Nathan Oliveira

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Overview


Nathan Oliveira's (1928--2010) passion for continuing an inner-directed artistic tradition attached to the human subject persisted throughout his more than forty years as a painter and master printmaker. His art represents an ongoing dialogue with artists from Rembrandt to Goya to Munch, Beckmann, Giacometti, and de Kooning--whom he recognized for their insights into the human condition. The human touch, so often absent in contemporary work, is distinct in Oliveira's art. His paintings and monotypes bear the ...
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Overview


Nathan Oliveira's (1928--2010) passion for continuing an inner-directed artistic tradition attached to the human subject persisted throughout his more than forty years as a painter and master printmaker. His art represents an ongoing dialogue with artists from Rembrandt to Goya to Munch, Beckmann, Giacometti, and de Kooning--whom he recognized for their insights into the human condition. The human touch, so often absent in contemporary work, is distinct in Oliveira's art. His paintings and monotypes bear the mark of his brush in the tactile quality of the paint and the unique printed surfaces of his monotypes. He lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he was professor emeritus of art at Stanford University, Oliveira is widely regarded as a key figure in American art, and his paintings, monoprints, drawings, watercolors, and sculpture have attracted an international audience. This book is the most comprehensive study to date of Oliveira's career as artist and teacher. Generously illustrated with 172 images, more than 100 in color, and including valuable, previously unpublished biographical and bibliographical information, Nathan Oliveira accompanied the major traveling exhibition of the same name.

Peter Selz's authoritative text weaves key moments in Oliveira's professional life together with compelling readings of the paintings themselves. Selz, who curated the exhibition, succeeds brilliantly in establishing a sense of where Oliveira came from, what inspired him, and how he thought of himself as an artist. Selz discusses Oliveira's beginnings as the son of Portuguese immigrants, his early exposure to Bay Area artists, and his formative experience of studying with Max Beckmann. Selz also traces the artist's affinity to his older contemporaries, his search for an expressive relationship between form and space that found resonance in presentation of the single figure, and the exhibitions and collaborations that shaped his career.

Susan Landauer's introduction provides an overview of the artist's work, while Joann Moser considers Oliveira's prints and drawings. Gary Carson's chronology, bibliography, and list of Oliveira's solo exhibitions complete this landmark publication, which fills an important gap in bringing Oliveira's powerful paintings and prints to the attention of a much larger public.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Nathan Oliveira's hauntingly sensual and intuitive strokes combine with a bold palette to produce work around themes of death, struggle, and isolation. Primarily figurative, his paintings also include still lifes and landscapes. Acting as a complement to a major traveling exhibition originating at the San Jose Museum of Art this spring, this publication seeks to restore Oliveira to his rightful place as an international artist, extricating him from being lumped with other Bay Area figurative painters. This comprehensive work focuses on Oliveira's career as an artist and as professor emeritus at Stanford University and includes previously unpublished biographical and bibliographical information, though it is not a full biography. Selz (founding director, Berkeley Art Museum) firmly places Oliveira within the context of the cultural fabric of the 1950s, when the painter began his career, and reveals his various influences. Smithsonian curator Joann Moser contributes a superb essay on Oliveira's printmaking and drawing. A chronology, bibliography, and list of Oliveira's solo exhibitions make this the definitive monograph to date. Highly recommended for academic libraries with collections on Bay Area artists, figurative painting, or modern artists. Rebecca Tolley-Stokes, East Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Johnson City Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520231016
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 3/12/2002
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Peter Selz is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He is founding director of the Berkeley Art Museum and former Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture Exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Among his books are Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond (UC Press); German Expressionist Painting (UC Press); St. Francis; Art in Our Times; Beyond the Mainstream; and, with Kristine Stiles, Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art (UC Press, 1996; revised edition, 2010). Susan Landauer is Katie and Drew Gibson Chief Curator at the San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose, California. Among her books are The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism (California, 1996) and Elmer Bischoff: The Ethics of Paint (California, 2001). Joann Moser is Senior Curator at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and author of Singular Impressions: The Monotype in America (1997).
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Table of Contents


Director's Preface
Daniel T. Keegan

Between the Notes: The Art of Nathan Oliveira
Susan Landauer
Nathan Oliveira
Peter Selz
Traditions through Time: A Consideration of Oliveira's Prints
and Monotypes
Joann Moser

Chronology
G.B. Carson'
Selected Exhibitions
G.B. Carson
Bibliography
G.B. Carson
List of Illustrations
Index

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