been fascinated by artists who live during incredibly polarizing times, but
somehow still seem to go their own way. Elmer Bischoff--ever heard of this oil
painting artist? He stands out as an artist in the aftermath of World War II
when abstract expressionism was on the rise. He found his way back to
figuration, creating works that are quiet, lovely, and surprisingly sumptuous with
their color and paint treatment.
|Orange Sweater by Elmer Bischoff, 1955, oil on canvas, 48 1/2 x 57.
As part of
the Bay Area figurative art movement, Bischoff took on elements of abstraction
but found he was drawn to the figure in his oil painting art as well. A couple
of my favorite Bischoff oil painting works are Orange Sweater and Red Cliffs.
Looking at them side by side I see why I'm equally drawn to them. Both have
colors that are somewhat muted but are also subtle and complex. In Orange Sweater, the light shining
through the blinds in the background of the work is so beautiful--a mauve-grey
with a gorgeous golden tinge.
drawn to how figures are situated in the landscape of Bischoff's works. They
are almost hidden in plain sight. That's how unassuming and well-placed they
are. There's a perfect balance between figure and interior or landscape, and
that is pretty rare. Usually artists tend to emphasize one or the other. The
results are so sensitive and peaceful, a testament to the diverse and complex history
of American painting!
| Red Cliffs by Elmer Bischoff, 1963, oil on canvas, 78 x 103.
In the upcoming July/August issue of American Artist, there's an in-depth article on Bischoff that puts
his career and contributions in context. With a subscription to American Artist, this will be the first
issue you receive. After you give it a read let me know
what you think about Bischoff, his work, and any of the other featured artists
in the magazine. There are certain to be several that catch your interest.
Enjoy your subscription!