Human beings are boundless. We can unravel ourselves along various threads of identity—gender, ethnicity, nationality—but there are always more. The nuanced experience of existing within a body has inspired artists throughout history, and continues to drive new visual languages today. Encompassing a diverse group of artworks from the 1960s to the present, Our whole, unruly selves explores the changing stakes of figurative representation, highlighting forms of resistance, openness, and an embrace of opacity.
SJMA presents the landmark video installation, Hito Steyerl’s Factory of the Sun (2015), a joint acquisition with the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and SJMA. Interweaving genres of video games, internet dance videos, news reportage, and documentary film, the installation tells the surreal story of workers whose forced moves in a motion capture studio are turned into artificial sunlight. Factory of the Sun probes the pleasures and perils of digital image circulation, while exploring possibilities for collective resistance when surveillance has become routine in an increasingly virtual world.
Beta Space: Trevor Paglen will feature the artist’s first sound piece, a new public commission titled, There Will Come Soft Rains (2021), installed in SJMA’s historic clocktower and resounding into the streets of downtown San José from 8am–8pm on the hour, as well as sunrise, solar noon, and sunset.
Wayfinder: Clare Rojas is a public art project that encourages visitors to explore the heart of downtown San José. Commissioned by SJMA, 40 streetlight banners designed by Rojas in shades of pink, magenta, and lavender are installed along South Market and West San Carlos Streets.
Like the break of a line or page and the bleed of various elements beyond the edge or boundary of a certain area, the artworks in Break + Bleed oscillate between ideas of linearity and geometry and overlapping planes of color and form. Drawn primarily from SJMA’s permanent collection, the exhibition features artwork by Josef Albers, Karl Benjamin, Linda Besemer, Tony DeLap, Sam Francis, Sonia Gechtoff, Helen Lundeberg, Brice Marden, John McLaughlin, Ted Stamm, Frank Stella, Patrick Wilson, and Leo Valledor, among others.
Art Learning Lab is a dedicated exhibition space inspired by Sowing Creativity, the Museum’s award-winning STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education program. Featuring a diverse selection of work from the permanent collection, the Art Learning Lab reveals how artists engage cross-disciplinary concepts in their approach to art-making.
Pae White’s Noisy Blushes (2020) is a meditation on movement and time, light and color, material presence and the elusiveness of form. Commissioned by SJMA, the sculpture soars within the Museum’s thirty-foot high atrium and transforms its entrance into an experiential passageway, delivering a sublime experience for visitors.