HONORING THE LEGACY OF
HONORING THE LEGACY OF
An Invitational and Juried Exhibition
David Park in the late 1940s
Photo Courtesy of Natalie Park Schutz
'Bather with Green Sea', 1958 (DETAIL)
oil on canvas, 27.75 x 13.75 inches
framed dimensions: 35.75 x 21.75” x 2 inches
Courtesy of Hackett Mill, representative of the Estate of David Park
This exhibition is intended to pay homage to the art and values of artist David Park (1911-1960), the founder of the tradition of Bay
Area Figurative painting. It does not include Park’s own works, but instead features the works of two invited artists and 35 artists
chosen by a panel of four jurors.
David Park’s figurative works are characterized by humanity, candor and bold painterly brushwork. The goal of the exhibition jurors
was not to select art that mimics David Park’s style, but rather to select paintings that honor the legacy of Park’s artistic indepen-
dence and integrity, and also his interest in painting people and places that held personal meanings for him.
John Seed is a professor of art and art history at Mt. San Jacinto College. He is also an arts writer and blogger whose writing has ap-
peared in Harvard Magazine, Art Ltd. the HuffingtonPost and Hyperallergic. Seed wrote the catalog essay that accompanied the 2015
exhibition Interiors and Places': David Park, Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff at Hackett Mill Gallery in San Francisco.
DeWitt Cheng is an artist, collector, freelance art writer, educator, and curator based in San Francisco. He has served as the director
of Stanford Art Spaces and writes for numerous art publications including Art Ltd Magazine and Visual Art Source.
Andrea Pappas is an Associate Professor of Art History at Santa Clara University, specializing in American and Contemporary Art,
Gender and Visual Arts. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University of California at Berkeley, and both an M.A. and PhD in Art
History from the University of Southern California.
Jessica Phillips is the Director of Hackett|Mill Gallery, San Francisco, which represents the Estate of David Park. She holds a B.A. in
English Literature and Art History and an M.A. in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London.
HONORING THE LEGACY OF DAVID PARK
Ashley Norwood Cooper
Irene Cuadrado Hernandez
Sue Ellen R. Leys
Jose Luis Cena Ruiz
Christina Renfer Vogel
Dates: April 3-28, 2017
Saturday, April 15th
3PM Public Opening
4PM Panel Discussion
Location: Santa Clara University, the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building
Forty years ago, as a student at Stanford University, I had the privilege of serving
as an intern to the art collection of Hunk and Moo Anderson. At Saga Foods,
where a large part of their collection was on view, I often stared at David Park’s
Four Women, a bold and impressive painting that has left a deep imprint on my
ideas about what painting can and should be.
A visit to Park’s 1977 retrospective and the experience of living with a David Park
drawing that was given to me as a gift by David’s wife, Lydia Park Moore, further
deepened my appreciation. When Kelly Detweiler offered me the opportunity to
provide a theme for this exhibition, the idea of building an exhibition around
David Park’s achievement and influence was the first thing that came to mind.
Artists need to work of other artists to respond to as they find their own way, and
this exhibition is intended to acknowledge and honor the way that David Park—
who turned away from abstraction to make representational paintings when do-
ing so went directly against the grain of what was in vogue at the time—became
a model of artistic integrity and independence. Although he died too young,
at the age of 49, his influence has been indelible. This exhibition offers all of
us—artists and members of the public—a chance to reflect on Park’s achievement
and to demonstrate that the things he stood for as an artist are vital, and that the
impressions he made with his works and actions continue to earn our respect
I owe deep thanks to Kelly Detweiler for the opportunity he gave me to coordi-
nate this show and to the generosity of Debra Burchett-Lere and the Board of the
Sam Francis Foundation, and to Harry W. and Margaret Anderson who provided
additional financial support. I am grateful to the three guest jurors whose taste
and discretion helped shape this exhibition: DeWitt Cheng, Andrea Pappas and
Jessica Phillips. Additional thanks go to Douglas Walla of Kent Fine Art, to artists
Jennifer Pochinski and Kyle Staver, and to all of the artists who will be exhibiting
their work as part of this project. I also thank my wife Linda for her patience and
unyielding support. - John Seed
John Seed with David Park’s Four Women, 1959 at the Anderson Collection, Stanford University.
In 1945 a young man named Sam Francis was a patient at Fort Miley Veterans’ Hospital in San
Francisco. Sam was suffering greatly from spinal tuberculosis and injuries that he had suffered
during a training ﬂ ight crash a year and a half before. When Francis took up painting in bed to
divert his mind, the artist and teacher David Park heard about it and came to visit. Over time, he
made numerous visits, talked to Sam about painting, brought works by Klee and Miro and left
them overnight and even arranged for Sam — who was lying ﬂ at on a stretcher in a body cast —
to visit the De Young Museum when it was closed. Years later, Sam Francis would tell his friend
John Hultberg that David Park had saved his life by encouraging him to paint. David Park also
juried Sam Francis — who later went on to a stellar career as a leading abstract artist — into his fi rst
The Sam Francis Foundation is pleased and proud to offer its support to this exhibition and to
honor the memory of David Park and the extraordinary friendship he showed Sam.
Sam Francis with his stepmother Virginia Francis, at the Fort Miley Veteran’s Hospital, April 1946.
Photo, courtesy of the San Francisco Examiner and the Sam Francis Foundation.
Sam Francis image and artwork ©Sam Francis Foundation, California/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
FAMILY ADVISORY COUNCIL
Kayo Francis Malik
Robert T. Buck (Bob)
Lucille R. Polachek
J. Patrick Whaley, Esq.
I would first like to thank the SCU Gallery Committee for supporting my idea last year when this show first pro-
posed. There was a little leap of faith involved for everyone because of the scope and ambition of the show.
I would also like to thank Mitch Grieb, our Senior Administrative Assistant, for her help in the process of organiz-
ing the exhibit. Additional thanks go to my Department Chair, Kathy Aoki, for her vital support, and to Andrew
Hedges our gallery installer.
At the top of my list is John Seed for his tireless enthusiasm for painting and for his willingness to dive into a
huge project without blinking. When I proposed that he curate this exhibit he took the idea and made it even
And finally, I am grateful to the Sam Francis Foundation for their generous financial support and to Harry and
Margaret Anderson who saved the day when the exhibition costs exceeded our estimate.
Last but not least I want to thank the artists, for without them we could not put this wonderful exhibition together.
— Kelly Detweiler, Professor of Art, Santa Clara University
Kelly Detweiler and Jennifer Polchinski view David Park’s 1956 “Bathers” at Hackett Mill, San Francisco.
Images: The Biker Triptych
Bad Dog on Sparta Road | 2007 | oil on linen | 68 x 56
Flub and Tippy | 2007 | oil on linen | 66 x 76
Dead Dog | 2007 | oil on Linen | 64 x 54