World-renowned pioneer of sound art Bill Fontana was named the tenth Bay Area Treasure by SFMOMA’s Modern Art Council at a lunch in his honor on November 3, 2009. Other SFMOMA Bay Area Treasures include painters Robert Bechtle, Manuel Neri, Nathan Oliveira and Wayne Thiebaud; sculptor Richard Serra; industrial designer Sara Little Turnbull; architect Lawrence Halprin, and photographers Ruth Bernhard and Larry Sultan. The annual award recognizes Bay Area artists who continually define and redefine contemporary art. The Modern Art Council is the premier fund-raising auxiliary for SFMOMA.
Bill Fontana’s most recent work, Spiraling Echoes, can be experienced in the rotunda and upper walkways of San Francisco City Hall through December 11, 2009. In 1997, SFMOMA acquired Fontana’s Sound Sculpture with a Sequence of Level Crossings (1982), an eight-channel audio installation that reproduces the auditory experience of trains speeding by in the landscape.