August 4, 2007 – November 3, 2007
This exhibition highlights a small portion of the artistic journey of one of California’s foremost Modernist artists.
By the late 1920s, Otis Oldfield, a progressive artist in the truest sense, had experimented with many artistic styles, including Cubism, Fauvism, and even his own “color block” theory. That experimentation would lead in the early 1930s to Oldfield’s “Neo-Realist” style of painting and, by the late 1930s, to experimentation with figuration.
In his “Neo-Realist” canvases, Oldfield depicted urban scenes, portraits and even nudes literally, even too literally some might say, as in his 1935 Study for “The Comb.”
By the end of 1936 his “Neo-Realism” began to give way to a much freer and dissociative style of painting — Oldfield’s early experimentation with what would become known as Bay Area Figuration. Nude on White Drape and the series of nude studies in this exhibition reveal the Artist’s new manner of depicting the figure. The brushstrokes are few, just sufficient to define a space, a mood, and the human form, without giving the figure true definition.