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By Karen Nikos-Rose on April 4, 2019

Sculpture by Butterly; landcapes by Thiebaud, Arneson, Wiley and more

We have learned that the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis will feature two exciting exhibitions starting July 14: Kathy Butterly | ColorForm, through Dec. 29; and Landscape Without Boundaries: Selections from the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, through Dec. 15. Both exhibitions are curated by Dan Nadel.

ColorForm, Kathy Butterly’s first retrospective exhibition, is a homecoming of sorts, bringing the artist back to UC Davis, the site of her MFA, and to the Northern California region that has been so generative for ceramic art over the last half-century. Encompassing the artist’s entire career through approximately 60 sculptures and 20 drawings, the exhibition focuses on the last ten years of work, including sculpture made especially for this occasion. The works on display chart the evolution of Butterly’s sensibility, skillset, and philosophical stance, all of which have strong historical roots in the work of Viola Frey, Ken Price, and Robert Arneson, her mentor at the University of California, Davis. Butterly is distinguished among modern and contemporary sculptors for her move to a highly personal, yet nakedly accessible ceramic language of line, form, and color that tilts ever closer to emotive, endlessly inventive abstraction. July 14 - Dec. 29.

Landscape Without Boundaries explores the singularly vital mix of approaches to the idea of landscape in art represented by artists in and around Davis. Through the Manetti Shrem Museum’s collection, the exhibition charts the ways in which painting, sculpture, and drawing addressed the Northern California landscape in the years after World War II. Included are significant works by artists including Arneson, Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Mike Henderson, Robert Hudson, Judith Linhares, Gladys Nilsson, Jaune Quick-to-see-Smith, Martin Ramirez, Peter Saul, Cornelia Schultz, Thiebaud, and William T. Wiley. July 14 - Dec. 15.

"Both exhibitions are special because they have their roots in UC Davis," said Nadel, the guest curator for both exhibitions. "The landscape exhibition is literally about the Northern California landscape that is so much a part of life in Davis, and the culture that nurtured such an extraordinary collection. And Kathy Butterly is a  distinguished alumnus of the university, who considers her time studying with Arneson to be crucial to her art thinking and making. It’s meaningful to her and the community that we are hosting her first major retrospective."

Butterly sculpture
Kathy Butterly, "Color Hoard-r", 2013. Clay, glaze (Courtesy of the artist)

Ongoing in Spring

  • Bruce Nauman: Blue and Yellow Corridor, through April 13
  • Xicanx Futurity: through May 5.
  • The Manetti Shrem is closed for installation: May 6-May 28
  • UC Davis Graduate Art Work in Design and Art Studio: May 29-June 16;
  • Closed for installation June 17-July 13

Admission, directions