Retrospective by Founding Art Faculty Roy De Forest in Oakland

roy De forest
Painting by Roy De Forest

The first comprehensive retrospective by Roy De Forest, a founding faculty member of the UC Davis art department, opens at the Oakland Museum of California April 29 and runs through Aug. 20.

“Of Dogs and Other People: The Art of Roy De Forest” is made up of 50 paintings and sculptures that explore a colorful funky world where animals and humans frolic.

De Forest taught at UC Davis from 1965 until 1992. Along with faculty members Robert Arneson and William Wiley, he was considered part of the Funk art movement that embraced messiness and humor.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum and the UC Press have just published a book (with the same title as the exhibition) about De Forest, who died in 2007. This is the largest exhibition of his work since a 1974 retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art that was also shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

“His unconventional style of painting is so profound—he’s an extremely important figure in American art,” according to exhibition curator Susan Landauer. “The exhibition offers a great variety of his works, from the humorous and serious to the whimsical and wondrous.”

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science