Upcoming Classes

Summer 2022

Sun and Shadow in the Golden State: California Photography

Wednesday, 7/27, 10-12 AM

California photographers have explored, developed, and refined the art of image-making in significant ways. From the early Pictorialists to Oakland’s revolutionary F64 group, from the New Topographics work of the 1970s to contemporary experimenters, photographers in the Golden State have produced a body of work that documents the human and natural environment of a very special place.

OLLI San Francisco State University

To enroll, contact olli@sfsu.edu

The Art of Abstraction

Tuesdays, 6/28, 7/12, 7/19, 7/26 (no class 7/5)  

Abstract Art: Whirling colors, sinuous lines, thick paint--and not a face, a tree, a cow in sight! Is abstraction supposed to be hard--or easy? Where did it come from? Why did it dominate midcentury art? What does it offer to the viewer, or the painter? Explore the mystery and magic of abstract art in this four-session course. We'll look at the beginnings of abstraction in the early 20th century, move on to the heyday of American Abstract Expressionism of the 40s and 50s, and finish by examining the kinds of abstraction produced now.

OLLI Dominican College

To enroll, contact olli@dominican.edu

Spring 2022

West of the West: The Art of California

Tuesdays, 5/3, 5/10, 5/17, 5/24, 5/31, 6/7, 6/14, 6/21  10-11:40 AM

California: a state of staggering beauty, incredible variety, an almost infinite sense of possibility and a healthy dose of wackiness—with an art tradition that reflects this abundance. In this course, we will explore the dynamic story of California art from before the times of the explorers to the present day.  We will see how California artists adopted and adapted European, Latin American, and Asian styles to create visual documents of an emerging state, and state of mind; when those styles didn’t work, they created their own. Participants will become familiar with styles, subjects,  context,  and a ton of artists. Sessions will include lecture and discussion.

 

1. First Impressions of the Golden State  

A look at how we look at art, and then a bit of early California history. Artist/explorers provide the first visual documents of our state through maps and scientific sketches. Mission art brings European traditions to California. Landscape painting explodes. Artists: Ferdinand Dieppe, Richard Beechey, James Madison Alden, Charles Christian Nahl, Alfred Bierstadt, William Keith.  


2. “My religion? I think that it is California.”
California begins to take on the allure of paradise, helped by late 19th and early 20th century landscape artists. Whether Impressionist or Tonalist, painters exulted in depicting nature.  Two significant events impact art and artists: the 1906 earthquake, and the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition. Artists : Arthur and Lucia Mathews, Xavier Martinez, Gottardo Piazzoni, Granville Redmond, the Society of Six, Anne Bremer, Mabel Alvarez, Henrietta Shore.

 

3.  From Muralism to Modernism
A big man, and a big project.: Diego Rivera injects the Social Realist mural tradition with a Mexican vibe, and San Francisco artists follow. San Francisco receives many WPA commissions: Coit Tower, the Rincon Post Office, George Washington High, and others. The first stirrings of Modernism are felt. Artists :  Diego Rivera, Yun Gee, the Coit Tower muralists,   Maynard Dixon, Adaline Kent, Sargent Johnson, Charles Howard,

4. Meanwhile, in Southern California
Sunny from the start, Southern California embraced Impressionism early on, and artists documented this wildly beautiful land, sold to thousands as a paradise of oranges and avocados where you could spend Christmas day at the beach. Social Realism was less aggressive here, and Modernism more pronounced. Artists: Franz Bischoff, Henrietta Shore, Millard Sheets, Agnes Pelton, Stanton MacDonald Wright, Lorser Feitelson, Helen Lundeberg.

 

5. The Fabulous Fifties
California artists develop their own strain of abstraction, slightly spiritual and eastern-facing. Others—and most of them associated with the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco—take  a radical approach: they return to the figure. Artists :   David Park, Richard Diebenkorn, Elmer Bischoff, Nathan Oliveira, Bernice Bing, Leo Valledor, Roger Kuntz, Richard Mayhew, Ruth Asawa.

 

6. The Hippie Aesthetic
The Bay Area Figurative style is in full force, but the “second generation” Figurative artists reflect a changing view of art and life. Art once again takes on a political edge, and absurdity is never far behind. Artists: Billy Al Bengston, Ed Ruscha, Carlos Almaraz, John Baldessari, Vija Celmins, Judy Chicago, Betye Saar, Jay De Feo, Robert Bechtle.

 

7. Funk, Baby

The Bay Area art center shifts east—to Davis!  Artists take a Pop approach, with a distinctly NorCal vibe. Artists :Joan Brown, Jess, Bruce Conner, William Wiley, Robert Arneson, Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Colescott, Enrique Chagoya, Noah Purifoy, Lari Pittman..

8. Postmodern California: Identity and Beyond
California is an important center of the postmodern art world.  Artists are producing work in every kind of genre, including some being created as we speak, using materials, techniques, and ideas of the new millennium. Artists: Alison Saar, Martin Wong, the Mission School, Mark Bradford, Hung Liu, Mildred Howard, Doug Aitken, Mary Weatherford.

Fromm Institute at USF

To enroll, contact fromm@usfca.edu

 

Winter 2022

Exploring Women in Art

Wednesdays, 3/2, 3/9, 3/16, 3/23, 3/30  10-11:40 AM

Despite accounting for only seven percent of the holdings of New York’s Metropolitan Museum, artworks by women in a range of media—painting and sculpture, photography, even “craft” works traditionally practiced by women—have gained acceptance and respect in the art world. Art provides a deeper, more personal layer to history; understanding women’s important contributions to cultural life is overdue, enriching, and inspiring. You’ll see that women explore the subjects that have been perennial in art: portraits, genre scenes, landscapes, mythology and religious subjects, BUT they also bring new images into art—images found in women’s lives and experiences—children, home life, marriage. And while we find women working in all the styles—all the isms—of Western art over the centuries, they ALSO have also enriched the art repertoire by bringing new materials to art, such as fabric and clay—materials once rejected as mere “craft” supplies.

OLLI CSUEB, Concord

To enroll, contact olli@csueb.edu

A Quick Trip Through Dutch Art

Thursdays 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/3  10-11:40 AM

          

This short course will introduce you to the rich history of art in the Netherlands—a small corner of Europe with a massive art presence. Beginning in the Middle Ages with their mastery of oil paints, Netherlandish artists achieved an unmatched level of reality--and fantasy-- in the works of Jan van Eyck, Hieronymous Bosch and Pieter Breughel. By the 17th century--the Golden Age--the first real art market enabled the development of the specialized genre paintings of landscapes, seascapes, church interiors, tavern scenes, cows, and still lifes of everything from soup to nuts, not to mention the towering tactile and spatial realism of Rembrandt, Rubens, and Vermeer. 20th century Dutch artists, such as Piet Mondrian, helped create modern art, and the tradition of innovation continues with Karel Appel, Luc Tuymans, Marcel Broodthaers, Marlene Dumas. You’ll even learn something about tulips, Delft porcelain, and the mysterious workings of M.C. Escher’s mind.

OLLI Dominican University

To enroll, contact olli@dominican.edu

A Multicultural View of American Art

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1/11, 1/13, 1/18, 1/20 10-11:40 AM

A four-session look at American art  produced by members of the four main racial/ethnic communities in the United States: African American, Asian American, Latinx, and Native American. Focusing primarily on contemporary works, we will study form, content, and context, paying more attention to questions than answers. How do the chosen works constitute themselves as minority-produced art? Do we stick with the “by, for, about” definition? Or should these necessary conditions be modified in 21st century America? How do the works chosen for this course fit into the story of American art, of global contemporary art?   

1. Introduction, and a look at Asian American art

2. Native American art

3. Latinx art

4. African American art

OLLI San Francisco State University

To enroll, contact olli@sfsu.edu

Fall 2021

A Quick Trip Through Dutch Art

Tuesdays 10/5, 10/12, 10/19  10:00 am

          

This short course will introduce you to the rich history of art in the Netherlands—a small corner of Europe with a massive art presence. Beginning in the Middle Ages with their mastery of oil paints, Netherlandish artists achieved an unmatched level of reality--and fantasy-- in the works of Jan van Eyck, Hieronymous Bosch and Pieter Breughel. By the 17th century--the Golden Age--the first real art market enabled the development of the specialized genre paintings of landscapes, seascapes, church interiors, tavern scenes, cows, and still lifes of everything from soup to nuts, not to mention the towering tactile and spatial realism of Rembrandt, Rubens, and Vermeer. 20th century Dutch artists, such as Piet Mondrian, helped create modern art, and the tradition of innovation continues with Karel Appel, Luc Tuymans, Marcel Broodthaers, Marlene Dumas. You’ll even learn something about tulips, Delft porcelain, and the mysterious workings of M.C. Escher’s mind.

OLLI CSUEB, Concord campus

SUMMER 2021

Sunshine and Shadow: California Photography

Wednesdays 5/19, 6/16, 7/14  11:00 am

          

With its majestic landscapes, fascinating people, and changing culture, California has always attracted the photographic eye. But California photographers have also been pioneers of style, from early evocation of mood to midcentury documentation of reality to contemporary self-conscious art making. Among others, we’ll explore the work of Ansel Adams, Lewis Baltz, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, Edward Weston, Larry Sultan, Anthony Hernandez, and Catherine Opie.

Francisca Club not open to public

A Multicultural View of American Art

Wednesdays  6/30, 7/7, 7/21, 7/28 10:00 am

A four-session look at American art—literature, visual arts, and film—by considering works produced by members of the four main racial/ethnic communities in the United States: African American, Asian American, Latinx, and Native American. Focusing primarily on contemporary works, we will study form, content, and context, paying more attention to questions than answers. How do the chosen works constitute themselves as minority-produced art? Do we stick with the “by, for, about” definition? Or should these necessary conditions be modified in 21st century America? How do the works chosen for this course fit into the story of American art, of global contemporary art?   

1. Introduction, and a look at Asian American art

2. Native American art

3. Latinx art

4. African American art

OLLI/Dominican College

To enroll, contact olli@dominican.edu

SPRING 2021

Exploring Women in Art

Mondays 5/3, 5/10, 5/17, 5/24, 6/7, 6/14, 6/21, 6/28 1:00-2:40 pm

          

Despite accounting for only seven percent of the holdings of New York’s Metropolitan Museum, artworks by women in a range of media—painting and sculpture, photography, even “craft” works traditionally practiced by women—have gained acceptance and respect in the art world. Art provides a deeper, more personal layer to history; understanding women’s important contributions to cultural life is overdue, enriching, and inspiring. You’ll see that women explore the subjects that have been perennial in art: portraits, genre scenes, landscapes, mythology and religious subjects, BUT they also bring new images into art—images found in women’s lives and experiences—children, home life, marriage. And while we find women working in all the styles—all the isms—of Western art over the centuries, they ALSO have also enriched the art repertoire by bringing new materials to art, such as fabric and clay—materials once rejected as mere “craft” supplies.

 

Fromm Institute at USF

To enroll, contact fromm@usfca.edu


alex great 05.png
2018_NYR_15968_0030B_000(richard_diebenkorn_cityscape_3).jpg

Richard Diebenkorn, Cityscape #3, 1963

Mark_Bradford_Scorched_Earth_BW_RGB.jpg

Mark Bradford, Scorched Earth,, 2006

fortune hatton ranch 20 mma.jpg
800px-Salome_with_the_Head_of_Saint_John_the_Baptist_by_Artemisia_Gentileschi_ca._1610-161

E. Charlton Fortune, Hatton Ranch, 1920

Artemisia Gentileschi, Salome with the Head of John the Baptist, 1610-16

Girl-with-a-Pearl-Earring-canvas-Johannes-1665.jpg

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665

Reckless-Wong-91.jpg

Martin Wong, Reckless, 1991

IKehinde Wiley, Alexander the Great, 2005