Art professor and critic John Seed assembled this large group show with Santa Clara University art professor Kelly Detweiler. Below, the show/s premise, a celebration of the Bay Area Figurative painter David Park, whose commitment to self-expression through painting and depicting the everyday world —magically— make him an exemplary figure for painters today. Park’s daughter, Helen Park Bigelow, was on hand for the panel discussion, which included Seed, Detweiler, painter Jennifer Pochinski, and myself (summoned from taking pictures from the balcony). A graceful tribute to Park by painter Kyle Staver, who could not attend, began the discussion. Thirty-seven national and international artists’ work, a glorious new venue (with a new Linda Fleming painted steel sculpture outside and a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture inside), a comprehensive catalog (available online), support from the Sam Francis Foundation and Harry and Margaret Anderson, three cash prizes, and an enthusiastic reception — congratulations to all!
Jennifer Pochinski and Kyle Staver (both invited);
Ashley Norwood Cooper
Irene Cuadrado Hernandez
Sue Ellen R. Leys
Jose Luis Cena Ruiz
Christina Renfer Vogel
This exhibition is intended to pay homage to the art and values of artist David Park (1911-1960), the founder of the tradition of Bay Area Figurative painting. It does not include Park’s own works, but instead features the works of two invited artists and 35 artists chosen by a panel of four jurors.
David Park’s figurative works are characterized by humanity, candor and bold painterly brushwork. The goal of the exhibition jurors was not to select art that mimics David Park’s style, but rather to select paintings that honor the legacy of Park’s artistic independence and integrity, and also his interest in painting people and places that held personal meanings for him.
—John Seed is a professor of art and art history at Mt. San Jacinto College. He is also an arts writer and blogger whose writing has ap- peared in Harvard Magazine, Art Ltd. the HuffingtonPost and Hyperallergic. Seed wrote the catalog essay that accompanied the 2015 exhibition Interiors and Places': David Park, Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff at Hackett Mill Gallery in San Francisco.
—DeWitt Cheng is an artist, collector, freelance art writer, educator, and curator based in San Francisco. He has served as the director of Stanford Art Spaces and writes for numerous art publications including Art Ltd Magazine and Visual Art Source.
—Andrea Pappas is an Associate Professor of Art History at Santa Clara University, specializing in American and Contemporary Art, Gender and Visual Arts. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University of California at Berkeley, and both an M.A. and PhD in Art History from the University of Southern California.
—Jessica Phillips is the Director of Hackett|Mill Gallery, San Francisco, which represents the Estate of David Park. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and Art History and an M.A. in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London.