Return to the Home Page | Return to Venue Listings



[ Exhibition | Description | Events | Sponsors ]

Robert Bechtle, "California Classic"
January 25–March 5, 2000
For more information or press prints, please contact Mary-Kay Lombino, 562.985.5761

The University Art Museum is located in the North Campus Center on the campus of California State University, Long Beach
Admission to the museum is free. There is a suggested donation of $3 for adults, $1 for students. All events are open to the public and free of charge.
Tuesday–Thursday, 12–8 PM; Friday–Sunday, 12–5 PM, closed Monday
Tel. 562.985.5761, Fax 562.985.7602,

The University Art Museum is pleased to present Centric 58: Robert Bechtle-California Classic. Bechtle emerged as a mature painter in the San Francisco Bay area in the early 1960s, when the influence of the Bay Area Figurative painters was at its height. Having come to international fame during the late 1960s as a Photo-Realist painter, he moved from family/genre scenes to the noted streetscapes devoid of any human presence. In the course of his career he has captured the individuality of people and objects alike—they are not just exquisitely rendered surfaces and materials. His are American paintings, redolent of a particular moment, full of California character. Bechtle has always kept an extensive archive of slides taken during walks, or simply when the camera is handy, for possible paintings. He tries to keep the works as neutral as possible, so as not to clutter the viewers’ reactions, knowing that all the choices he makes as an artist make neutrality impossible.

The UAM will present 18 paintings (oil and watercolor) and charcoal drawings of streets in the Bay area and cars—the symbol of California culture—highlighting Bechtle’s unique aesthetic and classic American icons. The freeze-frame or snapshot composition of his work that captures moments of curious stillness is at the heart of an art which transcends Photo-Realism as it has been understood. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.

This exhibition is the 58th in the UAM's Centric program. Centric, which began in 1981, is an ongoing series of small, timely exhibitions dedicated to introducing the UAM audience to work by individual artists that has not previously been shown in this area.

On February 1st at 12:15pm, there will be a uam@noon gallery talk on the exhibition by Marina Freeman, Registrar/Curator of Collections.
On February 9th, from 5-7 pm, UAM will host a gallery lecture by Robert Bechtle, followed by a reception for the artist.

The exhibition will also be presented at the Oakland Museum of California from May 31 through September 2000.

This exhibition was made possible, in part, by The Richard Florsheim Art Fund. The UAM, a division of the College of the Arts, receives additional support from The Getty Grant Program, and the Instructionally Related Activities Fund. Education programming is provided, in part, by the California Arts Council, The Bess J. Hodges Foundation, The Forty-Niner Shops, and the CSULB Alumni Association.

Return to Robert Bechtle Essays
Return to Robert Bechtle