Blue Head, 1990.
Figure with Yellow Bar, 2009.
Seated Man with Dog, 1957.
Nineteen Twenty-Nine, 1961.
Untitled (Standing Figure no. 5), 1990.
“I’ve always thought if I had wings, I could fly. Well, I do have wings in my mind . . . and these paintings are like a catalyst that can take you wherever you want your mind to fly.”
– Nathan Oliveira
After hearing of Nathan Oliveira’s passing on November 13th of this year, I began looking through his work and reading about his life’s accomplishments. Initially, it was his work that drew me in, but eventually it became clear that he lead a life full of purpose and beauty. His haunting figures, though dark and sometimes scary, seem to have a light in them that I cannot quite articulate. Inspired by Edward Munch and linked with the Abstract Expressionist movement, it would have been easy for him to find his niche there. Instead, he became known as the founder of Bay Area Figuration and continued to create his own unique style and vision.