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Elmer Bischoff, Cortez Square, 1953

Elmer Bischoff

Cortez Square, 1953

Oil on masonite

48 x 72 inches

EBp 15

Elmer Bischoff, Figure with Tree, 1972

Elmer Bischoff

Figure with Tree, 1972

Oil on canvas

86 1/2 x 80 inches

EBp 45

Elmer Bischoff  Bay, 1971-72

Elmer Bischoff

Bay, 1971-72

Oil on canvas

80 x 92 inches

EBp 46

Elmer Bischoff  Figure, Boat, Clouds, 1971

Elmer Bischoff

Figure, Boat, Clouds, 1971

Oil on canvas

80 x 83 3/4 inches

EBp 44

Elmer Bischoff, On the Grass, 1954

Elmer Bischoff

On the Grass, 1954

Oil on canvas

72 1/2 x 55 1/2 inches

EBp 67

Installation view, Elmer Bischoff, Figurative Paintings and Drawings, Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco, CA, 2023.

Installation view, Elmer Bischoff, Figurative Paintings and Drawings, George Adams Gallery at Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco, CA, 2023.

Press Release

The George Adams Gallery will present a series of exhibitions at San Francisco’s Minnesota Street Project this fall. The New York-based gallery has a longstanding emphasis on Bay Area artists, having represented Robert Arneson, Joan Brown, Elmer Bischoff, Enrique Chagoya, Roy DeForest, Tony May, and Katherine Sherwood, among other Northern California artists for several decades. The fall series of exhibitions will take place in Room 107, the downstairs gallery of Anglim/Trimble. The gallery will be open Thursday through Saturday, 11am-5pm, and by appointment Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

During the month of September, the George Adams Gallery will present an exhibition of figurative paintings and drawings by Elmer Bischoff at Minnesota Street Project, featuring four paintings and approximately fifteen drawings spanning the 1950s into the 1970s. 

The exhibition brings together Bischoff’s paintings and drawings from the 1950s-70s, highlighting his two-decade exploration of figuration. Among the notable works on view are two early figurative paintings Cortez Square and On the Grass from 1953 and 1954 respectively, as well as two large-scale figurative canvases, Figure, Boat, Clouds and Bay from 1972 his final year working figuratively before returning to abstraction. Among the works on paper are studies for “On the Grass” and other paintings from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as a series of drawings from the early 1970s when he was part of a group of artists including Joan Brown, Gordon Cook, and Manuel Neri, who met regularly in Berkeley to work together from a live model. This series of drawings all feature the seminal group of artists who met each week. 

Elmer Bischoff was born in Berkeley in 1916. He taught at the California School of Fine Arts (later SFAI) and UC Berkeley until shortly before his death. He is perhaps best known as a founder, along with Richard Diebenkorn and David Park, of Bay Area Figuration, the painting style that emerged in San Francisco in the early 1950s. He has been the subject of multiple retrospective exhibitions, two organized by the Oakland Museum, California in 1975 and 2001, and one organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1985. Bischoff’s work is included in the collections of the SFMOMA and DeYoung in San Francisco; the Whitney, MoMA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC; and the MFA, Houston, among others. The George Adams Gallery has represented the artist’s Estate since 2008.

“Elmer Bischoff: Figurative Paintings and Drawings” will be on view in room 107 at MSP from August 31 through September 26.