Elmer Bischoff: Figurative Paintings

Elmer Bischoff, Playground, 1954, oil on canvas, 68 x 55 inches (courtesy of Geo
Elmer Bischoff, Playground, 1954, oil on canvas, 68 x 55 inches (courtesy of George Adams Gallery)

John Yau reviews Elmer Bischoff: Figurative Paintings continues at the George Adams Gallery, New York, on view through August 30, 2015.

Yau writes: "What I find interesting is that Bischoff, by drawing inspiration from late 19th century symbolism and Postimpressionism, seems to be going backward, instead of forward. The largest figure in “Playground” is in a pose of slumped dejection — she feels left out, while the two girls to her left, in the middle ground, are happily flying kites. States of isolation — what we might call the dark side of domesticity and community — are recurring themes in Bischoff’s work. They are also areas avoided by his painterly New York counterparts, where many figurative artists aspired to achieve the cool detachment of the Pop artists and Minimalists... Bischoff comes out of the tradition of American painting that includes Ryder and Hopper, both of whom believed that loneliness was an inescapable condition."