Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

Press Release: Dewey Crumpler: Crossings

The inventive power of Dewey Crumpler’s shipping containers

Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat, 10am – 5pm

Exhibition: March 31 – May 30, 2020
Reception: Saturday, March 28, 5-7pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, May 2, 11am
Location: Main Gallery

RICHMOND, CA: The Richmond Art Center announces Dewey Crumpler: Crossings, the first survey of Dewey Crumpler’s ‘shipping container’ 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 flit 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.”

Dewey Crumpler: Crossings will be on view in the Richmond Art Center’s Main Gallery from March 31 through to May 30, 2020. An exhibition reception will be held on Saturday, March 28, 5-7pm, and an Artist Talk will be held on Saturday, May 2, 11am. 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 curated by Marguerite Thompson Browne and Amy Spencer.

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 Johnsons Gallery.

About the Richmond Art Center: The Richmond Art Center originated in 1936 when local artist Hazel Salmi, who worked for the WPA, traversed the streets of Richmond with a suitcase packed with art supplies, eager to teach art to anyone interested. Today, everything we do at the Center continues to breathe life into Salmi’s original vision: that within every person lives an artist. Annually we teach thousands of students through classes taught by professional artists; onsite in our six large studios, and off-site via partnerships with community organizations. We also mount 14-16 rotating exhibitions yearly in our four gallery spaces that display the work of youth, emerging and established Bay Area artists.

For more information contact:
Amy Spencer, Exhibitions Director, Richmond Art Center, 510-620-1252

Top image: Dewey Crumpler, Untitled 1, 2017, Acrylic and mixed media on canvas. Courtesy of the Artist



Visit and Contact

Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804-1600


Contact and Visitor Info
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm