Dewey Crumpler’s ‘shipping container’ work coming to Richmond Art Center

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Dewey Crumpler’s ‘shipping container’ work coming to Richmond Art Center
Partial work by Dewey Crumpler. One of many of Crumpler's ‘shipping container’ work coming soon to the Richmond Art Center. (Images courtesy of the Richmond Art Center)

By Kathy Chouteau

In a Bay Area first, the Richmond Art Center (RAC) will feature “Dewey Crumpler: Crossings, an exhibition examining the inventive power of the artist’s shipping container work.

The exhibition runs in the RAC’s Main gallery from March 31 through May 30. An opening reception will be held Saturday, March 28 from 5-7 p.m. Admission is free to the exhibition and its associated events.

Dewey Crumpler: Crossings will include more than 120 works that “ask us to consider the history, lived legacy and future impact of the global shipping industry,” per an RAC statement. The exhibition features Crumpler’s works over 25 years ranging from sketches to large-scale paintings.

Crumpler’s Bayview roots first spurred his interest in ports, particularly shipping containers and their substantial shapes, according to the RAC. Earlier in his career, he frequently sketched plein air along the waterfront.

Dewey Crumpler’s ‘shipping container’ art, courtesy of the RAC.

“In Crumpler’s work shipping containers are dense metaphors; encompassing stories of mass migration, transformation and voyages destined to be repeated,” according to the RAC. “They trace transatlantic trade routes that emerged in the 15th century and are still used today. They also show industry that has irrevocably shaped port cities like San Francisco, Oakland and Richmond. Through connecting historical and contemporary systems, time in Crumpler’s work becomes a loop of rebirth and decline pressed forward through the crossing of water.” Said Crumpler, “At the heart of these works is memory.”

Marguerite Thompson Browne and Amy Spencer curated Dewey Crumpler: Crossings. The RAC will host an artist talk Saturday, May 2, at 11 a.m.

The RAC is located at 2540 Barrett Ave. in Richmond. Gallery hours are Tues. through Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info contact Exhibitions Director Amy Spencer at amy@richmondartcenter.org or click here.

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