Taking in Art: The Elise S. Haas Collection and more

Since my last visit to SFMOMA the Elise S. Haas collection has gone up and transformed the gallery space. What a wonderful collection!

Still thinking about where technology fits in life and art. For now, I think I’m more interested in the relationship between art of the past and contemporary art than for an art that is focused on NOW! Abstract musings aside, I do try to hit museums or galleries at least once a week because I like to look at what artists are doing and how people are presenting art in general.

Today was my day to get out and about this week. Since I haven’t been to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art lately, I decided to visit there first.

Since my last visit to SFMOMA the Elise S. Haas collection has gone up and transformed the gallery space. What a wonderful collection! SFMOMA described the exhibition in 2008 as follows:

It would be hard to overestimate the significance of the Elise S. Haas collection for SFMOMA. Made up of some 35 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, this group of stunning early modernist works highlights especially the art of Henri Matisse and Henry Moore but also includes pieces by such luminaries as Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brancusi, and Barbara Hepworth. A student of art herself, Haas not only collected works by these great artists, but she also endeavored to get to know them personally. Though the collection now seems classic, it was one of the most cutting edge of its time, setting a forward-thinking example that continues to inspire the collecting practices of SFMOMA to this day.

Picasso’s exquisite Tête de trois quarts (Head in Three-Quarter View), 1907, is pictured on the page for the current exhibition (and the previous one too). I find Picasso very up and down in quality. This one is definitely one of the really good pieces!

I spent more time with the high-quality Haas collection than I intended. At the beginning of the display I was taken with the portraits of Sarah and Michael Stein by Matisse and the incredibly strong works on paper. Picasso’s Tête de trois quarts is in this category.

Also of note is the sculpture. The several small pieces of Henry Moore were new to me, including a small bronze, Maquette for Seated Figure against Curved Wall, 1955. [Don’t let the text on the linked page fool you. It is up today.] and Cavallo by Marino Marini

Haas was a sculptor too. Several of the sculptures on view are near drawings by the same artists. Like Haas, I find drawings by sculptors to be a particularly fascinating genre. They have a solidity that suggests a sculptor’s awareness of depth and 3-dimensional thinking.

More Later . . .

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