BAMPFA offers one of the most distinguished and provocative programs of art and film exhibitions in North America, reflecting the diverse interests of the University and Bay Area communities. Each year, we present important temporary exhibitions that range from classical Asian art to challenging work by today’s artists. Our exhibition program includes installations that highlight the richness and scope of our collections, recent avant-garde work presented in the MATRIX Program, thematic exhibitions, artist retrospectives, and the annual UC Berkeley MFA exhibition. We have mounted important exhibitions of the works of Ant Farm, Joe Brainard, Joan Brown, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Robert Colescott, Jay DeFeo, Juan Gris, Eva Hesse, Paul Kos, Robert Mapplethorpe, Barry McGee, Richard Misrach, Bruce Nauman, Peter Paul Rubens, Martin Puryear, Sebastião Salgado, William Wiley, and many others, as well as thematic exhibitions such as Made in U.S.A.: An Americanization in Modern Art, the ‘50s & ‘60s; State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970; In a Different Light: Visual Culture, Sexual Identity, Queer Practice; Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet; and Masterworks of Chinese Painting: In Pursuit of Mists and Clouds.
The renowned MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art has been a venue for innovative works by important emerging artists since 1978, affording the spontaneity and flexibility of a small-scale, short-term format. Our pioneering exhibitions in the emerging medium of digital art contribute to the timeliness and forward-looking nature of our exhibition program. Over more than thirty years MATRIX has featured artists such as Doug Aitken, John Baldessari, Jean Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, James Lee Byars, Sophie Calle, Bruce Conner, Nan Goldin, Nicole Eisenman, Omer Fast , Eva Hesse, David Ireland, Jess, Sol LeWitt, Shirin Neshat, Ernesto Neto, Martin Puryear, Nancy Spero, The Starn Twins, Andy Warhol, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Each year, approximately 450 film screenings offer opportunities to discover and explore cinema from every film-producing country in the world. We present rare and rediscovered prints of movie classics, new and historic works by the world’s great film directors, restored silent films with live musical accompaniment, thematic retrospectives, and innovative works made by today’s film, video, and new media artists working in the areas of animation, documentary, experimental, and fiction film. Film screenings are often enlivened by in-person appearances by filmmakers, authors, critics, and scholars, who engage in discussion with audiences. Past series have included Discovering Georgian Cinema; Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area; Chronicles of Inferno: Japan's Art Theater Guild; Days of Glory: Revisiting Italian Neorealism; Isabelle Huppert: Passion and Contradiction; Castles in the Sky: Masterful Anime from Studio Ghibli; Grand Illusions: French Cinema Classics, 1928–1960; Women's Cinema from Tangiers to Tehran; and Gregory Peck: An Agreeable Gentleman. We have also featured retrospectives of filmmakers Michelangelo Antonioni, Stan Brakhage, Robert Bresson, Luis Buñuel, Jacques Demy, Claire Denis, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Jean-Luc Godard, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, George and Mike Kuchar, Akira Kurosawa, Ida Lupino, Guy Maddin, Chris Marker, Nagisa Oshima, Marcel Pagnol, Satyajit Ray, Roberto Rossellini, Raúl Ruiz, Kidlat Tahimik, Agnès Varda, Dziga Vertov, and numerous others. BAMPFA also hosts East Bay screenings of the San Francisco International Film Festival and CAAMFest, a festival of Asian American film.