Paul Wonner (American, 1920-2008)
Birth Place: Tucson, AZ USA
Who was painter Paul Wonner?
Paul Wonner was a painter whose still-life paintings were a part of the abstract expressionist movement of the 1950s. His contributions to the Bay Area Figurative Movement led to him becoming one of the most famous and respected figures of that art scene. Later in his career, he moved on from this style to focus more on hyperrealism.
He became one of the most famous Bay Area visual artists in history and his work has been featured in a number of galleries and appears in the permanent collections of many famed art institutions. Some of these include the San Francisco MoMA, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Guggenheim, and the Davis Art Center at UC Davis. He died in 2008 in his beloved San Francisco.
What kind of art did Paul Wonner make?
The majority of Paul Wonner’s falls into the abstract expressionist genre. His pieces from the 1950s - 1970s are evocative, artful nudes and still lifes. His preferred use of tempera and pencil or acrylics gives his work an almost dreamlike quality. The faces of his subjects are often obscured or feature strange perspective changes. Toward the end of his life, Wonner shifted toward a hyperrealist style. Focusing mainly on still lifes or nudes, his work at this stage showed a painter still fully in control of his powers -- deft brush strokes and command of color and light.
How did painter Paul Wonner get started?
Paul Wonner was born in Tuscon but moved to Oakland, California at the tender age of 17. While there, he attended the California College of Arts and Crafts, learning the basics of painting and drawing techniques. He was drafted into the army during World War II but spent the majority of the war stationed in San Antonio, Texas. He was discharged in 1946, moving to New York to work as a commercial artist. He eventually returned to California to attend UC Berkeley where he received an MFA. During this time he met the other founding members of the Bay Area Figurative Painting movement. They continually pushed each other to new heights, offering support and creating the perfect environment for growth for the fledgling artist.
How much are Paul Wonner paintings worth?
Paul Wonner has many avid collectors of his work, as such his paintings can sell for a few thousand dollars, up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for his most famous pieces. The highest ever paid at auction for a Paul Wonner painting is $324,000 on May 16th, 2007 for the oil painting, Still Life With Cup (1959). It’s a beautiful example of what makes Wonner’s work great, deep blues and expert brushwork.
Where to buy Paul Wonner paintings for sale?
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How to value Paul Wonner paintings?
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