David Park’s Studio, site
In the 1940’s painter David Park (1911–1960) had a studio in a brick building that once occupied this site. Despite a well-received exhibition of his abstract expressionist works at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1948, Park rejected abstraction and took many of his paintings of the previous three years to the city dump. Discovering a new freedom in “the natural development of the painting,” Park began creating richly colored and textured works depicting the human figure and scenes from everyday life. In his shift from abstraction lay the origin of what subsequently came to be known as the Bay Area Figurative style. Soon adapted by fellow Berkeley painters Richard Diebenkorn, Elmer Bischoff and others, this style became an important West Coast postwar indigenous school of art.
Berkeley Historical Plaque Project