"My childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery, and it has never lost its drama. All my work in the past 50 years, all my subjects, have found their inspiration in my childhood."
The Bay Area Artists sprung up during a time when the art scene in New York City was on the rise and the Abstract Expressionist style was being embraced by many recognizable painters such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. These San Francisco based artists separated themselves apart from the east coast by joining forces and manipulating the idea of Abstract Expressionism with shallow pictorial space, candid brushwork, and a different figurative style.
Leader of the pack, David Park, christened the Bay Area Figurative Art movement in a 1951 exhibit with his painting, "Kids on Bikes", which was awarded a prize and admired for it’s exaggerated texture and success in capturing the child’s apathetic expression. Later in his career, Park was recognized for his portraits of anonymous figures, as seen above in his painting, Woman with Red Mouth. Following in Parks footsteps was Elmer Bischoff, the next artist to place great emphasis on gestural brushstrokes and contrasts of dark and light in his rendering of the figure. Bischoff commented on his work, that he “wanted to create a world and to create people in that world who are more timeless”.
As you may have already detected, I am a huge fan of the Bay Area artists, specifically of Bischoff’s work.His paintings are vividly expressive with a dominating cool vs. warm color palette and thick clusters of brushstrokes. Bischoff, like the other artists of this movement wanted to keep landscapes and figures referential but distinctly expressive and unproven with the suggestion of movement, color and space.
Tune in next time, for another Bay Area Art blog on the rendering of landscapes.
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Last time, I talked about how to increase your Artomatic presence based on the things I've learned in four previous participations. Consider that the easy part. Two weeks have passed since I wrote that post and in that time, I have chosen my space, and tossed around ideas, and, well, that's pretty much all I've done.
It just so happened that my site selection time coinsided with that of a friend, photographer Julie Wolsztynski, and we were able to find a room for the two of us to share. Due to our schedules last week, we were both unable to begin working on our space until over the weekend. Imagine my surprise when I went to the building on Sunday to fill holes in the wall to find as many completely finished exhibits as there are. With only ten available days left to have our room exhibit-ready, to realize that others have already completed theirs is slightly overwhelming.
I guess my point is that everyone works at their own pace and sense of urgency, and some just have more time than others. Last night I spend several hours resizing my photos for printing, although I still need to narrow the list down to a reasonable number, and we picked out a paint color, which we will start to put on the walls tonight. It helps to be completing this with a partner since the work is shared - this is valuable advice, so if you work well with others, consider partnering up with a friend in the future (I seem to do it each year, except for that first one). Even if the space isn't shared, having someone in the same mindset to bounce ideas off will help you both, and perhaps some of the work, like printing labels, framing, cutting mats, or painting, can be shared.
Anyway, my spot is on the 9th floor so I hope you come by to visit once the show opens. Where is your space? How do you prepare? Are you already finished? (-Would you like to paint my room? just kidding, but not really...)