A recent excursion to SFMOMA invites one to revisit the concept of space. The newly renovated museum utilizes its unoccupied areas masterfully. The intention of the visit was to see the Matisse/Diebenkorn exhibit. However, that changed abruptly and quickly once entering its territory. The museum had other intentions.
Waiting in the ticket line, the late artist Susan O’Malley welcomes visitors with wisdom. The colors are vibrant and playful but sharp. With the absence of Susan’s physical presence, her legacy radiates in words. “YOUR LIFE IS PRECIOUS” and “DON’T BE AFRAID” declare a truthful reality in a post O’Malley world. Susan didn’t predict the future- she lived it.
The Henri Matisse and Richard Diebenkorn exhibit was thoughtful and expertly curated. It was crowded with timed visitor entries and the same question reappeared: Will there ever be an exhibit of “two twentieth century’s most extraordinary” women artists in my lifetime? Nevertheless, my interest was in artworks outside of the museum’s main attraction.
Bottom line: I seek new information that challenges and educates one’s experience from diverse and underrepresented historical perspectives.
The strength of SFMOMA is held in its vast collections and exhibits. It outweighed and delivered beautifully. It keeps me coming back and asking new questions. In Susan O’Malley’s words: “I TOLD YOU SO.” Yes, you did and I’m listening.