Art, Coffee, and Mid-Century Modernism in Redwood City

Painter Alan VanEss, who specializes in depicting houses of all styles, says he was first moved by architecture at age 8, when he saw an encyclopedia photo of Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water(above). Decades later, he's made painting his full-time profession and homes his subject of choice.

VanEss, a former teacher who lives in Redwood City, started painting architecture in the late 1980s and made it his full-time profession in 2002. He still teaches painting classes at Michael’s art supply stores in the Peninsula area.

This week, VanEss will debut a series of mixed-media works he calls Reflections on Modernist Masters, portraying architecture by Richard Neutra, Gerrit Rietveld, Frank Lloyd Wright, Rudolph Schindler, Stanley Saitowitz, Horace Gifford, and a number of Eichlers.

VanEss says of his style: “It has some elements of impressionism, as applied to the trees, and landscape elements, but the houses themselves tend to be not so impressionistic. They’re more realistic. It’s very linear, very precise.”

The show, at Redwood City’s Backyard Coffee, runs for a month, starting June 7. VanEss will be there Wednesday, June 12, from 7:00-10:00 PM, to discuss the works and answer questions. Should be fun!