Theme/Style Modernism, figurative art, tropical motifs
Media Oils, sculptures, graphite, charcoal, etchings
Artistic Focus When viewing Avis Zeidler’s wood sculptures, one is at once struck by their substantial, honest, and undeniable presence, and the strength and purity of their forms. Whether in charcoal or graphite paintings, etchings, or sculpture, Zeidler’s rendering of the female figure – round, solid, sensual, and confident - conveys both her artistic skill and her regard for the female form. Similarly, her images of men reveal a sense of strength and respect.
• Avis Zeidler was born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1908.
• It is not known when Zeidler moved to California. However, in the 1930s she majored in art at the University of California.
• Later, she enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts after receiving a scholarship for her studies there. She studied with Ray Boynton, Lucien Labaudt, Karl Eugen Neuhaus, and Ralph Stackpole.
• Zeidler very likely met her husband, sculptor Vladimir Nemkoff (who had arrived in San Francisco from Russia in 1927), while studying at the California School of Fine Arts as he also was enrolled there in the early 1930s.
• Zeidler again received a scholarship, this time to study at the Art Students’ League in New York, where she studied with, among others, Frank DuMond. After a year of study she returned to San Francisco.
• Zeidler and Nemkoff were married in the 1930s.
• Zeidler later assisted Nemkoff in the creation of a wood sculpture for the Hollister, California, post office entitled History of San Juan (Bautista) Mission completed in 1936 under the auspices of the Treasury Relief Art Project.
• During the 1930s and 1940s, Zeidler exhibited widely in San Francisco, including at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939, the San Francisco Museum of Art (including two one-person shows in 1938 and 1942), and with the San Francisco Women Artists and the San Francisco Art Association.
• Avis Zeidler Nemkoff passed away in San Francisco in 1995.
Additional biographical material and full bibliographic
references are available upon request.
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