The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis, launches its summer season on Saturday, June 30, with two exhibitions highlighting the university’s distinctive legacy of nurturing and exhibiting innovative contemporary art.
Breaking Away: 2006-2018, Susan Swartz’s museum debut on the West Coast, features new work straight from the artist’s studio. You broke the ocean in half to be here, San Diego artist Andrea Chung’s first traveling museum exhibition, highlights her inventive use of collage, printmaking and photography to explore legacies of colonialism and migration. Both artists will speak about their work at an opening celebration on Sunday, July 15, 2-4 p.m. at the museum.
Swartz’s exhibition, curated by museum Founding Director Rachel Teagle, showcases Swartz’s development of a painterly style that results in, as the artist describes, “lush surfaces sculpted from the subtle accretion of color.” It comprises a survey of recent work that demonstrates a breakthrough for the artist — centered around a newfound synthesis and complexity in her approach to abstracting the natural landscape. “Swartz’s painting is as personal as her journey. A lifelong painter, she began focused work in the studio only after raising her family” said Teagle. “Her work has progressed rapidly and this exhibition follows a series of solo exhibitions in major U.S. and European art museums.”
Andrea Chung’s practice finds unexpected intersections among materials, processes and places that often investigate the histories of Caribbean island nations. You broke the ocean in half to be here, a traveling exhibit of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, includes collages, prints, videos, sculpture and an installation of cyanotype prints of the nonnative predatory lion fish, conjuring up a fantastic underwater world that presents a potent allegory of colonization. Chung’s work is labor intensive and explores the complicated place of labor in postcolonial societies. Recently Chung was featured in Southern California public television outlet KCET’s film, Artist and Mother, a documentary about the timely question of what it means to be a woman, an artist and a mother.
Inaugurated in November 2016, the Manetti Shrem Museum represents a significant addition to Northern California’s vibrant arts scene and the latest milestone in UC Davis’ rich history as a center for artistic innovation. The summer season follows the acclaimed Wayne Thiebaud: 1958-1968 exhibition, which presented rarely exhibited works and new scholarship on this pivotal period of Thiebaud’s practice during which the artist refined his singular artistic sensibility.
“At the Manetti Shrem Museum we’re delighted to mount a summer season highlighting two women artists whose work takes risks, explores nature and celebrates new voices,” said Teagle. “We’re excited for students, faculty and the broader community to join us to explore the ways these artists bring focus to how the world is seen.”
The museum will feature art studio drop-in programs and artist-led workshops in conjunction with the summer season of exhibitions in July and August.
More information on summer programs can be found at the museum website.