Elmer Bischoff

Among the Bay Area figurative painters, the impassioned works of Elmer Bischoff serve as a perfect counterpoint to the cool abstractions of Richard Diebenkorn. Bischoff, a Berkeley native, returned after World War II to the area to paint, to teach and to become one of the most instrumental founding artists of the Bay Area figurative art movement. His work stands apart in exceptional color intensity and raw emotional force. From his early foray into Abstract Expressionism, there remains an amazingly loose and fluid gestural brushwork imparting high drama and lyricism to his works. Otherwise quiet subjects bristle and seethe with life through vigorously worked surfaces. Altogether — an intoxicating body of works, varied and captivating — Bischoff always leaves me wanting more.

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