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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
November 28, 2016

SFMOMA's Newest Exhibit - Bruce Conner: It's All True

The Bruce Conner: It's All True exhibit has ended. Please visit SFMOMA for current exhibitions.


Realist. Surrealist. Hippie. Punk. Bruce Conner (1933–2008) was all of these and more. A pioneer in experimental film, collage, photography, conceptual works and paintings, he challenged the limitations of medium, genre and style, constantly breaking new ground. Bruce Conner: It’s All True at SFMOMA is the first comprehensive retrospective of this pivotal American artist’s incredible output, bringing together over 250 objects in various media, including film and video, works on paper, assemblages, photographs and photograms, performance and more. Spanning his five-decade career, the exhibition presents aspects of Conner’s work that have rarely been seen before: paintings he made in the 1950s, photos from the Bay Area punk scene in the 1970s, video work from the 2000s, and numerous works produced in the last decade of his life.

During the course of his extensive career, Conner engaged in close dialogue with SFMOMA curators, conservators and educators. He has been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions, and his work remains an important part of the museum’s permanent collection. An early practitioner of found-object assemblage and a pioneer of found-footage film, he achieved international standing early in his career. He was a key member of the underground film community and the flourishing San Francisco art world, continually creating in each decade though defined by none.

The exhibition begins with a group of early paintings, Tick-Tock Jellyclock Cosmotron, a rarely seen assemblage with sound, and A Movie, Conner’s first film and a major cornerstone of American experimental cinema. There is a section of the exhibit dedicated to Conner’s assemblages from the 1950s and early 1960s. Among many highlights is his first assemblage, Ratbastard, completed in 1958. That same year, he created the Rat Bastard Protective Association, a social group of artists and poets with a shared interest in the debris of everyday life. Multiple works influenced by his engagement with contemporary issues of social justice and by time spent in Mexico are also presented.

Bruce Conner: It’s All True is on view now through Jan. 22, 2017. Entry to this exhibit is included with your general admission ticket, which can be purchased on-site or online at sfmoma.orgDiscounted group ticketing and Bruce Conner: It’s All True private guided tours are also available on sfmoma.org/groups or groups@sfmoma.org.

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