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First Impressions: Early Prints by Roy De Forest




Exhibition Type:

How many artists: 
Friday, 12 November 2021 to Friday, 7 January 2022

First Impressions offers a remarkable look at Roy De Forest’s early explorations in printmaking. Throughout his career as a prolific painter of worlds full of wonder and exploration, De Forest (1930-2007) was drawn to the process of lithography as a graphic representation of his ideas. This exhibit highlights his explorations with Abstract Expressionism, which began with his studies at the California School of Fine Arts. Studying with painters such as Hassel Smith, Edward Corbett, David Park, and Elmer Bischoff, De Forest created a small body of unique prints in which energetic lines and organic shapes merge. De Forest progressed in his career quickly from abstraction to a more narrative style, which he endowed with a plethora of human and animal characters, as seen by a grouping of prints from 1965-1994. 


Exhibit Dates: November 12, 2021- January 7, 2022

Opening Reception: November 12, 6-9 PM

Special hours:

11/24: 11:30am-3pm

11/25: Closed

12/24: 11:30am-3pm

12/25: Closed

12/31: Closed

1/1: Closed


The following events are in conjunction with this exhibit:


Printmaking Lecture with Graham McDougal 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 7-8 PM (Free, suggested donation $10)

Graham McDougal, Assistant Professor of Art at UC Davis, dives into Roy De Forest’s early lithographs in an in-person lecture at the Pence. Looking at De Forest’s work on display, he explores the artist’s process and the broader context of printmaking in California in the 1950s. 


Gallery Walk-through

Sunday, December 12, 2-3 PM (Free, suggested donation $10)

Curator Natalie Nelson discusses Roy De Forest’s early prints, developed during his student years into his mature work as a printmaker while teaching art as a professor at UC Davis.  


Please RSVP by calling 530-758-3370 or email for either program. 



Image credit: Roy De Forest, Untitled (Red with Purple), 1952, lithograph, gift of an anonymous donor, © 2021 Estate of Roy De Forest / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.


Exhibit Sponsors: Sponsored by Tom Doyle & Kathy Joseph, Bill & Nancy Roe, MAK Design + Build, Brian Gross Fine Art, Inc., Chris & Dana Daubert, Phil & Dawn Daro, Margaret Johns, Frances Leung & Don Yee, Helen Richardson, JoAnn Fowler, Marnelle Gleason & Lou Fox, and Rosemary & George Tchobanoglous.

Venue ( Address ): 

212 D Street, Davis, CA 95616

Pence Gallery , Davis

Other events from Pence Gallery

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Healing Arts Workshop
02/10/2023 to 03/17/2023
Figurative Exposé: Art from the California Art Club
02/10/2023 to 04/02/2023



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