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WINTER VIEWING: Tract housing, cosmic flow, realism, Beat prints, visible language

By Dave Jones on December 12, 2008 in University

UC Davis galleries and museums are preparing their winter quarter exhibits:

C.N. Gorman Museum

One Tract Mind, by Gerald Clarke Jr., Jan. 8-March 13. Artist talk and reception, 6 p.m., Feb. 17.

Clarke is a member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians and lives on the Cahuilla reservation near Palm Springs.

In this mixed media exhibition, he examines tract housing’s effect on native communities in Southern California. “Water rights, the environment and the preservation of sacred sites continue to be issues that find the state and California’s indigenous people in opposition,” a museum news release states. “Conflicting ideas of progress, quality of life and individual rights seem to be at the center of these interactions.”

The exhibition will feature video and photographic work, a sculptural installation and other assorted materials.

Nelson Gallery

Out in Space: Sculptures, Drawings, Paintings by Dave Lane, Jan. 8-March 8. Opening reception, 6 p.m. Jan. 8.

The Sacramento artist uses found industrial and agricultural machinery from the 19th and 20th centuries, transforming the steel objects into works that embody his vision of how the universe is organized.

“Lane is a visionary artist who sees the flow of the cosmos as part of a vast system of celestial machinery,” Nelson Director Renny Pritikin said.

Lane’s work is accessible to a wide range of people, from children who respond to its scale and scariness, to backyard mechanics who admire his resourcefulness.

A Nelson news release states: “Art audiences and artists respond to his imagination and originality while those approaching the arts for the first time are reassured that contemporary art can be fun.”

Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center

Selections from the Collection: Frank Van Sloun, Dec. 22-April 19. The “collection” is the UC Davis Fine Art Collection, maintained by the Nelson Gallery.

Van Sloun (1879-1938) was an American realist painter associated with the Ash Can School of New York in the early years of the last century. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1911, started teaching at UC Berkeley in 1926 and achieved his greatest renown during the 1930s.

Nelson Entryway Gallery

Works by Bruce Conner, Jan. 8-March 8. Conner is “arguably the most important visual artist of the San Francisco Beat movement of the ’50s,” according to the Nelson Gallery Web site.

Conner, who died this year, made films, collages and assemblages. His collages are notable for their mystical suggestions and classical sources, and his assemblages for their use of recycled, often homely, found materials.

A gallery spokeswoman said the show will include prints that the Nelson has not exhibited in 16 years, plus a never-before-seen assemblage.

Design Museum

subject/verb/object: work by Simon Johnston, Jan. 8-March 8. Designer’s talk, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29, 176 Everson Hall.

Johnston’s works predominantly explore the slippery nature of language and its operations, and play with issues of meaning and representation. In this exhibition, he investigates the nature of visible language.

The exhibition also includes some of Johnston’s commissioned design work, in particular publications for leading artists and cultural institutions.

Craft Center Gallery

The gallery will begin winter quarter with a digital photography show, “Toddler Investigations: Documentation at the Early Childhood Laboratory,” Jan. 5-Feb. 6, by Julia Luckenbill, Craft Center volunteer and Early Childhood Laboratory director.

Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,