Asian Art Museum and SFMOMA Explore what Gorgeous Means

For the first time, two major San Francisco museums — the Asian Art Museum and SFMOMA — will have a show combining star pieces from their collections. Gorgeous, which opens on June 20, with 72 works of art spanning more than 2,000 years and organized into loose groupings (including “Seduction,” “Fantasy,” and “Danger,”) goes beyond beauty. For thousands of years, there have been academic discourses on beauty. But this show isn't about that.

“We're more interested in the outliers,” says Allison Harding, the assistant curator of contemporary art at the Asian Art Museum. “Exaggeration or kitsch have a way of provoking people to think about what their personal boundaries are, and what their assumptions and preconceptions are. That visceral reaction is part of the work.”

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