Arts & Theater

5 hot art exhibits that will give you cool summer viewing

“The Meat Train” by Mark Ryden is part of an exhibit that examines the work of artists who were featured in the popular art magazine Hi-Fructose.
“The Meat Train” by Mark Ryden is part of an exhibit that examines the work of artists who were featured in the popular art magazine Hi-Fructose. Courtesy Crocker Art Museum

Summer is upon us and with it comes strong shows to lift our spirits and let us cool off in museums and galleries. These shows, save for one, are in Northern California, and you won’t want to miss them.

“Loved to Death: A Retrospective of Works by Maria Alquilar”

This exhibit brings together approximately 50 richly imagined paintings, ceramics, and metal sculptures by Alquilar (1928-2014) that draw on Mexican retablos, Russian icons, Afro-Cuban, American Indian, Haitian and West African sources. Spanning 25 years of her career, the show ranges from works done in Sacramento, where she was also the owner of the highly respected Jennifer Pauls Gallery, to ones from her times in Santa Cruz and Miami, where she perfected her idiosyncratic personal mythology in images based on her Russian Jewish heritage and her knowledge of myths and spiritual traditions of many cultures.

June 8-July 29. JAYJAY, 5524B Elvas Ave., Sacramento. 916-453-2999,

“from this point forward”

The multidisciplinary show by 28 graduate students in art, design, creative writing, music, theater and more breaks down the walls of the exhibition box with a sound installation, performances of works by composers, readings by creative writers, and a show of modern costumes for the ancient Greek play “The Trojan Women.”

Through June 30. Manetti Shrem Museum, UC Davis, 254 Old Davis Road, Davis. 530-752-8500,

“Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose”

Drawn from the pages of Hi-Fructose, the 10-year-old alternative art magazine and its website, this exhibit explores the ever-expanding contemporary art world in which the lines between high art, “lowbrow art” and popular culture are increasingly blurred. Organized by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, the show includes pop surrealist, street, figurative, narrative and other trendy styles by Kehinde Wiley, Mark Ryden, Shepard Fairey and other artists the magazine has promoted.

June 11-Sept. 17. Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St., Sacramento. 916-808-7000,

“Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed”

Featuring approximately 45 paintings by the Scandinavian master who gave us “The Scream,” this show makes its global debut in San Francisco before traveling to New York and Oslo. Using Munch’s last significant self-portrait as a starting point to reassess his entire career, the show brings together his emotive and daring explorations of love, desire, despair and death. Including more than 12 self-portraits, the exhibition examines the life and work of a singular artist who is increasingly recognized as one of the foremost modernists of the 20th century. Advance tickets are available online.

June 24-Oct. 9. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St., San Francisco, 415-357-4000,

“Full Spectrum: Paintings by Raimonds Staprans”

This look at landscapes, architectural subjects and still lifes of fruit, paint cans, and chairs by a Latvian born artist who has lived in Northern California for more than six decades calls up associations with works by California painter Richard Diebenkorn and Staprans’ contemporary Wayne Thiebaud. Rich color, scorching sunlight and a sense of pervasive loneliness characterize his work, writes Crocker associate director and chief curator, Scott Shields. A full-color catalog with essays by Shields, art historian Paul J. Karlstrom, art critic and poet John Yau, Los Angeles Times art critic David Pagel, and others accompanies the show.

June 25-Oct. 8. Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St., Sacramento. 916-808-7000.

And for anyone who might be visiting England this month:

“Wayne Thiebaud: 1962-2017”

This 55-year retrospective of works by the legendary painter includes still lifes of cakes and pies, vertiginous San Francisco street scenes, new examples of his surprising Delta landscapes and “Green Dress” a figure painting of his daughter, the much-drawn, painted and photographed artist’s model Twinka Thiebaud.

Through July 2. White Cube Mason’s Yard, London.