Houses lining a street with brilliant blue sky

Robert Bechtle (American, 1932–2020), 34th Avenue (detail), 1987. Colored pencil on laid paper. Crown Point Press Archive, Gift of Crown Point Press, 1993.51.255 © Robert Bechtle and Whitney Chadwick Trust

Robert Bechtle: Prints and Drawings

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A lifelong resident of the Bay Area, American artist Robert Bechtle (1932–2020) captured local life in mesmerizing detail. A tribute to the artist’s life and work, this exhibition of prints and drawings celebrates Bechtle’s legacy and his close relationship with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. One of the earliest Photorealists, Bechtle worked from personal photographs of friends, family, nearby streets, cityscapes, and, above all, automobiles. Tinged with nostalgia, his most recognizable works memorialize moments that might otherwise be lost: San Francisco’s 34th Avenue fading into a bright blue sky or a parked Oldsmobile bathed in California sunshine. Drawn from our collection, the works on view — from the first abstract print he gifted to the Museums in 1961 to meticulous photo-based works from the final years of his career — reveal Bechtle’s stylistic evolution.

Also on view