California State University, Fullerton

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G. Ray Kerciu: Radical Retrospective

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G. Ray Kerciu
God Bless Mommy, Daddy, and the John Birch Society, 1964
30 x 22-3/8"
Image courtesy of the Norton Simon Museum


G. Ray Kerciu rose to prominence in the art world in 1963 after a solo exhibition at the University of Mississippi. On exhibit was a series of paintings that depicted the Confederate flag surrounded by segregationist slogans that were being echoed around him. These works were a response to the unrest that ensued as the institution attempted to desegregate. Kerciu was arrested and charged with desecration of the Confederate flag. This ushered in a brief period of intense media attention, and Kerciu was featured in publications such as Artnews and Time Magazine.

The following year Kerciu was to head the printmaking department at what is now California State University, Fullerton where he taught until his retirement in 2002. During that time he was featured as a guest artist in prestigious print houses such as Tamarind in Los Angeles and the Stanley William Hayter Atelier 17 in Paris. He later became interested in working with stained glass and for a time worked almost exclusively with that art form.

More than 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 from paintings featuring the pyramid, which later progressed into sculptural exploration of the pyramid and obelisk, and eventually into his most recent architectural towers. This latest endeavor stems from Kerciu’s aim to continually artistically challenge himself. His tireless pursuit of innovation in material, from and subject can be witnessed in this celebration of the artist’s long and diverse artistic career. The exhibition will feature more than fifty works including paintings, prints, glasswork and sculpture from all phases of the artist’s development.

The Begovich Gallery will produce a publication to accompany this exhibition.