Considered a member of the first generation of Bay Area Figuration, Weeks’ work is characterized by a signature “flattened” style, bold outlining of brilliant color fields, and aggressive, interlocking shapes. His influences range from European Modernists Henri Matisse and Max Beckmann to California Modernist Maynard Dixon and Mexican muralist Clemente Orozco.
Weeks studied at the California School of Fine Arts, which later became the San Francisco Art Institute. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Forces. After World War II, he returned to the California School of Fine Arts, studying under the charismatic instructors David Park and William Gaw.
His monumental figural compositions and landscapes from the 1950s and sixties are prized for their clarity, articulation, and balance between color and form. Weeks is associated with the Bay Area figurative painters, but unlike his peers—David Park, Elmer Bischoff, and Richard Diebenkorn-he never publicly experimented with non-objective painting. By 1960, Weeks unique style had fully emerged and works from this time are highly sought-after by curators and collectors.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
1951 Lucien Labaudt Art Gallery, San Francisco, 1957 California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco,
1953 “6” Gallery, San Francisco,
1955 East-West Gallery, San Francisco
1958 Poindexter Gallery, New York,
1960, 1961, 1963, 1965 Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles 1964, 1970 San Francisco Museum of Art
1965 Boston University Art Gallery
1971 Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco
1977, 1981 Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University
Waltham, Massachusetts (traveled to the Oakland Museum), 1978 Hirschl and Adler Modern, New York, 1985, 1988.
Selected Group Exhibitions
California School of Fine Arts Faculty Show, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco
1951 72nd Annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibition of the San Francsico Art Association, San Francisco Museum of Art, 1953 Works by Four Contemporary Artists; Jeremy Anderson, James Weeks, Hassel Smith, Ernest Briggs, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 1953 Contemporary Bay Area Figurative Painting, Oakland Art Museum
1957 Artist Member’s Exhibition, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco
1958 Winter Invitational, California Palace of the Legion of Honor
1960 Faculty Exhibition, San Francisco Art Institute
1961 Third Winter Invitational, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco
1961 Figure Painting in America, Birminham Museum of Art, Alabama
Some Points of View, ’62, Stanford University Art Museum, 1962 San Francisco Nine, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston
1962 Fourth Winter Invitational, California Palace of the Legion of Honor
1962 Five Decades of the Figure, State University of Iowa Art Gallery, Iowa City
1962 Eighty Second Annual Exhibition of the San Francisco Art Institute
1963 Artists West of the Mississippi: The Realistic Image, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
1963 Sixty-Seventh Annual American Exhibition
Directions in Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, The Art Institute of Chicago
1964 Seven California Painters, Staempfli Gallery, New York
1964 The 1964 Pittsburgh International Exhibition of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Art, Carnegie Instutute, Pittsburgh
1964 One Hundred Contemporary American Drawings, Museum of Art, University of Michigan 1965 Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture, Kranert Art Museum, University of Illionois
1965 Selections from the Work of California Artists, Witte Memorial Museum, San Antonio, Texas
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.