Past Exhibitions

S.C. Yuan from the Museum’s Permanent Collection

12525662_10153210106061246_3252397845837455038_oFebruary 5, 2015 – March 7, 2016
MMA La Mirada

Art should have something to say to the viewer, and only then is it honest art, which has permanent value. –S.C. Yuan

Si Chen Yuan (1911-1974) was one of the most celebrated post-war abstract painters in Monterey. He produced a variety of subjects from still lifes and landscapes, to figurative work. Yuan’s style combined post-Impressionist sensibilities with abstract techniques that employed swift brushstrokes, bold lines, and expressive patches of color. Born in Hangzhou, China (formerly Hangchow) near Shanghai, Yuan studied with Chinese artist Xu Beihong, a prestigious modernist who trained him in the French academic style of painting. Travelling to Europe and Mexico, Yuan came to Monterey in the 1950s and pursued painting for twenty-five years. Balancing Chinese aesthetic traditions with European and American ones, Yuan was attracted to Monterey for its natural beauty and rich artistic legacy. He admired artists Armin Hansen and William Ritschel, and their influences can be seen in his work. His oil paintings and watercolors garnered awards and exhibitions in San Francisco, Boston, and New York; and his artistic contributions continue to be recognized.


Image: S.C. YUAN (1911–1974), Figures, n.d., Oil and acrylic on canvas. Collection Monterey Museum of Art, 1970 Mo. Co. Painting Competition Purchase Award Winner