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Off the Wall

March 7, 2021 - September 22, 2021

Photograph of a grid wall of black and white square prints, before which are arranged desks, chairs, and a long table. A sign with the word "Director" rests on one of the desks.

The impulse to move photographs off the wall and into the open space of the gallery is not new. Since the 1960s, artists have challenged established notions of how a photograph should be displayed. In this exhibition, five contemporary artists expand upon earlier efforts to break free from the confines of the picture frame by transforming photographs into sculpture, including them in complex installations, projecting them onto various surfaces, even creating custom furniture for their display.

Liz Deschenes’s photographs in Off the Wall are sculptural, installed on the floor in space usually occupied by viewers. Oliver Chanarin frames his prints in a typical manner, but controls their display through robotic arms modeled after those used in automated warehouses. Sarah Sze’s intricate installation of still and moving images blurs the boundary between art and life, the virtual and the real. Dayanita Singh playfully disrupts expectations of photographic presentation by showing her work in her own micro-museums. And Lieko Shiga experiments with the gallery space, inviting viewers to experience her photographs by physically moving through them. Together these inventive, divergent approaches engage visitors in unconventional ways that speak to the incredible dynamism of the current moment in photography.


151 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94103 United States




Wheelchair accessible, Sensory-friendly, ASL interpretation, Assistive listening devices, Service Animals allowed
BIPOC artist(s), Women artist(s)
Event Type
Museum, Visual Art