In celebration of its 80th anniversary, the Richmond Art Center is presenting two exhibitions that trace the development and evolution of the figurative movement in Bay Area art. David Park: Personal Perspectives consists of 35 works on paper in various media executed from the 1920s through 1960, the last year of the artist’s life. The exhibition is drawn from Park’s estate and private collections, and some of the pieces are exhibited to the public for the first time. Park was instrumental in the development of the Bay Area Figurative movement, now considered the area’s key contribution to 20th Century American art. The show was organized by the RAC’s Director of Exhibitions and Curator of Art, Jan Wurm, who noted in an interview with Oakland Magazine that the exhibition “will look historically at the absolute individual vision that he had—his commitment to the figure and humanism—and how that inspired and changed a whole direction of Bay Area art from Bay Area Figuration into the next generation of painting, sculpture, photography, video, and performance, right up through to the present.”
A companion exhibition, The Human Spirit: Contemporary Figuration as an Expression of Humanism, explores Park’s legacy of presenting the human figure as vehicle in paintings, sculpture, photography, video and performance by over 20 contemporary Bay Area artists including Elmer Bischoff, Joan Brown, Enrique Chagoya, Kota Ezawa, Viola Frey, Richard Misrach and Lava Thomas.
Photography is not permitted in either of the galleries; however a beautifully illustrated catalog of the David Park exhibition with an essay by Jan Wurm is available for purchase at the RAC.
The Richmond Art Center, founded in 1936 and located since 1951 in the Richmond’s Civic Center complex, has operated continuously for 80 years and is the East Bay’s oldest and largest art center. Tues – Sat, 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday, noon – 5 pm. 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA.
The exhibitions are on view through May 22, 2016.