Arts and Humanities 2020 Graduate ExhibitionVirtual Arts & Humanities 2020 Graduate Exhibition

Experience new ways of seeing and understanding the past and future in this multidisciplinary virtual exhibition from UC Davis graduate students in the disciplines of art studio, design, art history, music, Native American studies, cultural studies and creative writing. Listen to the opening webinar for remarks from faculty and university leadership as well as the presentation of the Keister & Allen Art Purchase Prize and the Savageau Award in the Department of Design.

On view May 28–June 14, 2020


Photo of Stephen Kaltenbach from Personal Appearance Manipulation.
Stephen Kaltenbach, Personal Appearance Manipulation, 1970. Photocollage, 14 x 16 inches. Courtesy of the artist.


Stephen Kaltenbach: The Beginning and The End

During the late 1960s, after graduating from UC Davis (BA, 1966; MA, 1967) and moving to New York, Stephen Kaltenbach established a reputation in the emerging international field of Conceptual art. But in 1970, just as he was achieving career success, Kaltenbach abruptly withdrew to California’s Central Valley, appearing to abandon Conceptual work in favor of the more traditional mediums of painting and sculpture. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of his “dropout,” this exhibition considers Kaltenbach’s engagement with time as a principal theme across his remarkably diverse career, which encompasses  bronze time capsules, advertisements placed anonymously in Artforum magazine in 1968-69, and the monumental photorealist painting Portrait of My Father (1972-79)

Guest Curators: Constance Lewallen and Ted Mann

On view January 26–May 10, 2020


Manuel Neri painting, Untitled Figure Study No. 21.
Manuel Neri, Untitled Figure Study No. 21, 1958. Tempera and charcoal on paper, 25 ¾ x 23 ⅝ in. Fine Arts Collection, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. Gift of Paul LeBaron Thiebaud in memory of Price Amerson. © The Manuel Neri Trust.


Gesture: The Human Figure After Abstraction
Selections from the Manetti Shrem Museum

Gesture: The Human Figure After Abstraction presents the transformational work of the first-generation artists of the UC Davis art department at a pivotal moment in art history. As part of what came to be known as the Bay Area Figurative Movement, Davis artists including Manuel Neri, Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson and Ruth Horsting looked to abstract art while nurturing a distinctive identity for modernism. Eschewing the dominant philosophy of “pure painting” practiced in New York City, they were eager to express their personal encounters and close observations of the world they inhabited. Their varied art practices—sculpture, painting and drawing—share a singular characteristic: a commitment to innovation and creative freedom that informed the ever-expanding notion of modern art.

Guest Curator: Carolyn Kastner

On view January 26, 2020–November 29, 2020






Installation photo of Doug Aitken's NEW ERA.
Installation view: Doug Aitken: New Era at 303 Gallery, New York, 2018. © Doug Aitken, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Galerie Presenhuber, Zurich; Regen Projects, Los Angeles.  Photo: John Berens.


The Manetti Shrem Museum presents NEW ERA, an installation by Doug Aitken

Los Angeles-based artist Doug Aitken has earned international acclaim with his groundbreaking work that redefines how we experience art. The Manetti Shrem Museum presents NEW ERA, an installation by Doug Aitken explores the technological ambivalence of contemporary culture, raising questions about the challenges of our immediate access to communication and networks. Drawing on a history of experimental music and cinema as well as a kinship with the protest movements of the late 1960s, Aitken’s immersive installation of moving images and sound creates a “liquid environment” that transforms viewers into collaborators.

Curator and Founding Director: Rachel Teagle

On view September 26, 2019–June 14, 2020