composer Guillermo Galindo. The exhibition features monumental landscapes by Misrach and hand-crafted musical instruments created by Galindo from found objects recovered at the border—a shoe, a water bottle, a backpack. Border Cantos offers audiences new avenues for approaching heated political issues around immigration, border security, and immigration reform: it transcends specificity and gives a poignant, humanitarian perspective on the plight of all immigrants.