Robert Bechtle, ‘Alameda Gran Torino’, 1974, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Link to the SFMOMA object page

Image rights: © Robert Bechtle

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, T. B. Walker Foundation Fund purchase in honor of John Humphrey

About 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.”

American, b. 1932, San Francisco, California, based in San Francisco, California

Group Shows

The Museum Show: Works that were exhibited, owned, sold by - or about - museums (including the gift shops!!!)
New York,
Shrines to Speed Art And The Automobile: From The Minimal To The Postmodern
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