Sonia Gechtoff (1926–2018)

American artist Sonia Gechtoff, whose work was featured in the landmark exhibition “Women in Abstract Expressionism,” organized by the Denver Art Museum in 2016, died on February 1, at the age of ninety-one. An important yet overlooked figure of the Bay Area Abstract Expressionist movement, Gechtoff was known for producing vibrant large-scale works featuring expressive gestural brushstrokes and thickly-applied layers of oil paint.

Born in Philadelphia in 1926, Gechtoff began painting at an early age. Her father artist Leonid Gechtoff, a portraitist who painted former president Franklin D. Roosevelt and J. Edgar Hoover, encouraged her artmaking since she was the age of five. Gechtoff went on to study at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia (formerly the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art) on a scholarship. Shortly after graduating in 1950, she moved to San Francisco and joined the faculty at the California School of Fine Arts, where she

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