Abstract Expressionism Reimagined: Brian McPartlon’s Solo Exhibition at the International Art Museum of America

4 mins read

Amidst the bustling city of San Francisco, a revolutionary art event is set to unfold this summer. The International Art Museum of America, a key player on the global arts stage, will soon play host to the intriguing abstract painter Brian McPartlon in an exhibition aptly titled “Return”. Opening on June 15, 2024, and running until July 8, the exhibition is an homage to McPartlon’s deep Bay Area roots and his remarkable journey through the spheres of abstract painting.

Early Beginnings and Artistic Inspirations

Born and raised in the vibrant Bay Area, McPartlon’s encounter with art began amidst the burgeoning South of Market (SoMa) art scene of the 1970s. An era marked by experimental fervor and cultural revolutions, this period deeply influenced his early artistic endeavors. The young McPartlon gravitated towards the abstract, a genre that allowed him unlimited freedom to explore and express. His education at the San Francisco Art Institute further shaped his methodologies and artistic philosophy, instilling a relentless pursuit of innovation.

Artistic Process and Techniques

Now operating out of his studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, McPartlon continues to push the boundaries of abstract art. His works, often massive canvases stretching over 100 inches, are a testament to his dedication and tireless spirit. The artist prefers a dynamic approach to painting, employing an eclectic mix of tools—from traditional brushes to unconventional instruments like palm fronds and animal bone fragments. McPartlon adopts techniques such as staining, pouring, and spraying to layer shapes and colors, achieving a depth that is both literal and metaphorical.

The Exhibition: A Homecoming

“Return” represents more than just a physical return to his hometown; it symbolizes a return to McPartlon’s artistic roots, a revisitation of the creative impulses of his youth now seasoned with decades of introspection and mastery. The exhibition will feature a selection of his most compelling works, including “Misty”, a hauntingly beautiful acrylic on canvas, and “Open”, a bold interplay of blue and black hues, each piece narrating its unique story.

Guests attending the opening reception on June 15 will have the rare opportunity to meet McPartlon and delve deeper into the narrative behind each painting. The artist’s presence adds a personal dimension to the exhibition, allowing attendees to connect the visual elements with their creator’s intentions and stories.

Global Recognition and Artistic Influence

McPartlon’s art has not only captivated audiences across the United States but has also garnered international acclaim, with exhibitions and features extending from Dallas and Los Angeles to London, Milan, and beyond. His unique style and relentless innovation have earned him a spot in some of the most prestigious art discussions and publications worldwide.

Conclusion: A Must-Visit Exhibition

For art enthusiasts, critics, and the general public in and around San Francisco, “Return” promises an immersive journey into the essence of abstract expressionism as seen through the lens of Brian McPartlon. The exhibition at the International Art Museum of America is not just a display of art; it is an exploration of a lifetime of artistic endeavors, a narrative woven through decades of creativity and experimentation.

Whether you are a seasoned aficionado of abstract art or new to the realm of artistic exploration, Brian McPartlon’s “Return” offers a fresh and profound perspective on modern abstract painting, making it a key cultural event to mark on your calendar this summer.



Sip Art Gallery

Exhibition Dates: June 15 – July 8, 2024
Reception: June 15, 2024 from 3-5 PM with artist in attendance

1023 Market Street
San Francisco, California 94103

(415) 376-6344 ­­


Andrea Bernal

Admissions consultant for California high schools for 15 years. Currently advisor and educational material specialist at IVY'D College Prep.