March 28-April 25th, 2015
Opening Reception Saturday, March 28th 6pm-8pm
Artist Talk April 9th 6:30pm
Presenting a solo exhibit of Bay Area artist, Lin Fischer “Landscapes and Figures”.
Fischer’s bold brush work and rich palette are her hallmark style. The surface is deep and textured. Lin has taught all around the region and brings her love of the Bay Area Figurative movement to the canvas. She will be giving an artist talk and highlighting her process with a short film on April 9th at 6:30.
Images occur to me and I create them. Everything depends on the mood I am in when I go to paint, and what I am feeling…I trust the paint and my hand to do the job. The brain seems to have little to do with it. Afterwards I learn from what is on the canvas. —Lin Fischer
Color Catalog Available with following essay by DeWitt Cheng
With the current and recent exhibitions of work by David Park at Hackett Mill Gallery and Richard Diebenkorn at the Richmond Art Center and de Young Museum, and the opening of the Windhover Meditation Center, featuring paintings by Nathan Oliveira, Bay Area Figurative painting is back on the radar screens of San Francisco area art aficionados. It never disappeared, of course: it’s a regional style from the 1950s and 1960s that is well represented in local museums, and it was, along with its hipster counterpart, Beat art, until the advent of the graffiti- and illustration-based Mission School in the 1990s, our main local claim to art world fame. It’s a tradition that has endured even when temporarily eclipsed by fads and fashions. Mixing traditional realism’s subject of figures, landscapes and still lives with expressionist subjectivity and Abstract Expressionism’s painterly improvisation, it’s a style rooted in reality yet given wings by the imaginative creative process.
In 2004, the Richmond Art Center presented an exhibition entitled The Breakfast Group, featuring the work of East Bay artists who meet regularly to compare notes and socialize. The painter, teacher (at UC Davis) and critic Hearne Pardee wrote, in ArtCritical:
For many members, affiliation with the Breakfast Group involves allegiance to the Bay Area tradition that mixes figuration and abstraction. Terry St. John, now perhaps the senior member of the group, continues to create densely worked landscapes and figures, extending the legacy of Bischoff and Diebenkorn. His somber landscapes here suggest the depth of experience that informs his immediate response to a site. Lin Fischer goes further in her response to underlying impulses in her landscape-based abstractions…
Fischer’s allegiance to Bay Area Figuration, the prevailing style of a previous generation, dates from her studies at the University of California, Davis, with Wayne Thiebaud and Roland Petersen, both of whom worked with the traditional subject matter, combining careful drawing and ironclad compositions with heightened color that stops just short of abstraction. Abstraction was considered the sine qua non of serious artists once upon a time, when the idea of the stylistic evolution of art held sway. When Park turned from abstraction to figuration in 1950, Diebenkorn thought he had “chickened out.” When Philip Guston did so in the 1970s, abstractionist colleagues denounced him as a traitor. We should remember in addition that Picasso never did sever his ties with reality by moving into complete abstraction. These days, thankfully, we are less dogmatic and more pluralistic, tolerant (sometimes to a fault) of stylistic diversity and creative freedom.
Fischer, who lives in Berkeley, has taught and exhibited widely in the Bay Area, is well known in the art community. I was privileged to meet her several years ago at a San Francisco North Beach show curated by Anthony Torres. She was one of the artists featured in “Beauty Fierce as Stars, Groundbreaking Women Painters” at Mythos Gallery in Berkeley, one of the best shows of 2014. Recent works like Parasol (2011), Blue Stockings (2012), Reflections (2013), Earth Meets Sky 4 (2013), and Earth Meets Sky 16 (2014) are charged with feeling and drama. The energy required, as painter Nikki Basch-Davis notes, “to take a large canvas and a large brush with gobs of paint and throw it around” in invested in the painting and encoded within the paint. Her works combine subject and subjectivity, style and content; to see them is to recapitulate the seeing, thinking, feeling, and paint-throwing (when I was in school, the term in usage was ‘paint-pushing’) needed to create a world from Guston’s famous “colored mud.” —