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July 10, 2012
UC Davis art show revives Slant Step phenomena


A new generation of works inspired by the time-honored Slant Step phenomena is on tap at the Nelson Gallery's fourth Flatlanders exhibition at UC Davis.

This year's show - Flatlanders on the Slant - opens July 12, and comprises almost 50 works inspired by the Slant Step, the seemingly useless object linked to renowned UC Davis artists William T. Wiley and Bruce Nauman.

The original slant step (pictured right) will be on display, too.

Covered in green linoleum, the step was an unassuming and unloved object when Wiley rescued it for 50 cents from a Marin County salvage shop in 1965. Soon after the step ended up at Nauman's studio at UC Davis, where he was a grad student at the time.

He used it mainly as a footrest, but also for inspiration.

In the years since the step has changed hands many times, and has made way to different points around the country. On the way it has earned a whimsical mythical status.

The current Flatlanders exhibit owes its origin to Nelson Gallery director Renny Pritikin, who curated the first Flatlanders show in 2006, showcasing the arts scene of the Sacramento-Davis flatlands. He followed up with new shows in 2008 and 2010.

This year Joy Bertinuson, adjunct faculty member at American River and Sierra colleges, curates.

Flatlanders On the Slant
WHERE: Richard Nelson Gallery, UC Davis
WHEN: Opening is at 5:30 p.m. July 12 (show runs through August 17)
INFORMATION: (530) 752-8500;

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