On the occasion of an important acquisition to the photography collection, SFMOMA presents the first U.S. solo exhibition of German artist Johannes Brus. In addition to his photographic works, which vary in size from small to monumental, a selection of three of Brus’s sculptural works are on view, illuminating the breadth of his oeuvre.
Known mainly as a sculptor, he studied at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf while Joseph Beuys was an instructor, with Anna and Bernhard Blume, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter among Brus’s peers. In the 1970s, he made photographic experiments that often involved mixing chemicals and painting on his photographs. In an alchemic way, he plays with the medium of photography, reversing its rules by embracing everything that is not supposed to be done in the darkroom. In his works, Brus creates a strange setup with flying objects levitating mysteriously through space. His works suggest a relation to the occult and are often infused with humor.
The exhibition is presented in the New to the Collection gallery, a space dedicated to uncovering new or unacknowledged work by an artist.