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Robert Bechtle Art

American, b. 1932

Robert Bechtle is considered one of the founding Photorealists, a set of artists who used photographs as a point of departure for their hyperrealist art.

Bechtle first introduced photographs into his painting technique in 1964 as a studio aid, while painting a scene with his wife Nancy Dalton, whom he often depicted in his work. By 1966, his use of photographs had evolved into an integral component of his process.

Bechtle typically begins by selecting an image, usually his photographs or anonymous snapshots, which he then projects onto the canvas from a slide. Bechtle held a particular fascination with the snapshot, typically amateur photographs of cars, for the nature of the subject matter, its immediacy, and lack of affect. He was attracted to the subversive implications of the photo-based technique for complicating the rigid genre hierarchies he had internalized in art school. Bechtle’s interest in the everyday and the ordinary also reveals the influence of Pop art, which he saw firsthand while traveling in Britain in 1961.

Bechtle’s early Photorealist works are infused with a subtle realism, and an implicit sense of humor pervades his subjects and compositions. His best-known paintings and prints focus on familiar suburban American middle-class subjects and themes, such as the car and the house. Unlike the gestures and lyricism of Diebenkorn and other artists associated with Bay Area Figuration, Bechtle was interested in attaining a more objective approach to realism.

In 1982, Bechtle married the art historian Whitney Chadwick. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1977, 1982, 1989); John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1985); American Academy of Arts and Letters (1995); Francis J. Greenburger Foundation (2002); and the Modern Art Council at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA, 2003).

Early notable exhibitions that helped establish Bechtle’s career include group shows at San Francisco Art Institute (1966); Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, New York (1968); and the Milwaukee Art Center (1969). He received his first solo museum exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art (now SFMOMA, 1967). Bechtle’s work was also shown in several exhibitions and venues critical to the history of Photorealism, such as Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1970, 1973); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1971); Documenta, Kassel, West Germany (1972); Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York (1973); Samsung Museum of Modern Art, Seoul (2001); and Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2009). In 1991, SFMOMA held a solo exhibition of his work and later mounted a major retrospective in 2005, which traveled to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2005), and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2006). He lives in San Francisco.

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(Biography provided by Bradbury Art & Antiques)
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Artist:Robert Bechtle
Three Houses on Pennsylvania Avenue
By Robert Bechtle
Located in San Francisco, CA
It is mid-afternoon, and a hazy San Francisco sun shines full force on three houses on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is, perhaps, a Sunday. The residents are at home—each house has its veh...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Realist Robert Bechtle Art

Materials

Etching

'61 Impala, from Four Chevies
By Robert Bechtle
Located in San Francisco, CA
Robert Bechtle was born in 1932 in San Francisco and raised in Alameda. He studied graphic design and painting at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, earning his BF...
Category

1970s Contemporary Robert Bechtle Art

Materials

Lithograph

Covered Car-Missouri Street
By Robert Bechtle
Located in San Francisco, CA
"Covered Car-Missouri Street", by American realist painter Robert Bechtle, is a study in shadows, light, and form. Heathered green, beige, and purple are the colors that dominant the...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Robert Bechtle Art

Materials

Etching, Aquatint

'63 Bel Air, from Four Chevies
By Robert Bechtle
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edition of 60 Robert Bechtle was born in 1932 in San Francisco and raised in Alameda. He studied graphic design and painting at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, ...
Category

1970s Robert Bechtle Art

Materials

Lithograph

'64 Impala, from Four Chevies
By Robert Bechtle
Located in San Francisco, CA
Robert Bechtle was born in 1932 in San Francisco and raised in Alameda. He studied graphic design and painting at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, earning his ...
Category

1970s Contemporary Robert Bechtle Art

Materials

Lithograph

'71 Caprice, from Four Chevies
By Robert Bechtle
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edition of 60 Lithograph in colors Plate: 8 1/2 x 11 inches Sheet: 13 x 17 inches Robert Bechtle was born in 1932 in San Francisco and raised in Alameda. He studied graphic des...
Category

1970s Robert Bechtle Art

Materials

Lithograph

Toothbrush Variant II
By Robert Bechtle
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edition of 9
Category

1960s Robert Bechtle Art

Materials

Lithograph

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Previously Available Items
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Robert Bechtle art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Robert Bechtle art for sale. You can find work that includes elements of blue and other colors if you are browsing the collection of art to introduce a pop of color in a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom. You can also browse by medium to find art by Robert Bechtle in aquatint, etching, lithograph and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th Century and is mostly associated with the Contemporary style. Not every interior allows for large Robert Bechtle art, so small editions measuring 17 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of John Thompson (b.1950), John Maxon and , John Buck. Art prices for Robert Bechtle can vary depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $3,000 and tops out at $10,000, while the average work can sell for $4,000.

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