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Upcoming Exhibitions


Winter/Spring 2023
February 4 to June 25, 2023


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Nathan Oliveira (1928-2010) was a member of the “Bridge Generation” of the San Francisco Bay Area Figurative Movement during the 1950s and onward into the 1960s joining “First Generation” artists that included David Park, Richard Diebenkorn, Elmer Bischoff, Wayne Thiebaud, and James Weeks. In this first and only museum exhibition since his death in 2010, Nathan Oliveira: Rare Works From the Private Collections of His Children is an original exhibition of the Fresno Art Museum.

This exhibition is a treasure trove of over fifty rare drawings, monumental and small paintings, assemblage, lithographs, and bronzes. The selected works have rarely, if ever, been seen before by the public in either museum exhibitions or gallery presentations during his lifetime.

It was Nathan Oliveira’s process to bequeath his artwork to his children on an annual basis as their inheritance. This exhibition shares and assembles for the very first time these gifts by Oliveira to his three children: Joe, Lisa, and Gina. The exhibited works were chosen during studio visits to the homes of Joe Oliveira and Lisa Oliveira Lamoure, where I was given carte blanche to select (with their guidance) from pieces given to them by their father. As a curator, this was an indescribable experience.  

Oliveira came into prominence as a figurative painter in the late 1950s, counter to the then-dominant Abstract Expressionist trend. Yet Oliveira worked using a method much like certain Abstract Expressionist painters by beginning each of his works without a specific plan, applying pigment to the canvas almost at random until an image began to appear. Frequently, his works explored the relationships between people, animals, and nature, which are all well represented in this selection of rare works.

Nathan Oliveira was born in 1928 in Oakland, California to immigrant Portuguese parents. Since the late 1950s, Oliveira has been the subject of nearly one hundred solo exhibitions, in addition to having been included in hundreds of group exhibitions in important museums and galleries worldwide. He taught studio art for several decades in California beginning in the early 1950s at the California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts) in Oakland. After serving as a visiting artist at several universities, he became a professor of studio art at Stanford University.

His work is held in many major museum collections including the Tate Modern in London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Guggenheim Museum, all in New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Oakland Museum of California, and the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, to name but a few. He is represented by the Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco.

Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator


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Internationally-known sculptor Bruce Beasley (b.1939) expresses new directions in his work with this solo exhibition of collage and sculpture. His monumental bronze, BREAKOUT IV, has graced the entrance to the Fresno Art Museum since June 2020 when it was gifted to the Museum’s permanent collection. It is an honor to expand our appreciation of Oakland, California-based Bruce Beasley’s illustrious career with this 2023 exhibition.

Selected works on exhibit include a recent series of large-scale monochromatic collages Beasley created in 2018 using virtual reality as his medium--a new direction for the artist. His technique for producing the imagery is highly unusual: on a computer, he creates sculptural gestures in virtual space that he later prints out onto canvas on a monumental scale. He then cuts up the gestures on the canvas and re-assembles the pieces using the collage technique. The resulting collages are modern, sleek, and lyrically strong.

Juxtaposed with the two-dimensional massive collages are new sculptures that mirror the gestural quality of the wall pieces. Cast in stainless steel or bronze, they complete the artist’s “dance of gesture” throughout the gallery spaces.

For a catalog on the collages published in 2019 for the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Iowa, Bruce Beasley wrote, “Throughout my entire 60-year career, there have been two negative aspects of sculpture that I always dreamed I could overcome, but I did not actually expect to be able to. One was gravity and the other was being able to make shapes with my own physical gesture.” In his lifetime, using the computer and virtual reality, Beasley has created sculpture without gravity. He continued, “…I bring the sculptures out of the open space/VR environment and into our real, actual, experiential world. The result is that I can create shapes in a gravity-free 3D environment and the fully-3D shapes actually come out at the end of my hand!”

Bruce Beasley’s new direction astonishes and delights us while it heightens our appreciation of the sculpture presented in both two and three dimensions in this exhibition.

His work is held in many major museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris; the Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany; the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China; the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington; the János Xántus Museum, Győr, Hungary; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Oakland Museum of California, the Palm Springs Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, the Crocker Art Museum, and the Fresno Art Museum in California, among others.

Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator


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In this retrospective exhibition of Fresno-based architect Arthur Dyson (b. 1940), we explore fifty-six years of this visionary architect’s work--both private and public edifices with models and two-dimensional renderings. His last exhibition at the Fresno Art Museum was in 2004 entitled Poetics of Space.

A student of both Frank Lloyd Wright and Bruce Goff, Dyson’s early work was inspired by his own social consciousnesses. He created buildings serving people whose needs exceeded their means: the Lanare Community Center for Riverdale, California (1969) is one of the earliest. Other examples of architecture designed by Dyson to enhance and celebrate the common experience include a fine arts building proposed for Monterey, California (1966) and a Native American Indian Center for Fresno (1975).

Born in 1940, Dyson realized his affection for architecture was not based on what he saw around him but what was missing--interesting forms built from unusual materials and, most importantly, a lyrical and organic sense of life in new structures. In the 1960s, typically houses and public buildings were boxes or rectangles built of stainless steel with lots of glass; they felt cold and were practical, but rarely were they creatively designed. He was determined to change this, and he did and has made organic architecture his focus throughout his career.

As he began to establish himself, this then-young architect created new structures and also remodeled existing ones in what would become his signature organic style. His structures moved earth into mounds and cast concrete into fluid walls and were lit by Plexiglas bubbles where sunlight enlivened his interior spaces. He used wood as a decorative element on his facades, allowing it to be geometric by bending it to activate a building’s visual presence.

From his Fresno-based office during the ensuing decades, Arthur Dyson designed and built the structures listed below, among many other projects. These commissions include single-family residences, multi-family dwellings such as condominiums and apartments, and social services housing.

  • Cannery Row Hotel project Monterey, California (1967)
  • Ascherl residence, Almaden Valley, California (1968)
  • Leverich residence, Portola Valley, California (1972)
  • Evans residence, Fresno, California (1973)
  • Najarian-Simonian Office Building, Fresno, California (1973)
  • Effie Office Building project, Fresno, California (1975)
  • Garrison residence, Fresno, California (1979)
  • Geringer residence, Kerman, California (1979)
  • Scarborough, Tozlian, Laval Office Building project, Fresno, California (1980)
  • Andrade residence, scheme #1, Fresno, California (1982)
  • Glynns Restaurant project, Fresno, California (1984)
  • Millerton residence project, Madera County, California (1984)
  • Simpson residence, Fresno, California (1986)
  • Asire residence project, Fresno County, California (1987)
  • Barrett-Tuxford residence, Richland Center, Wisconsin (1987)
  • Bedwell residence project, Kauai, Hawaii (1989)
  • Uhden residence project, Santa Cruz, California (1989)
  • Hall residence project, Cayucos, California (1993)
  • Interior Systems remodel, Fresno, California (1995)
  • Casey residence, La Selva Beach, California (1996)
  • Hilton residence, Panama City Beach, Florida (1999)
  • Del Coronado Condominiums project, Panama City Beach, Florida (2000)
  • Hilton guest house, Panama City Beach, Florida (2002)
  • Grand Central Station project, Fresno, California (2003)
  • Manchester Sky Train Transfer Station project, Fresno, California (2005)
  • Riverview Terrace Office Complex [as DSJ Architects], Fresno, California (2006)
  • Salt Aire Dunes condominiums project, Grayland, Washington (2006)
  • Zumwalt residence, Madera, California (2008)
  • Bishop residence, St. George, Utah (2012)
  • Eco Pod, Fresno, California (2013)

All of Dyson's projects have housed individuals, families, and businesses with incomparable designs and aesthetic sensitivity for five decades and will continue to do so into the future.

Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator


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The Permanent Collection of the Fresno Art Museum is full of hidden gems and a wide variety of artistic styles. This exhibition highlights two California artists whose conceptual works evoke strong responses, bringing out of the vaults the works of photographer Cay Lang and multi-media artist Caroline Harris. The Museum has been collecting the work of Cay Lang, an internationally recognized Bay Area-based fine art photographer, since 1991. Caroline Harris was a local artist and philanthropist who was very active in the Fresno community and whose work has been part of the permanent collection since 1984. While the mediums are different, both women have strong ties to Fresno and use bold color and lines to create textured and multi-dimensional works.

Exhibition Curator: Sarah Vargas, FAM Curator


 

Summer/Fall 2023
July 29, 2023 to January 7, 2024


Maurice Sendak: The Memorial Exhibition

Curator: Opar, Inc. and Steve Brezzo


The Council of 100's Distinguished Woman Artist for 2023: Martha Casanave

Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator


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Mary Blair (1911-1978) is known to Disney fans worldwide as one of Walt Disney’s favorite artists. A designer, illustrator, and colorist, Blair’s concepts set the tone for such iconic animated films as Dumbo (1941), The Three Caballeros (1945), So Dear to My Heart (1948), Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Peter Pan (1953) among others. Though Blair initially joined Disney reluctantly (she considered herself foremost a painter), she would rise to become the most influential concept artist at the studio during the mid-20th century. The exhibition of 26 works of art includes concept art for her many Disney animation film projects as well as four rare concept pieces Blair created in the development of the attraction It’s a Small World which debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and later moved to Disneyland.

Organized by the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University, with works from the Hilbert Collection Curated by Mary Platt