What's past is prologue.
Pioneers draws an analogy between the achievements of pioneering artists from the last 100 years and the character of California pioneers in the nineteenth century. Pioneers will take the form of both a cultural history display and an exhibition of artworks by pioneering figures from the San Francisco Bay Area. With the two strands interrelated, overlapping, and interwoven, the common themes are traveling to new frontiers and breaking new ground.
Beginning with a selection of artifacts that document San Francisco's gold rush–era origins, Pioneers expresses the founding impulses that continue to resonate with the city's social and cultural climate—its particular independence, tolerance, progressiveness, and internationalism. The twentieth century was a period of intense creative activity and political resistance, during which a large number of radically innovative practices were established in the city. San Francisco became home to several pioneering artists, who helped establish the city as a center of artistic experimentation that reflected in microcosm larger social and political actions and initiatives.
Pioneers seeks to identify some of these artistic figures who developed their own unique, pioneering practices in choreography, performance art, film, photography, painting, craft, and political graphics.
Lynn Hershman Leeson
Rosie Lee Tompkins
Lead sponsorship for Pioneers is provided by the Fleishhacker Foundation. Founding support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy and Bill Timken. Generous support provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe, and the CCA Curator's Forum.