At the age of thirty-eight, David Park (1911–1960) abandoned a carload of his abstract expressionist canvases at the city dump and started painting “pictures” — a radical decision that led to the development of Bay Area Figurative Art. Organized by SFMOMA, this exhibition comprises 127 paintings and works on paper.
It is the first major museum exhibition of Park’s work in three decades and the first to examine the full arc of his career, from his tightly controlled paintings from the 1930s to his final works on paper from 1960. The heart of the show is a rich selection of the 1950s Bay Area Figurative canvases for which he is best known — boldly executed compositions featuring musicians, domestic and vernacular scenes, portraits, boaters, and bathers.
The works reveal an artist deeply connected to human experience and at the peak of his powers, reveling in the expressive and sensuous qualities of pure paint.