Join us at our opening reception on January 31st from 7 – 9 pm!
This February, the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts is proud to welcome back the one of a kind group show, Bark!, celebrating mankind’s best friend with work from over forty national artists. Works in every medium, from paint to sculpture, will be included in this tribute to the bond between humankind and canine. This exhibition will be featuring works by one of the most celebrated artists of the past century – Roy De Forest.
The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts has a long history of working with dog imagery. This February, we will return to celebrate the canine companion by presenting the annual show Bark!: An Artistic View of Human’s Best Friend. The show, a tribute to Roy De Forest, the founder of the 1960’s funk movement, features artists: Esther Shimazu, Jeffrey Downing, Adam Forfang, Carmen Lang, Boyd Gavin, Avery Palmer, Kevin Snipes, Guston Abright, Robert Ransom, James Weeks, and many more. The featured artist, Roy De Forest, has created various pieces that are full of life and joy. Flowing from his exciting use of color and his playful narratives is a. buoyant, youthful energy that anyone can appreciate. These fun paintings serve as inspiration for the investigation of the role of dogs in everyday life. From their role as saviors to their contagious happy faces, the delight shared between both dogs and humans is on display for all to see at Bark!
Roy De Forest was one of the most prolific and imaginative artists of his generation. In the 60’s, De Forest joined the University of California, Davis faculty, which included William T. Wiley and Robert Arneson, and, with them, became a major participant in the “Funk” art movement. Using bizarre shapes and figures, he rejected the reductive nature of minimalism, and embraced complexity in the spirit of independence and irreverence. It was at this time that his paintings, drawings, and prints evolved into the brilliantly patterned mystical geographies, through which romped his signature dogs, wandering semi-humans and phantasmagoric traveling beasts. These visually compelling canvasses filled larger and more dazzling spaces with gleeful, self-reverent, yet serious and sophisticated images. As De Forest’s work grew more recognizable, the origins and relationships between such grew more personal, suggestive of dream worlds and developing personal mythologies.