Copper in the Arts

May 2009

SFMOMA Unveils New Rooftop Sculpture Garden

Rooftop Sculpture Garden Rooftop Garden Plans at the SFMOMA

Photo courtesy of SFMOMA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) unveiled a new rooftop sculpture garden on May 10, featuring an impressive display of modern and contemporary sculpture, including notable bronze artist Louise Bourgeois. The Rooftop Garden will not only serve as a dynamic space for showcasing SFMOMA's ever-expanding collection of sculpture, but it will also provide visitors with a place for reflection, relaxation, and interaction.

"The garden will act as an entirely new kind of gallery, adding a fresh dimension to the museum experience," said SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. "The grand scale of this remarkable space will enable us to exhibit large works-and even to extend and play off of the special exhibitions on view in our fifth-floor galleries."

Artists to be featured in the Rooftop Garden's inaugural exhibition include Robert Arneson, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Luciano Fabro, Ellsworth Kelly, Mario Merz, Juan Munoz, Barnett Newman, Joel Shapiro, Ranjani Shettar, and Kiki Smith. Sculptures will be comprised of works from the museum's collection that were either recently acquired or that are rarely seen. Highlights include Alexander Calder's Big Crinkly (1969); Stele I (1973), by Ellsworth Kelly; and Zim Zum I (1969), by Barnett Newman. Also on view will be recent gifts of artwork donated specifically for display in the new space, including The Lens of Rotterdam (1988), by Mario Merz, a gift from the Dodie and John N. Rosekrans Jr.-Runnymede Collection; and Joel Shapiro's Untitled (1983-87), a gift from Shirley Ross Davis.

The Rooftop Garden, which is partially covered but primarily open air, adds 14,400 square feet to the museum, and was designed by Jensen Architects, a leading San Francisco-based architecture and interiors firm. On its western side, the space shares a panoramic glass wall with the museum's fifth-floor galleries, providing them with natural light and views of the garden. Access to the Rooftop Garden will be via an enclosed glass-and-steel bridge, which will also be used for displaying art; for the garden's inauguration, the bridge will feature a specially commissioned project by Bay Area artist Rosanna Castrillo Diaz.


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 161 3rd. St., San Francisco, CA‎, (415) 357-1035

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