724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
415 541 0461
Founded in 1979, Modernism has since presented more than 450 exhibitions, both historical and contemporary, in media ranging from painting to photography, sculpture to performance, by an international roster of artists. Throughout its 37 years, owner Martin Muller has striven to keep the gallery's challenging, museum quality program at the forefront of the art world. Early landmarks included being the first gallery to show Andy Warhol in the Bay Area (1982), and holding the first exhibition on the West Coast (in a gallery or museum) of the Russian Avant-Garde 1910-1930 (1980, 17 more retrospectives have since been mounted). In the 1990s Modernism highlighted its strong abstract program with the exhibition of "Four Abstract Classicists" (1993), a recreation of the show presented by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1959, while at the same time introducing America to the confrontational, and ofttimes disturbing, conceptual works of Austrian born artist Gottfried Helnwein (1992). Modernism will celebrate its 38th anniversary in October, and with it, many more firsts of recent years, including the first major exhibition of the works of Le Corbusier on the West Coast (2003), and in 2006, the first major retrospective in the U.S. of the paintings, drawing, collages, and photographs of Erwin Blumenfeld. In addition to the milestones above, Modernism prides itself on the scope of its program: Historical exhibitions encompass areas including Dada, Cubism, Surrealism, Vorticism, German Expressionism, and foremost, the Russian Avant-Garde 1910-1930. The contemporary program features rotating shows, six to seven weeks in duration, of the nearly 50 gallery artists—including various representational and abstract modes, sociopolitical, and conceptual works—presented at both Modernism and Modernism West, as well as at art fairs in the United States and Europe. Modernism publishes numerous books, monographs, catalogs, and fine art editions.

 
Current Exhibition

Charles Arnoldi
Recent Paintings
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

September 12, 2018 - October 27, 2018

 
Past Exhibitions

Shawn HUCKINS
Fool's Gold
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

July 11, 2018 - September 8, 2018
Since construction was completed in 1800, the White House has served not only as home to each successive US President, but also as a repository of American history, preserved in portraits and landscapes collected by the White House Historical Association. The collection contains iconic works ranging from Gilbert Stewart's famous portrayals of George Washington to Albert Bierstadt's epic scenes of the American frontier. For the contemporary American artist Shawn Huckins, who straddles the divide between traditional figurative painting and bleeding-edge digital culture, the archive is a provocation to consider how the past is treated today and how history might be remembered in the future. The eighteen paintings in Fool's Gold, Huckins' second solo exhibition at Modernism, mash up past and present by imagining masterpieces in the White House collection to be as ephemeral as Adobe Photoshop files. Meticulously repainting works by Stewart and Bierstadt, as well as Charles Wilson Peale and William Merritt Chase, Huckins 'updates' them by simulating digital erasures: The artist selectively replaces portions with patches of gray-and-white checkerboard identical to the pattern that Photoshop users see when they delete sections of digital photos. "The underlying works chosen for this series originally served as testaments of those who came before us and the indelible mark they left on the world," Huckins explains. "In an era where the internet makes everyone a publisher, and digital editing tools bestow the power to create realities out of pixels, these works examine our assumptions regarding the longevity of individual influence and institutions". For instance, in Nothing Rhymes With Orange (George Washington, Erasure No. 5), Huckins has excised George Washington up to his eyes. Evoking the crisp visual language of Minimalism, the perfect square made by his deletion contrasts with the sweeping scribbles of erasure defacing Bierstadt's epic Rocky Mountain Landscape in The Most Beautiful Place Is Far From Here (Rocky Mountain Scene, Erasure No. 16). The latter may be interpreted alternately as a nod to the loose brushwork of Abstract Expressionism or as a reference to the calligraphic marks of graffiti art. Huckins crafts these paintings entirely by hand in acrylic on canvas, working from archival images stored on the White House Historical Association website. He uses techniques perfected in his last series, exhibited at Modernism in 2016, which juxtaposed classic American paintings with textual overlays harvested from Twitter. (For example, George Caleb Bingham's 1847 Raftsmen Playing Cards is overwritten with the words EVRYTHING IS HILARIOUS N NTHING IS REAL.) Writing about Huckins' previous series in Art Ltd., the critic Michael Paglia has observed that "the refined sensibility of the original paintings sets up extreme contrasts to the vulgar world of our own time, which is laid bare by the meanings inherent in the inserted text." Huckins' conceptually-motivated collisions build on Pop Art and the appropriations of Pictures Generation masters such as Richard Prince, and his painterly use of text has earned comparisons to Ed Ruscha. Refining ideas about technology and historical continuity introduced in his earlier text-based paintings, Fool's Gold also represents an important conceptual leap for the artist, opening up a whole new range of questions. "If individual legacy can be expunged, how enduring are the concepts that spawned this country?" asks Huckins. "How will the current day be recorded, judged and preserved when anyone can create, or re-create, his or her own reality with a keystroke, or a mouse-swipe, or a dead-of-night tweet?" SHAWN HUCKINS (born 1984, Laconia New Hampshire) currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. His work has been exhibited nationwide. The public is cordially invited to attend an opening reception on Wednesday, July 11th, from 5:30-8PM. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL: 415/541-0461 / FAX: 415/541-0425, OR EMAIL TO: INFO@MODERNISMINC.COM. HI-RES IMAGES AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.

Mark ULRIKSEN
Something in the Air
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

July 11, 2018 - September 8, 2018
Reception for the Artist Wednesday July 11 from 5:30-8 PM Modernism is pleased to present its second one-person exhibition of works by San Francisco-based artist Mark ULRIKSEN. Ulriksen’s varied interests are often the subjects of his artworks, be it politics, people, animals, or sports, or simply capturing the essence of a Sunday stroll in the park. His instantly recognizable portraits and whimsical take on life have led to now 60 covers of The New Yorker magazine, where he has been a regular contributor since 1993, alongside other greats such as David Hockney, Maira Kalman, Jean Jacques Sémpe, Saul Steinberg, Art Spiegelman, and Barry Blitt. Twenty paintings and works on paper will be on view, including Slippery Slopes, which made the February 26, 2018 cover of The New Yorker. “Sports can be an opportunity for some of the world’s most talented to leap to their freedom,” Ulriksen says about his cover, inspired by the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. In Strike Zone (featured on the May 1, 2017 cover of The New Yorker) Ulriksen revisits the 100-year-old Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, along with the recent push for computer umpires. “There’s drama inherent in every pitch,” says Ulriksen about the baseball season. “For the next six months, there’ll be a cast of characters,” he says. “You follow your team with the kind of rapt attention that you would a good book. When fall comes, you get a grand finale. Last year (2016), it all went to the Chicago Cubs. This year, who knows?” Ulriksen’s inspirations range far and wide, from the twisted outlook of Mad magazine and Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons of his youth, to the line work of picture-book artist Miroslav Šašek; and all the way to Flemish storytellers like Rogier van der Weyden, and photographers like Arnold Newman. Film has also been a great influence on Ulriksen’s work, he explains, “Movies by Billy Wilder, Wes Anderson, and Buster Keaton have given me color palettes, compositions, and a love of dry, deadpan humor.” Mark Ulriksen’s work is in the permanent collection of The Smithsonian and the Library of Congress. He has created murals for United Airlines and the Chicago Bears that grace the walls of the United Club at Soldier Field. He has been the regular artist for the San Francisco Jazz Festival, and his 2006 New Yorker cover parody of the film Brokeback Mountain was named the year’s top magazine news cover by the Magazine Publishers of America. The public is cordially invited to attend an opening reception on Wednesday, July 11th, from 5:30-8PM. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL: 415/541-0461 / FAX: 415/541-0425, OR EMAIL TO: INFO@MODERNISMINC.COM. HI-RES IMAGES AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.

Bill KANE
Emanations
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

June 28, 2018 - September 3, 2018
Opening Reception June 28 6-8PM

Judy Dater
Personas: A survey of works from 1965-2016
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

May 10, 2018 - June 30, 2018
Opening reception May 10 from 5:30-8PM

Seth Tane
Trading Places
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

May 10, 2018 - June 30, 2018
Opening reception May 10 from 5:30-8PM

Jacques VILLEGLÉ
Traces: Décollages from 1956-2000
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

March 15, 2018 - April 28, 2018
Opening reception Thursday, March 15, 5:30-8pm

Naomie Kremer
Untold: Paintings & Hybrids
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

January 18, 2018 - March 3, 2018
Reception for the artist Thursday, January 18th, 5:30-8pm

Mel RAMOS
Sirens & Heroes
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

November 2, 2017 - January 13, 2018
Reception for the Artist Thursday, November 2, 5:30-8PM As a young artist in the early 1960s, Mel Ramos made portraits of figures he particularly admired. He painted Batman and Wonder Woman and other comic book characters, rendering them on canvas with brushwork he'd learned by studying Old Masters. Concurrently with Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein—yet independently of both—Mel Ramos pioneered an entirely new vision of modern art popularly known as Pop. More than half a century later, Ramos has returned to some of the subjects that made him famous, not only the superheroes he painted from 1961 to 1963 but also the pin-up-inspired nudes he began depicting in 1964. This November a broad selection of these new paintings goes on view at MODERNISM, together with chrome sculptures that show his female subjects cavorting with oversize golf balls and martini glasses. Together these works constitute a mini-retrospective in which the artist revisits highlights of his career with the mastery gained from decades of practice. The exhibition also shows Ramos' artistic prescience. Within the context of contemporary culture (and with midcentury characters such as Wonder Woman making Hollywood comebacks), his Pop vision seems more pertinent than ever. READ MORE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL: 415/541-0461 OR EMAIL INFO@MODERNISMINC.COM

Silvia POLOTO
dithyrambus
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

September 12, 2017 - October 31, 2017
Beginning with my experience as a woman, immigrant, widow and mother, from my own subjective experience and honest reflection, I create work to connect to others. I move beyond my personal identity to a universal self, casting light into and onto human experience. In this way these things that define me are catalysts, but never traps. They are lenses, but never blinders. They are personal, but only to connect to the universal. I am interested in the purpose of pain, in the structure of sorrow, in the anguish of grief, in the rapture of love, in the joy of friendship, in the tenderness of self-discovery. I am interested in the exploration of elegance, of simplicity, of beauty. Like many artists in history, I affirm the existence of beauty itself and the possibility of human connection and shared meaning. However I work in abstraction. Through abstraction I reveal rather than portray, and invite rather than present. I use an always evolving approach to materials to express what is there, what is here, what is between.

Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch: Breathe, Feel, Suffer, and Love
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

August 31, 2017 - October 7, 2017
Modernism is pleased to present a major exhibition of prints and drawings by the legendary Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944). Encompassing thirty works produced between 1894 to 1930, the exhibition complements a concurrent retrospective of Munch's paintings at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The Modernism exhibition features some of Munch's most famous images, including The Sick Child, Madonna, and The Kiss – painted versions of which are simultaneously on view at SFMOMA – affording viewers a rare opportunity to see how he treated key themes including death and love in diverse media.

Jean Dessirier
Mythologies
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

June 15, 2017 - August 19, 2017

Tony Hernandez
New Paintings
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

June 15, 2017 - August 19, 2017

David Simpson
Fifty Years of Painting
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

April 6, 2017 - May 20, 2017

Elena Dorfman
The Origin Of The New World
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

April 6, 2017 - June 20, 2017

Gottfried Helnwein
Red Harvest
724 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

February 9, 2017 - March 18, 2017