Oakland Museum of California and SFMOMA Join Collections for Unprecedented Exhibition Focusing on Art and Community in California

Fertile Ground Presents Confluences of Personal Relationships and Historical Forces That Changed the Face of 20th Century Art

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 17, 2014 — (PRNewswire) — The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) combine their collections for the first time in Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California, an unprecedented exhibition opening September 20, 2014, that illuminates local histories and social forces that changed the face of art in—and beyond—the Golden State. Fertile Ground runs September 20, 2014 through April 12, 2015 at OMCA. museumca.org or sfmoma.org.

The exhibition includes works by Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Mark Rothko, Edward Weston, Peter Stackpole, Maynard Dixon, Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, David Park, Clyfford Still, Jay DeFeo, Joan Brown, Richard Diebenkorn, James Weeks, Robert Arneson, William T. Wiley, Roy De Forest, Wayne Thiebaud, Bruce Nauman, Manuel Neri, Deborah Butterfield, Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Rigo 23, Johanna Jackson, Chris Johanson, Alicia McCarthy, Ruby Neri, Amy Franceschini, and many others. The texture of time and place are evoked through historical film footage, media interviews with artists, and "community lounges" where visitors can browse books, ephemera, and other resources. Artifacts, media, and interactive experiences will be placed in dialogue with artworks to situate these objects within larger historical and cultural moments and trends such as the Great Depression, World War II, and the 1960s and 70s counterculture. 

Weaving together the museums' unsurpassed holdings of California art and ephemera, the exhibition tells the stories of four creative communities active in the northern part of the state between the 1930s and the present, shining a spotlight on artists who had their finger on the pulse of their time, and the grassroots conditions that allowed their ideas to flourish. It is presented in four key moments in the history of California art:

  • Patronage, Public Art, and Allegory of California (1930s)
  • Postwar at the California School of Fine Arts (1940s–50s)
  • A New Art Department at UC Davis (1960s–70s)
  • The Mission Scene (1990s–Today)

Curated jointly by Drew Johnson, OMCA curator of photography and visual culture, Rene de Guzman, OMCA senior curator of art, Janet Bishop, SFMOMA curator of painting and sculpture, Caitlin Haskell, SFMOMA assistant curator of painting and sculpture, and Peter Samis, SFMOMA associate curator of interpretation, Fertile Ground interweaves the histories and friendships of artists, collectors, curators, and others against a backdrop of transformative social change. The materials assembled present a rare opportunity to consider what catalyzed these four remarkable outpourings of creativity, social awareness, and arts patronage.

SOURCE The Oakland Museum of California

The Oakland Museum of California
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Scott Horton Communications, 510-735-9200
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