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Nathan Oliveira
Spring Nude
Oil on canvas

96 x 76 inches
Oakland Museum of California, Gift of the artist in memory of Edna Stoddard Siegriest

Excerpt from Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA:


Nathan Oliveira
Exhibition April 12 - July 27, 2003
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA

NATHAN OLIVEIRA (1928-2010) Active in the Bay Area for more than four decades, Nathan Oliveira remains one of the regions most respected artists and a key figure in American art. His paintings, prints, and sculpture have attracted an international audience. Born in Oakland of Portuguese-American heritage, he studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts and taught for more than thirty years at Stanford University, where he is now professor emeritus.

Oliveira is most associated with the Bay Area Figurative painters of the 1950s, including Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn, and David Park. His work, like theirs, borrows from the bold gestural painting of Abstract Expressionism. His paintings and monotypes bear the mark of his brush in the tactile quality of the paint and the unique printed surfaces of his monotypes. In contrast to the sunny beaches and flower-filled settings of the Figurative artists, Oliveira’s subjects tended toward the melancholy, as characterized by the single figure presented in a void. These figures represent an ongoing dialogue with the history of art and can best be understood in the context of Northern European Expressionism. His artistic heroes were Max Beckmann, Oskar Kokoschka, and Edvard Munch, whom he recognized for their insights into the human condition.

This major retrospective exhibition demonstrates Oliveira’s passion for the human subject and his conviction regarding arts expressive power. Along with its accompanying catalogue, the exhibition is the most comprehensive assessment to date of Oliveira’s career as artist and teacher.

Nathan Oliveira, American, (1928-2010)
b. December 19, 1928, Oakland, CA
d. 2010

Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: December 19

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