Paul Wonner

born Tucson, AZ 1920-died San Francisco, CA 2008
Media - portrait_image_113470.jpg - 90264
Photograph taken by Mimi Jacobs. Image is courtesy of the Photographs of artists taken by Mimi Jacobs collection in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Also known as
  • Paul John Wonner
Tucson, Arizona, United States
San Francisco, California, United States
  • American

Paul Wonner's parents hired a local California artist to teach him painting while he was still in high school. He lived briefly in New York, working as a packaging designer to support himself, then moved back to the West Coast to study library science. Wonner started his painting career during the heyday of abstract expressionism, but soon turned his back on abstract imagery to join a group of Bay Area figurative artists that included Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff. Even after he returned to the figure in the 1960s, Wonner retained the vigorous brushstrokes and strong coloring of abstract expressionism.