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Dayton Art Institute Acquires Elmer Bischoff Painting

The Dayton Art Institute has acquired a a large painting by noted American artist Elmer Bischoff (1916–1991). This oil on canvas, dating from 1952, is the gift of Adelie L. Bishcoff, the aritst’s widow. It is now hanging in Gallery 202 of the Dicke American Wing of American Art, a stunning companion to the Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and Norman Lewis paintings nearby.

Elmer Bischoff (American, 1916–1991), Untitled, 1952, Oil on Canvas. Permanent Collection of The Dayton Art Institute, Gift of Adelie L. Bischoff

Like de Kooning, Motherwell and Lewis, Elmer Bischoff was an abstract expressionist painter. This means his subject was often the color itself on the canvas and the emotions color can convey. We may look for a story, but not see it. What is there visually, for certain, is the energy of the artist’s hand and the drama of lines and colors that collide with each other.

According to retired DAI Director & CEO Jan Driesbach, who was instrumental in negotiating the gift of the Bischoff to the museum, “We are thrilled to add a Bischoff to the permanent collection. It is a dynamic image that will stir the imaginations of our visitors. It also helps us to tell the story of what was happening on the West Coast while abstraction was all the rage in New York—we see that powerful abstraction was a coast to coast phenomenon.” –

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