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An Exhibition of Color Theory, Book Anniversary and Japanese Cinema

This week, three new things are coming to the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA).

Wednesday June 18th brings the exhibition Color Shift. This draws from the inspiration of Josef Albers (1888-1976), one of the most influential artist-educators of the twentieth century. The featured artworks are early twentieth century works, that each explores color relationships within abstract compositions. Primarily drawn from BAM/PFA’s collection, they feature an array of medias, styles and techniques, including the Expressionist paintings of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, the geometric patterning of Josef Albers, Jennifer Bartlett and Xylor Jane, carefully crafted ceramics of Ron Nagle, and Ruth Laskey’s intricately woven textiles. A sample of this exhibition can be seen on BAM/PFA’s website at, showing Rothko’s Number 207 (Red over Dark Blue on Dark Gray). Color Shift is on view until August 24th.

Also this Wednesday, BAM/PFA will have a special screening of the restored version of the 1940 film Grapes of Wrath, as part of the 75th anniversary of the John Steinbeck novel. Written during the Great Depression, the movie tells the story of the Joad family, who makes the migration from Oklahoma to California, and witness hardships from others farming communities, including droughts and exploitations from the hands of industry. Stars in the film include Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, and John Carradine. The screening begins at 7pm.

In addition to the screening, there will also be an introduction from Susan Shillinglaw, the director of the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University. She will also be a part of an “In Conversation” period that will include Gray Brechin, project scholar for the Living New Deal Project, and Harvey Smith, president of the National New Deal Preservation Association.

Finally on June 19th, there will be the film series Kenji Mizoguchi: A Cinema of Totality. Co-presented by the Japan Foundation, and drawn from BAM/PFA’s archival collection, it is a feature of films that ranges from samurai tales to contemporary melodramas, all of which presenting the world of Japan. Films in this series include 1936’s Sisters of the Gion (considered to be Mizoguchi’s signature film), Osaka Elegy (1936), and Street of Shame (1956). The film series runs from June 19th to August 29th.

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