David Park: A Painter's Life

David Park, Bather with Green Sea, oil on canvas, 1958, 27 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches (
David Park, Bather with Green Sea, oil on canvas, 1958, 27 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches (Courtesy Helen Park Bigelow, Natalie Park Schutz & Hackett | Mill, San Francisco)

John Seed reviews the new book David Park: A Painter's Life by Nancy Boas (University of California Press).

Seed writes: "A Painter's Life offers countless fascinating insights into Park and his development, including revelations about the artists who he was exposed to and influenced by early on. Who knew, for example, that 19-year-old Park had been present at a 1930 lunch given for the visiting French artist Henri Matisse?"

Seed also notes Boas' interesting idea that Park's figurative work was a "moral" reaction to the abstract paintings of Clyfford Still: "By committing himself to the depiction of the human figure, Park created a hybrid art that literally moved the abstract inventions of Clyfford Still, Park's antithesis, into the background where they provided a sense of tone and setting. [Boas suggests] that Still's romanticism and sense of 'nature ecstasy' forms the setting for Park's figure."