di Rosa digs into the vault for 2 new exhibitions: "To the Max!" and "Ghost in the Machine"
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di Rosa digs into the vault for 2 new exhibitions: "To the Max!" and "Ghost in the Machine"
Franklin Williams, Gracious Gift (Self-Stuffed), 1974, Acrylic, yarn, twine, feathers, fabric on canvas. Photo courtesy of di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art.

NAPA, CA.- di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art announced the opening yesterday of two new exhibitions drawn from their infamous permanent collection of Northern California art - To the Max! Maximalist Art from the di Rosa Collection and Ghost in the Machine highlight surprising, never-before exhibited works.

To the Max! is an exuberant celebration of the philosophy that “more is more.” Maximalist art is having a moment in 2023 as artists, curators and collectors are rejecting minimalist austerity in favor of works jammed with eclectic patterns, colors, textures, and forms. The exhibition shows this maximalist attitude has a long precedent in Northern California art.

In the 1970s and 80s, artists like Franklin Williams and Carlos Villa challenged then-dominant modes of minimalism and conceptualism, producing idiosyncratic works rooted in craft, pattern and decoration. In subsequent decades, the maximalist spirit persisted among Bay Area artists working in new genres and alternative media.

“We are thrilled to highlight works pulled from deep in di Rosa’s vault that demonstrate the maximalist strain running through the di Rosa collection,” states Executive Director Kate Eilertsen. “Joyful maximalism was a north star for Rene di Rosa, who once stated: ‘My personal taste does not include austere abstraction, white on white. I like additive art, not reductive art. I prefer maximal to minimal.’ These tastes are evident in works by Roy De Forest, Viola Frey, and countless others in our collection. With this exhibition, we celebrate the attitude that too much is never enough!”

The concurrent exhibition, Ghost in the Machine, investigates Bay Area artists who experimented with electronics, computing, and robotics, creating works that prefigure our contemporary obsession with sentient machines. Working in the shadow of Silicon Valley at the close of the 20th century, artist-tinkerers like Alan Rath, Bruce Cannon, and Theresa Lahaie anticipated today’s developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“Ghost in the Machine introduces visitors to a new side of the di Rosa collection,” according to Twyla Ruby, Curatorial Associate. “The collection is chock full of works engaged with the wonder and horror of late-capitalist technology. Visitors will encounter machines that seem to blink, breathe, and pulse with life, blurring the line between human and machine.”

The public is invited to an opening reception September 9, 2023, 5-7pmAttendees are encouraged to dress in maximalist fashion! A direct link to tickets and reservations can be found here.

di Rosa Digs
To the Max! and Ghost in the Machine
September 8th, 2023 - August 25th, 2023
Opening reception September 9, 2023, 5-7pm

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