Of Dogs and Other People: The Art of Roy De Forest
April 29 – Aug. 20, 2017
Known for their colorful and dreamlike visions, the paintings and sculptures by Roy De Forest (1930–2007) often have playful elements that both inspire and amuse. Now, Museum visitors can take their own imaginative journeys through this special exhibition with the aid of colorful guides and a hands-on space featuring tactile shapes and an environment reflective of De Forest’s work.
Born to migrant farmworkers during the Great Depression, De Forest found his artistic calling after winning an art contest in high school and subsequently went south to study at the California School of Fine Arts. In 1965, he joined the now legendary art department at UC Davis as faculty, where he worked alongside such renowned artists as Robert Arneson, Manuel Neri, Wayne Thiebaud, and William T. Wiley. With his colleagues, De Forest was a leader of the movement known variously as Funk Art or Nut Art, and he remained a vital presence on the UC Davis faculty until his retirement in 1992.
Roy De Forest, Country Dog Gentlemen, 1972. Polymer on canvas, 66.75" x 97". Collection of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Art © Estate of Roy De Forest/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
Of Dogs and Other People: The Art of Roy De Forest is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, Brian and Gloria Marchant, and the Simpson Family.