SFMOMA connects with stunning ‘Nam June Paik’ retrospective

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Korean-American artist Nam June Paik has been credited by many with founding the now ubiquitous field of video art. In 1963, he stunned the art world with his first solo show, “Exposition of Music – Electronic Television,” an interactive work in which viewers were invited to use magnets to alter the content of a series of modified televisions. .

He was also credited with coining the phrase “super electronic highway” to describe what he saw as the global potential of telecommunications.

Both a musician and an artist, his works – years ahead of their time – often combine music, television and video images, technology, performance and spectator participation.

Today, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents a major retrospective of the mischievous, wildly creative and revolutionary artist, who died in 2006 at the age of 73.

“Nam June Paik” includes more than 200 works representing the artist’s entire five-decade career, from his early musical compositions and his fascination with television and television images to his large video installations and works using global satellite technology.

Oh, and don’t forget to meet the two attractive robots in the exhibit, each dedicated to composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham, two artists who were among Paik’s wildly creative collaborators.

A common theme of “Nam June Paik”, besides the artist’s irreverent comments on technology and mass communications, was the idea that art should connect various forms of expression.

Officials say the exhibition, designed and curated by SFMOMA and the Tate Modern Museum in London, with contributions from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the National Gallery Singapore, is the first major Paik exhibition in the United States in over 20 years. – at a time when his ideas and visions seem more relevant than ever.

Details: Until October 3; museum is open with timed entries and COVID-19 precautions intact, review requirements before you go; admission is included with SFMOMA general admission, $ 19 to $ 25; www.sfmoma.org.

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