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Nathan Oliveira Paperback – March 12, 2002
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From Library Journal
Nathan Oliveira's hauntingly sensual and intuitive strokes combine with a bold palette to produce work around themes of death, struggle, and isolation. Primarily figurative, his paintings also include still lifes and landscapes. Acting as a complement to a major traveling exhibition originating at the San Jose Museum of Art this spring, this publication seeks to restore Oliveira to his rightful place as an international artist, extricating him from being lumped with other Bay Area figurative painters. This comprehensive work focuses on Oliveira's career as an artist and as professor emeritus at Stanford University and includes previously unpublished biographical and bibliographical information, though it is not a full biography. Selz (founding director, Berkeley Art Museum) firmly places Oliveira within the context of the cultural fabric of the 1950s, when the painter began his career, and reveals his various influences. Smithsonian curator Joann Moser contributes a superb essay on Oliveira's printmaking and drawing. A chronology, bibliography, and list of Oliveira's solo exhibitions make this the definitive monograph to date. Highly recommended for academic libraries with collections on Bay Area artists, figurative painting, or modern artists. Rebecca Tolley-Stokes, East Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Johnson City
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Nathan Oliveira casts a serious eye and gives a balanced account both of the California milieu in which Oliveira was formed and the artist himself. It is an authentic contribution to art history and a much-needed exploration of the rich culture of California art."-Dore Ashton, author of Noguchi East and West; "Peter Selz and Joann Moser have produced an important study of the career and work of Oliveira, a stubbornly individual artist who, heedless of the clamor of the ideologies and the lure of the market, has resolutely gone his own way, these past fifty years, as painter, printmaker, and sculptor."-Lorenz Eitner, author of French Paintings of the 19th Century
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The artist works in many media from sculpture to his very large canvases in oil to his pastel drawings to his extraordinary prints create at Experimental Workshop in the Bay Area. Land masses join sky masses, assemblages of masses of stone become pilings or what might be left as civilization walks away from a once populated city. His colors - bold and noisy - emerge from submissive backgrounds of beige and grey and the results are images that seem to be more concerned with the artist's obsession with isolation and death than with depicting a story or offering a portrait. The essays by Joann Moser and Peter Selz invite us into the life of the artist. This may not be the definitive monograph on this California giant but it is certainly an informative and vividly colorful one for a museum touring show catalogue. Grady Harp, October 10