Concept

David Park (painter)

Summary
David Park (March 17, 1911 – September 20, 1960) was an American painter and a pioneer of the Bay Area Figurative Movement in painting during the 1950s. David Park was born in Boston, the son of Mary Turner and Charles Edward Park. His father was a Unitarian minister. He attended the Loomis Chaffee school in Windsor Connecticut and was recognized for his early talent by the sculptor Evelyn Longman Batchelder, the headmaster's wife. He moved to Los Angeles at the age of 17, staying with his aunt Edith Park Truesdell who was an artist, so he could study at Otis Art Institute in 1928. A year later, he moved to Berkeley where he married Lydia Newell in 1930 and with whom he had two daughters, Natalie and Helen. His first solo show was in 1933 at the Oakland Art Gallery. In 1943, he began teaching at California School of Fine Arts (CSFA), now known as San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). During the economic depression, Park returned to Boston to teach art at the Winsor School for girls. David Park was one of the post-World War II alumni of the San Francisco Art Institute which was called the California School of Fine Arts (CSFA) at the time. He revived an interest in figurative art, at first experimenting with still-abstracted forms that relied on color for their impact, dynamics and warmth. Park, along with Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff, broke away from the philosophy of painting promoted by Clyfford Still, who taught at the Institute, forming what would later be called the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Their influence may be seen in the work of later Bay Area Figurative School artists such as Paul John Wonner, Nathan Oliveira, Manuel Neri, Henry Villierme, Henrietta Berk and Joan Brown. Although these painters started out painting in what was called an objective style, deploying abstract shapes in large space, they soon migrated to using the physical world and representative subjects to experiment with shape, color, texture and temperature in their painting.
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