Seed notes that "the show pairs the work of some early Bay Area notables -- Elmer Bischoff, Joan Brown, William 'Theophilius' Brown, Richard Diebenkorn, Nathan Oliveira and Paul Wonner -- with a selection of artists who have benefited from their examples. If there is one real lesson that Bay Area Figuration has taught American painters over time, it is that nothing should stop a painter from playing the range between painterly figuration and painterly abstraction."
Seed notes: "In the last year and half of Oliveira's life, there were wonderful developments in the studio. 'The old Nathan came back,' says Joe Oliveira, 'the guy who wanted to be in the studio every day. He couldn't wait to get back in there; something new and beautiful was happening.' Starting with rich, abstract washes of color, Oliveira was again inspired to conjure up haunting, solitary figures."
Matthew Ballou looks at Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Park paintings through the lens of "provisional painting."
Ballou writes that "To get a clear view of Diebenkorn's connection with provisionality one must think about the sense of compositional balance exemplified in the Ocean Park Series. It is a balance that is hard-won yet still teetering on the edge of disarray. Though the works are in some ways locked, they flicker and undulate; these are compositions that don’t always feel as if rightness was absolutely achieved."
John Seed blogs about the painter Joan Brown and his experiences as her student.
Seed writes: "Brown, in her words and in her art, was uncompromisingly assertive. Her toughness didn't endear her to everyone, but over the long haul it was the quality that distanced her from a difficult childhood and moved her towards the visionary optimism that characterized her final works."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.