The Logans are guided in their collecting by a belief that the best contemporary art reflects the culture of its era and has the potential to provide valuable insight into the issues facing individuals and communities around the world. They are unequivocal in their willingness to engage with works that bring to light uncomfortable or challenging subjects - including collective and personal psychological tensions, as well as broader cultural conflicts - that might be easier to avoid than to embrace. It has always been their hope that the art they collected would bring important and provocative issues to public consciousness and spark discussion. Over the years they have consistently sought out work that is vigorous and vital, by artists whose integrity and intensity have brought new perspectives to bear on conventional assumptions about the art and culture of our time. From the outset they have proceeded with the idea that their collection should be made widely available, and in addition to their long-standing relationship with SFMOMA they have maintained close relationships with such art institutions as the Denver Art Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum in the hopes of securing for their works the widest possible platform for critical appraisal and discourse. They recognize that, over time, shifting values and reconsiderations of history will lead to new perspectives that will reshape popular understanding and appreciation of these works, and they welcome such recalibration. For the Logans, placing the art they collect in museums has offered a means of activating a richer and more complex set of interpretive possibilities, guaranteeing that over time their pieces continue to be shown, studied, and considered in different contexts.
Since the initial Logan gift to SFMOMA in 1997 the Logan Collection has profoundly shaped the presentation of contemporary art - and the art of the 1990s, in particular - in the Bay Area. Numerous exhibitions that have focused exclusively on works from the collection have been organized by SFMOMA and the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, another institution to which the Logans have been important benefactors. The inclusion of innumerable Logan works - including full and fractional and promised gifts - in presentations of SFMOMA's collection has had an equally strong impact, enabling the museum to undertake a more complex and expansive consideration of both modern and contemporary art than would otherwise have been possible. The entire SFMOMA community is enormously grateful to the Logans for their unparalleled generosity, and on the anniversary of their gift to this museum we are pleased to present an exhibition that offers the public an opportunity to join us in celebrating the magnanimous and forward-looking spirit in which it was made.
Don't Be Shy, Don't Hold Back" encompasses the three final galleries in the presentation of the museum's historical collections of painting and sculpture. The exhibition includes thirty-eight gifts the Logans have made to SFMOMA since 1997. This selection is intended to represent highlights from the Logan Collection and to illuminate three of its particular areas of strength. Although the Logans have focused on collecting art at the time it was made, with particular emphasis on works by young and emerging artists, they have also recognized the importance of anchoring the collection with works by some of the key artists who paved the way for the next generation. The first gallery features figures from the 1960s whose art established a foundation for the more contemporary pieces to come. The second gallery focuses on artists who emerged in New York in the 1980s and 1990s, while the third gallery features artists who were working internationally in that period. The show extends beyond the exhibition galleries with the presentation of four additional works in other areas of the museum.