The Skull Show

Jun 12 - Aug 31, 2014


The Skull Show

June 12 – August 31, 2014

 Bedford Gallery presents The Skull Show, an exhibition featuring nearly 100 artists who have all created work depicting the human skull. This show contains both historic and contemporary pieces from local, national, and international artists.

The Skull Show is an exploration of the role that skulls have played throughout history, used for centuries as a powerful symbol representing life and death, and often seen in art as memento mori, religious icons, and in vanitas themes. This exhibition highlights the skull as an iconic image in the contemporary arts, by examining its prominent place in counter cultures such as skate, surf, tattoo, and urban graffiti projects.

Bedford Curator Carrie Lederer says the show is a reminder of a compelling truth, “The skull is a global human portrait. And, as different as we all are, skulls are something we have in common.”

This exhibition received a generous grant from the Fleishhacker Foundation.


  • Josh Harker builds a larger than life skull in the gallery: Chicago artist Josh Harker will install an 8 foot skull sculpture at the Bedford, featuring video projections that animate the skull. Harker describes the piece as “a testament to the human experience, wherein physical and spiritual states meet on a perpetual crossroads to briefly exist as one.”  Several of Harker’s smaller works will also be on display.


  • Historic skull art by internationally renowned artists: The Skull Show will include work by Robert Arneson (1930-1992), a pioneer of the Bay Area Funk movement, Beth Van Hoesen (1926-2010), a major figure in 20th century print making, and a rare photograph by Gordon Parks (1912-2006), a photojournalist best known for his work with Life magazine.


Helen Altman, Chuck Anderson, Robert Arneson, Donald Baechler, Shawn Barber, Andres Basurto, Shaun Beaudry, Tony Bevilacqua, Tim Biskup, Jamey Brzezinksi, Rachel Caldwell, Enrique Chagoya, Lisette Chavez, Bill Claps, Kim Cogan, Melissa Cooke, Ben Cuevas, Fred Dalkey, Boo Davis, Merek Davis, Marc D'Estout, Brian Dettmer, Lorenzo M. Durán, Fred Einaudi, Esque Studio, David H. Everett, Jeremy Fish, Jeremy Fisher, Coco Fronsac, Jiri Geller, Mike Giant, Magnus Gjoen, Grady Gordon, Scott Greenwalt, Quinn Gregory, Andres Guerrero, Ali Gulec, Dana Harel, Joshua Harker, Molly Hatch, Stephanie Henderson, Ester Hernandez, Pete Hickok, Stephanie Hirsch, Evan Hobart, James Hopkins, Iggy & Lou Lou, Beto Janz, Paul Johns, Angie Jones, Erik Jones, Jules Julien, Vance Kelly, Joji Kojima, Chase Kunz, Markus Linnenbrink, Gabriel Londis, Brian Luong, Robert Mars, Karl McDade, Frodo Mikkelsen, Ryan Milner, Portia Munson, Gordon Parks , Francesca Pastine, Chris Peters, Beverly Rayner, Jim Riswold, Matt Ritchie, Phil Roberts, Laurel Roth, Anthony Santella, Gerrel Saunders, Noah Scalin, Bryan Schnelle, Lucien Shapiro, Richard Shaw, Maureen Shields, Jim Skull, Laurel Skye, Mike Peter Smith, Hunter Stabler, Andy Stattmiller, Clayton Thiel, Jeral Tidwell, Winnie Truong, Derik Van Beers, Beth Van Hoesen, Ben Venom, Jake Watling, Todd Ryan White