SFMOMA Is Back, And Bigger and Better Than Ever

04 SFMOMA ExpansionPhotos © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA 

Let us count the ways we love the new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art—one reason for (and on) each floor, starting at the top:

7. In the slew of new contemporary-art acquisitions on this floor—from works by Matthew Barney to Cindy Sherman to Ai Weiwei—we’re torn between the huge backlit Jeff Wall photo and Jim Campbell’s cryptic LED wall piece. Campbell wins by a hair.

6. With the gorgeous German paintings and photographs also housed on this level (thank you, Don and Doris Fisher), it’s be easy to overlook the Typeface to Interface graphic-design installation. That would be a mistake.

5. Hurray—they kept the old (well, not that old—it only opened in 2009) sculpture garden on top of the museum’s Minna Street garage! What used to be a somewhat drafty Blue Bottle coffee bar next to the garden is now the sit-down Café 5.

4. The quiet, austere Agnes Martin “chapel,” and three rooms devoted to some of Richard Serra (relatively) smaller sculptures, such as House of Cards—how on earth can those precariously balanced slabs of lead be earthquake safe?

3. Okay—we’re going to cheat and highlight three favorites on this floor (hey, it’s a big one!). First, the living wall outside the Calder room, and the Calder room itself. Second, the California and the West survey of photography. Third, the Sightglass coffee bar. Because caffeine.

2. The ticket desk, because anyone 18 or under gets in for free.

1. Until the museum’s new restaurant, In Situ, opens (next month, they say), our pick for this floor is the Roman steps, where you can sit and read or wait for a friend or ponder the massive Richard Serra work, Sequence, safely below you. Once the restaurant opens, though, we reserve the right to reassess.

06 SFMOMA ExpansionPhoto © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA 

Stitched Panorama

John Divola, As Far As I Could Get, 10 Seconds, 12_15_2010, 3:29 PM to 3:42 PM PST, 34.166301,- 116.033714, 2010; inkjet print; 50 1/4 x 118 in. (127.64 x 299.72 cm); Promised gift of Michael and Jane Wilson; © John Divola; photo: courtesy of John Divola & Gallery Luisotti

Jang_Golden Gate Bridge Fiftieth Anniversary

Michael Jang, Golden Gate Bridge Fiftieth Anniversary, 1987; gelatin silver print; 12 x 18 3/8 in. (30.48 x 46.67 cm); Promised gift of the Woodrow Jang Family; © Michael Jang

Weiwei_Colored Vases

Ai Weiwei, Colored Vases, 2007; industrial paint and Neolithic clay; various dimensions; Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, promised gift to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; © Ai Weiwei

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