Édouard Boubat, Lella, Brittany, 1948 Roe Ethridge, Conch Shell, 2015

Left to right: Édouard Boubat, Lella, Brittany, 1948. Copyright Edouard Boubat; Roe Ethridge, Conch Shell, 2015. Image courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York.

Édouard Boubat, Lella, Brittany, 1948. Copyright Edouard Boubat

Press Release

New San Francisco Exhibition Space Shares Renowned McEvoy Family Collection for Public Response and Reflection

Inaugural Exhibition, la mère la mer opens to the public on October 28, 2017

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts announces the public opening of its exhibition space, featuring the inaugural exhibition la mère la mer, on the evening of October 28, 2017.

The newly established McEvoy Foundation for the Arts is organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit intended to deepen public appreciation of modern and contemporary art. (McEvoy Arts is not a grant-making entity.) Founded by Nion McEvoy, CEO of Chronicle Books, McEvoy Arts will display selections from the McEvoy Family Collection together with new works in visual, literary, and film and media arts. McEvoy Arts will also offer unique opportunities for national and international collaborations with artists, institutions, galleries, and private collections.

Highlighting the breadth of the McEvoy Family Collection, la mère la mer [the mother the sea] features works from the collection of Nion McEvoy and the collection of his mother, Nan Tucker McEvoy (1919–2015). The exhibition, on view until January 13, 2018, pays tribute to Nan McEvoy’s devoted, life-long interest in and support of California artists including Wayne Thiebaud, Richard Diebenkorn, Ed Ruscha, and David Hockney, while showcasing Nion McEvoy’s interest in works by artists such as Anne Collier, Carsten Höller, Roe Ethridge, and Ragnar Kjartansson.

The exhibition is organized around a principle of poetic assonance: Works from the collection of the mother (la mère) resonate with works from the collection of the son and many depict the sea (la mer). The combination is more playful digression than controlled planning, and it reveals both commonalities and divergences across two related but singular creative minds. 

la mère la mer is co-curated by Nion McEvoy and curatorial advisor Kevin Moore.

Notes Kevin Moore, “Collecting is a process of controlled chaos and deep personal expression. la mère la mer is a tribute to Nan McEvoy’s life, revealed in the qualities of her art collection, and a show of continuance, of renewal, in Nion’s lively and extensive collecting interests.”    

la mère la mer will be on view October 28, 2017 – January 13, 2018.

The McEvoy Family Collection

The McEvoy Family Collection encompasses the collections of Nion McEvoy and his mother, Nan McEvoy. Originally a collector of photography, Nion McEvoy’s interest in music, design, and media led him to include a wider diversity of forms, including painting, video, installation, and sculpture. Several themes are evident in the collection, though it does not strictly adhere to any of them: portraiture, music, conceptual art, the work of California artists, and humor.  Nion McEvoy’s contributions to the McEvoy Family Collection present a range of artists such as Mamma Andersson, Diane Arbus, Carol Bove, Brassaï, Lee Friedlander, Goshka Macuga, Christian Marclay, Dario Robleto, James Welling, Edward Weston, Garry Winogrand, and Lisa Yuskavage, among others.

Nan McEvoy’s collecting concentrated on 20th-century paintings, prints, works on paper, and sculpture. Her contributions feature figurative works and landscapes, pop art, and abstract art. Artists include Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney, Alex Katz, Robert Motherwell, Nathan Oliveira, Donald Sultan, Mark di Suvero, Wayne Thiebaud, and Andy Warhol.

A shared theme of books and newspapers and letters reflects both McEvoys’ careers as publishers.


McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents art and creative experiences through exhibitions, conversations, screenings, and live events that engage, expand, and challenge themes within the McEvoy Family Collection. McEvoy Arts is distinguished in its commitment to offer significant opportunities for artists, curators, writers, performers, educators, and others to contribute exhibitions and public programs in visual, literary, and film and media arts. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) presenting organization that does not award grants. McEvoy Arts serves the general public and the creative community by providing a professional environment for art to take place.

Architectural Design

Located at the Minnesota Street Project’s 1150-25th Street space with neighbors Altman Siegel Gallery and Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts occupies nearly 5,000 square feet, with over 90% of the total foundation space dedicated to public exhibitions and programming. Notes Founder Nion McEvoy, “I was inspired by Andy and Deborah Rappaport’s vision for the Minnesota Street Project and the way in which it has been realized. When the opportunity arose for the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts to take over a significant portion of the space at 1150-25th Street, we knew it was the perfect fit for our mission and collection.”

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts partnered with Katkin Architects to create a series of galleries, a media screening room, and public spaces that would serve the foundation’s expansive collection and the exhibitions and public programs that respond to it. “Within the ‘envelope’ of the foundation’s distressed concrete and steel shell,” notes Rebecca Katkin, Katkin Architects, “the gallery spaces are delineated by clean simple planes, with daylight filtering down from skylights high above, supplemented with LED track lighting, creating elegant, light-filled galleries.”

States Acting Director Susan Miller, “We look forward to opening our doors and to welcoming visitors to the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts this upcoming October. McEvoy Arts’ inaugural exhibition and beautiful new home in the 1150-25th Street building will create opportunities to draw together people, art, and ideas, and engage with one another in new and exciting ways.”