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published articles


Abby Wasserman has published hundreds of articles on visual artists during her writing career. These are a few of her favorites, all written for The Museum of California magazine, the Oakland Museum's quarterly, either freelance or as the magazine's editor. Her specialty was interviewing artists in their studios surrounded by their work, making connections between their art and their lives. Below are links to eleven features on California artists written between 1985 and 2003. Photo credits are listed at the bottom of each article.



When Surrealism Moved West (1995): In the kind of patient detective work that can lead to important discoveries, intrepid art historian Susan Ehrlich uncovered a trove of surrealist painters and photographers active in southern California in the '20s and '30s.

The Graphic Art of Charles Schulz (1985): For 50 years Charles M. Schulz created the popular comic strip Peanuts. Abby visited Schulz in Santa Rosa to talk about his ideas regarding the strip, its characters and the world of cartooning.

Coyote and the Myth-Maker (1987): Painter Harry Fonseca's modern Coyote myth is rich in humor and spiritual meaning.

Beatrice Wood's Life in Art (1989): A visit with ceramicist Beatrice Wood at her Ojai home when Wood was 96 years old--full of life, laughter and appetite.

Frank Day: Memory and Imagination (1997): An anthropologist-turned-curator shares the richness of Frank Day's Maidu Indian legacy of visionary paintings.

The Desert Years of Noah Purifoy (1998): It took artist Noah Purifoy a while to get used to the desert, but when he did, he found it the ideal open studio for his assemblage and sculpture.

Into the Light: The Transformation of Joan Brown (1998): Interviews with family and friends of the late Joan Brown reveal the fine hand and compelling inner life of the San Francisco painter.

Robert Bechtle: Hidden Reflections (2000): The Photo-Realist paintings of Robert Bechtle, with their edgy melancholy, lyricism and suspended sense of time, chronicle an ordinary but luminous world.

The Three Faces of Garry Knox Bennett (2001): Outrageous, innovative, fascinating, endearing--the many qualities of Garry Knox Bennett are revealed in this portrait of the artist as multimorphic man.

Passing Between Worlds: The Art of Fred Martin (2003): The life of a prolific painter and one of the guiding lights at the San Francisco Art Institute.

David Ireland: Process and Possibilities (2003): "Adventuresome creativity" describes the art and process of David Ireland. Abby finds that a visit with him in his San Francisco home is positively mind-expanding.