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Press Release: Dewey Crumpler: Crossings

Dewey Crumpler: Crossings

Invention and prophecy in Dewey Crumpler’s shipping containers

Exhibition: April 6 – June 4, 2022
Reception: Saturday, April 2, 2pm-4pm
Artist’s Talk: Saturday, April 30, 1pm

Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 10am-2pm
Location: Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804

Richmond, CA: Richmond Art Center announces Dewey Crumpler: Crossings, the first survey of Dewey Crumpler’s shipping container series work to be exhibited in the Bay Area. The exhibition will include over 120 works that ask us to consider the history, lived legacy and future impact of the global shipping industry.

Dewey Crumpler: Crossings will present work from sketches to large scale paintings that show twenty-five years of investigation into the beauty and power of ribbed, metal cargo boxes. Growing up in the Bayview, Crumpler became interested in ports, especially the massive forms of shipping containers. As a young artist he often sketched plein air along the waterfront. Since the late 1990s, he has been developing his studies into paintings of containers that move between abstraction and representation. More recently Crumpler has added sequins, collage, gold leaf and pop cultural references to his work, suggesting the bling and flash of commodification, as well as spiritual awakening.

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.”

This exhibition was originally scheduled for spring 2020, but was postponed for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In this short time the world has seen financial crisis, climate disruption, global pandemic, and wars with no historical parallel, and Crumpler’s shipping containers have become even more prophetic; predicting the collapse of globalism and events that continue to shape the first decades of the 21st century. 

Dewey Crumpler: Crossings will be on view in Richmond Art Center’s Main Gallery from April 6 through to June 4, 2022. An exhibition reception will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2pm-4pm, and an Artist’s Talk will be held on Saturday, April 30 starting at 1pm. Exhibition and events are free and open to the public. A print publication featuring a new essay by Thea Quiray Tagle will accompany the exhibition. Dewey Crumpler: Crossings is organized with assistance from Marguerite Thompson Browne.

About the Artist: Dewey Crumpler is an Associate Professor of painting at San Francisco Art Institute. His current work examines issues of globalization and cultural co-modification through the integration of digital imagery, video and traditional painting techniques. Crumpler’s works are in the permanent collections of the California African American Museum, Triton Museum of Art Los Angeles and Oakland Museum Of California. Crumpler has received the Flintridge Foundation Award, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, as well as The Fleishhacker Foundation Fellowship Eureka Award. Collapse was Crumpler’s most recent exhibition at Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery. He is represented by Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

About Richmond Art Center: Richmond Art Center has been sharing art and creating with the community since 1936. Our programs encompass classes, exhibitions and events at our facility in downtown Richmond, as well as off-site activities that bring free, high-quality art making experiences to WCCUSD schools and community partners.

For more information contact:
Amy Spencer,



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