One of the distinct features of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art ( SFMoMA ) is its architectural design, which includes an oculus structure that funnels natural light through a massive cylindrical space into the museum’s lobby and mezzanine galleries. A bridge traverses the space near the top. There’s nothing quite like it at any museum or major building we know of in the United States.
We’re fans of German visual artist Gerhard Richter, perhaps best known for his “capitalist realism” and his photo-realistic and “blur” paintings. But Richter has explored several distinct visual styles and themes throughout his career. Among his body of work are his “color” (“farben”) paintings, such as this one titled “Farben 256” we saw recently on view at the San Francisco Museum of Art.
This blown-up black-and-white image is a fitting street-art tribute to the late great actor-comedian Robin Williams. The photo adorns a construction-site hoarding next to a popular book shop in the Mission District of San Francisco, where Williams had lived for many years and where he spent his early career working the local stand-up comedy club scene. In the photo, Williams is young, bearded, almost feral with a poignant, restrained intensity. In context of the city’s visual clutter, the image manages stands out.