SDSU Downtown Gallery Presents Presence

Contact: Lizbeth Persons Price
SDSU Public Affairs for the Arts

SDSU Downtown Gallery Presents
Presence: Selections from the Matthew and Iris Strauss Family Foundation Collection
New exhibition highlights images of women created by artists from around the globe
(San Diego, CA) The SDSU Downtown Gallery presents Presence: Selections from the Matthew and Iris Strauss Family Foundation Collection, an exhibition highlighting 31 thematic selections of the Foundation’s holdings, exploring female identity from a global perspective.

The Matthew and Iris Strauss Family Foundation is recognized for its compelling collection of international, contemporary art. Incorporating either the female figure itself or women’s apparel as surrogate for the female body, the works in the exhibition manifest a breadth of physical, psychological, social, and political states of being. Exploring this diversity of female identity with a variety of media, Presence features painting, printmaking, photography, installation, fiber art, and video from Argentina, China, Britain, Italy, Japan, Norway, Pakistan, Sweden, and the United States. Among the artists included are Sam Taylor-Johnson, Sebastian Blanck, Asma Ahmed Shikoh, Faris McReynolds, and Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III).

“Matthew and Iris Strauss are among San Diego County’s most important patrons of the arts,” said Tina Yapelli, Director of the SDSU Downtown Gallery. “In addition to assembling an impressive private collection of noteworthy international artworks, they have developed a Family Foundation Collection of similar caliber. Dedicated to educating the next generation of art professionals and appreciators, the Strausses are committed to lending works from the Foundation Collection for exhibition at university galleries and museums in the San Diego region.”

Presence runs Thursday, November 5, 2015 through Monday, January 25, 2016 at the SDSU Downtown Gallery, located at 725 West Broadway, San Diego, 92101. Hours are Thursday through Monday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The gallery is open to the public and admission is free.


The public is invited to a free Opening Reception, Thursday, November 5 at 6:00 p.m. at the SDSU Downtown Gallery. No RSVP is necessary.

A special Exhibition Tour with Matthew Strauss is scheduled on Thursday, November 19 at 6:00 p.m. Matthew and Iris Strauss are among the world’s leading art collectors and philanthropists. Founder and CEO of the M.C. Strauss Company real estate investment firm, Matthew Strauss has been a Trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego since 1987 and President of the Board of Trustees since 2013. The tour is free and no RSVP is required.

For more information, visit the SDSU Downtown Gallery website or contact Chantel Paul, Downtown Gallery Program Coordinator at

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IMAGE CREDITS: High resolution images available by request

Sam Taylor-Johnson Self Portrait Suspended III 2004 (high res)-1.tif
Sam Taylor-Johnson
Self Portrait Suspended III, 2004
Chromogenic print
53-3/16 x 63-13/16 inches framed
Courtesy of the Matthew and Iris Strauss Family Foundation Collection
Copyright © Sam Taylor-Johnson
Photograph courtesy of White Cube


Energy: Made in Form
February 4 through March 27, 2016
Energy: Made in Form is inspired by San Diego State University’s current campus-wide Common Experience theme of “energy.” The exhibition will showcase the work of students and faculty from the SDSU School of Art + Design, as well as regional artists such as Kevin Cooley, David Emitt Adams, and SDSU alumna Dia Bassett. Made in Form explores the intangible concept of energy, visualized through the creative process.


The SDSU Downtown Gallery is a part of the School of Art + Design within the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at San Diego State University dedicated to engaging students, faculty, artists and the public through innovative and scholarly presentations of contemporary art and design. Located off-campus in metro San Diego, the SDSU Downtown Gallery creates an important link between the School and the art community. A yearly calendar of exhibitions, lectures, performances, and artist-driven programming fosters new ideas and dialogue about art making as a critical facet of society and our diverse cultural landscape. Since 2010, the Gallery has hosted a range of exhibitions highlighting regional, national, and internationally recognized artists working in all media. The SDSU Downtown Gallery continues to focus on programming and partnerships that provide educational and experimental opportunities for collaboration.


San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its 35,000 students. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 94 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit