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Press Release

Berggruen Gallery is pleased to present The Human Form, a sweeping exploration of the human figure from the early 20th century to today. It will be the inaugural exhibition in its new space at 10 Hawthorne Street, across from the recently expanded San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Bringing together over 60 works by 20th century masters such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Lucian Freud, Alberto Giacometti, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Gerhard Richter, Richard Diebenkorn, and Wayne Thiebaud, as well as leading contemporary artists George Condo, Cecily Brown, Joel Shapiro, Antony Gormley, Kiki Smith and Kehinde Wiley, The Human Form will look at the formal and conceptual ways that artists have approached the representation of the figure. As Dr. Steven A. Nash writes, “The human body has been a lightning rod for creative imagination since humankind’s earliest impulses toward graphic representation. As the most common attribute of our shared humanity, it provides a powerful channel for empathetic communication of ideas, emotions, ideals, and beliefs. Throughout the history of image-making, the body has inspired countless varieties of interpretation, but it is safe to say that no other period of art history has seen the inventive, radical, and expressive explorations of this human vessel that characterize the modern era starting in the early 20th-century.”

The exhibition is the first in the gallery’s new space, and reflects the Berggruen’s interest in putting into conversation works of historical significance with contemporary pieces that grapple with the most pressing issues of our time. The gallery has a long history of exploring figuration through its exhibitions, and this show provides an in-depth look at the significant role the figure has played for artists over time, and the way it has been adapted throughout the narrative of 20th and 21st century art. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an introductory essay by Dr. Steven A. Nash, Founding Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center, Chief Curator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and most recently, Director of the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Full Artist List

      Milton Avery                                          Lucian Freud                                          Elizabeth Peyton
       David Bates                                        Alberto Giacometti                                       Francis Picabia
    Max Beckmann                                       Antony Gormley                                          Pablo Picasso
 Michaël Borremans                                     Edward Hopper                                         Martin Puryear
      Cecily Brown                                          Chris Johanson                                         Gerhard Richter
  Christopher Brown                                        Alex Katz                                                 Tom Sachs
        Nick Cave                                              Yves Klein                                                Jenny Saville
      Chuck Close                                        Roy Lichtenstein                                           Joel Shapiro
     George Condo                                        Henri Matisse                                              Kiki Smith
      James Crosby                                         Barry McGee                                           Wayne Thiebaud
  Willem de Kooning                                    Henry Moore                                           Adriana Varejão
 Richard Diebenkorn                                 Nathan Oliveira                                            Kara Walker
        Peter Doig                                             David Park                                             Kehinde Wiley

The Human Form, January 13 – March 4, 2017. On view at 10 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Images and preview are available upon request. For further information, please contact the gallery by phone
(415) 781.4629 or by email Gallery hours: Monday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.