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Cultural Expeditions: San Francisco

LA Art Documents took an expedition to Northern California in early August to survey some of the exciting gallery spaces and museums for our ongoing BEYOND LA series. Here are some of the findings from an adventurous exploration.


First, we begin with the tragic recent and sudden loss of artist Hung Liu, who we discovered passed the day after our visit to the de Young Museum to see her exhibition Golden Gate in their public space Wilsey Court. The artist was inspired by migrants who, like herself, came to California and became an indelible part of its history, society, and culture. Liu’s personal history anchors Hung Liu: Golden Gate (金門), as the central wall of the installation, features a massive reinterpretation of her work Resident Alien that first debuted at the Capp Street Project in 1989. Flanking the central piece, Liu’s art draws parallels between the journeys of the Americans who came from East Asia with those captured in the photography of Dorothea Lange.


We had a charming visit with the folks of An.ä.log Gallery in SF’s Mission District as they were installing their group exhibition ALT-PHOTO: Alternative Processes in Contemporary Photography. We documented the artist Francis Baker as he gave us a tour of his wall of artworks in his Most Important Species series.

An.ä.log Gallery is an underground community exhibition space established in April 2019 by owner Guy Campbell and curator Don Ross of SFMOMA. The gallery was constructed by Campbell in the ground floor of his 19th century victorian town house, created to exhibit art and performance from local artists in the Bay Area. The space eludes a welcoming, homey vibe, and recommend visiting the space if you have the opportunity. Gallery is open Saturdays from 12-5pm For more information visit:


We love the expansion and transformation that SFMOMA underwent, and since it reopened in 2016 it has been stunning us every visit. Their current retrospective of influential experimental artist Nam June Paik impressed us and based on the crowd (the only one we experienced in these pandemic times) we weren’t alone in that assessment. Below are a selection of images from the over 200 works on view.

One of the first truly global and transnational artists, Paik foresaw the importance of mass media and new technologies, coining the phrase ‘electronic superhighway’ in 1974 to predict the future of communication in an internet age. This exhibition — the artist’s first-ever West Coast retrospective — celebrates Paik’s collaborative approach that transcended genres and traditions, while also highlighting the artist’s innovative, playful, and profoundly radical work.


Monumental Reckoning by artist Dana King is a two-year installation in Golden Gate Park. Representing the first Africans stolen from their homeland and sold into chattel slavery in 1619, these 350 ancestral sculptures encircle the vacant plinth of the slaveholder Frances Scott Key which was partially toppled by protesters last Juneteenth. Creating a sweeping throughline from America’s original sin of 250 years of slavery, to the evolution and imposition of a brutal and pervasive color-based caste system, to this moment of racial reckoning across America.



Located in San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch district, Minnesota Street Project offers economically sustainable spaces for art galleries, artists and related nonprofits. Inhabiting three warehouses, the Project seeks to retain and strengthen San Francisco’s contemporary art community in the short term, while developing an internationally recognized arts destination in the long term. 


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