Skip to content
David Huffman | SFMOMA

Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture, 1900 to Now, 2023 (installation view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art); photo: Don Ross

Both Teams Played Hard

For some, including the many SFMOMA staff who are fans of the 2022 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, basketball is more than a sport. Love of the game can reach a near-religious fervor for the faithful, who dedicate enormous amounts of time and emotional energy to cheering on their favorite teams. In addition to being a beloved American pastime, basketball is a multibillion-dollar business and a global cultural force. NBA and WNBA games are watched around the world, and individual players have become international superstars – ambassadors for the sport, for major brands, and for political causes. Since its rise in popularity in the 1980s, the game has permeated fashion, music, films, and television, as well as arts such as painting, photography, and sculpture, both in the United States and abroad. The artists represented in this gallery have approached basketball from a number of angles, commenting on its sociocultural significance, responding to its commodification, or looking at it formally. David Hammons, who was obsessed with basketball as a youth and has taken inspiration from it since the 1980s, explores the sport's positive and negative impacts for Black communities. His "basketball drawing," made by bouncing a ball covered in graphite against paper, is the focal point of this presentation. 


"Both Teams Played Hard" is on view as part of SFMOMA's Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture, 1900 to Now

Back To Top