19 March - 17 July 2022
Curated by established Bay Area artists Tammy Rae Carland, David Huffman, Lava Thomas, and John Zurier (who are all represented in BAMPFA’s collection and have been featured in exhibitions at the museum), this exhibition centers the artistic vision of each artist and engages the space where the artist—as curator, collector, and maker—meets the museum. For The Artist’s Eye, each artist was invited to organize a section of the exhibition, using artworks and archival material from BAMPFA’s collection, as well as select works from their own collections, that range across diverse media, approaches to making, and historical time periods.
Working in collaboration with the museum’s curatorial staff, the artists brought their curiosity and critical eye to BAMPFA’s holdings and together defined the layout of the exhibition around their unique visions and priorities. Carland chose works that involve language and wordplay—including pieces by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Sarah Charlesworth, and Yoko Ono. Huffman’s selection creates a personal, nonlinear reflection on art history, African American experience, and his own memories, featuring works ranging from a Francis Bacon painting to a nineteenth-century albumen print of an Egyptian sphinx. Thomas’s presentation addresses BAMPFA’s relationship with Black artists, and women in particular, highlighting work made by Black female artists—including Erica Deeman, Betye Saar, and Carrie Mae Weems—that takes the experience of Black womanhood as its subject. Zurier selected works from BAMPFA’s extensive collection of traditional Chinese and Japanese landscape painting, in addition to several modern and contemporary landscapes that reflect on quiet, solitude, weather, near and far distance, and nature in art. The artists’ own work will also be displayed in the exhibition, providing further insight into their practice and perspective.
The Artist’s Eye continues BAMPFA’s legacy of working with living artists to underscore the dynamic relationships between artworks, museums, and the communities of which they are a part, while also shaping and developing new historical and cultural narratives.