Bay Area Figurative Art, 1950-1965
Caroline A. Jones, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, San Francisco Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
University of California Press, 1990 - Art - 231 pages
During the 1950s a few painters in the San Francisco Bay Area began to stage personal, dramatic defections from the prevailing style of Abstract Expressionism, creating what would come to be known as Bay Area Figurative Art. In 1949 David Park destroyed many of his nonobjective canvases and began a new style of consciously naive figuration. Soon Elmer Bischoff and Richard Diebenkorn joined Park and other painters such as Nathan Oliveira, Theophilus Brown, James Weeks, and Paul Wonner in the move away from abstraction and toward figurative subject matter. When artists such as Bruce McGaw, Manuel Neri, and Joan Brown emerged as a second generation of figurative artists, the momentum grew for a powerful new development in American painting.
The achievement of Bay Area Figurative painters and sculptors has become directly relevant to current debates regarding abstraction and representation, as well as to discourses on modernism and postmodernism. Indeed, the historical phenomenon of the movement is an important case study in the evolution of modernism in America, serving as an early example of rupture in the formalist "mainstream."
Bay Area Figurative Art 1950-1965 was written to accompany an exhibition of the same name at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Based on extensive archival research and interviews, it is the first study of the movement as a whole and is the broadest and most accurate account of the careers and interactions of ten Bay Area artists who worked in this new style.
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Chapter One i
Chronology by Janet C Bishop
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Abstract Expressionism Abstract Expressionist Alan Gallery American Art Angeles Annual Painting April Area Figurative art Area Figurative Painting Art Gallery Bay Area Figurative Ben Blackwell benkorn Bruce McGaw California Palace California School Catalogue cisco color Contemporary American Painting CSFA David Park December Elmer Bischoff February Figurative art Figurative Painting frame Francisco Art Association Francisco Art Institute Gouache Hassel Smith Hirshhorn Museum Interior interview with Karlstrom James Weeks January Joan Brown Kooning landscape Legion of Honor MacAgy Manuel Neri March Modern Art Museum and Sculpture Museum of Art Museum of Modern Nathan Oliveira Neri's non-objective Nude Oakland Art Museum Oakland Museum Oil and Sculpture Oil on canvas painters Painting and Sculpture Park's Paul Mills Paul Wonner Richard Diebenkorn Richmond Art Center San Fran San Francisco Art San Francisco Museum San Francisco School Sculpture Exhibition seum Smithsonian Institution Still's studio Theophilus Brown tion Untitled Watercolor York School