Friday, March 11, 2011

FIGURATIVE ABSTRACTION/ 'Watermoon' by Eric Whollem, 1986/ 'Notes on the West Coast School of Figurative Expressionism'/ My interactions with Elmer Bischoff, as my art instructor/ MIXED MEDIA ON PAPER

by Eric Whollem
mixed media on paper
Collection of the artist
20 7/8" x 14 7/8"

Notes on the West Coast School of Figurative Expressionism

I studied art formally at U.C. Berkeley in the late 1960's and early
1970's. The late Elmer Bischoff, now relatively well known, was my
life drawing instructor. I often would take my paintings to him for
his comments. He was a very easy going man with a good sense of
humor. He often would draw very exaggerated figurative images
to amuse his classes.

U.C. Berkeley, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the California
College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland at that time were known as
the bastions of the West Coast School of Figurative Abstraction.

The figureheads of this movement were artists such as Diebenkorn
and Hans Hoffman, David Park, and, of course, Elmer Bischoff.

Although my works over the years generally bear little ressemblance
to the established masters of this tradition, my paintings have very
often been figurative abstractions.

The work, 'Watermoon,' seen here has certain affintities to Abstract
Expressionism, but is laced with pictographic forms based upon my
studies of Native American petroglyphs.

                                 Figurative Abstractions Video.


Readers interested in reading more about the West Coast Figurative Expressionists should see:

See more about ELMER BISCHOFF here:

Figurative Expressionism Video                              

See more of my FIGURATIVE ABSTRACTIONS on this link:

See my posts on EXPRESSIONISM:


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