Gary Woo was an acclaimed abstract painter who worked in San Francisco for five decades.
Born in Guangzhou, China, in 1925, Woo relocated to San Francisco in 1939. After serving in World War II, Woo studied briefly at the San Francisco Art League and the California School of Fine Arts. His abstract painting was related to the Chinese calligraphy he had learned from his father, and Woo’s interest in the glazed surfaces of Chinese ceramics. Woo’s work was recognized with awards, positive reviews and prestigious exhibition invitations during the 1950s and 1960s, and the North Beach studio which he shared with his wife, acclaimed art educator Yolanda Garfias, became an inspiring destination.
After their studio lease expired in 1972, the couple moved to a small house on the southern edge of San Francisco near Daly City. Although he continued to paint until his death in 2006, Woo exhibited less frequently in his later years.