Exhibitions at SBMA

In addition to a selection of works from its critically acclaimed permanent collection, SBMA also presents temporary loan exhibitions of art from the past and the present.
For information on archived exhibitions please visit the Archives.

June 10 - September 23, 2018

Inspired by several large drawings in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s permanent collection, this exhibition demonstrates a variety of experimental practices during the 1970s and represents images and issues relevant to contemporary art and culture.

Through May 27

Before the invention of photography, painted portraits were the most coveted means of commemorating important members of society. This exhibition, drawn exclusively from the permanent collection, explores American, British and French portraitists from the Colonial period through the Industrial Revolution.

Through May 27

Assembling striking works from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s distinguished collection, this exhibition reveals how photographic portraiture blossomed in the later six decades of the 19th century.

January 28 - April 22, 2018

Drawn entirely from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s distinguished and growing collection, this extensive exhibition of over 100 photographs by approximately a dozen artists reveals unusual facets of the work of well-known artists, as well as new-to-the-collection photographs that will be on view for the very first time in the SBMA’s galleries.

September 30, 2017 – February 25, 2018
Temporarily Closed due to Museum renovation

Portrait of Mexico Today is one of the only intact murals painted by David Alfaro Siqueiros while he was a political exile in Los Angeles in 1932.

September 17 - December 31, 2017

Valeska Soares: Any Moment Now brings together forty-nine artworks, consisting of installation, sculpture, photography, and video, dating from the early 1990s to the present.

June 20 – September 24, 2017

British artist Yinka Shonibare's grand photograph The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (Asia) (2008) provided the inspiration for this installation of photographs that conjure up scenes of unease and the uncanny, which—despite our best efforts to rationally dispel them—can seem to surround us every day.

May 28 - August 20, 2017

You Are Going On A Trip brings together a selection of highlights from the Museum’s wide-ranging collection of Modern and Contemporary prints.

May 7 - August 13, 2017

A selection of bronze sculptures by Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917) and other artists who preceded and followed him.

December 16, 2016 – July 9, 2017

A landmark in the history of video art, Christian Marclay’s Telephones (1995) is an expertly edited sequence of black-and-white and color film clips featuring people dialing, answering, talking, listening on, and finally hanging up an assortment of telephones, all from the pre-smart phone era.

February 19 - June 11, 2017

Japanese paper stencils, or katagami, are the pattern-bearing tools used in a resist-dyeing textile process known as katazome. Despite their utilitarian role, katagami, with their striking patterns, have long captivated Western collectors and artists.

January 29 – May 14, 2017

David Wiesner (b. 1956) is one of the most highly acclaimed picture book artists in the world. Winner of the prestigious Caldecott Medal for Tuesday in 1992, The Three Pigs in 2002, and Flotsam in 2007, Wiesner is only the second person in the history of the award to have received it three times.

December 15, 2016 - April 24, 2017

Inspired by an affirmation of the classical, employing the space that traditionally houses SBMA’s Wright Ludington/Lansdowne Collection of Greco-Roman antiquities (currently on view at the Getty Center), and extending the celebration of SBMA’s 75th anniversary, Judith Shea’s iconic Mid-Life Venus was recently installed in Ludington Cour

October 23, 2016 - February 5, 2017

A diverse selection of works on paper by contemporary artists who rose to prominence in emerging Los Angeles galleries in the early 1990s through the mid-2000s.  Featuring Ingrid Calame, David Korty, Aaron Morse, Jon Pylypchuk, Dario Robleto, Thomas Scheibitz, Jeni Spota, and others.

September 18, 2016 - January 8, 2017

Curated by art historian Peyton Skipwith and drawn entirely from the permanent collection of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, this selection of some 50 paintings, drawings, and sculptures presents an overview of British art from around 1890 through 1945.

September 18, 2016 - January 8, 2017

Adjacent to the British Art from Whistler to World War II exhibition, is a series of dramatic World War II photographs by Sir Cecil Beaton (1904–1980).

September 18 - November 27, 2016

In this unique presentation, artist Jan Tichy (b. 1974, Czech, resides in Chicago) has devised a special installation in direct response to the Museum’s current position in its 75-year history―on the brink of a transformative renovation, with the vibration and sound of concrete demolition palpable.

April 17 - August 28, 2016

This exhibition celebrates the complexity of South Asian representation and iconography by examining the relationship between aesthetic expression and the devotional practice, or puja, in the three native religions of the Indian subcontinent.

April 17 - August 21, 2016

Commissioned by SBMA and presented in the Museum’s historic Ludington Court, this installation represents the most recent work in a series of oversize, inflatable sculptures by the artist based on the figure of the 12th-century Buddha at Gal Vihara in Sri Lanka.

October 18, 2015 - March 20, 2016

This exhibition, drawn from the permanent collection of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, highlights works by Latin American photographers, or artists who have adopted it as home, so that those from outside the region may look into the lives of Latin America.

November 8, 2015 - March 13, 2016

This site-specific installation reveals the artist’s ongoing investigation into what he calls object prosthetics – the reconstruction of broken remains using a variety of conceptual and technological methods.

November 8, 2015 - February 21, 2016

Using distinctive materials including Day-Glo acrylics and Roll-a-Tex, Peter Halley’s paintings present variations of geometric forms that he and others have designated as prisons, cells, and conduits.

October 18, 2015 - January 2, 2016

A selection of etchings by Venetian-born printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi reveal the architecture of his ambitious imagination – evoking its spectacular sublimity – and elicit awe in and passion for the architectural traditions of Rome.

November 1, 2013 - January 2, 2016

Featuring paintings from The Armand Hammer Foundation that complement works from the Museum’s collection, this exhibition presents a representative overview of French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism with a nod to the schools of Barbizon and Romanticism that prepared the way.

May 7 - November 8, 2015

Visions of Modernity, presented in a series of rotations, explores the creative process of printmaking in the first half of the 20th century in Japan.

 

Humanly Impossible (Self Portrait)
June 21 - October 4, 2015

Twelve photomontages by Bauhaus artist Herbert Bayer grapple with memory and the dilemmas posed by individuality and national identity to recover some of the wonder – and dread – of the rapidly shifting dynamics of modern German history.

July 5 - September 27, 2015

Organized by guest curator Joyce Tsai and Chief Curator and Asst. Director Eik Kahng, this is the first monographic exhibition of Bauhaus artist László Moholy-Nagy to explore how the practice of painting served as the means for the artist to imagine generative relationships of art and technology.

May 23 - June 21, 2015

Ray Strong: Beyond Santa Barbara highlights a selection of works by esteemed artist Ray Strong (1905 – 2006) from the collection of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA).

February 8 - May 3, 2015

On view in this exhibition, one of the best collections of Italian painting in the world, with 50 works spanning 500 years of Italian art history, offers a unique opportunity to learn firsthand what made the Italian Renaissance a gold standard for artistic excellence.

September 28, 2014 - January 4, 2015

This exhibition of photographs, drawn from the permanent collection, looks beyond the immediate allure of adorable animals, to explore the dimensions of animal characteristics and knowledge.

August 31, 2014 - January 4, 2015

This exhibition brings together a selection of painting and sculpture from the Museum’s permanent collection dating from 1958 to 2014. Recent works inventively reference and reinterpret the past – including both popular and obscure forms of painting, architecture, and design.

September 14 - December 1, 2014

Following on the heels of Daumier's Salon: A Human Comedy, curated by former SBMA exhibition intern Elizabeth Saari Browne, Daumier Reveals All: Inside the Artist's Studio presents another selection of lithographs by Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) that provides an inside look into the 19th-century Parisian art world.

 

March 23 - October 5, 2014
In the second half of the 19th century, Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) was employed by popular rags, such as La Caricature and Le Charivari to produce often hilarious lampoons of Parisian daily life.
May 25 - September 14, 2014

The exhibition is comprised of works from artists in various stages of their careers, ranging from emerging to established, and regionally to internationally recognized.

May 11 - August 31, 2014

This exhibition examines the lesser known yet foundational role of drawing in the artist’s work, which she continued to develop over the next eight decades.

February 23 - May 25, 2014

This exhibition of over sixty images, largely drawn from the permanent collection, continues the exploration of the intersections of art and science, begun in 1967 when the Santa Barbara Museum of Art presented Once Invisible.

January 26 - May 4, 2014

Spanning the period from the late 1960s to the present day, this exhibition presents the work of an artist who radically combined site-specific earthworks with the medium of drawing. Michelle Stuart has become internationally known for a rich and diverse body of work engendered by her lifelong interest in the natural world and the cosmos.

January 26 - April 20, 2014

This exhibition is the first comprehensive exploration of this vital aspect of the renowned sculptor’s creative process. 

November 27, 2013 - March 16, 2014

Portraits of Jesus Christ, His mother and His saints invoke the presence of God, to whom every Christian prayer is addressed. Before the Reformation, such images were habitually used by believers all over Europe, both in church and in private.

October 27, 2013 - January 26, 2014

This important and beautiful international loan exhibition, organized by SBMA Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Eik Kahng, marks the first presentation of the celebrated French artist Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) in the United States in over a decade, and the first major monographic show devoted to the Romantic artist on the West Coast.

July 7 - September 29, 2013

This exhibition looks at the powerful relationship between color and memory by considering photographs and the ways in which their unique color palettes evoke specific moments of the historical past.

April 2 - September 22, 2013

This exhibition features the work of artists who bring 21st-century urgency to 19th-century principles of virtue through work and craftsmanship.

December 15, 2012 - June 23, 2013

This exhibition presents a selection of early modern paintings that celebrate the topography of California. By the end of the 19th century, landscape painting had become the primary vehicle for depicting national identity in American art.

February 16 - June 2, 2013

This exhibition of more than 50 photographs and photographic montages, drawn from the artist’s studio and the Menil collection and spanning the period 1962 to the present, traces the fascinating and wide-ranging evolution of the career of New York- and New Mexico-based Danny Lyon.

February 16 - May 26, 2013

Showcasing the Museum’s significant collection of 20th-century Latin American art, this exhibition examines the multifaceted art produced in Latin America during this dynamic 60-year period.

April 1 - May 26, 2012

Between the 1830s and the end of the First World War, American art came into its own.

September 17, 2011 - January 8, 2012
May 20 - September 4, 2011

Ori Gersht depicts scenes of natural beauty that perceptively disguise and reveal a history of violence.

January 22 - April 17, 2011

In a sweeping career of nearly 50 years, and an impressive array of grand narrative paintings, Charles Garabedian (born 1923) has recreated the epic poetry that he has long admired.

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