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San Francisco's new MOMA

The SFMOMA expansion

The SFMOMA expansion

All eyes in the art world are on the leviathan San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA), which will reopen on Saturday 14 May after a three-year closure, the construction of a $US305 million, 10-storey expansion and a campaign that elicited more than 3000 artworks from donors.

Spanning a city block at its widest, the new building by Oslo-based architect Snøhetta has a white undulating façade inspired by the chop and fog of San Francisco Bay, its rippling effect created by 700 polymer panels embedded with silicate crystals from Monterey Bay that reflect the changing light. New paths and entrances link the new building to the original by Mario Botta and the South of Market neighbourhood.

Inside are seven storeys of gallery space - more than the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan - plus performance spaces, theatres and In Situ, a restaurant by Corey Lee, the chef-owner of the city's three-star haute-Asian restaurant Benu. There are 19 exhibitions staged during the opening season alone occupying gallery space that has roughly tripled during the expansion.

Among a huge collection of modern and contemporary art are works by a rollcall of 20th-century luminaries: Jackson Pollock, Frida Khalo, Cindy Sherman, Paul Klee, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Chuck Close among them. Two floors are dedicated to more than a thousand works of mainly American and German 20th century art owned by Gap founders Donald and Doris Fisher and appearing at SFMOMA on a 100-year loan. A new Pritzker Center for Photography on the third floor is the largest gallery of its kind in the US, filled with more than 17,800 works from the museum's existing collection and recent gifts.

In tandem with the development of exhibitions are a raft of community-driven projects, residencies for performance artists, film programs and children's projects. Under 18s enter free.

SFMOMA reopens on May 14, 2016 at 151 3rd St, San Francisco, sfmoma.org 

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