During the month of September, the George Adams Gallery will present an exhibition of figurative paintings and drawings by Elmer Bischoff at Minnesota Street Project, featuring four paintings and approximately fifteen drawings spanning the 1950s into the 1970s.
The George Adams Gallery will also present a series of exhibitions at San Francisco’s Minnesota Street Project this fall.
The New York-based gallery has a longstanding emphasis on Bay Area artists, having represented Robert Arneson, Joan Brown, Elmer Bischoff, Enrique Chagoya, Roy DeForest, Tony May, and Katherine Sherwood, among other Northern California artists for several decades. The fall series of exhibitions will take place in Room 107, the downstairs gallery of Anglim/Trimble. The gallery will be open Thursday through Saturday, 11am-5pm, and by appointment Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The exhibition brings together Bischoff’s paintings and drawings from the 1950s-70s, highlighting his two-decade exploration of figuration. Among the notable works on view are two early figurative paintings “Cortez Square” and “On the Grass” from 1953 and 1954 respectively, as well as two large-scale figurative canvases, “Figure, Boat, Clouds” and “Bay” from 1972 his final year working figuratively before returning to abstraction. Among the works on paper are studies for “On the Grass” and other paintings from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as a series of drawings from the early 1970s when he was part of a group of artists including Joan Brown, Gordon Cook, and Manuel Neri, who met regularly in Berkeley to work together from a live model. This series of drawings all feature the seminal group of artists who met each week.
Elmer Bischoff was born in Berkeley in 1916. He taught at the California School of Fine Arts (later SFAI) and UC Berkeley until shortly before his death. He is perhaps best known as a founder, along with Richard Diebenkorn and David Park, of Bay Area Figuration, the painting style that emerged in San Francisco in the early 1950s. He has been the subject of multiple retrospective exhibitions, two organized by the Oakland Museum, California in 1975 and 2001, and one organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1985. Bischoff’s work is included in the collections of the SFMOMA and DeYoung in San Francisco; the Whitney, MoMA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC; and the MFA, Houston, among others. The George Adams Gallery has represented the artist’s Estate since 2008.
“Elmer Bischoff: Figurative Paintings and Drawings, 1953-1972” will be on view in room 107 at MSP from August 31 through September 26.