Begun by Rene di Rosa in the early 1960s, the di Rosa collection spans the last six decades and includes significant works by many of the region’s most noteworthy artists. The collection not only serves as a rich and vital record of Northern California art since the late 1950s, it captures the distinctive spirit of the area and its artists.
Based on a True Story illuminates this ethos through a number of key encounters: between art and art history, curator and exhibition, collector and artist, teachers and students, lovers and friends. Highlights from specific areas of di Rosa’s holdings that have not been collectively viewed before will be presented through the lens of these various relationships, simultaneously illustrating key movements in Northern California Art History such as Bay Area Assemblage, Figurative, Funk, ceramic sculpture, and Conceptual Art, many of which form the core of the collection. The exhibition will reveal a constellation of special affinities and close connections through juxtapositions of artworks and never before presented letters and ephemera from the archive, providing an intimate and powerful take on the artistic legacy of the region.
Artists in the exhibition include Robert Arneson, Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Roy De Forest, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Viola Frey, Wally Hedrick, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Robert Hudson, David Ireland, Tom Marioni, Ron Nagle, Bruce Nauman, Manuel Neri, Dennis Oppenheim, Peter Saul, Peter Voulkos, H. C. Westermann, and William T. Wiley, among others.