Rebirth of a Nation: Travis Somerville’s 1963
MARCH 3 – MAY 5, 2013
This tightly focused exhibition features the newly acquired, mixed-media installation 1963 by San Francisco artist Travis Somerville. A three-dimensional construction which measures 7' high and 12' wide, 1963 is the study of a volatile and pivotal year in American history through sculpture, video, painting, and collage. Somerville, who regards himself as a history painter, has created a rich tapestry of social documents, political detail, and popular culture artifacts. Wallpapered with randomly culled sheets of period newspapers, Somerville's structure is meant to be entered and viewed from within and out. It serves simultaneously as a collage, time capsule, and provocation.
Somerville's critique of the visual artifacts of racism in the United States is personal. Born in 1963, he was raised in Georgia by activist parents who participated in the Civil Rights movement. He aims in 1963 to make visceral the conflict and violence that confronted the fight for equal treatment under the law in that decade.
Travis Somerville, 1963, 2009. Mixed media installation with found objects and video, 84 x 144 in. Crocker Art Museum. Purchase with funds provided by Deborah and Andrew Rappaport.