David Park: A Retrospective

Posted: November 26, 2019

david park woman with coffeepot

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts will open David Park: A Retrospective on December 21, 2019.

Organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the show presents nearly 100 paintings and drawings that span the career of the artist known for his seminal role in the Bay Area Figurative Movement.

The KIA will be the only venue in the Midwest to host the first major exhibition in more than 30 years of work by this influential American artist. The exhibition (reviewed in The Wall Street Journal) opened earlier this year at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and will return to SFMOMA in 2020.

Park is best known for rejecting modern abstract art in the years after the Second World War, and reintroducing figurative subjects into his work--as did his contemporaries Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff.

Raised in Boston and diagnosed in childhood with profound vision loss (he eschewed corrective glasses as an adult), Park moved from Boston to Los Angeles in 1928. Having just a year of formal art education, he was encouraged by famed modernist Henri Matisse at a lunch where Matisse advised the assembled painters to talk less, paint more.

Curated by Janet Bishop, Thomas Weisel Family Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA, the exhibition illuminates the evolution of Park's colorful and energetic painting style that used paint-laden brushstrokes to explore everyday subject matter in portraits, landscapes, and interiors.

David Park: A Retrospective continues through March 15, 2020. It is sponsored in Kalamazoo by Stan and Connie Rajnak and Diane Robertson.

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