Line of Sight’ at the de Young contrasts old, new
|Updated interpretation: New York artist Marco Breuer used the de Young Museum’s portrait of Mrs. Mary Jane White by Samuel Walker – which is in the process of being restored – as the basis for a new piece in “Line of Sight.” (Courtesy photo)|
"Marco Breuer: Line of Sight," organized by the Fine Arts Museums in cooperation with the Von Lintel Gallery in New York, is part of the de Young’s Collection Connections program, which features the work of contemporary artists alongside objects from the museum’s permanent collection.
The New York-based artist spent time last year looking at the de Young’s collection — including objects in storage waiting to be restored — then assembled the exhibit during a few days in spring.
“We hope this will stimulate our audience to think about the museum and what it collects and cares for in a new and interesting way,” says Julian Cox, the de Young’s chief curator.
Breuer’s abstract photographs are placed to create a dialogue with items that include a 19th-century English shotgun, a pair of gilded girandoles with mirrors, an Oceanic shield and a French silk-taffeta dress.
One of the most interesting pieces Breuer chose from the museum's collection is artist Samuel Walker’s portrait of Mrs. Mary Jane White, whose husband served as San Francisco’s sheriff from 1868 to 1871. The portrait, which is in the process of being restored, has several squares of Japanese tissue paper covering areas of the painting that need repair."