Past Exhibitions

Saturday, October 3, 2015Sunday, February 7, 2016

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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015Saturday, September 12, 2015

On Saturday, September 12, the San Jose Museum of Art holds “Full Spectrum 2015: Steam Powered,” our annual gala and benefit auction. The artworks on view in this gallery have been generously donated for sale at the auction by gallerists and artists. Many of these artists may be familiar to you: their work is represented in SJMA’s permanent collection or has been featured in recent exhibitions. Proceeds from the auction and the gala fund the Museum’s education programs for youth and for adults, both at SJMA and in the schools. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015Sunday, January 10, 2016

As we pass the second anniversary of shocking revelations about widespread, international data collection, security and privacy have become everyday concerns. Covert Operations is the first survey of work by artists who are responding to the uncertainties of the post-9/11 world. They employ the tools of democracy to bear witness to attacks on liberty and to the abuse of power: they reveal previously unreported information and government actions that may limit civil rights.

Friday, March 13, 2015Sunday, September 13, 2015

Long interested in the mysteries of the night sky and the natural world, internationally-recognized artist Diana Thater is fascinated by the dung beetle and its relationship to our galaxy. Inspired by a recent scientific study that revealed how the jewellike beetle uses the Milky Way for nocturnal orientation, Thater developed an entirely new kind of film and video installation to ponder the vastness of the universe and to convey aesthetically the sublime aspects of the cosmic imagination

Friday, March 13, 2015Sunday, August 23, 2015

Exhibition Catalogue

One of the esteemed Los Tres Grandes Mexican muralists, José Clemente Orozco (1881 – 1949) is best known for monumental fresco cycles that present dramatic, epic narratives. Yet throughout his life, Orozco was also an avid draftsman who had a masterful understanding of the musculature and the inherent expressiveness of the human body. This exhibition includes more than twenty figure studies generously loaned by the Michael Wornick CollectionMany of them have never been exhibited before. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015Sunday, August 2, 2015

Two generations after the exultation of Independence and the concurrent horrors of Partition, contemporary Indian photographers reclaim and reappraise the history of colonialism in their country. These artists look closely and critically at historical Indian photography and draw on diverse sources of inspiration. They take matters of history into their own hands, redefining the iconic historical images of India and investigating the complex relationship between traditions of representation and contemporary image-making.

Saturday, January 17, 2015Sunday, May 22, 2016

The act of making (whether it be artistic or scientific) with the goal of producing a more beautiful and better world is part of the human impulse. Makers demonstrate an “I can do it” attitude. They use materials in new ways, upcycle discarded objects, challenge familiar ways of doing things and invent new ones. Sometimes creativity, a force inherent in all of us, just needs a little inspiration. In this spirit, we invite you to the Koret Family Gallery: view artworks made of new materials in new ways, take a maker challenge, and rekindle your creative spark. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014Sunday, June 14, 2015

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.

Thursday, October 9, 2014Sunday, January 18, 2015

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.

Thursday, October 2, 2014Sunday, February 22, 2015

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.

Thursday, October 2, 2014Sunday, February 22, 2015

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.

Saturday, September 13, 2014Sunday, January 18, 2015

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. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014Sunday, September 14, 2014

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. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014Sunday, November 30, 2014

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.

Saturday, March 1, 2014Sunday, August 24, 2014

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.

Thursday, January 16, 2014Sunday, November 30, 2014

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?

Saturday, November 9, 2013Sunday, April 20, 2014

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.

Thursday, October 17, 2013Sunday, February 2, 2014
When we think of brilliant design, we usually think of monumental feats of engineering, architecture, aeronautics, even city planning. Yet modest objects we use every day reflect the same process of problem solving, design, and testing. They are the unrecognized heroes of industrial design, where simplicity and necessity meet ingenuity.  
Friday, September 6, 2013Sunday, April 20, 2014

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).

Thursday, July 18, 2013Sunday, October 20, 2013
Katie and Drew Gibson, longtime supporters of SJMA, believe that culture is a big part of what makes a city important and meaningful. From the very early days of the Museum, when it occupied the old library, they dreamed of an art museum with a collection of national prominence and gutsy distinction. The Gibsons have helped the Museum realize its ambitions for some thirty years.
Thursday, July 18, 2013Sunday, October 20, 2013
The iconic and glorious Golden Gate Bridge, recognized around the world, is nearly synonymous with the Bay Area. This summer, SJMA invites visitors to experience the bridge in a completely new way through the art of Doug Hall. In Timelapse, the bridge is more than a landmark: it is an elegant engineering feat, a symbol of global maritime commerce, a portal to the Pacific Rim, and a tourist destination of the West. This exhibition marks the debut of the Museum’s recent major acquisition, purchased with funds contributed by the Lipman Family Foundation and the Acquisitions Committee.
Thursday, June 6, 2013Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hung Liu’s remarkable and lush paintings (based on historical photographs of China) have made her one of the most beloved artists represented in SJMA’s collection—and one of the most important Chinese-American artists working today. Hung Liu has long paid witness to the tribulations of everyday people, past and present, and their hidden stories of social injustice. She grapples with issues of self, society, and politics—as well as the challenge of reconciling disparate cultures.

Thursday, June 6, 2013Sunday, September 8, 2013
Abraham Lincoln’s hat and gloves. Sigmund Freud’s couch. Emily Dickinson’s only surviving dress. Elvis Presley’s 1957 Harley Davidson. These are just some of the revealing personal possessions of notable historical figures that Annie Leibovitz photographed on a journey through the United States and Great Britain between 2009 and 2011. The photographs featured in this nationally touring exhibition vividly demonstrate Leibovitz’s curiosity and fascination with the world around her.
Thursday, April 18, 2013Sunday, December 1, 2013
Tales of monsters, heroes, and gods found in classical Greek mythology have captivated audiences for over three millennia. This small exhibition drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection features works on paper by artists who have used stories from the Odyssey and ancient Greek myths to address challenging issues such as race, culture, and the psychological effects of war, or as a vehicle to explore desire and the universal subconscious. 
Thursday, February 21, 2013Sunday, August 18, 2013
These artists take on identity issues (and Asian identity in particular) by creating narratives that often are born from loosely autobiographical, conflicting situations. In video, film, multimedia works, photographs, and performance art, they conjure temporary identities that reflect the constant struggle, negotiation, and precarious balance between different worlds.