(1930 - 2021)
Manuel Neri was a leading member of the Bay Area Figurative movement along with David Park, Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff. The climate of the Post-War era encouraged bold artistic searches for new expression and Neri led the way in the Bay Area through a sculptural practice rooted in the desire to explore and manipulate material, beginning with cardboard and junk material and later oscillating between plaster, bronze and marble. Neri maintained close ties to the practice of painting, both in his painted plasters and bronzes, as well as in his large-scale abstractions, all the while remaining faithful to his primary motif—the female form.
Manuel Neri's work is internationally renowned and has been featured in numerous solo museum and gallery exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, and the Museo Estudio Diego Rivera, Mexico. In 2006, Neri received the Lifetime Achievement in Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center, and in 2008, he received the Bay Area Treasure Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.