A quiet installation of loud objects at SFMOMA sets the scene for discussion and discovery

The sixth floor of SFMOMA’s vertical campus in downtown San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood is the ideal context for Conversation Pieces: Contemporary Furniture in Dialogue, an exhibition on view until June 25, 2023. Architecturally, Mario Botta’s Ticinese stepped-brick hulk is balanced in back by Snøhetta’s taller, fog-inspired addition. Both possess strong personalities (building-alities?) that are strengthened through dialectical pairing.

Similarly, the show, curated by Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, SFMOMA’s Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design, features over 40 strong chairs and light fixtures. (All were selected from the museum’s collection.) The point is to mingle eye-catching “conversation starters” and see what happens when their aesthetic

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