April 26, 2008

Paul Wonner, 87, dies in San Francisco

Paul Wonner, long associated with Bay Area Figuration, died Wednesday in San Francisco of natural causes on the eve of his 88th birthday. Art critic Kenneth Baker wrote the obit in the San Francisco Chronicle. "Mr. Wonner enjoyed collegial support for his work from originators of the Bay Area Figurative style, including David Park (1911-1960) and Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993). He painted in a brushy manner similar to theirs until the late 1970s, when his style turned crisp, emphasizing bright light and sharp shadows, and he concentrated on still life themes. The Dutch Baroque still life tradition served as a historical source for Mr. Wonner, but he typically painted objects from everyday contemporary life. His mature pictures distinctively portray things as separated by almost surrealistically vacant distended spaces. In recent years, he returned to painting human figures in vaguely allegorical arrangements and settings....Mr. Wonner is survived by a sister, Dorothy Kendall of La Mesa (San Diego County), and his longtime companion and fellow painter, Theophilus Brown." Read more.

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