Medium
Image rights
© Robert Bechtle

Robert Bechtle paints what he calls portraits of the “essence of American experience.” Bechtle’s subjects come from his surroundings and scenes he knows with great familiarity: families, residential neighborhoods in California, and especially cars—an object he has extreme reverence for. Since the 1960s, Bechtle has been an active affiliate of the Bay Area Figurative Art movement, which ran counter to both Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism on the East Coast. His controlled paint handling and attention to detail have established Bechtle as one of the eminent Photorealists of his time. Bechtle explains his disciplinary choice in stating that he is trying “to achieve a kind of neutrality or transparency, in the sense that I would like the viewer to react first to the thing pictured…and only secondly to how it is painted.”

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions
2018
Three California Masters: Robert Bechtle, Richard Diebenkorn, and Wayne Thiebaud - Figures & LandscapesCrown Point Press
2016
Shrines to Speed Art And The Automobile: From The Minimal To The PostmodernLeila Heller Gallery
2015
America is Hard to SeeWhitney Museum of American Art
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Alameda Gran Torino, 1974

Oil on canvas
48 × 69 in
121.9 × 175.3 cm
Permanent collection
Location
San Francisco
Medium
Image rights
© Robert Bechtle

Robert Bechtle paints what he calls portraits of the “essence of American experience.” Bechtle’s subjects come from his surroundings and scenes he knows with great familiarity: families, residential neighborhoods in California, and especially cars—an object he has extreme reverence for. Since the 1960s, Bechtle has been an active affiliate of the Bay Area Figurative Art movement, which ran counter to both Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism on the East Coast. His controlled paint handling and attention to detail have established Bechtle as one of the eminent Photorealists of his time. Bechtle explains his disciplinary choice in stating that he is trying “to achieve a kind of neutrality or transparency, in the sense that I would like the viewer to react first to the thing pictured…and only secondly to how it is painted.”

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by Robert Bechtle
Related works
Related artists