Bay Area Beaux Arts

25 Mar — 11 May 2017 at the Art Ventures Gallery in Menlo Park, United States

Bay Area Beaux Arts. Courtesy of Art Ventures Gallery
Bay Area Beaux Arts. Courtesy of Art Ventures Gallery
23 MAR 2017

Galerie Beux Arts was the first full-fledged private gallery in San Francisco devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1925 by Beatrice Judd Ryan, it gave a platform to bay area progressive artists who had found refuge San Francisco´s Bohemian Club.

Artists from Europe exhibited early on in SF, at the Legion of Honor with the inaugural exposition of French art. Artists in the Bay Area struggled to gain respect and on how to escape bourgeois censorship. They also had to ask themselves how to reconcile modernism presented by movements on the East Coast and Europe.

From the 1940 to 1960s the San Francisco Bay Area was the center for a group of Abstract Expressionists who stayed independent from the NY painters, and who boldly distant themselves from the worldwide developments.

During that time, artists in the Bay Area did not want to detonate a time bomb for a worldwide cultural revolution when they restarted to paint the human form. They simply wanted “good paintings”. It was a style, which quickly became understood, because the images were recognizable. The bold methods of handling paint, which are a mark of Abstract Expressionism, applied to shapes, which come from either real or imagined scenes. The Bay Area Figurative Art Movement was born.

James Weeks and Paul Wonner are the lesser known colleagues of David Park, and Richard Diebenkorn. Weekly drawing sessions in Berkeley brought them together, and inspired their art.