Charles Campbell Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition
of William F. Wolff paintings from the 1950s and 1960s. These
works trace the development of Wolff’s style over a period
of two decades and provide an exciting view of mid century modernism.
Early paintings of abstracted still lifes and figures from the
1950s gradually give way to mythologically-inspired subjects.
Wolff initially worked in a style that brought together Abstract Expressionist
improvisation and Cubist structure to traditional subject matter. He shared
studio space with James Weeks in the early Post War years and both artists shared
an interest in experimenting with materials and techniques. Works in this
show are oil and tempera, perhaps house paint, on canvas and masonite.
Early works typifying the Bay Area Figurative Movement gradually evolved into
myth inspired subjects. They were further elaborated in the bold, expressive
woodcuts that Wolff began working with in the 1960s. He is more well known
today for his print works, though his first show of paintings was at the Lucien
Labaudt Gallery, one of the most important for the Bay Area school, in 1951.
William Wolff was born in San Francisco in 1922 and studied at the California
Fine Arts (now the SFAI) and received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from
UC Berkeley. Additionally, he studied with Rupert Garcia, Gordon Cook and
Thomas Albright, the well-known and respected Bay Area art critic, found in Wolff’s
paintings of this period a sensibility reminiscent of William Blake’s. This
show brings to light a trove of paintings that have rarely been seen since the
1960s and document the artists’ journey from realism to symbolism, from
visible to invisible.
William F. Wolff's Artist
Catalog: William Wolff: The Invisible City, print work published by
Warnock Fine Arts.