Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rooftop Garden

Took a friend to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this afternoon to see the soon-to-close William Kentridge show. Afterward we went up to the newly built sculpture garden on the roof of the museum's parking garage.

Decorated ramp connecting main museum building with sculpture garden annex.

The glass wall is a little bit dizzy-making in a good way, with its imperial views of the neighboring grid-faced hotel.

One of the famous spider sculptures by Louise Bourgeois in an enclosed space that serves as both cafe and anteroom to the outdoor sculpture garden. Bourgeois is at present continuing to produce new work at age 98.

The Lens of Rotterdam Mario Merz, 1988. In bright sunlight I would not have the skill to photograph this object, it would disappear in glare and reflections.

Big Crinkly by Alexander Calder, 1969. The balanced element at top – with its three metal cut-outs – rotates in the wind, and the cold wind today was amply strong enough to rotate it.

Stele I by Ellsworth Kelly, 1973. The Museum hired a crane to block traffic at 3 a.m. and hoist this huge heavy thing into place, five stories above the street.

Standing figure at right by Kiki Smith. Virgin Mary, 1993.

Large Torso Arch by Henry Moore, bronze, 1962-63.

It is possible to linger in the sculpture garden (if warmly dressed) and drink expensive rarefied coffee and exchange impressions while seated on exquisite Italian modernist chairs.