Urs Fischer: The Public & the Private

Photos courtesy The Legion of Honor.

Photos courtesy The Legion of Honor.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco present Urs Fischer: The Public & the Private. The exhibition is the first under a new contemporary art initiative, which presents the work of living artists in dialogue with the unique histories and identities of the sites, buildings, and collections of the de Young and Legion of Honor. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of French sculptor Auguste Rodin’s (1840-1917) death, Urs Fischer (Swiss, b.1973) has been invited to bring a contemporary perspective to the understanding and appreciation of the Museums’ permanent collection, specifically the acclaimed collection of Rodin sculptures.

“In the 100 year history of the Legion of Honor, this is the first exhibition to bring works by a contemporary artist into dialogue with a wide range of the Museum’s permanent holdings,” said Max Hollein, director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

“Urs Fischer’s extraordinary work has been celebrated and exhibited around the globe in the last two decades, but his San Francisco presentation will be one of a kind. His site-specific installation at the Legion of Honor is a unique manifestation of artistic imagination, expanded context and institutional challenge.” This is Fischer's first major exhibition in San Francisco, he presents more than 30 works installed throughout the Court of Honor, rotunda and upper level galleries of the Legion of Honor. His sculptures and paintings feed off the tension between the material and digital, object and image. Drawing on traditions of Western art history and popular culture, he transforms the processes of creating and consuming artworks. Fischer plays with the mechanisms of perception to challenge visitors’ awareness of artworks in the context of their surroundings. His layering and juxtaposition of disparate images and objects combined with a distortion of scale often lend his exhibitions the character of an uncanny illusion.

The Legion of Honor was inspired by the French pavilion at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 and, like that structure, was modeled after the neoclassical Palais de la Légion d’Honneur, in Paris. The museum, designed by George Applegarth, opened in 1924 on a bluff in Lincoln Park overlooking the Golden Gate. Its holdings span 4,000 years and include European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.

Visiting Legion of Honor

Lincoln Park, 100 34th Avenue, San Francisco. Open 9:30 a.m – 5:15 p.m. Tuesdays– Sundays. Open select holidays; closed most Mondays.

Tickets $15 Entrance to Urs Fischer: The Public & the Private is included in general admission. For adults, tickets start at $15; discounts are available for seniors and students. Members and children 17 and under are free. Prices are subject to change. More information can be found at legionofhonor.famsf.org/legion/visiting.