San Francisco, California.- Tracing the engagement of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) with the region's vital art community across the past five decades, the exhibition "Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: The SECA Awards" marks the golden anniversary of the museum's art interest group SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art).
Artworks of these important artists are owned and uploaded by the art collector of Art Kabinett network.
The show surveys for the first time works by a range of artists who have won SECA's competitive award, recognizing exceptional art made in the Bay Area. The awards exhibition is on view at the museum from December 9th through April 3rd 2012.
In 1961 a council of SFMOMA supporters founded a collector's club dedicated to educating its members about the most current art practices and helping the museum bring the newest art into the collection.
Known as the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (or SECA), the group established its SECA Art Award in 1967.
Since then, the award has become the group's most visible initiative and remains one of the few and longest-running award exhibition programs dedicated to local artists at a modern art museum in the United States.
The biennial award honors Bay Area artists at a relatively early stage in their careers with an exhibition at SFMOMA, an accompanying catalogue, and a modest cash prize.
Two SFMOMA curators select thirty finalists and then visit the artists' studios with the SECA group.
The final section of up to four winners is made by SFMOMA curators.
Since its formation, SECA has recognized more than 150 local artists—often bringing much broader critical attention to their work and introducing them to the museum's international audience.
Further, the award and extensive selection process have provided a platform for hundreds more in the community to discuss and show their work not only to museum curators but also to a diverse group of arts professionals, collectors, and enthusiasts.
Arranged thematically rather than unfolding chronologically, the presentation reflects on loose clusters of works, identifying affinities among the artists and throughlines over the last five decades of the program.
The exhibition begins with a broad focus on place, marked by a narrower focus on this place.
Works such as Bonnie Ora Sherk's and Howard Levine's temporary offsite portable parks (SECA award year, 1970), Amy Franceschini's citywide victory garden program (2006) and Rigo 23's panoramic view of the redevelopment of South of Market area (1998) examine how SECA artists have responded to and intervened into the Bay Area's urban landscape.
The genre of landscape is further explored in works by Leslie Shows (2006) and Trevor Paglen (2008).
A gallery devoted to intimate-scaled works on paper includes documentation of Wayne E. Campbell's 1971 SECA exhibition, in which he invited another man by the same name to exhibit instruction-based paintings and drawings alongside his own.
Minimalism in sculpture practice and the use of quotidian materials link sculptures by John Beech (1992), Gay Outlaw (1998), and Mitzi Pederson (2006).
Abstract painting has been another core thread throughout the history of the program, from the pattern-based inquiries of Tauba Auerbach (2008) and the monochrome paintings of Anne Appleby (1996) and John Meyer (1990) to the meditative works of Laurie Reid (1998) and Kathryn Van Dyke (2000).
Reflections on personal mythology and shared American cultural references arise in the work of William Allan (1969), John Bankston (2002), David Best (1977), and Desirée Holman (2008). And examinations of art-making in a digital era weave through works by Jim Campbell (1996), Kota Ezawa (2006), Chris Finley (1998), and Jordan Kantor (2008).
From Funk to Mission School, SECA has responded to some of the most exciting Bay Area cultural and stylistic movements over the years through its focus on individual achievement while reflecting within any given award year various strands of contemporary production.
Other featured artists in the exhibition include:
D-L Alvarez (1996), Nayland Blake (1990), Rebeca Bollinger (1996), Sarah Cain (2006), Squeak Carnwath (1980), Paul DeMarinis (1996), Rosana Castrillo Díaz (2004), Simon Evans (2004), Charles Garoian (1974), Mel Henderson (1967), Andrea Higgins (2002), Chris Johanson (2002), David Jones (1974), Hung Liu (1992) -- whose large painting, "Loom", 1999 is shown above --, Barry McGee (1994), Rachael Neubauer (2000), Shaun O'Dell (2004), Maria Porges (1992), Will Rogan (2002), Bryan Rogers (1974), Josephine Taylor (2004), and Larry Thomas (1984), among others.