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Arthur Monroe: A Tow to Carry

May 11 - September 8

This retrospective of the late Oakland-based artist Arthur Monroe draws from a five-decade span from 1960 to 2011. Monroe’s works reflect his travels within several of the major cultural movements of the mid-century—the New York School of Abstract Expressionism; the literary scene of New York’s East Village; and the modern Jazz and Beat circle in New York and the Bay Area. In 1990 Monroe stated: “As a Black artist . . . I might have a tow to carry. I’m prepared to do that.”

Monroe’s colorful, spirited canvases are charged with the energy of the cultural crossroads that the artist was part of—his friendship with Charlie Parker, mentorship with the renowned artist Hans Hofmann, a studio facing that of Willem de Kooning’s, and evenings at the infamous Cedar Tavern with other artists, including Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock. As art critic, Jan Avvgikos, wrote in Artforum, “We need this art and this history. Now.”



May 11
September 8
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Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
551 Broadway
Sonoma, CA 95476 United States
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Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
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