Saturday, July 02, 2005
Bechtle was a pioneer of what is now known as photorealist painting, a deadpan, straight-ahead camera-informed realism. Although many of the early photorealists (Richard Estes, for example) lived in New York, Bechtle developed his style in San Francisco, influenced by Richard Diebenkorn's figurative work, by minimal art, and by a desire to get away from expressionism. His paintings are characterized by the misty quality of the light in San Francisco, and by middle class neighborhoods, automobiles, and ordinary people. Bechtle was born in San Francisco in 1932 and continues to live there. He is represented by the Paule Anglim Gallery in San Francisco and by the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is opening a major retrospective of his paintings in February 2005. It will travel to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth later in the year.