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Urs Fischer

IF YOU GO-OH TO SAN FRANCISCO …
Surprise(s)

So many surprises come with Urs Fischer: The Public & the Private, the newest exhibit at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor, maybe it’s best to list them. Here goes …
1. The exhibit (which runs through July 2) starts outside the museum, in the courtyard. From there, it moves through eight galleries inside.
2. The outside work is, yes, crowd-sourced by the artist. In the shadow of Rodin’s Thinker, it kinda’ pales. Interesting, contemporary, but not strong artistry.
3. Ah, but inside, Fischer’s solo creations are knockouts — commanding, incisive, startling and funny. A Swiss contemporary artist with a sense of humor? That’s a surprise.
4. Unlike its sister museum, the de Young, the Legion’s oeuvre is ancient and classic European art. Now, it’s ancient and classic European art plus a pair of giant eyeballs and a tiny horse sitting on the floor.
5. Here’s what makes that such a surprise: “In the 100-year history of the Legion of Honor, this is the first exhibition to bring works by a contemporary artist into dialogue with a wide range of the Museum’s permanent holdings.” So says Max Hollein, the new director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
The exhibit not only surprised us, it blew us away.

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