Nathan Oliveira (1928 - 2010)
Nathan Oliveira was a leading member of the Bay Area figurative movement and a professor of art at Stanford University for more than 30 years.
Born in Oakland, California, to a family of Portuguese immigrants, Oliveira studied painting and printmaking at the California College of Arts and Crafts (now the California College of the Arts or CCAC) in Oakland and with Max Beckmann at Mills College in Oakland in the summer of 1950. After two years in the U.S. Army as a cartographic draftsman, he began teaching painting in 1955 at CCAC and drawing and printmaking at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute). He held guest teaching appointments at many art schools and universities, including a tenured teaching position at Stanford.
In 1959, Oliveira was the youngest painter included in the important exhibition New Images of Man at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which also featured works by Francis Bacon, Alberto Giacometti, Richard Diebenkorn, and Jackson Pollack. In 1963, a survey of ﬁve years of his paintings and works on paper was shown at the Art Gallery of the University of California, Los Angeles, and a ﬁfteen-year survey of his paintings was organized by the Oakland Museum of California in 1973. He had a print retrospective in 1980 at California State University, Long Beach, and the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco organized a survey of his work in monotype in 1997.
Oliveira was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1994 and received many other awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two honorary doctorates, and, in 2000, membership in a distinguished order conferred by the government of Portugal. His work is in the collections of many museums, among them the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Three of his paintings are featured in the Anderson Collection at Stanford University.
Video: "Nathan Oliveira on the Windhover project" (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)