HONORING THE LEGACY OF

 

DAVID PARK

HONORING THE LEGACY OF

 

DAVID PARK

An Invitational and Juried Exhibition

Right:

David Park in the late 1940s

Photo Courtesy of Natalie Park Schutz

COVER IMAGE

David Park

'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

EXHIBITION THEME

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.

JURORS

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

Introduction 

John Seed

Invited Artists

Jennifer Pochinski 

Kyle Staver

 

Juried Artists

Alix Bailey

James Bland

Marie Cameron

Linda Christensen

Ashley Norwood Cooper

Melinda Cootsona

Kim Frohsin

Sonia Gill

Phyllis Gorsen

Cynthia Grilli

Nancy Gruskin

Mark Hanson

Irene Cuadrado Hernandez

Mitchell Johnson

Betsy Kendall

Rachel Kline

Sue Ellen R. Leys

Kathy Liao

Fred Lower

Janet Norris

Gage Opdenbrouw

David Iacovazzi-Pau

Jill Madden

Nicholas Mancini

Sandy Ostrau

Catherine Prescott

Jose Luis Cena Ruiz

William Rushton

Francis Sills

Kurt Solmssen

David Tomb

Christina Renfer Vogel

Martin Webb

John Weber

William Wray

Dates: April 3-28, 2017 

Reception

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 
and interest. 

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 

exhibition. 

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.

FOUNDATION DIRECTOR/PRESIDENT

Debra Burchett-Lere

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

Augustus Francis

Margaret Francis

Osamu Francis

Shingo Francis

Kayo Francis Malik

BOARD MEMBERS

Robert T. Buck (Bob)

Nancy Mozur

Lucille R. Polachek

John Seed

Jenkins Shannon

PRESIDENT EMERITUS

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 

better.

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

Acknowledgments

Kelly Detweiler and Jennifer Polchinski view David Park’s 1956 “Bathers” at Hackett Mill, San Francisco.

 

Kyle Staver

Kyle Staver

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