California State University, Fullerton

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G. Ray Kerciu: Radical Retrospective

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Kerciu rose to prominence in the art world in 1963 after his solo exhibition at the University of Mississippi. On exhibit was a series of paintings that depicted the Confederate flag surrounded by segregationist slogans. These were a response to the riots going on around him as the institution was attempting to desegregate. Kerciu was arrested, and charges were brought against him for allegedly violating a state law prohibiting desecration of the Confederate flag. This ushered in a brief period of intense media attention, and Kerciu was featured in publications such as Artnews, Artforum, and World Book Encyclopedia.

The following year Kerciu accepted a teaching post at what is now known as California State University, Fullerton where he taught until his retirement in 2002. Through the years his artistic explorations expanded beyond his original assignment to lead the printmaking department. He was featured as a guest artist in prestigious print houses, such as Tamarind in Los Angeles and the William Hayter Atelier in Paris. He also became interested in working with stained glass and for a time worked almost exclusively with that art form.

More than a decade after his retirement from teaching and fifty years after his whirlwind introduction into the art world, Kerciu remains committed to his art. His latest series, The Tower, is a body of work that defines three-dimensional forms through the exclusive use of line. It has evolved gradually from paintings featuring the pyramid, which later progressed into sculptural exploration of the pyramid and obelisk, and eventually into his most recent architectural towers. As in all of Kerciu’s work, this latest endeavor stems from his aim to continually artistically challenge himself. His tireless pursuit of innovation in material, form and subject can be witnessed and appreciated in this celebration of the artist’s long and diverse artistic career. This exhibition will take a comprehensive look at more than fifty works including paintings, prints, glasswork and sculpture from all phases of the artist’s development.