Art Galleries

Frank Koci

When: Through Sept. 30

The term “forgotten man” once denoted the idled workers of the Depression, but it could be applied equally to the social realist painters of the 1930s. Unforgotten is the title of a retrospective exhibit of paintings by Frank Koci (1904-83), a Czech who came to San Francisco in the 1920s and lived through the Depression, WW2, the Red Scare, the Beat and hippie eras, and the gentrification of South of the Slot. Self-taught, he was well-read, embodying the archetype of the outsider artist-philosopher and Bukowskian bottom-dog, both working stiff and character. “You’d be surprised at how many practically geniuses you find on the skids in San Francisco.” Despite working odd jobs and “bumming around” with other characters, he somehow created thousands of small, unsigned, untitled paintings on the human condition, influenced by Rouault and Grosz. Audrey Darby, who has collected Koci’s work for fifty years, curated this memorable show.

DeWitt Cheng

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