Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Frank Koci: San Francisco Beat Era Painter

Image from a 1976 gallery announcement in the Artists File

Join us in celebrating the dynamic life and art of San Francisco painter, Frank Koci (1904-1983) on Saturday, August 25, 2007 from 2-4 p.m. in the Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room located in the Lower Level of the San Francisco Public Library’s Main Library. This event will be an opportunity for immersion into Koci’s art and thought. The program consists of a slide presentation of his art, a short documentary film including interview with the artist, and readings from his personal journal.

Koci, an active painter in San Francisco from the 1950s until his death in 1983, is known for his painterly-synthesis of Expressionist influences from artists such as Beckmann, Nolde, Kirchner, Soutine and Grosz. He was a close observer of the North Beach Beat scene and his paintings were sold by Henri Lenoir from within his now-famous bar Vesuvio. Thomas Albright, in Art in the San Francisco Bay Area 1945-1980, has written that Koci’s “strongest work represented a remarkable union of naïveté and canny sophistication.”

The details of his life are as fascinating as his artwork. Koci worked as a cowboy, farmhand, silent film extra, theater actor, and merchant seaman, in addition to being and outsider artist and self-taught painter. In his obituary from the April 8, 1983 edition of the San Francisco Examiner (found in the Library’s Artists File) he was described as “a kind of peoples’ artist, a very unusual man.”

All programs at the Library are free and open to the public. For further information contact

This program is supported by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

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