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SFMOMA's exhibitions can both amuse and amaze you

SFMOMA's exhibitions can both amuse and amaze you
Robert Rauschenberg's "Monogram" (1955-59) is part of an exhibit that includes this tire-belted goat. (SFMOMA)

Nothing cuts the chill of a San Francisco sidewalk quite like a stroll across the warm maple floors of SFMOMA.

Since adding 235,000 square feet to its SoMa space in May 2016, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has settled comfortably into its new space and offers exhibitions for art lovers of all stripes this fall and make it ripe for a visit.

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Robert Rauschenberg
"Mud Muse" makes a burbling noise, thanks to bentonite, water and compressed air.
"Mud Muse" makes a burbling noise, thanks to bentonite, water and compressed air. (SFMOMA)

"Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules," which runs through March 25, covers the entire fourth floor. The retrospective expands from recent London and New York installations to cover early and late works by the modern master.

Fans can view all 22 ½ feet of "Automobile Tire Print," the clever "Erased de Kooning Drawing" and the longhaired, long-horned, tire-belted goat of "Monogram."

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Mixing bits of found objects, paper, paint and fabrics, the work is one of several of Rauschenberg's trademark "Combines" on display, along with more varied projects, from his performance partnerships with choreographer Merce Cunningham to the gurgling goo of "Mud Muse" and later silkscreen works such as "Persimmon."

Walker Evans
"Tenant Farmer's Wife, Alabama." It is one of 400 pieces of Evans' vintage prints, paintings and items from his personal collection at SFMOMA.
"Tenant Farmer's Wife, Alabama." It is one of 400 pieces of Evans' vintage prints, paintings and items from his personal collection at SFMOMA. (Walker Evans / Associated Press)

Photography pros and amateurs will appreciate the life's work of Walker Evans that now fills SFMOMA's expanded photography galleries.

Visitors will recognize his Depression-era subjects, such as "Tenant Farmer's Wife, Alabama," as well Evans' groundbreaking documentation of the everyday people, streets, buildings, advertising and decay of mid-20th century America.

Soundtracks
"Moth in B-Flat" is a visual sleight of hand by Anri Sala, part of the Soundtracks exhibit.
"Moth in B-Flat" is a visual sleight of hand by Anri Sala, part of the Soundtracks exhibit. (SFMOMA)

Atop the museum, "Soundtracks" focuses on the intersection of sound and art. Ragnar Kjartansson's "The Visitors" is especially seductive: A darkened gallery features nine huge high-definition screens showing performers in separate rooms of a crumbling mansion simultaneously playing a hypnotic hymn.

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"Moth in B Flat" is an upside down snare drum that turns music on its head.

Spiders
Part of Louise Bourgeois' "Spider" exhibit.
Part of Louise Bourgeois' "Spider" exhibit. (Maryann Jones Thompson)

Don't miss a walk through the 10-foot-long legs of 1995's "Spider," part of "Louise Bourgeois Spiders," a display of the French American artist's stunning and unsettling arachnid sculptures of varying sizes, materials and awe-inducing potential.

Info: SFMOMA

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