The Crocker Art Museum Presents Rebirth of a Nation by Travis Somerville

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Tania Torres
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The Crocker Art Museum Presents
Rebirth of a Nation by Travis Somerville
On view March 3 through May 5, 2013

Sacramento, Calif. – December 17, 2012 – The Crocker Art Museum is proud to present Rebirth of a Nation: Travis Somerville's "1963." The exhibition, on view March 3 through May 5, 2013, will feature a mixed media installation by San Francisco based artist Travis Somerville.

The Crocker's newly acquired, mixed-media installation "1963" by San Francisco artist Travis Somerville is at the center of this tightly focused exhibition. Somerville, who regards himself as a history painter, expands off the canvas to weave together a rich tapestry of social documents and popular culture artifacts set inside a small wooden cabin. The resulting narrative offers a study of a volatile and pivotal year in American history with a diversity of media, including found sculpture, video, painting, and collage. Serving simultaneously as a time capsule and provocation, "1963" also offers a 50th-anniversary observance of many milestone events, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Legacy and cultural shift loom large in Somerville's art of the past decade, and his critique of the visual artifacts of racism in the United States is often personal. Born in 1963 and raised in Georgia by activist parents who worked for the Civil Rights movement, Somerville probes how the charms of his childhood remain at odds with a more ugly history. In particular, he aims to make visceral the conflict and violence that confronted the fight for equal treatment under the law. Historical memory is his subject, and in this work, inflected with the experience and tensions later generations faced after the momentous passage of the Civil Rights Act.

Four large-scale paintings and a site-specific wall drawing complete the presentation. This exhibition is also part of the Museum's partnership with the UC Davis Campus Community Book project. The 2012-13 book selection is Isabel Wilkerson's "The Warmth of Other Suns," which is available at the Museum Store. For more information about the Campus Community Book project and related programs visit occr.ucdavis.edu/ccbp2012.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a 20-page catalogue with full-color reproductions written by Diana L. Daniels, the exhibition's curator.

The Crocker Art Museum was the first art museum in the Western U.S. and remains one of the leading art museums in California today. Established in 1885, the Museum features one of the country's finest collections of Californian art, exceptional holdings of master drawings, a comprehensive collection of international ceramics, as well as European, Asian, African, and Oceanic art. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in Downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday–Sunday; 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Thursdays. Every third Sunday of the month is "Pay What You Wish Sunday" sponsored by Western Health Advantage. 


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