The Americans

Though today I will be doing the typical 4th of July BBQ, if you are looking for something different and yet still uniquely patriotic, I highly recommend going to see the exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on Robert Franks' book The Americans entitled Looking In. Though I've seen many of these photographs before, I've never seen the book itself, and this exhibit displays all 83 photographs in the order they appeared, along with artifacts from its development and examples of his earlier and later work.

Another reason to go today, or at least very soon, are two smaller exhibits that close on Tuesday. Patterns of Speculation shows the work of Berlin-based architecture studio J. Mayer H. using images of their work along with a site-built installation. Though the exhibit somewhat falsely claims the firm's unique approach (or at least doesn't explain enough what makes it so unique), it does provide an interesting example of one of the foremost trajectories in architectural thinking over the last decade, that of turning the invisible fields of information and data that surround us into built form.

Also closing Tuesday is Otl Aicher: Munchen 1972. This exhibit highlights the incredible graphic program of the '72 Olympic games. As someone who spends a lot of time complaining generally about signage in California, and specifically about the terrible graphics and design program of AC Transit, this exhibition is like a cool bay breeze on a hot summer day.

SFMoMA also has the newly-opened rooftop sculpture garden. It is summer in San Francisco though, so be sure to bring your winter jacket.