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Biography

Travis Somerville was born in 1963 in Atlanta, GA. Growing up in towns throughout the southern United States and along the eastern sea board, he briefly studied at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD, finally settling in San Francisco where he attended the San Francisco Art Institute, CA. His large scale oil paintings on paper mounted to canvas incorporate collage and present images of political and cultural icons associated with the history of the south. His work explores the complexities of racism and serves as a point of departure for discussion about US oppression and colonial attitudes abroad.

Somerville's work has been included in numerous museum exhibitions: The University of Georgia, Athens, GA; University of Houston at Clearlake, Houston, TX; de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University, CA; Florida A&M University, Tallahasee, FL; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA; Charles Wright Museum, Detroit, MI; The Bass Museum, Miami Beach, FL; Frederick Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; The Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA.

Travis Somerville has garnered critical attention in numerous publications including The Washington Post, Art in America, FlashArt and The Los Angeles Times.
His work is included in numerous Museum collections, including SF MoMA; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego CA; the 21c Museum in Louisville, KY; the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, CA; the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

 

Resume

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1963

Lives and works in San Francisco, California

 

EDUCATION

1984   San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California

1983   Independent Study with Jane Hammond, Baltimore, Maryland

1982-3  Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 

 

 

2016   solo exhibition at Ponce+Robles gallery, Madrid, Spain (upcoming)

 

2014   American Rhetoric, Beta Pictoris Gallery, Birmingham, AL

2013   Rainbow Warrior, Earthbound Moon Project, Moriarty, New Mexico

           Rebirth of a Nation, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California

           A Great Cloud of Witnesses, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco

2011   Places I’ve Never Been, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco California

2010   Rededicated to the proposition…Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

            …a portion of the field., Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2009   Dedicated to the proposition…Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles,  California 

2008   Authentic Facsimiles of a Nation, Caren Golden Fine Art Gallery, New York, New York

2007   The Great American Let Down, Overtones Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2006   American Cracker Too, Alfred C. Glassell Jr. Exhibition Gallery, Louisiana State University, Baton    Rouge, Louisiana

           American Cracker, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

           Peckerwood Nation, Nathan Larramendy Gallery, Ojai, California

2004   More Songs of the South, Nathan Larramendy Gallery, Ojai, California

2003   More Songs of the South, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California (catalogue)

2002   Another Song of the South, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

2000   Song of the South, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

           Travis Somerville: New Work, University of Houston at Clearlake, Houston, Texas (catalogue)

1998   The Land of Cotton, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

1996   I’ve Never Been to Aceldama: New Work (125th San Francisco Art Institute Anniversary Exhibit), Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

1994   Introductions, Morphos Gallery, San Francisco, California

1993   Travis Somerville, Mace, San Francisco, California

1992   Travis Somerville, Mace, San Francisco, California

1991   Travis Somerville, Mace, San Francisco, California

           Travis Somerville, Show N Tell, San Francisco, California

1990   Travis Somerville, Mace, San Francisco, California

1989   Travis Somerville, 1078 Gallery, Chico, California

           Travis Somerville, Show N Tell, San Francisco, California

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBTIONS

2013    Pulp3, Beta Pictoris Gallery, Birmingham, AL  

           White Boys, Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania. Curated by Hank Willis Thomas and      Natasha Logan

2012   Newtopia: The State of Human Rights, Contemporary Arts Exhibition, Cultural Centre Mechelen, 

           Scheppers Institute, Academy of Fine Arts, Town hall, The Old Meat Market, Museum Hof of

           Busleyden, Lamot Conference and Heritage Centre, Brussels, Belgium. Curated by Katerina     Gregos

           Well-Division, On-Site Installation, Texas Contemporary 2012, Houston, Texas

           Portraiture Post Facebook, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

           2011 Reconsidering Regionalism: Images of the South 1951-2011, Jule Collins Smith Museum of   Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

2010   Art Shack, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California

           Secret Drawings, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, California

          PAPER!AWESOME!, Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, San Francisco, California

          Altered States: The Collection in Context, Gatehouse Gallery, di Rosa Reserve, Napa, California

          Collecting California, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California

2009   Lincoln: Man, Myth, and Memory, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Hartford, Connecticut

2008   Reality Check, Overtones, Los Angeles California

           The Audacity of Hope, Catherine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

2008    Portraying Lincoln, Madden Arts Center, Decatur, Illinois

2007    Civil Twilight, Electric Works, San Francisco, California

            The Diane and Sandy Besser Collection, de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San   Francisco, California(catalogue)

            A House is Not a Home, curated by Beth DeWoody, Caren Golden Fine Art, New York, New York

            smART, Moody Gallery, Houston, Texas

            Martin Luther King Jr: Life, Times, and Legacy, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford,   Connecticut

            Breaking Ground Breaking, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

2006   Strictly Graphite* with a little bit of gouache, College of Marin Art Gallery, Kentfield, California

2005   Art of Engagement, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California (catalogue)

           Worth a Thousand Words; The Book as Image, University Library Art Gallery, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park,California

            The Other Mainstream: Selections from the Collection of Mikki and Stanley Weithorn, Arizona State University Art

            Museum, Tempe, Arizona (catalogue)

            Visual Politics: The Art of Engagement, Gibson Family Gallery and Plaza Gallery, San Jose   Museum of Art, San Jose, California (catalogue)

2003   Spectrum, Access Institute, San Francisco, California

           Au Naturel, di Rosa Preserve: Art & Nature, Napa, California

           What Lies B’(N)eath, Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, Florida (catalogue)

            Sprout, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

            Cut, Copy, Paste: The Art of Contemporary Collage, de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California

            Whiteness, A Wayward Construction, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California. Exhibition traveled to University of Virginia Art Museum, Charlottesville, Virginia (catalogue)

2002   In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Exhibition traveled to Charles Wright Museum, Detroit, Michigan; The Bass Museum, Miami Beach, Florida; Frederick Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota; The Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama (catalogue)

           The Lost Frontier: SD02, Spruce Street Forum, San Diego, California

2001   10th Anniversary Exhibition, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

2000   Made in California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California (catalogue)

1999   Collector ~ Curator, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

           Spinal Epidural, Please! Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

1997   Above the Border/Below the Border, Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver, Canada (catalogue)

1996   (Small) Discards, Secession, San Francisco, California

Consumption, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California

1995   Shades, Consejo Mundila de Artistas Visuales, Mexico City, Mexico. Curated by Mark Mace

1994   Something for Everyone, Morphos Gallery, San Francisco, California

           Bibliophilia: Books by Artists, Morphos Gallery, San Francisco, California

1991   Fresh Squeezed:Forty Artists from California, Budapest Gallery, Budapest, Hungary

          The Collage of St.Catherine, Catherine G. Murphy Galleries, St. Paul, Minnesota

 

AWARDS/LECTURES/RESIDENCY

 

2012   Artist Lecture Series: Travis Somerville, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California

           Artist Lecture: Travis Somerville on Well Division, Texas Contemporary Art Fair, Houston, Texas

2011   Artadia Fellowship Residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York

           Sirius Arts Center Residency, Cork, Ireland

2010   Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York, New York

2010   Dedicated to the proposition. Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California.

           Issues and Artists. The Arts, University of California Santa Cruz Media Theater, Santa Cruz, California

2000   The Art Council Grant

           Artist in Residence, University of Houston at Clearlake, Houston, Texas

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Gregos, Katrina and Sorokina, Elena (Eds.). Newtopia: de staat van de mensenrechten (Exhibition   publication). Mechelen,Belgium, Ludion: 2012 Ed. .“Participating Artists: Travis Somerville..” Newtopia: The State of Human Rights Contemporary Art Exhibition in Mechelen and Brussels. Mechelen, Belgium,     Newtopia, 2012

Glentzer, Molly. .“Texas Contemporary Art Fair walks a fine line..” Houston Chronicle (online), October 18, 2012

< http://www.chron.com/entertainment/article/Texas-Contemporary-Art-Fair-walks-a-fine-line-3961401.php&gt;

Sussman, Matt. .“Uncomfortable Truths..” Guardian, October 12 .– 18, 2011

Reed-Davidson, Travis. .“Renewing our Dedication to the Proposition..” ROMAG (Otis College of Art and Design – Magazine), Vol 8, 2010

Scarborough, James. .“Travis Somerville at Charlie James Gallery..” Artillery, Volume 4, May/June 2010

Turner, Cherie Louise. .“Travis Somerville..” Visual Art Source, 2010

Stallings, Tyler. .“Collecting California Selections from Laguna Art Museum..” 2010

Linton, Meg, Mickalene Thomas. Travis Somerville, Dedicated to the proposition…2010

Melrod, Gerorge, Christian L. Frock, Universities Galleries..” Art Ltd, January 2010

Buckley, Annie. .“Artforum.com: Critics.’ Picks..” Artforum (online), October 27, 2009 <www.artforum.com>

Burgard, Timothy Anglin, Karin Breuer, and Jill D.’Alessandro. .“Keeping Up with Traditions, Contemporary Drawings in the Besser Collection..” The Diane and Sandy Besser Collection: A Gift to the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, 2007

Bisbort, Alan. .“Honesty at Last The Wadsworth Amistad Center Gets Maniacal About Lincoln..” Hartford Advocate, April 8, 2009

Young, Paul. “Home of the Brave.” Art Ltd, November 2008

Ed. “Art Day Part II.” http://www.napanest.typepad.com (online), July 2, 2008 <http://napanest.typepad.com/flourish/&gt;

Wolff, Rachel. .“Artist Travis Somerville has the World.’s Creepiest Basement..” http://www.nymag.com, January 10, 2008 < http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2008/01/10/&gt;

Eastman, Dale. “A collector’s guide to the exploding art market.” San Francisco Magazine, January 2008.

SND. .“Travis Somerville, Clayton Murdach at Overtones..” http://www.uber.com, December 8, 2007 <http://uber.com/snd&gt;

Tibbits, Ashley. .“Clayton Murdach and Travis Somerville: The Great American Let Down..” Flavorpill Los Angeles (online), November 3, 2007 <http://flavorpill.com/losangeles/events/2007/11/3/the-great-american-let-down-works-by-claytonmurdach-and-travis-somerville&gt;

Burgard, Timothy Anglin, Karin Breuer and Jill D.’Alessandro. The Diane and Sandy Besser Collection. San Francisco, California. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco: 2007

Feinstein, Lea. .“Grand Opening..” SF Weekly, June 13, 2007

Frock, Christian. Breaking Ground Breaking. San Francisco, California. Catharine Clark Gallery: 2007

Stuart, Reginald. .“The Ongoing Struggle to Finance Black History..” The Crisis, January/February 2007

Smith, Brianna. .“Cultural Stimuli in SF..” Flavor Pill (online), May 30 .– June 5, 2006

<http://sf.flavorpill.net/current_mailer.jsp#cracker&gt;

Singer, Matthew. .“Question Authority..” Ventura County Reporter, February 2006

Featured Artist. San Jose Museum of Art Brochure. January 2006

von Busack, Richard. .“No Blood for Oils..” Silicon Valley Metro, November 23 .– 29, 2005

Selz, Peter. Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond. Berkeley, California. University of California, Berkeley Press. San Jose Museum of Art, October 2005

Moore, Deborah. .“Southern Hospitality..” Montgomery Advertiser (online), November 2, 2004

<http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/NEWS/StoryLifestylecopydeborah05.htm&gt;

Campbell, Rob. .“A Year in Review..” Santa Barbara Magazine, September 2004

.“Urban Life: Best Cultural Happenings..” San Francisco Magazine, July 2004

Bing, Alison. .“Hitting Home: The Work of Travis Somerville and Jessamyn Lovell..” Kitchen Sink, June 2004

Selz, Peter. .“Reviews: Travis Somerville at Catharine Clark..” Art in America, March 2004

Woodard, Josef. .“No Holds Barred with this Exhibit..” The Los Angeles Times, February 5, 2004

Campbell, Rob. .“Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah: Travis Somerville Rips Apart Racism while Whistling Dixie..” Ventura Country Reporter, January 29, 2004

Laramendy, Nathan. .“More Songs of the South..” Voice, January 19, 2004

Phelps, Jesse. .“More Songs of the South: Socio-historical with Bite..” Ojai Valley News, January 7, 2004

Takhar, Amrieka, .“Whiteness, A Wayward Construction..” Stretcher (online), January 3, 2004

<http://www.stretcher.org/reviews/rev6.php&gt;

Spalding, David. .“Outside the Lines: Conversations with John Bankston and Travis Somerville..” Artweek, November 2003

Campbell, Clayton. .“The Last White Art Show..” FlashArt, October/November 2003.“