Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bay Area Figurative Movement

Greetings telecrafters! My name is Megan Watkins I am the owner of The Waste Papers (formerly The Waste Paper Basket). Some time ago, Katie asked me about doing a guest post on the San Fransisco Bay Area Figurative Movement for the Telecraft. Things have been insanely busy for me the past month, but after a final paper, getting through the Christmas holidays, and drinking some serious cups of coffee I am finally able to come through on the post.

The Bay Area Figurative Movement was the east coast's answer to the New York school of abstract expressionists. While the country's most influential art capital was engrossed in the non representational drips of Jackson Pollock, these artists returned to painting the figure in an attempt to show something that was more of an extension of their lives. Human life was something that the Bay Area Figure Painters were masters of. One of the reasons I gravitate to these artist is that they were also real people. They were not on the pedestals of the art world. They were family men, World War II veterans, and college professors.

David Park

David Park was one of the first members of The California School of Art to move from producing "apocalyptic wallpaper" to creating images of the human form. This dramatic move inspired others of the first figurative generation such as Elmer Bischoff and Richard Diebenkorn. The movement continued on for two consecutive generations, each group of artists approaching the form of the figure in their own personal interpretation. Contemporary California based artists Ursula O'Farrell and Kim Frohsin are also stunning examples of the powerful influence Park's return to the figure.

Park: First Generation

Richard Diebenkorn

Elmer Bischoff
Bridge Generation: Theophilus Brown
Nathan Oliveira
Second Generation: Bruce McGaw
Joan Brown

Contemporary: Ursula O'Ferrell
Kim Frohsin

For more on the art of Ursula O'Farrell or Kim Frohsin please visit their websites:
Ursula O'Farrell Fine Art & Kim Frohsin

Frohsin's work is also currently displayed in Atlanta at Pryor Fine Art (previously the Bennett Street Gallery) located at 764 Miami Circle, Atlanta, Ga 30324

"Maybe the given person, cup, or landscape is lost before one gets to painting. A figure exerts a continuing and unspecified influence on a painting as the canvas develops. The represented forms are loaded with psychological feeling. It can't ever just be painting."
-Richard Diebenkorn

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