Carlos Villa, Third Coat, 1983, di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art
January 23 – July 25, 2021
The Incorrect Museum: Vignettes from the di Rosa Collection explores the history of art in Northern California. Drawing on the institution’s extensive collection, the exhibition will present a series of vignettes exploring regional movements ranging from Funk and Nut art to Northern California conceptualism.
Exhibition Curator and di Rosa’s Acting Executive Director, Kate Eilertsen, states, “di Rosa’s remarkable collection is filled with untold stories and influential artists that have so much to teach us about this period in art history and its influence on artists today.” The exhibition will invite visitors to step into stories that illustrate the Bay Area’s distinctive artistic legacy. Vignettes will include an invitation to have a beer with Tom Marioni in his Museum of Conceptual Art, take a peek into Peter Voulkos’ pot palace or join William Wiley in his Dude Ranch Dada studio. Visitors will explore the collaborative networks connecting these artists to figures like Robert Arneson, Roy De Forest, Viola Frey, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Paul Kos, providing a fresh look at the uniquely funky attitude permeating Northern California art.
Art and artists of Northern California have been largely omitted from the story of modern American art. However, as the exhibition will show, the region has been a hotbed of artistic activity since the postwar period, representing a significant counterpoint to the art worlds of both New York and Los Angeles. What was unique about art in Northern California? How did it reflect the region’s distinctive social and political environment? How does it continue to inspire artists today? The exhibition will explore these questions, drawing on one of the world’s foremost collections of Bay Area art—the so-called “incorrect museum” amassed by Rene di Rosa over five decades as a collector of works he celebrated as “divinely regional, superbly parochial (and) wondrously provincial.”
Paired with The Incorrect Museum: Vignettes from the di Rosa Collection will be an active roster of public programs both on and off campus. These will include di Rosa’s signature programs for family and community, tours for school-age children and the general public, and an ongoing series of artist’s conversations to explore ideas presented within the exhibition.
About the Curator
Eilertsen has worked in the art world for many years as an arts advocate, curator, educator and museum director. She began her museum work at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, moved to Boston where she opened a new museum for the Harvard University Art Museums and then to San Francisco where she was the Director of Intersection for the Arts, Museum of Craft and Folk Art, Acting Director of Visual Arts for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Executive Director for the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. She has taught at the California College of Arts, San Francisco Art Institute and Sonoma State University.