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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
September 22, 2016
Snøhetta expansion of the new SFMOMA; photo © Henrik Kam, courtesy of SFMOMA

On View: Anthony Hernandez at SFMOMA

The Anthony Hernandez exhibit has ended. Please visit SFMOMA for current exhibitions.

On view at SFMOMA from Sept. 24 through Jan. 1, 2017 is the first retrospective to honor the more than 45-year career of the major American photographer Anthony Hernandez. Featuring approximately 160 photographs, many of which have never before been seen or published, "Anthony Hernandez" is the inaugural special exhibition in the museum’s Pritzker Center for Photography. This exhibition presents the full scope of Hernandez’s long and prolific career, celebrating the artist’s unique brand of street photography and how it has changed and developed over time.

“Hernandez’s photographs have long been admired by curators, collectors and other photographers,” said Erin O’Toole, curator of the exhibition and Baker Street Foundation Associate Curator of Photography at SFMOMA. “SFMOMA is thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce his incredible body of work to a broader audience.”

The child of Mexican immigrants, Hernandez was born and raised in Los Angeles. Largely unaware of the formal traditions of the medium, he developed his own individual photographic style, one attuned to particularities of L.A., its desolate beauty and sprawling expanses of asphalt and concrete. Over the course of his career, Hernandez has deftly moved from black-and-white to color photography, from 35mm to large-format cameras, and from the human figure to the landscape to abstracted detail, producing an unusually varied body of work united by its arresting formal beauty and subtle engagement with contemporary social issues.

Highlights from the exhibition include black-and-white photographs from the early 1970s that were taken on the streets of downtown Los Angeles, color pictures made on Rodeo Drive in the mid-1980s and selections from his critically acclaimed series "Landscapes for the Homeless" that was completed in 1991. For this series, Hernandez photographed what had been left behind at vacant homeless encampments, offering glimpses into the lives of the people who once found refuge there. "Anthony Hernandez" also features more abstract, large-scale color work taken recently in Los Angeles and on the road in locations ranging from Oakland and Baltimore to Rome.

A fully illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition, published by SFMOMA in association with D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, New York. In addition to more than 200 black-and-white and color plates, the book includes a preface by photographer Robert Adams; essays by Erin O’Toole and Ralph Rugoff, Director of the Hayward Gallery, London; as well as a dialog between Hernandez and his long-time friend, photographer Lewis Baltz.

For more information on "Anthony Hernandez" and additional featured exhibitions and events, please visit SFMOMA online. Entry to "Anthony Hernandez" is included with a general admission ticket purchase.

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