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StarkInsider: ‘Crossings’ art reception featuring paintings by Dewey Crumpler


What’s Happening: ‘Crossings’ art reception featuring paintings by Dewey Crumpler

BY JEANNE POWELL – 04.01.2022

From April 6th to June 4th, the Richmond Art Center is presenting the paintings of popular local artist Dewey Crumpler. The exhibit features an absorbing survey of Crumpler’s “shipping container” work.

More than 120 pieces of his art will be on display, providing an opportunity for viewers “to consider the history, lived legacy and future impact of the global shipping industry”. In this series of works, including new large-scale paintings, Crumpler juxtaposes our dependence on container shipping with the consequences and heritage of cargo ships crossing the oceans over the centuries.

Dewey Crumpler: Crossings asks us to consider the history, lived legacy and future impact of the global shipping industry. Presenting over 120 works, from sketches to large scale paintings, the exhibition represents Crumpler’s twenty-five years of investigation into the beauty and power of ribbed, metal cargo boxes.

Dewey Crumpler: Crossings

In Crumpler’s work shipping containers are dense metaphors; encompassing stories of mass migration, transformation and voyages destined to be repeated. They trace transatlantic trade routes that emerged in the 15th century and are still used today. They also show industry that has irrevocably shaped port cities like San Francisco, Oakland and Richmond. Through connecting historical and contemporary systems, time in Crumpler’s work becomes a loop of rebirth and decline pressed forward through the crossing of water. Crumpler explains, “At the heart of these works is memory.”

For more than 30 years Dewey Crumpler has been a major influence in Bay area artist communities. He has taught at the SF Art Institute since 1989. Recent retrospectives and exhibits include the Hedreen Gallery in Seattle and Frieze 2020, a virtual presentation curated by Zoe Whitley of London’s Chisenhale Gallery.

Crumpler’s work is in the permanent collections of museums in Oakland, Santa Clara and Los Angeles. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and other grants.

JEANNE POWELL is a published poet and essayist. She holds degrees from Wayne State University and the University of San Francisco. Jeanne has taught in the CS, UB and OLLI programs at universities in the City. Her books in print include MY OWN SILENCE and WORD DANCING from Taurean Horn Press.


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