Model Drinking Coffee
1964 Paul Wonner Born: Tucson, Arizona 1920 Died: San Francisco, California 2008 oil on canvas 49 1/2 x 45 7/8 in. (125.7 x 116.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. 1966.84.4 Not currently on view
In Model Drinking Coffee the crisp colors and dramatic contrasts between light and shadow evoke the clear sunshine of a California morning. Paul Wonner used broad brushstrokes and thick paint to animate every object in this interior view, from the seated figure to the vase and coffeepot on the table. Wonner, like other members of the Bay Area figurative school, rejected abstraction in the late 1950s and '60s and began painting light-filled landscapes and interiors that often showed solitary figures absorbed in their own worlds. But even though this image is representational, Wonner concentrated on the pattern of shapes and the play of paint across the canvas much as a devoted abstract artist would do.
This painting is currently on view on the third floor of the Museum in the Contemporary Art galleries.
For more information about this work visit the Luce Foundation Center.
Architecture Interior - domestic - dining room
Figure male - full length
Object - foodstuff - beverage
Occupation - art - model
Recreation - leisure - eating and drinking
paint - oil
fabric - canvas