Glass of Water watercolor, graphite on paper 14 1/8 x 20 inches
Bunch of Radishes 1992 watercolor on paper 12 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches
Boats at Dock watercolor on paper 20 1/2 x 25 1/8 inches
Barn with Full Moon watercolor on paper 22 1/2 x 30 inches
Cigar Box 1982 watercolor on paper 13 5/8 x 15 1/4 inches
Farm Buildings 1985 watercolor on paper 17 1/2 x 23 3/8 inches
Flower Pot 1985 watercolor on paper 19 3/4 x 20 inches
Folded Flag watercolor on paper 23 x 28 5/8 inches
Four Persimmons on Branch watercolor on paper 18 x 24 inches
Glass of Water 1979 watercolor on paper 11 7/8 x 15 1/4 inches
Hat watercolor on paper 9 x 12 1/4 inches
Large Water Jar watercolor on paper 30 x 22 1/4 inches
Mixed Bouquet in Glass Vase 1981 watercolor, graphite on paper 9 1/2 x 9 inches
Orange Begonias in Glass watercolor, graphite on paper 14 1/8 x 20 inches
Pink Rose 1977 watercolor on paper 14 1/8 x 20 inches
Pink Water Jar watercolor, graphite on paper 17 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches
Road to the Craters 1991 watercolor on paper 21 1/2 x 26 1/4 inches
Rowboat in Water watercolor on paper 22 1/2 x 30 inches
Small Box on Red watercolor, graphite on paper 14 1/8 x 20 inches
Two Persimmons 1977 watercolor on paper 11 x 15 inches
Two Pink Camellias watercolor, graphite on paper 18 x 24 inches
Water Lily in Glass watercolor, graphite on paper 18 x 24 inches
Yellow Onions in Tin Bowl 1977 graphite and watercolor on paper 16 x 20 5/8 inches
Blue and White Sugar Bowl 1984 watercolor on paper 12 7/8 x 15 5/8 inches
Grapefruit with Spoon 1979 watercolor on paper 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches
Hat with Reflection watercolor, graphite on paper 14 1/8 x 20 inches
Kihei from Kula 1985 watercolor on paper 18 x 24 inches
Marigolds in Vase 1981 watercolor, graphite on paper 11 1/4 x 11 7/8 inches
Marin Headlands 1987 watercolor on paper 17 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches
Miso Bowl with Spoon 1982 watercolor on paper 12 5/8 x 16 inches
Self-Portrait watercolor, graphite on paper 12 x 9 inches
Two Pink Roses in Glass watercolor, graphite on paper 18 x 24 inches
Two Red Peppers watercolor on paper 14 x 20 inches

Press Release

Mark Adams


June 7 – July 7, 2007


John Berggruen Gallery is pleased to present a memorial exhibition of watercolors by the late San Francisco-based artist Mark Adams. The works included in the exhibition range in date from 1977 to 1991 and display Adams' quintessential still-lifes and landscapes, all of which were painted with his luminous and compelling style and superb draftsmanship. Mark Adams: Watercolors is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an introduction by the artist Wayne Thiebaud. There will be an opening reception held on Thursday, June 7, 2007 from 5:30-7:30pm.


Mark Adams is best remembered for his versatility as an artist, possessing talent in a diverse array of artistic media including tapestry, stained glass, oil painting, mosaic, drawing, watercolor, and printmaking. Early in his artistic career he focused on tapestry and stained glass. By 1962 Adams had two solo exhibitions of his tapestries at the de Young Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He completed tapestry commissions for various institutions, including the San Francisco International Airport. Adams also took an interest in stained glass, which he considered an extension of his work with tapestry and his enthusiasm for liturgical art.


By 1975, Adams grew frustrated with the limitations of his craft and the lack of complete control he had over the actual fabrication of his work. Drawn to the idea of small, intimate, and personal works that he could manage from beginning to end, he began a new venture in watercolor. Adams soon realized he could incorporate his techniques of flat planes of color as he had in tapestry and stained glass by using a wash to create his desired spatial effects, along with continuing his ideas of transparency and luminosity. He favored the quotidian subjects that exemplified his life, depicting them in such a way as to evoke a sense of nostalgia. Adams eventually learned to deemphasize his precise technique as a means to communicate his excitement for the subject he was portraying.


Mark Adams was born in Fort Plain, New York in 1925 and died in San Francisco in 2006. He attended the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in New York City in 1945 after studying for two years at Syracuse University. He spent the next few years traveling between New York and California before he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1952. Adams married fellow artist Beth Van Hoesen in 1953, and completed a four-month apprenticeship in Aubusson tapestry with the acclaimed Jean Lurcart in Saint-Cere, France in 1955. After returning to the Bay Area, he and Van Hoesen settled in a 1909 Noe Valley firehouse, which the couple had converted into living and studio space in 1959. Adams taught at such institutions as the University of California, Davis, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Arrowmount School in Tennessee. He completed numerous commissioned tapestries and stained glass windows including a thirty-foot long tapestry for the Weyerhaeuser Co. headquarters in Tacoma, Washington and stained glass windows for Grace Cathedral and Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco. Adams works are included in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, as well as in numerous other institutions.