Manuel Neri: The Human Figure in Plaster and on Paper explores the artist’s tireless fascination with the human form, drawing from a recent gift to the Gallery of more than 150 sculptures and works on paper from The Manuel Neri Trust.

A contemporary of other notable California-based artists such as Elmer Bischoff, Joan Brown, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, and Wayne Thiebaud, Manuel Neri (b. 1930) is best known for his life-sized plaster, bronze, and marble sculptures that combine classical figuration with the dynamic mark making of Abstract Expressionism.

Gallery director Jock Reynolds, who studied under Neri and served as his teaching assistant at the University of California, Davis, curates the exhibition, paying homage to his former teacher and mentor. The selected works celebrate Neri’s studio process, which Reynolds observed firsthand, and illustrate the artist’s tendency to work and rework his sculptures in visceral explorations of form and color.