Left: Susan Swartz, detail of Nature Revisited 44, 2018, acrylic on linen, 42 x 84 in. Courtesy of Susan Swartz Studios. Right: Andrea Chung, detail of Filthy water cannot be washed, 2016-2017, Cyanotypes and watercolor, 88 × 240 in. (223.5 × 609.6 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Museum purchase with funds provided by The Robert L. and Dorothy M. Shapiro Acquisition Endowment and proceeds from Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Art Auction 2016, 2018.7. Courtesy of the artist.

Two exhibitions currently on view at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis highlight the university’s distinctive legacy of nurturing and exhibiting innovative contemporary art.

Susan Swartz: Breaking Away, 2006–2018, curated by Manetti Shrem Museum Founding Director, Rachel Teagle, offers new work showcasing the development of a painterly style that results in lush surfaces sculpted from the subtle accretion of color. The exhibition is comprised of a survey of recent work that demonstrates a breakthrough for the artist centered around a newfound synthesis and complexity in her approach to abstracting the natural landscape. “Like countless painters before her, Swartz is motivated by the grandeur of nature,” notes Teagle. “Her recent works simultaneously depict recognizable subjects and also dissolve into an abstract play of color and material.”

Andrea Chung: You broke the ocean in half to be here, presents unexpected intersections among materials, processes, and places that often investigate the histories of Caribbean island nations. Chung’s work is labor intensive and explores the complicated place of labor in postcolonial societies. Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the exhibition includes collages, prints, videos, sculpture and an installation of cyanotype prints of the non-native predatory lionfish, conjuring up a fantastic underwater world that presents a potent allegory of colonization. Recently Chung was featured in Southern California public television outlet KCET’s film, Artist and Mother, a documentary about the timely question of what it means to be an artist and a mother.

More information on summer programs can be found on the museum’s website. As always, admission is free for all.

Susan Swartz: Breaking Away, 2006-2018 continues at the Manetti Shrem Museum (254 Old Davis Road, Davis, California) through September 2.

Andrea Chung: You broke the ocean in half to be here continues at the Manetti Shrem Museum (254 Old Davis Road, Davis, California) through September 2.

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