ELMER NELSON BISCHOFF
RECLINING NUDE, 1964
Pen and Ink on Paper
16½ x 13½ Inches
Signed Lower Left, "E. Bischoff"
Dated Lower Left, "'64"
Framed Dimensions: 21¾ H x 18½ W x ¾ D Inches
Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles, California
Hackett Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, California
A key figure in the California Bay Area abstract and figurative movement following World War II, Elmer Bischoff graduated in 1939 from the University of California. As an art student there, he had been strongly influenced by Margaret Peterson, and spent about ten years painting in the style of Picasso.
After graduation, he was a ceramics and jewelry teacher at a high school in Sacramento and then served three years in the Army Air Force in London during World War II. In 1946, he became a part of the faculty of the California School of Fine Art but resigned in 1952 when his friend Hassel Smith was dropped from the faculty. At about this same time, influenced by his association with David Park, he made the transition from pure abstraction to figurative painting although his work was softer with much more impressionism than Park's. To earn money, Bischoff drove a truck for Railway Express and sketched during his lunch hour.
From 1953 to 1956, he was an art instructor at Yuba College at Maryville before his 1956 watershed one-man exhibition at the California School of Fine Arts which gained him widespread recognition. From that time, he chaired the CSFA graduate school and became one of their most influential teachers. In 1963, he joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley.
In the 1970s, he changed from oil to acrylic paint and moved from figurative abstraction to energetic works that hearkened back to the Abstract Expressionism he had given up earlier.
This work is accompanied by a First edition volume of 'Elmer Bischoff: The Ethics of Paint' by Susan Landauer & Bill Berkson, University of California Press, 2001.
Thomas Albright, Art in the San Francisco Bay Area; et al.
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