SAN FRANCISCO, CA.-
On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, the Modern Art Council of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
(SFMOMA) will host the 2009 Bay Area Treasure Award luncheon, honoring esteemed artist Bill Fontana. Organized by the Modern Art Council, SFMOMA's premier fund-raising auxiliary, this annual lifetime achievement award recognizes Bay Area artists who continually define and redefine contemporary art. Fontana is the tenth honoree; previous award recipients are painters Robert Bechtle, Manuel Neri, Nathan Oliveira, and Wayne Thiebaud; sculptor Richard Serra; industrial designer Sara Little Turnbull; architect Lawrence Halprin; and photographers Ruth Bernhard and Larry Sultan.
Fontana's most recent work, Spiraling Echoes, can be experienced in the rotunda and upper walkways of San Francisco City Hall. Spiraling Echoes was commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and is presented as part of the Art at City Hall program. For more information on Spiraling Echoes, visit sfartscommission.org.
Proceeds from the 2009 Bay Area Treasure Award benefit the museum's exhibitions and public programs.
Bill Fontana is a world-renowned pioneer of sound art who has created monumental, site-specific installations around the globe. For the past thirty years, Fontana has used sound as a sculptural medium to interact with and transform our perceptions of visual and architectural spaces. Installed on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, London's Millennium Bridge and Big Ben, and on New York's Brooklyn Bridge, his sound sculptures marry public space and contemporary art. In 1997, SFMOMA acquired Sound Sculpture with a Sequence of Level Crossings (1982), an eight-channel audio installation that reproduces the auditory experience of trains speeding by in the landscape. The work is the first by Fontana acquired by an American museum.
Fontana studied philosophy and music at The New School for Social Research in New York and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Berliner Künstler programm des DAAD, and the Arts Council England. His work has been exhibited at SFMOMA; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; the Post Museum, Frankfurt; the Vienna Art History and Natural History Museums; the Tate Modern; the National Gallery of Victoria; the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; and the Kolumba Museum, Cologne. He has done radio sound art projects for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, NPR, KQED, the BBC, West German Broadcasting (WDR), Radio Sweden, Radio France and the Austrian State Radio. Born in 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio, Fontana lives and works in San Francisco.