Just how far the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has been transformed during the eight years of the directorship of Dr John R. Lane will be revealed by the exhibition which fills the largest gallery of the new building. Called "Into a New Museum" (to 18 June), it is a selection of works of contemporary art which the museum has acquired or been given in recent years including four abstract compositions from the last period of de Kooning's career; "Grove Group II" and "Cold Mountain 3", two important paintings by Brice Marden; the last completed painting by Barnett Newman; "The Spirits that Lend Strength are Invisible I-V", the complete series of five paintings created by Sigmar Polke for the 1988 Carnegie International; Anselm Kiefer's "Osiris and Isis"; and a porcelain sculpture of "Michael Jackson and Bubbles" by Jeff Koons. An exhibition of recent acquisitions of works by younger artists including Robert Gober and Rebecca Horn will follow in the summer, when Richard Serra will recreate a splashing piece originally made in 1969 and now given to the museum by Jasper Johns.
Other acquisitions are featured in the opening exhibition of the museum's permanent collection of modern art which is taking place in an enfilade of clean and visually quiet galleries on the first floor of Botta's building. They include Matisse's celebrated "Femme au chapeau", the great Fauvist portrait of his wife which he painted in Paris in autumn 1905; and a sketch for "Le Bonheur de vivre", both bequests of Elise Haas; a series of eighteen works by Paul Klee, gifts or extended loans from Carl Djerassi; a collection of fifteen European paintings, including works by Picabia, Dalí, Dubuffet and Francis Bacon, formed by Jan and Mitsuko Shrem; and Pop Art paintings by Lichtenstein, Warhol and Indiana donated by Harry and Mary Margaret Anderson who had given Rauschenberg's "Collection" and Johns' "Land's End" to the museum in 1972.
Temporary exhibitions include "Public Information: Desire, Disaster, Document" (18 January-30 April), an analysis of photographic imagery in contemporary art which focuses upon the work of artists including Warhol, Gerhard Richter, John Baldessari, Cady Noland, Jeff Wall and Stan Douglas. The touring exhibition "Japanese Art after 1945: scream against the sky", which opened at the Guggenheim Museum, SoHo, New York, will be shown during the summer (1 June-3 September); and a major assessment of the later paintings of Willem de Kooning, being organised by the museum's chief curator Gary Garrels, follows in the autumn (22 September-8 January 1996).
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'What's in SFMOMA? Very much the director's choice'